Wednesday, 6 November 2013
See Dan Forder's Website for images and details - http://hemelbirding.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/great-white-egret-n-water-end-near.html
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
TUESDAY 5 NOVEMBER
It was a mostly wet morning with a strong NW wind blowing.
I was rather hoping for a sizeable Woodpigeon passage this morning so headed for IVINGHOE HILLS NATURE RESERVE (BUCKS) but despite photographing one at very close range (see below), the migration with this species did not just happen, although FIELDFARES and Common Starlings were piling through west. The total for the former ended with an impressive 493, with REDWING at a far more lowly 22 - and just 2 Chaffinch.
Graham, as luck would have it, had to go to a meeting at the RSPB reserve this afternoon and as he left the hide to inform the staff of his find, Mike Ilett replaced him and kept me updated. It took me just under 24 minutes to arrive, the M25 roadworks between Junctions 23 & 25 slowing my progress. But panic no more, there was the beast - a juvenile GLOSSY IBIS feeding at 200 yards range to the north of Lapwing Hide in the recently flooded field - the famous Great Snipe field of old. The Iberian immigrant had found a field much to its liking and was working overtime catching invertebrates and small grubs. It was sharing the field with four Konik Ponies who for a while, took an instant dislike to the intruder, but as they made their way to the opposite end of the field, the Glossy Ibis kept closer to the Black-headed Gulls and remained frenetically feeding until at least the time when I departed at 1615 hours. Although always very distant from the car park hide, I did manage to obtain a fair selection of record shots (see below). It was not a particularly busy twitch - just Mike, Graham, Bill, Barry Reed, Alan & Sarah Harris, Roland, Alan Reynolds, Ian Williams and the odd other joining the RSPB staff in the two hours or so I was in the hide. Now all of this Glossy Ibis needs to do is fly into neighbouring Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire!
Tuesday, 29 October 2013
TUESDAY 29 OCTOBER
Well with Storm St Jude well and truly out of the way, it was back to normal today. Still a brisk wind blowing though, and gradually veering Northwest, and feeling much, much colder than of late. Pretty bright too, with no rain.
A victim of the storm had been a GREY PHALAROPE discovered by Steve Murray at HILFIELD PARK RESERVOIR (HERTS) late afternoon yesterday. Allan Stewart, Derek Turner and I gathered at the Watchpoint on the east side of the reservoir this morning and were rewarded with some reasonable views, down to about 150 yards (see images below). As expected, the bird was in first-winter plumage, and was highly mobile, keeping generally to the centre of the reservoir. Not much else to report there, other than 29 Great Crested Grebe and a flyover Redpoll.
I then went over to WILSTONE RESERVOIR, where Ian Williams had located a juvenile LITTLE STINT that had first been reported yesterday. This was a belated first for the year in the county (and location), quite surprising considering it had been a good autumn for the species elsewhere. Anyhow, it was showing well on the generous offerings of mud visible from the 'new' overflow, allowing me to get quite a few distant images. This was the only 'new' bird on offer, although the female RING-NECKED DUCK was still showing well from the Drayton Bank Hide, swimming not far off the mud in shallow water.
Everything else was much of a muchness - with the 5 BLACK-TAILED GODWITS, the 2 RUFF, the 4 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS, between 16 & 32 NORTHERN PINTAIL and the WATER PIPIT (hanging about between Cemetery Corner and the Jetty) - and with regular fare in the shape of 13 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Little Egret (including a metal-ringed bird), 17 Greylag Geese, 271 Wigeon, 31 Gadwall, 633 Common Teal, 107 Shoveler, 93 Tufted Duck, 117 Pochard, 3 Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, PEREGRINE, 422 Lapwing, 183 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER, 33 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 6 Common Gull, the adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULL (again roosting on the spit), Common Kingfisher, 3 Grey Wagtail, 18 Redwing and a Common Chiffchaff.
I then met up with Graham Smith and Adam Bassett at COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT (BUCKS) where eventually we tracked down all 3 JACK SNIPES on the main marsh, 1 showing well from one of the west shore hides and 2 feeding with 23 COMMON SNIPE from the main overlook hide. A male YELLOWHAMMER was my first there this year, whilst 6 Redwing, Grey Wagtail, Common Kingfisher and 13 Wigeon finished off the logcall.