Saturday, 27 January 2007

New Forest

A rather late start to the day, arriving at Hom Hill by around 11:00am. It wasn't long before we located the Great Grey Shrike at a great distance. Fortunately it let us get a bit closer.

(c) Lee Fuller. Great Grey Shrike taken beyond Holm Hill in the middle of a bog. Lovely!

After, we visited another site in the New Forest, which I'll keep undisclosed for potential breeding purposes. Here we located Crossbill with ease. Mick and Lee found a Goshawk by the car park, while I was listening to second individual calling further along the beaten track.

We finished the day at Blackwater Arboretum. Lee managed to locate a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (jammy) while Mick and I heard it call a few times. About 10 Hawfinch came into roost as did plenty of Brambling, Chaffinch and Siskin.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Farlington Marshes

(c) Ashley Howe. Just a tiny fraction of the Brent Geese at Farlington today.

21/10/07 - A brief afternoon visit to Farlington and Langstone Harbour to see what was about. The Leach's Petrel had already gone and the water level was considerably high with no mud left on the main pool. Although a gathering Redshanks produced a Spotted Redshank, there wasn't much else to report. There was also no sign of any Long-eared Owls at an undisclosed site.

(c) Ashley Howe. Collared Dove photogrpahed in my back garden

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Poole Harbour

It was about time we gave Poole a visit. With regular sightings of decent birds. The Bittern showed at Hatch Pond at first light, though the views were brief. (c) Ashley Howe. The Bittern at Hatch Pond as it slowly walked across the reed cut channel there.

We crossed the toll ferry at about 10:00am after looking for the Little Stint at Baitor. But as expected it wasn't there. Ravens, Mergansers, Shags and a few waders were seen on the crossing. It wasn't long before we located our target bird in Studland Bay: Black-necked Grebe. Eventually we must have located about 10 birds. 2 Slavonian Grebes, 2 Great Northern Divers and 20+ Mediterranean Gulls were there too.

Arne RSPB was unfortunately a waste of time, with Marsh Tit the only addition to the year list. However a visit to Shipstall Point revealed a juvenile Spoonbill, waders and Sika Deer. We didn't bother with the Red-breasted Goose at Middlebere Farm, so slowly went in the direction of home. Stopping at various view points. 2 more Great Northern Divers were in Poole Harbour.

(c) Lee Fuller - Spoonbill of Shipstal Point and (c) Ashley Howe - Robin at Arne RSPB

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Rainham, Snodland, Oare and Sheppey

The day started off in good fashion, with the Grey Phalorope located immediately on Aveley Pools. Very distant but an early year tick all the same.

The distant Grey Phalorope early morning on Aveley Pool, apparantly it did come closer. (c) Ashley Howe. More photos
A call from another birder, turned our attention to a Black Redstart in the area, although we didn't see it, Lee located the Penduline Tit. Another unexpected year tick in fairly windy conditions.

Penduline Tit at Rainham, opposite Aveley Pools. Very brief and distant. (c) Lee Fuller. More photos

We left the site shortly before 10:30 where we moved onto New Hythe GPs, Kent for the Ferruginous Duck. Negative news was given by a local who hadn't seen it. We walked to the first pit (Brooklands Lake) where we located the bird with no problem at all. So don't no where the other birder was looking.

Ferruginous Duck on Brooklands Lake. (c) Ashley Howe. More photos

We attempted the Long-billed Dowitcher at Oare Marshes, which had been reported earlier in the day, but on arrival had apparantly flown off. There wasn't much there apart from a few other easy year ticks.

Then to Harty Marshes, where it was hit and hope for either Short-eared Owl or Rough-legged Buzzard. We left with neither. But managed a ringtail Hen Harrier, Barn Owl, at least 15 Marsh Harrier and 5 Whooper Swan. The best sighting here was the discovery of a Great-white Egret, viewed from the raptor viewpoint looking west. The bird flew in not long after 16:00 and seemed to drop down into the reeds there. Just one other flight view was obtained and was not seem again.

Saturday, 6 January 2007


There was no sign of any Bewick's Swan amongst the Mutes at Ibsley by Midday but a drake Goosander was located on the River Avon. There was also no sign of the Great-white Egret on Mockbeggar or Ivy Lakes. But Siskin and Kingfisher entertained in torrential down poors.
However a brief visit to Rockford Lake revealed the Great-white Egret at close range, and quickly flew in the direction of Mockbeggar before equipment could be arranged. By late afternoon the Great-white was located on Mockbeggar and 2 Bewick's Swan returned to Ibsley prior to dusk.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007


2 Bewick's Swan at Ibsley Meadows with Mute Swan herd. No sign of the Great-white Egret in the area though today. 10 Ruddy Ducks were on Ibsley Water. At least 1 female Goosander was behind the island on Rockford Lake, perhaps there was more.

One of the Bewick's Swan over the far side of ibsley Meadow feeding on one of the only parts not flooded. A rapidly declining species in Hampshire. (c) Ashley Howe

Eyeworth Pond

01/01/07 - 7 Mandarin (4 drakes) at Eyeworth Pond with 3 Goosander (1 drake) over the far side. As was a Kingfisher.

Male and female Mandarin. (c) Ashley Howe