Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Pagham Harbour

This morning we saw the Red-necked Phalorope at Pagham Harbour on the Sidlesham Ferry Pool. According to the pager it was showing well. But when we got there it was miles away and right over the other side. Constantly feeding in the abismal weather. We didn't spend much time watching it and returned home. A Hobby flew over and headed north.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Lakenheath RSPB, Minsmere and Thrupp

An early start this week, arriving at Lakenheath RSPB at about 6am. There was no sign of any Golden Orioles so far that morning, but it didn't take long before one started calling. Soon after a female flew out of the 1st plantation and round the back. It went quiet again before we started speaking to Chunky and Simon King (nice to see you two again) and another two were spotted flying from the 1st plantation to the 2nd (male and female). 2 Groppers were reeling, with Barn Owl, Cuckoo & Marsh Harrier.
Marsh Harrier flying close past the Bittern Hide at Minsmere (c) Ashley Howe

Then to Minsmere, where a Bittern flew past as soon as we entered the Bittern Hide. Shortly after the first Purple Heron took flight from the reeds and flew right out of view. Bitterns were flying backwards and forwards occasionally and it was later in the afternoon when 2 Purple Herons flew back across at range.

Purple Heron inflight at range from the Bittern Hide at Minsmere (c) Ashley Howe

On the way home we decided to stop of at Thrupp, counting about 30 Red Kites up the M40. It was raining steadily, and as we expected it affected the Scop's Owl. It called briefly at dusk but was neither seen or heard again. We lost hope and decided we could go back another night. 2 Little Owls were there and 2 Kingfishers were on the river.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Pagham Harbour

The Adult Male Kentish Plover showed well at distance at Pagham Harbour around midday from the Church Norton Hide. A Little Ringed Plover was on the Sidlesham Ferry Lagoon with Avocet.

There was no sign of the American Golden Plover at low tide at Farlington Marshes, though we expect it will return at high tide again, later on in the afternoon. A Curlew Sandpiper was a consellation, as well as Bearded Tits and Little Tern.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Bishop's Waltham

A 15 mile bike ride with Lee to Bishop's Waltham from Hedge End stopping at various places on the way, for a Little Owl that is apparantly in residence. But no sign again to start of with, so we carried on riding down the road, when we passed again it suddenly appeared and we had eventual good views.

Little Owl on an old concrete 'thing' late in the afternoon (c) Ashley Howe

Needs Ore

Last night Lee and I caught a lift with Simon and Joe Ingram and another of his mates; Kelvin Pierce. Luckily for us, Lee had just re-newed his family permit for this private location. It didn't take long to find what we were looking for - Temminck's Stint. A stunning bird feeding on the side of the water. Too busy to realise that Lee and I were approaching with cameras and eventually were wathing it feed away 20 feet away. A Hobby was seen with prey as it flew over the road on the way there and 2 Avocets were feedingin the same area as the Stint. For more pictures.

Temminsk's Stint down to less than 20 feet from us this evening. Showing amazingly well. (c) Ashley Howe For more pictures

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Oare Marshes

The Savi's Warbler from yesterday had already been singing this morning a tthe crack of dawn. But by the time we had got there, it had shut up and disappeared. We stayed in the area for a while before moving to Grove Ferry and Stodmarsh; which are both top reserves. Close views of birds including Bearded Tits, Cetti's Warbler, Kingfisher, Marsh Harrier and Hobbies. But the highlight was our first Turtle Doves of the year though 3 Nightingales singing during the day was nice.

Back to Oare for another listen for the Savi's didn't happen and as a consequence we were back home fairly early.

Great-crested Grebe from one of the hides, the light this time of year is amazing, especially when you capture the reflection well in the water. (c) Ashley Howe

Touring Hampshire

Well went around Hampshire looking for one or two still fairly easy year ticks... but it was possibly the poorest day birdwatching ever and the only highlight was a fairly showy Lesser Whitethroat. Though we still didn't get any photos!!

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Hengistbury Head

Arriving late in the morning, there was still a steady trickle of Storm Petrels passing the headland. Usually in twos and threes and fairly close in shore at times. The Purple Sandpiper was still hanging around the groynes with Turnstones. Apart from this nothing else was worth reporting. A pretty quiet day for everything else!

An approachable Rock Pipit feeding on the groynes with Purple Sandpiper (above) and Turnstones (c) Ashley Howe

Monday, 7 May 2007


Dreadful weather with very strong winds for most of the day. Hopeful of connecting with Pomarine Skuas. But it was not to be, as visibility was poor. However sightings did include 2 presumed Storm Petrels, and at least of each of Arctic and Great Skuas. About 30 Common Scoter passed and hundreds of Arctic Tern and a Little Gull were at The Patch.

The RSPB reserve was dead with nothing besides a few nice views of Yellow Wagtail.

Yellow Wagtail showing closely to the approach road to Denge Marsh (c) Ashley Howe

We dropped into Rye Harbour to lok for Black Terns which had been reported there earlier in the day. Weather was still bad and by the time we had got there, they had cleared off. However good numbers of Mediterranean Gull were breeding and 2 Sanderling showed well at high tide.

Sanderling feeding on the shore line at high tide (c) Ashley Howe

Saturday, 5 May 2007


Unfortunately no sign of the Kentish Plover this morning at Ferrybridge so it was down to Portland to rescue the day. A Hoopoe showed occasionally at the bill; wary at times and sometimes elusive. A female Pied Flycatcher was also in the immediate area.

Hoopoe around the bill area by the higher lighthouse (c) Ashley Howe Female Pied Flycatcher (c) Ashley Howe

At Reap Lane, A Hobby passed over, Redstarts, Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler and Willow Warblers all put in appearances amongst others.

Female Blackcap in the Observatory garden (c) Ashley Howe

Back to the Observatory where Garden Warblers, Blackcap, Wheatear and Willow Warbler were numerous. At Ferrybridge, Little Terns showed confidingly well, yet Radipole had nothing except 2 Common Terns nearby.

Little Tern hovering by the bridge at Ferrybridge (c) Ashley Howe