Friday, 30 September 2011

Cassiobuiry Park - 30.9.11

5 Teal on the cress beds were the best birds today. The single Coot also remaining there. 2 Chifchaffs were singing still and 3 Meadow Pipit and 7 Siskin flew over. Yesterdays juv Collared Dove had gone so it either made it safe somewhere or was being digested in a Fox's stomach!

I'm off to the Isles of Scilly tomorrow for a week so unless I can get good internet connection down there there will be no update until I get home when hopefully i'll be telling you all about the MEGA birds that i've seen (unlikely tho!)

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Cassiobury Park - 29.9.11

I was just about to walk out of the mess room when a flock of around 30 Siskin flew over then circled around before disappearing. An unusual count so early in the Autumn (though at 28 degrees it hardly felt like it!). Probably the same 2 Chiffchaffs were singing again and a couple of Skylarks flew over. On approaching the paddling pools I noted a Magpie attacking something in a small pool of left over water. I walked in to find a juv Collared Dove totally waterlogged and with blood over the crown of its head. I picked it up and left it on the back of the parks buggy vehicle to dry out. I left in in the yard when I went home and it had perked up and had drunk out of a bottle of water I got for it! Lets hope it survives the night? The funniest sight was a Budgerigar that was flying over the pools after lunch!

Cassiobury Park - 28.9.11

Early morning migration saw 18 Meadow Pipit and 6 Siskin flying over. The warm weather fooled 2 Chiffchaffs into singing for quite a while. 2 Sparrowhawks were around along with 15+ RN Parakeet. A Grey Wagtail was heard near the river and on the cress beds 2 Teal and a Coot were present.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Back Garden - 24.9.11

Whilst hanging out the washing this mornming a group of 5 Meadow Pipits flew over as did a Grey Wagtail.

Cassiobury Park - 23.9.11

A great count of 32 Meadow Pipits going over throughout the day could well be the largest day count but i'll have to check. 6 Siskin, 2 more Skylark and 2 Swallow also headed overand somewhere between 30-50 RN Parakeets were seen including 25+ in 1 tree next to the toilet block. 2 Chiffchaffs were still singing and 2 Bullfinches were heard by the meadow.

Cassiobury Park - 22.9.11

A good selection of birds was to be had today with the highlight being a Linnet flying South quickly followed by 3 Skylarks that flew West. 6 Meadow Pipits, 40+ Swallow and a Siskin also flew over and 2 Chiffchaffs were singing in the morning sun. A funny sight was 2 juv Grey Herons standing on the fountains of the paddling pools! A mixed flock of birds were in the trees opposite the cafe, with 4 species of tit, Goldcrest and Nuthatch.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Cassiobury park - 21.9.11

Highlights in 15 minutes this morning before a day spent in a meeting were a Grey Wagtail, 5 Meadow Pipits, Chiffchaff and a Siskin, all from the car park.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Cassiobury Park - 20.9.11

Birds seen/heard first thing were a Sparrowhawk upsetting the tit flock by flying over the yard, a Meadow Pipit over aswell and the GS Woodpecker drumming again but only twice this morning (maybe it read the front cover of one of the national newspapers this morning which said we'd have snow next month!) 4 Swallows flew East mid morning and a total of 33 RN Parakeets during the morning.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Cassiobury Park - 19.9.11

A noisy start to the day was had this morning with at least 45 RN Parakeets all over the park and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming around 7.40am near the yard. It surely must be one of the earliest drumming i've heard in the park as they usually dont start up again until December. 2 Canada Geese flew over the tennis courts and over head were 11 Meadow Pipits and 4 Siskins. A family party of Woodpigeons was seen just after lunch with 2 adults and 2 juvs.

Meanwhile i'm counting down the days until i'm on holiday and a week in the Isles of Scilly where currently there are 3 Yankee lifers! Will they still be there? Probably not :(

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Armchair Tick - 18.9.11

The BOURC have been busy and split a few species and changed family groups around which for me meant that the 1st Winter SIBERIAN STONECHAT that I saw at St.Margarets at Cliffe in Kent becomes a new species for me and number 414 in the UK.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Vismigging - 16.9.11

I woke at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep properly so I left for work and sat in my car in the bottom car park hoping for some early rising migrants flying over. 7 Meadow Pipits and a flock of 89 House Martins flew over along with a Cormorant so it wasn't all bad! 10 Swallows flew South during the day and c.20 RN Parakeets were again around the park.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Cassiobury Park - 15.9.11

First thing this morning a Siskin and a Meadow Pipit flew over the yard with another 3 Meadow Pipits later in the day. Down near the river the BBC's kids programme Horrible Histories was being filmed with a scene from the Roman era. Only trouble was that 11 RN Parakeets thought it looked interesting and decided to sit on top of the large Oak tree next to where they were filming and made quite a din! I don't think they were around at the time of the Romans!! It'll be interesting to see if they edit out the noise when it's on telly! 2 Little Owls called to each other next to the top football pitch just before lunch.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Osprey! - 14.9.11

