Sunday, 27 November 2011

Dartfords!! ~27th November~

Heathland is a habitat I do not get to visit as much as I would like but after hearing of potential Dartford Warblers, I decided to investigate. Unfortunately the finder of the bird has asked me to keep the location of the birds a secret, so for now, it is "an undisclosed location in NE Hampshire"! There were  number of Stonechats at the site along with small numbers of Meadow Pipits and a lone Sparrowhawk and after around 20 minutes of searching we heard the unmistakable sound of a Dartford Warbler. It was soon apparent that there was more than one bird and by the end of our walk we were confident we had seen at least 3 individuals! As always, they were a really nightmare to photograph but I did my very best!!  I was particularly excited about seeing these birds as they were my first Dartfords for 8 months! Going back next weekend for more!


Spot the Dartford!!

A slightly easier... Spot the Dartford!

Dinton Pastures ~20th November~

With recent reports of Bearded Tit and Water Rail I thought Dinton Pastures would be a worth a visit to today. We were fortunate enough to have some great views of the many wildfowl and I was able to obtain my best Gadwall and Tufted Duck photographs. Unfortunately the Bearded Tit had not been seen all day and he was not to show for us either. However we had better luck with the Water Rail; a bird showed on and off for around 30 minutes before disappearing into the reed bed. This is only my 3rd water rail and I was able to get a couple of shots as the bird was reasonably obliging! Overall, a very pleasant afternoon!

Water Rail

Female Gadwall

Tufted Duck

Male Gadwall

Saturday, 26 November 2011

DintonPastures ~26th November~

Yet another trip to Dinton today with no target species as such although the previously reported Jack Snipe would have been nice!!! As it happened, there was little for us to see with the highlights being brief views of a Water Rail, around 10 Wigeon and 3 Pheasants. Also managed to get my best shots (still very poor) of Fieldfares although they were certainly challenging as they were in try deep foliage! None the less I managed to fire off a couple of half decent shots...

Grey Squirrel


Tufted Duck



Saturday, 19 November 2011

Horseshoe Lake ~19th November~

A quick visit to Horseshoe Lake in the evening was certainly an evening well spent. The aim of the trip was to photograph the ducks etc, against the setting sun. Birds seen included the usual suspects really with a few smaller birds such as Magpie, Pied Wagtail and Carrion Crow. We also witnessed a kestrel hunting above the island as well as a Buzzard perched on a pylon to the rear of the activity centre.

Pied Wagtail

Egyptian Goose


Saturday, 5 November 2011

Dinton Pastures ~ 5th November ~

Another trip to Dinton was made today in hope of seeing the ferruginous duck again but despite careful searching on both Sandford and Lavell's lake the bird was not seen by myself nor anyone else as far as I am aware. We had extremely brief views of a Kingfisher and reasonable views of the many wildfowl around including Wigeon, Shoveler, Pochard, Little Grebe and Great Crested Grebe, just to name a few!! The highlight of the day was the good views we got of the Barn Owl in his box! Hopefully the lack of the fudge duck today does not mean he has left as I know many would like him to stay for the winter.

Barn Owl