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Showing posts from February, 2012

A Good Weekend's Birding

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Saturday 25th - Sunday 26th February 2012
I caught up with the superb first-winter male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT at Newport on Saturday with Mike and Mark. There was quite a crowd as to be expected, I reckon around 150 at one point, not my ideal scenario, but it was worth it eventually when I got very good if brief scoped views. This bird took me back to Florida where I had previously seen this species in altogether different surroundings at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - my favorite reserve. There it was in the company of the likes of Pileated Woodpecker, Black and White Warbler, Northern Parula, Limpkin - and Alligator! A long way from a bramble patch in a Welsh field.
On Sunday, in beautiful still and sunny conditions, I headed for Highnam Woods, and it wasn't long before I located a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker along the ridge above the pinetum. I watched it drumming, calling, preening, feeding, and generally entertaining me for some time; these are great birds and always a treat to…

Chew and Other Musings

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Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th February 2012
A good day's birding with Andy on Friday in Somerset started at Chew Valley Lake before 8am. In -8oC temperatures at Herriot's Bridge the SPOTTED SANDPIPER still had frost on its back before the sun was up. Lot's of Goldeneyes and Goosanders were off Picnic Area No.1 plus the drake Red-breasted Merganser. A Cetti's Warbler and a few Siskins were at Picnic Area No. 2, but the star bird of the day was the YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at Stratford Hide in the afternoon. We watched it for some time in front of the hide, and later fly-catching in the sun from trees to the left. Also here was a Chiffchaff, this was very grey looking with just the merest hint of buff on its flanks; with no call though we weren't able to confirm Siberian tristis but it looked very good. At Portishead four Purple Sandpipers were at Battery Point at high tide, and we stopped of at Avonmouth on the way back where a Bittern was still showing, one of two that …