Monday, 25 June 2007

Titchwell RSPB

Dad took an un-expected day from work and offered to take me out. It wasn't a hard choice as there was hardly anything about! So Norfolk it was... where a Little Bittern had been seen on and off for most days. It took a while to show but even then to a selected few (including myself while eating a cracking bacon 'n' egg butty - not bad ay) Occasionally would it pop its head up above the reeds and its bright bill was particuarly noticable. The bird eventually took flight into a reedy ditch as wasnt seen again.

Midday scanning over Hunstanton for the Alpine Swift drew blanks with dreadful weather drawing closer and closer. Heading home turned out to be a wise chose!!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Caerlaverock, Haweswater & Forest of Bowland

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!! What a dip!! With heavy fog taking ages to clear in the morning, we had an inkling that the White-tailed Plover had departed over night. No sign from 4am to about half 10, we decided to head south to Haweswater.

Here, the male Golden Eagle sat in a favourable tree from the RSPB watchpoint. Ring Ouzel, Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher and 4 Goosander also. In the surrounding area - we discovered a Pied Flycatcher nest, with Dippers nearby.

Male Pied Flycatcher feeding young at the nest (c) Ashley Howe

Losing complete hope of the Plover being relocated or found, we moved further south to the Forest of Bowland. Another long walk from Dunsop Bridge got us the 5 Eagle Owls; 2 adults, 3 juveniles. The female ripping a Red-legged Partridge to pieces, shame it wasn't a dog - would have made it far more amusing. As well as, as many as 3 Short-eared Owls, 2 'ringtail' Hen Harriers and Dipper again.

All five Eagle Owls. The 3 juveniles (top), the male hiding (2nd) and the female (bottom) tucking into a red-legged partridge. Impressive birds. (c) Ashley Howe

Friday, 8 June 2007

New Forest

Another trip into the New Forest around midday. Again I couldn't find a Honey Buzzard, though several Buzzard species were seen on the horizon; too distant for any identification. Two Goshawks were a consellation however: one in flight also at range and another perched in a row of conifers. I also managed to finally catch up with Woodlark this year! Wooop Wooop!

A boldly marked individual Fallow Deer. (c) Ashley Howe

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Rainham Marshes RSPB

A visit to Rainham after work to attempt the Marsh Warbler present there the previous few days. After driving in circles and walking through housing estates we eventually found an entrance in as the main gates were locked. A walk along the seawall to the area where the bird apparantly seen earlier in the day. On arrival there was ni sign, but after a while it begun to sing its unique song. Over our stay we haerd it to mimic Blue Tit and Goldfinch etc.

Occasionally it would visit the top of the reeds to sing, but mostly stayed undercover and fighting off nearby Reed Warblers. (c) Ashley Howe

A Spoonbill was seen at range from the seawall amongst several Grey Herons.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Blakeney Point

At began our journey north at about 10 in the morning. A late start in the day - mainly because we're lazy buggers and like we like our lay-ins. Traffic was heavy all the way up and as a consequence it took us 5 hours to reach the north coast of Norfolk. And another half 'n' hour walk to Half Way House. On arrival we immediately caught our first glimpse as it flew up and landed directly infront of us for a few seconds. From then onwards it showed on and off but mainly elusive. And it was a matter of luck to get photos in the end.

The views of this Booted Warbler were very brief. This was the only opportunity I got to photograph the bird, before it flew back into the scrub. For copies. (c) Ashley Howe

Friday, 1 June 2007

New Forest

A stop on the way into the New Forest sealed views of a roosting Nightjar.
A very brief visit to Acres Down before we had to return hope to do our paper rounds. Here we got the usual suspects - 4 Wood Warbler, Tawny Owl, Redstarts, Tree Pipit etc.

Nightjar at an undisclosed site (c) Ashley Howe