On attempting to do my lunch for work this morning I realised that the fridge freezer had died and pretty much all the food in it had de-frosted aswell! All we saved were 2 Lamb joints and my House Sparrow that I found dead in Norfolk last time I was there! (It now resides in the emergency freezer in the shed!). Anyway back to birding, this meant having to take at least half a day off from work to clear all the food and go shopping for another one. After spending just under £400 on a new one I decided to have the whole day off. So with a couple of spare hours I popped over to Hilfield Reservoir again in the hope of a storm blown bird. Unsurprisingly I drew a blank so I walked round to the hide and spent an hour in there. I was just scanning the 20-30 gulls on the water when they suddenly all took off. Thinking it might be the Buzzard i'd heard 5 minutes before I scanned the skies to see 2 birds over the water. 1 was a LBB Gull and the other was an Osprey!! I got it in the scope and watched it circle over the reservoir hoping that it'd spot a fish and plunge in after it but the attention of the gulls put it off and it flew off SE possibly going towards Aldenham Reservoir? This was only my 2nd Osprey in Herts, the last being back in 2005. 2 minutes later a Hobby flew in over the hide and started hunting dragonflies over the SE bay. Back on the dam around 30 Swallow flew through and c.25 Meadow Pipits flew off the dam and headed W.

Mmmmmm I can smell the lamb cooking!!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Cassiobury Park - 13.9.11

Only 11 RN Parakeets today but a couple of other goodies were to be had with probably only the 2nd record of Grey Wagtail this year and 7 Meadow Pipits that flew South which were the first for the Autumn. 2 Chiffchaffs were still around with one singing briefly again. A Single Swallow zoomed past the car park just before lunch.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Cassiobury Park - 12.9.11

With the remains of ex-Hurricane Katia blowing through the country it was a pretty windy day in the park. The main highlight (if you can call it that) was the total of 40 RN Parakeets that all flew in from the South or South-East including a group of 17 birds. 13 Swallows flew through, at least 6 juv Woodpigeons were seen with over 20 adults and a flock of Long-Tailed Tits totalling around 45 birds were in with a mobile tit flock.

This evening I thought i'd try my luck at finding a wind blown strafe at Hilfield Reservoir but as expected there were no Grey Phalarope or Sabine's Gull. A Common Sandpiper, c.40 Yellowhammers and around 50 Sand Martins were as good as it got!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Happy Birthday Dear Pager!! - 9.9.11

10 years ago today my new RBA pager popped through the letterbox and so began my twitching days! When I recieved it i'd seen 243 species in the UK. Within a week i'd added Red-Necked Stint and American Green Heron! After 10 years of ownership i'm now on 428 (UK400 rules). So thats 185 new species seen in the last 10 years! I dread to think how many miles i've travelled and how much i've spent on fuel but hey ho it's been fun! Just hope I live long enough to reach 500, though if I try to average a new species every month i'll do it in 6 years! I'll be lucky in the next 25 years!

Birdwise today in Cassiobury Park saw 2 juv Pied Wagtails enjoying the paddling pools, 2 late House Martins and a Kingfisher was heard near the waterfall.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

22 Years - 7.9.11

A very quiet day in the park with only a group of 5 RN Parakeets as anything of note. Later in the day as there was no food in the house instead of going shopping we decided to go fill the car up with fuel and get a McDonald's! I was just about to open the door when my phone started ringing. It was Joan Thompson and when she phones it's usually because she's heard of a good bird! It was a good bird and it was at Wilstone Reservoir, Tring. Trouble was I still had to go fill up the car and get dinner and it was 6.45pm and sunset was in 50 minutes! A run of good traffic meant I arrived about 7.10pm and parked up at cemetary corner and had around 50 House Martins overhead while I walked to the jetty where I found Joan, Steve Rodwell, Mike Campbell and a couple of others looking out onto the spit of mud from the jetty. There on the left hand side with c.10 Ringed Plovers (including my first ever tundrae race birds) was a Pectoral Sandpiper. This is the first record in Herts since 1989 (22 years). I actually saw that bird which was on Startops End Reservoir during a Y.O.C outing! I watched it until 7.50pm when it was almost dark and it had started to rain. But before I left I counted the Little Egrets that were roosting in trees on Drayton bank and counted 22 birds. My highest Herts count.

Monday, 5 September 2011

The Bumbling Bears

There is a new addition to my (Site I Visit/Link) section. Its to a site that has been produced by The Rugby Lads or as I know them Pete, Jon and Dave Hall. They added my blog to their site ages ago but due to my failing memory I forgot to add them to mine until now (after an email from Pete!!) Sorry lads! So go visit their site and see their excellent photos. Please!

Back To Work - 5.9.11

It was back to Cassiobury Park again this morning and it started off pretty good with a Hobby zooming over the yard in pursuit of 3 RN Parakeets! A bit later on a charm of 27 Goldfinch flew over the paddling pools and a couple of Chiffchaffs were still present. But after that it turned very quiet.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Not A Lot - 3.9.11

Either 1 or the same Sparrowhawk flew over the caravan whilst at Waxham the few hirundines that were flying over the dunes were having a rough time with a Sparrowhawk and 2 Hobbies chasing them! 20+ Sandwich Terns were over the sea.

Back To Norfolk - 2.9.11

I went back up to Norfolk this time with my boy so he could see his grandad again. We popped over to Winterton Dunes in the hope of seeing the juv Red-Backed Shrike but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack! A Linnet and Yellow Wagtail were seen in the dunes whilst 3 Bar-Tailed Godwits and a few Sandwich Terns were seen from a brief seawatch. Back at the caravan 2 Cormorants and a Hobby flew over.