Monday, 19 February 2018

Keyhaven - 11/02/2018.

Belated Post - Sunday 11/02/2018

After leaving Christchurch I decided to head back to the Forest to give Keyhaven a glance. The weather remained very windy but the dry and bright sky made it worthwhile. I haven't been here for quite some time but this is a nice area and worthy of more time than the two hours I gave it this afternoon.

Image above shows the jetty at Keyhaven with the Isle of Wight in the background and the Wight-Link ferry crossing the Solent

Hilights Included:
Red Breasted Merganser 8+, Eider 1 male, Spoonbill 2, Golden Plover c280, Ruff 1. Both the Ruff and Golden Plover were the first of the year for myself.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Stilt Sandpiper-Fisherman's Bank-Stanpit.


The day started off early morning on Forest at a view point looking for Goshawk of which some small display-interaction was observed and nice to see. The dry and bright morning was cold as the wind was strong and getting stronger throughout which was more than forecast and when a flurry of snow came through I decided to call it time out for sitting still and to warm up and move on.

I had been meaning to visit Stanpit Marsh again to try another look for the Stilt Sandpiper which now seems to have settled in at the creek viewable from the Fisherman's bank side. So I decided to give it a go and I arrived on site and headed down to where a nice bench provided some comfort and easy viewing across the area of inter-tidal creek. 

Above shows the creek, with the Stanpit Marsh visitor center in the background beyond the reeds, the loaction from which I saw the Stilt Sandpiper my previous visit. Below video shows you what the Stilt Sandpiper viewing conditions were like today from the Fishermans Bank

Even though there was a cold wind the conditions had improved and it was quite nice sitting in the sun watching the Stilt Sandpiper & other waders within the creek. A rather smart Bar-tailed Godwit was much appreciated and the first of the year but no sign of the Spotshank. After a cuppa and conversation with some nice people from both London and Winchester I decided to head back to have a look at another site on Forest.

Monday, 12 February 2018

A Walk In the Woods on Forest.

With only a small window of dry weather forecast I decided to head out early and  have  a wander through the woods. I started off at a feeding station on Forest where I was happy to spend an hour clicking away at  the usual suspets, Marsh Tits grabbed most of my attention, which was really nice seeing these birds alongside Coal Tits.

Other Species included. Blue & Great Tits, Treecreepers, Nuthatch, Gold & Firecrests, Great & Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and a Common Buzzard before the rain set in and stayed set in for the day. I tried seeing it out for an hour but the sky just got darker and the rain became heavier. So I headed for home & got back in time for the Rugby, winter olympics and final score as I flicked through the channels.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

New Forest - South

After a mid week lunch break at Acres Down I was keen to return to the forest along with Mike and we decided to give it a full day on the southern half of the forest. A quick stop provided some Hawfinches, which were settled feeding on the ground with the first of the early morning sun rays beaming through the gaps in the foliage but the birds became skittish as more people began, walking, jogging and cycling through the area and so it was time to move on. Over the course of the day a few species were added up with plenty of Marsh & Coal Tits, Gos, Common Buzzard, Raven and a new Badger set being discovered on the last leg of rather large circuit we covered - as always good to see and catch up with Mike.

The forest still looks nice but it's not May, May, in my view is when the forest comes alive, all greened up, full of bird song and ceratin raptors performing their butterly like-display flights above in a blue sky with the warmth of the summers sun rays comforting down from above, this is when and only when summer on forest officially starts for me.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Stilt Sandpiper - Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch.

(Belated Post)

Having missed the Stilt Sandpiper at Cowards Marsh, Christchurch I was keen to see if it would return or be rediscovered else where. News came out that the bird had been relocated at Stanpit Marsh but news was patchy and that the bird had also gone missing. Then News came out the following day that it had been seen again. 

With this news and the forecast of a dry and bright day for the following day I comitted to give it a go. 

Arrival was cold & windy but as forecast dry and bright. The first hour and half was fruitless but eventualy the bird was relocated on the south marsh at Standpit. At first it was pretty distant feeding out on the marsh but was still ok in through the scope. Then after a while the bird came in closer and then flew to a nearby pool where it foraged, fed and preened in the nice and warming light of late morning occasssionally associating with a Redshank, occassionally being chased off by a pair of Redshank.  

Videos below give you an idea of the viewing conditions on the day and what a smart individual this bird is. Now being seen for the year of 2018 and at its fourth location within Dorset for myself.

Above image shows you the area of the south and north marsh at Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch, Dorset. This was the first time I have visted Stanpit and I thought this to be a really nice spot and easy to get to.

Image below shows you the visitor centre on site and again another site location worthy of future visits combining this with Cowards Marsh and Hengistbury Head.  

Also seen today: 

Spoonbill 1, Spotted Redshank, Redshank, Black tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Brent Goose.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Milkham Inclosure

(Belated Post)

Decided to have a try for the Great Grey Shrike at Milkham Inclosure, I did a complete circuit of the area and took in King's Garden and the edge of Bratley Plain but no Shrike today. Infact very quiet with just 11 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 2 Reed Bunting & 1 Dartford Warbler with a whole lot of rain.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Hawfinch Up Close & Very Personal.

(Belated Post)

On route to the Forest I have to pass the local Hawfinch site and so I decded to pop in for an hour as the light was good. Upon arrival I was met with around 30 birder/photographers which was some what surprising. 

I decided to find a spot and just wait, luckily whilst I sat on the bench away from the crowd that were at the other end of the area waiting for birds to drink from the pools, After ten minutes the individual above came down right in front of me and started drinking from a nearby puddle.

After this I decided to walk and wait and this payed off as I was luckily enough to have birds drop down and either feed, drink or both closeby. 

I must have gone in to some time-lapse as I looked at my watch and nearly four hours had passed just like that and so that put pay to my forest visit but the light was favourable throughout allowing for some photo opportunities.