Welcome to my online wildlife diary, which I update from time to time with sightings, thoughts, comments and photos relating to birds, and nature generally. I am based in Gloucestershire but like to visit other counties, especially Norfolk, and like to visit foreign shores too.
WWT Slimbridge Birding
Saturday 7th January 2012
Female Lesser Scaup
... the best kind of birding when it's like this morning and it's your first birding of the year. The target birds initially proved elusive though. I had to wait over half an hour to eventually locate one of the BITTERNS as it crept through the reed-bed in front of Zeiss Hide. A Cetti's Warbler was more accommodating showing a couple of time near the hide and singing. After an earlier unsuccessful search I returned to the Rushy and then Robbie Garnett Hide where the female LESSER SCAUP was showing nicely, albeit in its usual sleepy state. Each raise of its head was accompanied by a burst of shutters from within the hide. More photos below.
The Tack Piece was teeming with thousands of waterfowl and waders, the latter being frequently panicked into the air by a young Peregrine causing the Dunlin, Lapwing and Golden Plover flocks to take to the air. The waders also included at least three Ruffs and 15 Redshanks.
From Holden Tower the 225 White-fronted Geese was the highest count so far this winter (though still no Beans). A large gull in the Rushy was appeared to be the result of a Herring Gull x Lesser Black-backed liaison. My year list is looking bit healthier now (though I still haven't seen a Dunnock in 2012!).
Tuesday 11th March to Friday 14th March 2008 The main highlights of our holiday in Venice last week were the stunning views, the food, the wine, the music, the architecture, the weather - in other words, Venice itself. It wasdefinitely a non-birding trip, but there were some interesting birds seen - besides the large number of Feral Pigeons for which bags of grain are still sold in Piazza San Marco.
Tuesday 11th March We arrived in San Marco airport after a one-and-a-half hour flight from Gatwick, and took the Alilaguna waterbus across the lagoon. At the airport quayside, the first birds were Italian House Sparrows(above), Yellow-legged Gulls and Black-headed Gulls. On the hour-long boat-ride to Venice I saw 15+ Garganeys, a Great Crested Grebe, two Oystercatchers, four Little Egrets, two Great White Egrets, a Hooded Crow plus several Magpies, Yellow-legged Gulls, Cormorants, Black-headed Gulls and Mallards. We took a walk in the afternoon taking in the Riva Degli Schiavoni, (the lagoon…
A superb morning with Andy and Mark was spent on the Somerset Levels (photo above of Shapwick Heath). The showers coming in on the brisk westerly wind mostly missed us, and the sun shone for just about the whole time, although that wind kept the temperatures chilly. We managed to note 61 species between us, the highlights being:
Photo above from Noah Hide, Shapwick Heath
Marsh Harriers - three in the air at the same time (poor record shot below!) Sand Martins - c30 Swallow - two, my first of the year
Photo above of Little Egrets at Meare Heath Garganey - a lovely drake Little Egrets - 12
Ham Wall RSPB Bittern - this was the star bird, Mark caught a snatch of booming at midday, though distant, and after a little wait I had a glimpse of the bird moving a short distance in the reed-bed. We walked round to get closer, and soon the bird performed by giving several bursts of its booming call, each several minutes apart. This is the first time hearing…
Saturday 3rd September 2016
A juvenile Shag was still present at the SARA pool, Sharpness, first thing this morning. Found by Andy Jordan, it was joined on the pool by another Shag just as I was about to leave. Six Cormorants were also noted in the area.