Sunday, 22 February 2015

Week 44 22-02-2015 Birds Spotted 1

Finally, after several months of visiting Longham Lakes I've finally seen a Scaup. I constantly confuse them with Tufted Ducks, but now I have a much better idea of what they look like.

I've been aware there was one at Longham, for quite a while, but I've finally seen it for myself and very happy I am too :)

The Scaup is one of Britain's rarest breeding ducks. It's extremely similar to the Tufted Duck but is larger, with a slightly steeper head. The female also has distinctive patches around the bill. Although it's typically at home on estuaries, it's also found on some larger lakes, with Longham obviously falling into that category.

Here's the duck in question. The weather wasn't the best, but you can clearly make it out.

And another shot, slightly closer.

Otherwise it was a pretty quiet trip to Longham, although my daughter did see a few new birds, including Pochard, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Great Creasted Grebe and the Scaup.

There were plenty of Pochard on the lakes.

Cormorants were plentiful on the island.

A group of Canada Geese flew overhead.

Some Shovelers flew by.

As did a Tufted Duck.
We spied a Stonechat.

And a Reed Bunting.

I'd spent the previous weekend at both Hatch Pond and Canford Heath in the hope of seeing Bitterns or Dartford Warblers. Sadly, I didn't see either, but I still managed to see some nice birds.

Some Snipe were hiding on the far side of Hatch Pond.

Really pleased with this Little Egret shot.

A family of Mute Swans are still on Hatch Pond.

Long Tailed Tits were in the trees.

Great Crested Grebes looked like they were displaying.

Coots were in abundance.

And so were Cormorants.

There were plenty of Stonechats at Canford Heath.

Robins were singing everywhere.

And Blackbirds were very active too.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Week 42 01-02-2015 Birds Spotted: 1

Huzzah, my first new bird for two weeks :)
This new bird put me at 130 photographed birds which I'm quite happy with.

Mediterranean Gull
For nearly a year now I have been taking countless pictures of Black-Headed Gulls in the mistaken belief that they were Mediterraneans. After being told time and time again that they were in fact BHG I finally spotted one at Radipole Lake after one of the wardens told me what to look out for.
As you might have guessed they are extremely similar to BHG, but are slightly larger and can be told apart by their white wingtips on the adults. Although only around 600 birds breed here, nearly 2,000 winter here each year.
They like to mingle with BHG, which makes them that little bit harder to spot, but now I know what to look out for I hope to get closer pics than the what I got this week.

Here's a selection of the other birds I saw at Radipole.

Tufted Duck where everywhere, but no Scaup :(

A Moorhen wandered onto the path.

I spotted the Hooded Merganser again.

Marsh Harriers were very abundant.

Three were flying seen from the hide.

Although this one was quite distant.

Lots of Teal were at the hide.

Marsh Harrier again, although I saw this at Lodmoor.

A Black-Headed Gull caught a fish.

A continued to fish like a Tern.

Managed to catch the following shots of a heron. Quite pleased with these.

A Lapwing flew overhead.

I caught the Merganser again on the way back.

I also took a trip over to Lodmoor, in search of Scaup,which I sadly didn't see.

Herring Gulls were plentiful.

As were Shovelers, one of my favourite ducks.

Shelducks were feeding in the distance.

I got a relative close up of an elusive Water Rail.

Lapwings were everywhere.

I scanned the flocks hoping for stray plovers, but no luck.

Although there was plenty of action to enjoy.

Coots were grazing in the nearby fields.