Thursday, 22 December 2016


A couple of hours with precious little on either scrape, other than Teal and four Snipe. Just a single Buzzard.
On the sea 25 each (approximately) of Eider, mostly males and Common Scoter (females).
On the beach the Snow Bunting was down to six feet.

An incredibly distant gull, appearing very small and dark next to a BHG towards Brownwich looked good for Little Gull on the very flat sea; goingbirding showed one present in the same general area after lunch, so presumably same bird.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Baffins 'stuck pig'

A stroll round the pond produced first Water Rail of the winter flying between first and second bays nd calling upon landing. Usual Grey Heron as static as a fibreglass model!! No Cettis today, just Goldcrest.


A quick Xmas shopping trip to a very busy Chichester; highlight was a nice catch-up with Lauren who I've not seen for ages and a typical town centre flyover Grey Wagtail.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Silly me - left too early.

After a rubbish week with little chance to get out it was an act of desperation to get over to Blashford, despite the swollen knee which made walking and driving distinctly uncomfortable. Luckily, today was a 'Pop-up Cafe' day so, after a brief stint in Ivy South with just 'Walter White' as bird interest, a nice coffee and cake whilst chatting to a couple from Chandler's Ford cheered things up. It was too uncomfortable to do much I else so I installed myself with tripod into the corner of Tern Hide. It was desperately quiet, although a very white-fronted Peregrine perched up on the grass for a while was nice; apparently earlier it was Coot hunting. No pipit spp at all today but probably in excess of forty Goosander by the time I left, single Sparrowhawk, a few Goldeneye and a confiding Green Sandpiper which I digiscoped and will add here soon.

The gull roost was well lit and contained 100+ Commons and a Med Gull.
Frankly, I was too cold and sore to sit there any longer and drove home; both Ring-billed Gulls were on GoingBirding as soon as I got in so presumably came in to roost as I was driving away!!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

No BTD, just RBG

Nice early light at Hayling but a three quarter tide and strong NE wind made finding things challenging but four Black-necked Grebes were found fairly quickly; a Great Northern Diver was in a similar area but sadly no sign of the Black-throated. Plenty of Great-crested Grebes and Red-breasted Mergansers plus 2-4 Rock Pipits. Social chit-chat with a couple of guys from Reading but not much else birdwise.

At Blashford just 50+ Siskin, heard Kingfisher and Water Rail, no sign of Bittern nor GWE.

On Ibsley Water three Goosanders followed by seven smart drakes (although well down on Bob's dusk count of 72!!), the ubiquitous post-perching Buzzard and 70+ Pintails.

By 1pm there were already good numbers of LBBGs (4100+ by dusk). The Ring-bill was in at 14:05 thanks to another birder. By 14:30 just a couple of YLGs and one Med Gull.

Back at Broadmarsh,just Bar-tailed Godwit and Greenshank plus the usual stuff. Low sunlight made it tough to find much else.

No photos.

Saturday, 19 November 2016


A massive black, rain-filled cloud slid in from the west, mostly over the IOW but dropping a little rain over the coast; luckily ensconced in the tea-room with eggs on toast and coffee.
A little earlier the Common Scoter flock, numbering 25(ish) was distantly off Brownwich. The Velvet was reported but the flock was just too far away in choppy water. Didn't feel like schlepping out along the beach. Six Eiders, including four drakes, were distant but much easier to see.

Three Kingfishers  at Suffern, the 'tame' Red Fox at Meadow along with both Marsh Harriers (cream-crown and young male) plus three Chiffies in a tit flock.

Back on the sea the duck were a little closer but still too far.

The dozen or more Beardies in the ditch by the road had moved in to the reeds near the seed tray. Then trapped in Meon Shore for a fair while by a slow moving downpour  - just a dozen each of Shoveler and Golden Plover plus the usual suspects.

