Tuesday, 31 May 2016

31st May 2016

Had a Red Kite over Larkhill at 12:10 today, my second Yeovil record this year.

Red Kite - Yeovil

Sunday, 29 May 2016

29th May 2016 (Glamorgan and Gwent)

Headed up to Glamorgan and arrived at Ogmore by about 13:30, where the adult SQUACCO HERON was showing fairly near the road as soon as we arrived.

A nice addition to the car window list!

Had a look in the evening at Newport Wetlands, where the SAVI'S WARBLER ocassionally reeled, and frustratingly managed to move position in the reedbed several times undetected. In the meantime, we had plenty of Bearded Tits plus a Marsh Harrier and some other bits and pieces. After two and a half hours the bird started reeling properly from a bush very close to the path (recording below) and we eventually got a view of the bird in flight. Seems like I've broken my streak of dipping in Wales this year!

Reeling SAVI'S WARBLER - Newport Wetlands

Saturday, 28 May 2016

28th May 2016

Had a look round Portland Bill this afternoon, producing little more than a Whitethroat, 2 each of Peregrine and Stock Dove and a couple of family parties of Ravens. A quick look out to sea produced a Fulmar and several Shags, Gannets and Razorbills.

Herring Gull - Portland Bill

Rock Pipit - Portland Bill

Ravens - Portland Bill

Monday, 23 May 2016

22nd May 2016

Drove to Loughor, Glamorgan this morning and failed to locate the gull-billed tern in 4 hours (after narrowly missing the species twice last year, this is becoming a bit of a bogey bird for me!). Only species of note were singles of Med Gull and Whitethroat

Mediterranean Gull - Loughor

Headed down to Greylake next, where we had more luck, seeing 6 Common Cranes, 2 Hobbies and singles of Marsh Harrier, Yellow Wagtail and Bittern.

Roe Deer - Greylake

A look at Ham Wall produced 3 Great White Egrets, a Bittern, a Cetti's Warler, a few more Marsh Harriers, and a calling Cuckoo which gave better views than normal.

Cuckoo - Ham Wall

Returned to Greylake in the evening but there was no sign of the savi's warbler. Another Bittern was the only species of note.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

17th May 2016

Had a Hobby looking out North from Larkhill this morning. Usually an annual migrant through Yeovil but always good to see one so close to home.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

15th May 2016

A look at the Openspace produced relatively little; just 11 Blackcaps, 6 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrests, 2 Song Thrushes and singles of Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Coal Tit. A Red Fox was somewhat surprising as well.

Great Spotted Woodpecker - Yeovil Openspace

Blackbird - Yeovil Openspace

Speckled Wood - Yeovil Openspace

Friday, 13 May 2016

13th May 2015

Heard the singing Lesser Whitethroat on Thatcham Park again today. Can't think why it should be staying here this long!

Headed down to Portland late afternoon today and the GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO was showing as soon as we arrived, and continued to perform well up until we left.

GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO - Reap Lane, Portland

Thursday, 12 May 2016

12th May 2016

Headed down to Exminster Marshes early afternoon today, and not long after I arrived, I had mostly obscured views of the adult Purple Heron before it flew across the lagoon and gave better views. I waited until it came as close as possible, but heat haze made it hard to get a good record shot.

Purple Heron - Exminster Marshes

Also had my first Hobby of the year, a male Bullfinch plus the usual bits and pieces.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

11th May 2016

Had the singing Lesser Whitethroat on Thatcham Park again today, still quite elusive though.

Monday, 9 May 2016

9th May 2016

Had my 4th Red Kite in Yeovil over the Yeovil college roundabout about midday. Also, the Lesser Whitethroat was singing still on Thatcham Park this afternoon.

8th May 2016

Headed down to Weymouth this afternoon and had a Red Kite by the road north of Grimstone.

A walk around Lodmoor produced lots of Little Terns, 5 Grey Plovers and singles of Bar-Tailed Godwit, Common Tern, Cetti's Warbler and Marsh Harrier.

Little Tern - Lodmoor

Common Tern - Lodmoor

Shelduck - Lodmoor

 Gadwall - Lodmoor

Grey Plovers - Lodmoor

Bar-Tailed Godwit - Lodmoor

Ferrybridge produced more Little Terns, 2 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Tern (a 4 species day for terns), 4 Whimbrel, and the usual flock of Ringed Plovers, Sanderling, Dunlins and Turnstone.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

7th May 2016 (Bedfordshire and Kent)

Made the 3 hour drive to reach Lidlington for 7:00 in the morning, and had 2 Ring-Necked Parakeets over the M25.

Arriving at Lidlington, we could immediatly hear the Lady A pheasant calling from the vegetation ahead of us, and it continued calling frequently throughout the morning from the vegetation west of the ride where it is usually seen so we set up by the fenced-in open area and waited. While we waited, there was a good selection of warblers including my first Garden Warbler and Whitethroats of the year.

Garden Warbler - Lidlington

After just over 2 hours, the call went up. Raising my bins, I saw the gorgeous male Lady Amherst's Pheasant, showing the bright yellow and red rump. By the time I got my scope onto where the bird was it had disappeared into the vegetation on the other side of the ride. Very pleased to finally have connected with a tickable Lady A in Britain (my only previous sighting was a dodgy bird in Norfolk) and also very pleased to have got it on my first attempt as many other birders are still struggling to connect with this individual.

Had a Red Kite over the M1 while heading back south. Dungeness was the second stop, where I had my first Wheatear of the year as soon as I got out of the car. A breif seawatch produced a single Pomarine Skua, many Common Scoters, Common and Sandwich Terns and a few Gannets. A breif look at Rye Harbour produced nothing better than singles of Lesser Whitethroat and Bullfinch.

The last stop was Otford. Not long after arrival we were told that the RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE was feeding in one of the locals gardens. Not long after, the birders around the other side of the houses shouted over to say that it was showing... but only just! I eventually got some views of a head and some primaries in amongst tree blossom, but changing position gave some better, if still mostly obscured views of the bird. Also of note here were another pair of Ring-Necked Parakeets.


Ring-Necked Parakeets - Otford

On the drive back, had another Red Kite over the M25.

One of the most enjoyable days birding I've had in a long time!

Friday, 6 May 2016

6th May 2016

Had the singing Lesser Whitethroat on Thatcham Close again today, but it was rather elusive and as mobile as ever.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

5th May 2016

Had another look at the Openspace this afternoon. No sign of the spotted flycatcher, just had 14 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaffs, 2 each of Goldcrest and Greenfinch still and singles of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush and Coal Tit.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

4th May 2016

The Spotted Flycatcher was still present in the wooded area at Yeovil Openspace this afternoon, as was the singing Lesser Whitethroat on Thatcham Close (the latter was heard only). Also of note at the Openspace were 12 Blackcaps, 4 each of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest and 2 Greenfinch. Greenfinch does not usually stay here this late, so perhaps they're thinking of breeding this year.

Spotted Flycatcher - Yeovil Openspace

Blackcap - Yeovil Openspace

Goldcrest gathering nesting material - Yeovil Openspace