Friday, 22 April 2011

What a good friday!

It ended up being a very hot day but it started off quite cool and very still. Today was all about migrants. Whitethroats have been around for at least a week, Sedge Warblers have started arriving, more Grasshopper Warblers, Chiff Chaff's are singing away. Add in a few locals and that would complete my day's ringing at Sandy Smith Nature Reserve.

Above: This Grasshopper Warbler was the last bird caught.

Above: A Grasshopper Warbler. 2 were ringed today - these being the 3rd and 4th ringed on site since I started ringing there a year ago.

The 'groppers' were singing all morning with at least 3 males around the ringing area.

Above: A Sedge Warbler - arrived between visits. One was a recapture from last year - 10/06/10. I know it has probably travelled a few thousand miles since first ringed but where has it been?

Above: A male Great Spotted Woodpecker with a false Brood Patch (obviously this modern male is helping out with the incubation duties!).

Above: A Chiff Chaff

In order of appearance: 14 birds of 7 species (retraps in brackets):

Great Spotted Woodpecker 0 (1)
Whitethroat 4 (0)
Blue Tit 0 (2)
Sedge Warbler 1 (1)
Chaffinch 1 (1)
Grasshopper Warbler 2 (0)
Chiff Chaff 1 (0)

A Cuckoo was heard briefly early morning & mid morning. A Jay was heard too. A female Mallard was on the river with 7 ducklings and 2 hares were seen.

I couple of impromptu 'ringing demonstrations' were held and I explained why we ring to a group of birders who came by, unfortunately whilst there were no birds. Sadly, all but me missed the ringing Grasshopper Warblers!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Titchfield Haven

To add to my Southampton adventures, on Wednesday my brother, Claire and myself went to Titchfield Haven.

Above & below: I couldn't get a decent digiscoped image of an Avocet so here's two thanks to my brother.

Below: A digiscoped image of a Teal.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


End of financial year at work and I finally get some well deserved rest (well at least I think so). I decided on a visit to Southampton to see my brother and his wife and here is some of what we got up to:

Saturday afternoon we set out for a camp site in the New Forest.

Above: Claire in Rollie (the camper van) - the adventure begins!

Saturday evening we ate expensive but tasty food at the nearby pub.

Above: Mark & Claire at The Three Tons

Sunday morning was spent lounging around in the sun.

Above: Me doing the crossword.

Sunday afternoon we went to Mudeford - an interesting place full of beach huts out on a limb. We could only get there by foot or road train (we chose to put one foot in front of the other several thousand times).

Above: Mudeford beach huts.

Above: My SIL with her BIL (Sister/Brother-in-law!).

On this walk we saw a few Swallows, Sand Martins, Meadow Pipits, Godwits, Shelduck, Little Egret, Oystercathers, Dunlin and Redshank.

Then we came back home, ate a Roast tea and played a computer quiz game that called me slow...

Monday morning and I set out on a bike ride north from Southampton on the cyclepath/footpath alongside the River Itchin. According to local legend, you're not supposed to go swimming in the Itchin because you come out a Scratchin'!

An hour later when I was supposed to be turning round and going back for lunch, and no longer in the area that the OS map shows, I decided to find out where I was near to. 5 minutes later after a change of direction (off the footpath and onto the road) I found a village and a sign saying Winchester was only 4.1 miles away. Decision made, I was going to have lunch in Winchester.

Ate a nice meal in the Slug & Lettuce, did some shopping and cycled back. I showered, changed and was shuffled out the door to visit Lakeside Country Park in Eastleigh:

Above: Mallard ducklings - my first of the year. Presumably this brood has already been depleted from the original number hatched.

Above: My little brother finally learning to run after 30 years!

Above: Me pulling the strings on a stunt kite.

Liverpool beat Man City 3-0 in the Monday night match that we watched at the pub. Good result.

This morning was a bit lazy but we went to Keyhaven Salt Marshes with a picnic for lunch and an afternoon stroll around the 4km walk.

Above: A Turnstone. A digiscoped image (Opticron scope, Panasonic camera). I'm rather pleased with this one.

Above: Spot the 3 Turnstones. Taken by my brother on his Nikon and zoom lens.

Above: Me with my scope.

I'm going back to Bedford tomorrow before I get maimed by my SIL for telling one to many jokes and/or puns!