Saturday 28 February 2015

End of month rally

I really thought I wasn't going to see anything else new for Feb after a couple of decent birds at the beginning of the month but a couple of days poking about in all manner of nooks and crannies turned up a very nice Marsh Tit today at Chicksands. Typically it was only about 5 feet away screaming "pee-choo" and the camera was in the car!

Yesterday saw a welcome "newbie" in the form of a Redshank at GLE, in amongst a group of Lapwing and Golden Plover.

I'll confidently predict that something good will turn up in a week or so - because I'm going to be away then for a few days.


Saturday 21 February 2015

Early waders

A couple of visits to Meadow Lane gave me three waders this week.  Redshank, Ringed Plover and this morning, Oystercatchers.  These two were wasting no time at all at Roxton.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Henlow Grange: 18 Feb 2015

A glorious morning for a walk round the patch, frosty, sunny and little wind. Lots of birds in song, Chaffinches, Robins, Song Thrushes, Dunnocks, Greenfinch, Wren, Skylarks, Yellow Hammers and Corn Buntings. Stock Doves were displaying and Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming.Among the Greylag flock was a single Pink-footed Goose, presumably on a visit from Broom giving me a SFYT. And that was going to be the highlight of the walk until I got to the fishing lakes.

An Otter - patch tick - swam out from the bank closest to the footpath and swam across the middle of the lake giving me time to capture it on camera. Its presence stirred up the local ducks, with the mixed Tufted Duck and Pochard flock spending most of their time in the air while the Otter was swimming about. It was last seen swimming under the overhanging trees and bushes along the north bank of the pond.

Much more satisfying than the plastic Pink-foot! But I wonder what the fishermen will think?

p.s. the video quality is better when the mp4 file is viewed on my pc than when viewed via the blog, Any ideas how improve it?

Sunday 15 February 2015


My two pics from last week were almost acceptable standard so thought I'd share one from this week that is more in keeping with the expectations. This Peregrine was in the middle of a field north of Barton Hill Road on Saturday lunchtime, second one for me this month as I had one fly past near Millbrook village last week heading towards Rookery South (and potentially the Stewartby chimney I guess).

Friday 13 February 2015

Six Raptor Day - in Bedfordshire!

With a day off work, I decided to have a wander round the brick pits. En route a hovering Kestrel was my first raptor of the day. First stop was Stewartby where the Peregrine failed to show on the chimnies, but the 'white' Cormorant was hauled out on the sailing club pontoons. A strange looking beast. Next was a seek and find mission for Red-crested Pochard which also failed but compensation came in the form of a female-type Marsh Harrier quartering the reeds, a female Stonechat on the bank of the pit and a couple of Buzzards patrolling the railway line. Then it was onto Chimney Corner North where the male Scaup was quickly in found in a flock of Tufted Ducks at the north end of the pit, close to the view point. While watching the Scaup, a Peregrine flew south along the west bank of the pit, causing consternation among the ducks, Coots and pigeons. Heading for home, a Red Kite over Warden Street was raptor species number five with seven Buzzards being recorde d along Cardington to Old Warden road. It was already a special day with five birds of prey on the list, but a detour to Gypsy Lane was warranted. Eventually the male Merlin was located, sat on the ground, preening, in the middle of the scrapes to the north of Gypsy Lane West pit. So six raptors in a day. In Bedfordshire!

Monday 9 February 2015

Wildfowl ticking

Scaup is always a very useful SFYT and not a species guaranteed for anybody in any year whereas Egyptian Goose is almost becoming so, but still we all need to get one somewhere. Both were good for me this weekend with the male Scaup at Chimney Corner becoming three of a kind after getting a male Scaup there in the previous two years (23/2/13 and 29/3/14). Elstow brought me some Egyptians, on the winter crop field next to the pit with a couple of grazing Moorhens.

Sunday 8 February 2015

Shortie back and hides

Very similar to Richard's post, that there's not much doing at the moment so decided to have a decent look for some local owls. I was getting a bit worried, as I haven't seen the SEO since the 10th of November and the Little Owls were even further back than that.

Changing tactics, I had a drive around at dusk last night and spotted a Little Owl on the ground next to a traditional nesting site, so that was a bit of a relief and I'll keep an eye out to see how they get on over the coming months.

I then spent most of today (after a fruitless canter around GLE / GLW) sitting on a high point with a flask scanning for SEO. I must admit that I actually felt pretty confident, considering they did almost the same thing last year by going absent for a spell and then turning up again in Feb, so I did actually smile (rare for me) when one offered a very brief view.

On they way to Broom this morning I also saw a Raven flying purposefully with a gob full of something or other disgusting, towards what I expect will be a nesting site.


Saturday 7 February 2015

Nothing for ages...

...and then three new - Merlin, Grey Partridge and Little Owl.  Only seen because I went looking for Short-ears at Thurleigh.

But the birding has been either on foot with little chance of anything I've not already seen, or to Gravel Pits where the birds have remained almost identical for about five weeks.