Thursday, 31 July 2008

New Forest

A quick visit into the New Forest, again another site that will remain undisclosed for now, but had great views of a female Nightjar, circuling overhead, while a male churred down in the valley.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Itchen Valley Country Park

Yesterday a Gropper was reported from Itchen Valley CP, not really expecting it to still be there, Lee and I got up early to go to this local location. Surprised, we picked up on the bird reeling at a fair range, narrowing it down to a small area. Reeling constantly til at least half 10, it showed itself very briefly, allowing just a few photos before typically singing form the undergrowth again.

Sadly i was too slow picking up on the bird singing unlike Lee © Ashley Howe

After we payed Lakeside Country Park a visit, though there wasn't anything else there either, and was very quiet, though it did allow a few very good photo opportunities with Great-crested Grebe.

Adult Great-crested Grebe in mid-preen © Ashley Howe

Monday, 28 July 2008

Cley NWT

From previous posts (well the last one at at least) i moaned at how bored i was, so i decided to go on little adventure to try and liven things up again. Getting up at 4am, to get a train from Eastleigh to Lndon Waterloo, navigating the underground to get to Stratford, then from there to Norwich. Where i met up with Steve Rutt as planned, and we trained-it again to Sheringham. And using the very handy Coasthopper to Cley NWT.

A close up of a cygnet passing one of the hides, and part of a family of Little Grebes from the approach boardwalk to the hides. © Ashley Howe

There wasn't any birds i was particularly bothered about seeing though, a White-rumped Sandpiper would have been handy if we could pick that up too. Visiting the hides there wasn't really much on Simmond's Scrape, but a bit more stuff on Pat's, with a Curlew Sandpiper amongst Dunlin. A near-ad Yellow-legged Gull, Little Gull, rather dashing Spotted Redshank, and an Arctic Tern. Bearded Tits were knocking around the Hide, but never showing well enough to photograph.

Again, some more snaps from the hides, this Reed Warbler was reluctant to come directly out into the sun, but the Lapwing had no problems coming right up close to the hide. © Ashley Howe

Over to the North Scrape, where things improved alot. A distand group of Dunlin held the White-rumped Sandpiper, which very quickly decided to either back over to Simmond's or carried on West. A few Common Sandpiper were picked out on the fringes, where at least c10 Green Sands were also. A calling Sandpiper revealed itself to be a Wood. A mobile Little Stint eventually landed infront of us. And the three Spoonbills were at the far back looking pretty dead, as they layed on the floor in the early afternoon heat :-/

Ok, this shot could have been taken better, but the Redshank kept flying off. © Ashley Howe

It was near enough time for us to go. So a little more photography, and then we had to catch the coasthopper back to Sheringham. Luckily today went like clock-work and there weren't any cock-ups (especially on the underground - where i was actually bricking it encase i messed up and got on the run one - missing connecting trains) I left Steve at the Stowmarket stop between Norwich and London Liverpool Street. I arrived home at midnight, where the train managed to miraculously by-pass the Hedge End station, so i ended up in Fareham, where i had to be picked from there by my bare mandems!

Thursday, 24 July 2008


Right, ive been abit bored lately...with jack all rarities popping up, or that i can twitch anyway....

so i have reduced myself to taking pics of bugs in my garden!! This is a serious low for me..and a first for the blog.

I'm not messed up, I no a Blackbird doesn't count as a bug © Ashley Howe