Mouth full of vole spp and watching a crow overhead

Thursday, 17 November 2016


Initally poor weather, improving, going downhill and finally brightening up for the drive back. In a very quiet Tern Hide a sudden whoosh of wings was an incredibly close Peregrine which eventually departed westwards.
About fifteen Pochards and a few Goldeneyes.
Four or five Kingfishers today on Ibsley, Ivy Lake, one or two along Dockens Water and finally one perched up briefly on reception pond, where a Firecrest was calling from within a tit flock.
Walter flew in from Rockford and was visible from the southern screen.
Just one worn Quaker in the trap and this November moth on the wall.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016


Peregrine white-on-black 84 was in the usual tree and performed a few sorties over the north brooks. Earlier the female-type Marsh Harrier was hunting the south brooks. No wild geese today and others had Merlin, Ring Ouzel and Firecrests. Large numbers of Lapwing and Wigeon. Fieldfares were probably into three figures.

On the way home the GGS was very brief and distant, beyond the footbridge.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Tea, catch up with Paul and Terry at WWT where just a few distant Snipe, one bathing Water Rail, two Kingfishers neither close enough for decent photographs. The new photo-perches at Ramsar will be ideal if the opportunity arises and other watchers can stay still and quiet.

A couple of flyover Lesser Redpolls and 75+ Common Gulls plus a close(ish) Kestrel but just too far and horribly backlit.

At Waltham a few Fieldfares, a distant perched Peregrine, a quartering cream-crown Marsh Harrier and later a very flappy Red Kite. Sadly the GGS wasn't anywhere on show, so maybe another go tomorrow.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Thin pickings on a still cloudy day.
Just these three sleepy Greenshanks the odd roosting Snipe ten or so Goldies and this usual rather distant Marsh Harrier.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Another stock winter bird...

Drove to Pulborough via Coldwaltham and parked up to look for the Great Grey Shrike. No sign from gate but heavy plant moving around so set off for waterworks and scanned from railway crossing. No sign and only Chiffchaff and Grey Wagtail. Returned and immediately found the bird looking from the railway bridge towards the canal bridge and then returned to the car to break out scope and tripod for better views.

Off to PB in deteriorating weather where just 10 or so Reed Buntings in hedge, nil from south brooks hides and two distant White-fronted Geese on north brooks. A few winter thrushes on the heathland and main reserve probably totalled 35 Fieldfare and less than half that for Redwing. Also appeared to be more Blackbirds than usual.

No pictures today

Monday, 7 November 2016

Winter snowflakes

The two Snow Buntings present since yesterday were still in the shade of the bandstand and quite approachable. Once a number of other local birders and togs arrived it became impossible to get any close ups. Luckily no walker/dog disturbance. These birds are always a joy as they are quite confiding probably never having encountered people. The light was nice for pictures.

Being low tide the five Purple Sandpipers, four pictured here, were as distant as they can be an into the sun.

Didn't put any effort in for yesterday's Shore Lark which wasn't reported again after yesterday's initial sighting.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Walter's got a friend!!

At Blashford the northerly wind meant that sitting in Tern Hide was very uncomfortable, especially minus thermals and gloves. Still lots of M'ipit action, others reporting Rock Pipit, single Grey Wagtail and a few Pied. Nothing of note on the water.

At Ivy South, Cetti's Warbler singing very close to path and showing briefly, a distant Water Rail calling, a Kingfisher heard a few times and then two Great White Egrets circling briefly between Ivy South and North hides, Walter plus a new unringed bird.

A Sparrowhawk rose up to intercept one of five Buzzards and a Peregrine stooped rapidly to the south.

Feeders mostly empty but Siskins calling up in trees.

Stopped very briefly at Piper's Wait but too cold and 'bird-silent' to stay; a nice sunlit Red Kite popped up just as I returned to the car. Brook road shut so long detour back to motorway via Blashford!!

