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.

Thursday, 27 October 2016


Still hoping for MdeJ in the trap but all-time-low today with just a caddisfly and one L-bAM!!

Very foggy, so front and rear foglights on for part of the journey to Titchfield; amazing how many people driving with no lights at all!! The coast seemed a better bet than inland for improving weather and that proved to be the case with nice still warm and sunny weather by late morning.

First day for ages with no Red Admiral; plenty of Common Darters though, lots of diptera buzzing about but just Marmalade Fly and The Footballer representing hovers.

Two very noisy Kingfishers at Suffern Hide but limited visibility reduced time on this side.

On the west side a perched up Sparrowhawk, juvenile male and later it put in a spirited chase of a flushed Snipe coming within a couple of feet.

First five Golden Plovers (barely visible in photo)  of the winter plus 25+ Snipe, three Curlew and a very photogenic Water Rail for the 'togs.

Single Swallow and the odd ping from invisible Beardies.

Spot the Goldies!!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

WWT etc

Over to Arundel where I'd forgotten it was half-term. An hour or so was enough with just Water Rail, a few Snipe, a couple of Kingfishers and a Sparrowhawk.
Still the odd Chiffchaff calling.

At Butser, fifteen or so Yellowhammers, four Bullfinch and two flyover Lesser Redpolls.
The communications tower was, at times, totally or partly hidden by low cloud with sometimes the top half visible and sometimes the bottom half only.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

This Green Woodpecker was feeding on the turned-over soil outside Tern Hide with a few Pied Wagtails, single Grey Wagtail and one or two Rock Pipits.

Walter White was on the far shore with five Little Egrets and a few Grey Herons, one of which took exception and chased him off along the north shore.

The juvenile Osprey appeared out of thin air, very low, and landed in the shallow water over a shingle bar separating two 'Cormorant Islands'. Here it stayed for 20 minutes bathing before departing southwards with a few gulls and Lapwings in pursuit.

The very monochrome looking Black-necked Grebe was distant; a Curlew (maybe last week's bird?) was present on an island and called a few times as it was flushed by the Osprey.

Just one or two Hornets in a brief visit to the south side.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Pavement Plover aka Arenaria interpres pedestrianus,  a shore-feeding Pied Wagtail maybe with aspirations to be a wader!

A smart but unidentifiable ichneumon and some large and obvious fungi along the boardwalk, waiting FB identification (Gymnopilus junonius, probably).

First day here for a while with neither Sprawk nor Marsh Harrier. Quite quiet on scrapes due to ongoing work - just a few Snipe, 15 Wigeon and 25 (ish) Pintail. About twenty or so Ringed Plovers came in at high tide.

A Rock Pipit on the groynes and 100+ Brent Geese plu these Pintail dropping in.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Briefer than usual visit to Butser with little or no birdlife; a large group of Rooks had a strikingly white-winged individual amongst the. Several Goldcrests around carpark.

At QECP the sun came out and the well illuminated trees were reminiscent of a New England Fall. The pond was alive with egg-laying Common Darters.

At Iping just two Dartford Warblers, some flyover Siskins, a couple of Buzzards. No sign yet of any Great Grey Shrike.

Only hovers were Syrphus spp and only butterfly a Red Admiral; also plenty of Fly Agaric, mostly chewed or knocked over.

On the way back one of the QECP buzzards was very low over the A3.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


Moth trap - just two specimens - this Red-line Quaker was at least NfG (158). Will that be the last NfG for 2016?

Rubbish drive to Pulborough stuck behind big, slow traffic - so taking an hour.

On site, two calls and a subliminal view of the Yellow-browed Warbler, single Marsh Harrier (cream-crown), White-fronted Geese (up to 15) Sparrowhawk causing a stir amongst the grotty, white doves and late in the day a very brief Ring Ouzel.
Something like 75+ each of Linnets and Goldfinches out by the river bank.

Insect wise Southern Hawker, Migrant Hawker, plenty of Common Darters and Hornets, single Red Admiral but no obvious Ivy Bees on the few patches of Ivy I checked.

Very fit and well-antlered Fallow Buck in Uppertons Field with just one doe.
Pretty much the same journey back but this time slow oldies rather than lorrues

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Stay in Day

This toad was in a 'strawberry pot' in the greenhouse.
A short walk produced just a couple of flyover Meadow Pipits.
Single Little Egret, a 'coven of witches', sunbathing Syrphus ribesii and a billy-no- mates Brent Goose preferring the company of Black-headed Gulls - something I can relate to!!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Something and nothing today but nice warm weather, possibly the last of the year, between showers. Still lots of insect activity including Ivy Bees (Colletes hederae) as per last week, paired egg laying Common Darters, hunting Migrant Hawkers, Noon Flies and lots of wasps etc.

This cheeky Fox was happy to pose. Today's Kingfisher was too distant for photography as was the first Water Rail of the day although the two later in the day were slightly more obliging.

A single Marsh Harrier, several Chiffchaffs generally in tit flocks, a number of Stonechats, 45+ Turnstones and a single Curlew.

First day of the autumn with no hirundines.

Must surely be time for one of the eastern megas to turn up in Hants or Sussex!!

And finally, while nice to hear from Carolyn about Ring Ouzels in her Surrey garden, have to admit to being green with envy! I'd be happy with a 'chacking' flyover.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Three Roe Deer, three Sparrowhawk and two Kingfishers were it on a very quiet day.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Chores n' Ouzels

Still a few Ring Ouzels, but nothing too cooperative photographically.

Thursday, 13 October 2016


Half breakfast, pot of tea and the crossword with just a couple of flyover Siskin.

At Butser two flyover Lesser Redpolls, at least forty Meadow Pipits on the top and two very close and nicely lit Ravens which performed well before cruising off eastwards.

Looking back westwards across the field produced two Roe Deer not far from where I saw them a few days back.

Otherwise rather quiet. Luckily bumped into Keith and whilst chatting, the first Ring Ouzel made itself known by calling  - nice views of probably six birds before thwy went quiet and slipped down out of view. Without this chance encounter I would have gone home Ouzel-less.

No Chiffchaffs heard nor hirundines seen.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

PB Duty Day

A late start, by which time the weather was pretty decent. If the YBW was still present it wasn't reported. Looking for it did reveal just how many Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests were going about their business. Time to catch up with Nick Paul, who I've not crossed paths with for ages, and with Carey and his tales of Egypt.

From Westmead two Marsh Harriers including a smart male, both of which performed on and off all day, at times flushing the odd Snipe; single Green Sandpiper, a fair few Stonechats and a handful of Buzzards. Two or possibly three Red Kites soared around above the harriers.

The four White-fronted Geese were difficult to see well and thanks to ARK, increased to twelve when viewed from Hails.

No time to visit the North Brooks today.

An attempt at some late-in-the-day Grass Snake "wrangling" resulted in seriously smelly hands; forgotten just how quickly and effectively they are able to deploy!!

Below the new raised dipping pond and a massive bug hotel; the nearby Ivy was full of wasps, bees and hovers and a single Hornet.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


A social visit to catch up over coffee and bacon butty. Nice weather but little to see other than the usual suspects.