Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oriental Turtle dove, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

I had no intention of going for the oriental turtle dove. Didn't fancy queueing in a houseing estate and then having to go into somebodies home to maybe or maybe not catch a glimpse of this siberian dove. News yesterday that it had been seen again and the homeowner Steve was open for viewing I finally thought it was time to pay it a visit. We arrived at The Leys at 7.05am and a couple of minutes later the door opened and we were invited in with just 1 other birder by the the very hospitable Steve. At 7.10 I spotted the dove in the next door garden and it was soon on the bird table giving stonking views.We stayed until about 9.30am with the dove showing on and off during this time. Only 5 other birders arrived while we were there and when we departed the dove was still showing but nobody left to watch it. A nice cup of tea generously given by Steve made this a very pleasant and successful twitch. Our £5 donations were duly given with the total now over £3000, going to birdlife Malta.
It was overcast this morning so pics not as sharp as they could have been. In between the times the dove was not showing we had bramblings, bullfinches, reed buntings, goldfinches,greenfinches and jackdaws to entertain us. Great Stuff !
 Looks like the bird has almost completed a full moult . A rather stocky dove, it looked bigger than the nearby collared doves but was much smaller than the local wood pigeons. The rather dark/dull breast, belly and undertail of orientalis is one of the features that seperate it from meena A very smart looking bird and I was glad I made the belated effort to see it.

Tail feather still growing

The grey tail tips of orientalis can be seen in this blurry flight shot

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Prescot Reservoirs
My first swallows of the year today with 6 going through and a couple of sand martins also. 3 lrp's, 2 ringed plovers,30 lapwing and 16 oystercatchers on the drained no4 res. 5 chiffchaffs, 4 reed buntings and just 1 meadow pipit left from yesterdays fall of 33 in the meadow. 2 shellduck, 36 tufties, 20 goldeneye and 2 great crested grebes on no3 with 4 buzzards displaying above. The Little ringed plovers would certainly breed here but unfortunately the reservoir is to be filled with water again next week.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Seaforth NR
4 chiffchaffs,2 white wags and a pair of Scaup this pm

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Marshside and Banks marsh
 The lesser scaup was still present on Junction pool with the tufties. A female Merlin shot across the salt marsh hunting meadow pipits. At Nels hide a flock of 300 golden plover, 200 black tailed godwits, 10 ruff, 12 avocets and several redshank and curlew. Pintail,wigeon,teal,gadwall and shellduck were displaying and looked fine in their breeding plumage. 
A walk along the embankment to the pools by Banks produced 70 avocets, 2000 pinkfeet, a pale bellied brent goose and 2 barnacle geese. The bulk of the geese being very distant. A peregrine and a merlin were hunting the marsh sending swirling clouds of dunlin/knot into the sky.2 little egrets.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Seaforth NR
An adult winter little gull was over the freshwater pool today and a  little ringed plover was on the causeway. 2 white wags,  a wheatear and a sand martin added to the migrants. A pair of scaup and the ring necked duck were still present and the rock pipit flew over the hide. A small flock of 12 turnstones also.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Seaforth NR
A very nice drake ring necked duck was showing well today. It was found by Steve Young. A purple sheen to the head, a yellow eye and a  banded bill make this an attractive duck. A long awaited first for Seaforth NR. A couple of wheatears, a white wag, a rock pipit, 20 goldeneye and a pair of scaup today also.

 A Stunner
  Is that a ring on its neck? A most inappropriate name for this duck.

 Nice wing bar
A goldeneye displaying today

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A lesser, some greaters and a super

 A lesser scaup at Marshside rspb today. Found by Pete K yesterday.
 Lesser scaup showing small black nail on bill.
 Looks good. Aged as a 2nd year/ 1st winter
 6 greater scaup at Seaforth NR yesterday
A super moon on show last night.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Richmond bank,
An excellent days gulling with 3 iceland gulls (2 juvs and a 2nd winter), 2 caspain gulls (1st winter and 2nd winter) and 4 yellow legged gulls (3 adults and a 1stw). The star of the show undoubtedly the 1st winter caspian gull that showed extremely well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Seaforth NR
This1st winter gull was certainly eye catching. Either just a very pale herring gull or maybe a glaucous x herring gull hybrid.

Seaforth NR
A rock pipit was near hide A, 3 drake mergansers were displaying to a single female and this 2nd summer yellow legged gull was a smart bird.