Friday, 4 November 2016

Hayling and Budds

A quick visit before the rain set in produced a flyover Grey Wagtail, distant views of four Black-necked Grebes, the Long-tailed Duck (still distant to the south-west) and six female-type Common Scoters. From northern shoreline four Goldeneyes including a drake. In excess of 80 Great-crested Grebes and a handful of mergansers. No photos today

Thursday, 3 November 2016


Started with breakfast and a chat with Mark ( always a much earlier arriver than me), who pointed me towards the Black Redstart. A Common Seal was just offshore on a very flat tide with a mullet and attracting the attention of gulls.

Stonechat, one of four or so on view, just wouldn't come quite close enough.

The Black Redstart posed on the chalet roofs but the Long-tailed Duck had done a bunk.

Three Kingfishers on view from Suffern Hide and the ubiquitous Marsh Harrier.

Water Rail again in evidence on west side plus the usual waders, tho no Golden Plover today. About ten or more Bearded Tits were performing in the vicinity of the grit tray.

A second visit to Meadow Hide produced point blank views of the vixen that I photographed a couple of weeks back. Kicked myself for leaving the camera in the car.

Still Red Admirals, Common Darters and Migrant Hawkers but no Ivy Bees today.

Gutted to get home and find I'd missed a Little Auk at Blashford!! Could hardly have been storm driven given the mild still weather.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016


A flat calm rising tide meant there was no activity around Nore Barn with the exception of two Rock Pipits. Within minutes the footpath was barely passable so I checked out the very active Ivy hedge by the coast path where a few hovers, abundant wasps and a single Ivy Bee. Still Red Admirals on the wing.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Distant LTDuck and four Black-necked Grebes on a rising tide at Hayling but later the Eaststoke Shore Lark appeared to have moved on.

Chores, then Eastney where nil and then Southsea Castle where three Rock Pipits but no early Purple Sandpipers. This Red Admiral sunbathing on a bike- stand was buzzed by two others.

Sunday, 30 October 2016


With tide out and  mist it seemed pointless looking for the west Hayling LTD and grebes and with clocks gone back ensuring less traffic than usual, it was a swift run to Blashford, just 28 minutes to beginning of A31.

This Meadow Pipit was one of 40-50.

Two Rock Pipits were still present, one below, but no obvious sign of last week's Black-necked Grebe. A Peregrine was circling high and to the north.
As per last weekend the Osprey materialised out of thin air scattering the Cormorants and Shovelers  before settling chest deep in water over the same shingle bar where it bathed for a while before disappearing near Goosander Hide; sadly when I went round it had vanished, not being seen by ringers or wildlife group. A new Goldcrest was the first bird I've seen being ringed in years!

This ringed Grey Wagtail was just too far to get any ring details and the Sprawk was just a silhouette. Walter White again turned up amongst half a dozen smaller congeners giving a nice size comparison to fellow watchers in Tern Hide.

On Ivy Lake a Bittern was on show briefly and distantly, thanks to another birder, Raven over and Water Rail and Kingfisher heard.

Still plenty of Hornets and lots of November Moths, day-flying, resting on the building and in the trap along with Feathered Thorn, Black Rustic, Large Wainscot some nice big caddisflies and a Green-brindled Crescent.

Apparently, a smart male Hen Harrier went over and a Lesser Spot was reported.

Finally, this splended Shaggy Inkcap about 15 inches high.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Local twitch

Today's forecast was flat, grey all day but rainless and so it turned out and with an early start Andy Johnson's Shore Lark on Hayling seemed a good bet. Arrived early(ish) to find Andy and one other watching it just east of the carpark.
Watched very close over the next hour, generally ignoring birders, togs and dog walkers, although interestingly when a local cat popped up next to me the bird adopted a tall posture and started sub-singing!! Later, it was chased around strenuously by a Meadow Pipit.

A Sandwich Tern was stooging around offshore.

At Pulborough adult(ish) Peregrine (84, local bird) put on a lot of hunting action, all to no avail, a Green Sandpiper point blank under the hide window, at least eight White-fronted Geese and a close fly past by a Marsh Harrier.

Otherwise just plenty of Goldcrests and the odd winter Thrush.