Sunday, 23 March 2014

Pitsford Redneck

Honestly, I have been birding close to home but as usual it seems all the best birds seem to be on someone else's patch.
 I did find my first Wheatear of the year at Ravenstone on Friday but a Red-necked Grebe at Pitsford Reservoir lured me out of the county again.

 The bird was showing very close to the dam so allowing as close a view as you're ever likely to get of this species.

Red-necked Grebe
 As the wall of the dam obscures all but your head even Goldeneye seem unperturbed by your presence.
drake Goldeneye


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Summerleys Specials

Summerleys Reserve in Northants seems to have some good birds lately and as I hadn't been for a while I thought I should pay a visit.
Currently Northants is home to no less than 5 Great White Egrets (only 5 more than Bucks), 2 of which were at Summerleys and showing very well. At one point having a bit of a scrap with each other.

Great White Egret
On Mary's Lake the female Long-tailed Duck was found eventually but the male Bearded Tit that showed well the day before was keeping it's head down in the chilly wind.

 The feeding station at Summerleys is very impressive and until recently was somewhere you could guarantee seeing Tree Sparrows as the reserve held a very healthy population.
 But now they seem to have totally disappeared.
The bird tables though are still very popular with a colourful array of Finches, Tits and other species, including a good number of Reed Buntings
male Reed Bunting

male Greenfinch

male Bullfinch

female Bullfinch

male Bullfinch with male Chaffinch

Friday, 7 March 2014

Just over the border....Again

This time just 400 yards out of Buckinghamshire - who says the Bucks Force Field doesn't exist.

 Having heard that the Dartford Warbler that turned up in neighbouring Bedfordshire last November was still around I thought I'd take a look to see if I could find it this lunchtime.
 It was a glorious spring day with temperature of about 15 degrees and several Butterflies were on the wing, mainly Brimstones but also a Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell were seen.
 I won't name the site as when I found the bird he was singing as if on territory. If he should find a mate this is perfect habitat with plenty of Gorse scrub on the heathland.
 He really was cracking bird singing almost continuously and showing down to as close as 6 feet at times, although as is typical with this species constantly on the move and very difficult to photograph.

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Last one standing

Willow Tit is a rapidly declining species in this country and as far as we know only one individual remains in Buckinghamshire.
 Will.O.Tit has been residing at the Linford Reserve for at least the past 3 years so surely is now into old age. If he or she doesn't find a mate this year that must be it for another county bird.
 I managed to pop along the other day and had very good close views as he visited the bird feeders every minute or so along with a Marsh Tit for comparison.