Monday, 28 February 2011

Marlingford Great White Egret

Last Thursday Laura told me she had seen 3 men standing in the road near Marlingford with optics, wasn't sure what was there and couldn't stop to ask them. No news the blogs or birdguides so i thought nothing of it. Saturday morning and news of a Great White Egret near Marlingford, working Saturday and Sunday i hoped the bird stayed put. Online directions meant little, so Laura drove me to the place she had seen the men in the road. No birders, no cars but a Great White Egret in clear view. The bird was feeding in the dykes and flooded meadows just east of the village, feeding in the open the bird gave great views, even giving us a fly past, before continuing fishing. This was a long over due life tick, I've looked for a few in the past without success, and i really hadn't anticipated the massive size of this bird. Back in the garden another new 'garden tick' was a Redwing perched up in a tree two gardens down, but still viewable from our garden. The Blackcap appears to have left but the female Siskin still remains with the Goldfinch flock which has doubled in size to 10 birds in the last week.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Oriental Not So Slaty-backed Turtle Gull Dove

Basically we saw the Oriental Turtle Dove in Chipping Norton but dipped the Slaty-backed Gull at Rainham RSPB. That pretty much sums up last Friday when Gary and i went on our first long distance twitch of the year, and also our last for a while with Gary and Claire's baby due in the next couple of weeks. In Chipping Norton the Turtle Dove although elusive at times eventually gave good views, i did need a box though! I big thanks must go to the residents of the area that have let many birders trample their gardens. Also noted was a surprisingly large number of Bullfinch, 2 Brambling, a Blackcap and numerous Tits. Driving from there we passed along the M40, an area I've always been told is great for Red Kite. Sure enough we saw probably 35+ between Oxford and London with one group of 15+ quite a spectacle. At Rainham the RSPB carpark was closed after an accident near the access road the night before, but finding a suitable verge we parked up before heading off towards the tip. 2 hours scanning the large gull flock roosting on the marshes failed to turn up the Slaty-backed Gull. Although one bird looked an idea candidate until it moved, allowing us to then dismiss it due to its small size. A fly though Peregrine was also my first of the year.

Pack in the garden my regular 10 minute feeder watch before work on 22nd, resulted in a unexpected female Siskin on the Niger feeder, a new garden tick in the form of a male Bullfinch perched in the back hedge and rare for the garden a Wren which seemed to take objection to a Dunnock under the feeders.

Friday, 11 February 2011

40th Garden Tick

I still haven't been able to find much birding time, as we have now started some wedding prep, but luckily there has been very little of interest to look for anyway. I have however been keeping an eye on the garden, although the very cold days seem behind us, quite a lot of birds are still frequenting t he feeders. Today in a free 10minutes before i had to leave for work the male Blackcap that first appeared 2/3 weeks ago was back and also a Goldcrest briefly stopped on the suet feeder before disappearing deep into the hunnysuckle of the hedge, my 40th 'garden tick' since moving in last August.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Waxwings at work

After reading of Waxwing on Bar Street on Bird Guides i wondered if they actually meant Ber Street, so being a little early for work i decide to have a look around. Sure enough in the apple tree where the 'Pot Company' used to be, opposite work 3 Waxwing were frantically feeding on the apples. They seemed unaware of the people walking past, in fact standing by the fence of was probably less than 10ft away. Tomorrow I'll take my camera to work, and because of this I'm sure they would have gone.