Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Chicheley Polecat

A piece of roadkill near to Chicheley village looks very much like a Polecat.
Polecat

Polecat
Interesting to know that are about so close to home.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

A bit of action...but not birds !

Not too much action on the birding front just recently, although a few waders are starting to move through in the last few days.
Of interest though were this pair of Dragonflies I found the other day at Gayhurst Quarry. Emperors possibly. Graeme....?


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

She's done it again.

After reports of a Goosander with young at Olney Mill, I finally got the chance to go and take a look today.
 Goosanders breeding in Buckinghamshire is a very rare occurrence but this is the third known time it has happened in the last five  years on the nearby River Ouse. It is possible that it is the same female that just doesn't want to or can't return Northwards come the spring.
 Originally there were six young ducklings but today there were only four although all looked fit and healthy. Another surprise though was the presence of an additional female loitering close by. I wonder if this is possibly one of the young from a couple of years back.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The not so Ugly Duckling



A walk around Olney Meadows revealed this healthy brood of seven Mute Swan cygnets. It's always pleasing to find a Polish Swan amongst them and as this lot were very confiding I've put a couple of photos up for you to see.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Four Days in Wales

Three weeks ago I was fortunate enough to spend four days in South-West Wales, with some birding friends from Bedfordshire.
Despite a day and a half of heavy rain we did manage to see some great birds including Glossy Ibis, Manx Shearwaters, Dippers, Pied Flycatchers, Wood Warbler, Tree Pipits and some others that managed to get in the way of my camera.
Puffin on Skomer

Razorbill on Skomer

Guillemot on Skomer

Grey Seals on Skomer

so nearly a good photo of a recently fledged Redstart at Gwenffryd Dinas


Chough at Wooltack Point
Raven at Wooltack Point
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Stonechat at St Davids Head

Lesser black-backed Gull on Skomer

Monday, 2 July 2012

Startops Sabines

I visited Pitstone Hill in the middle of the county yesterday.
Mainly because there had been four calling Quail there earlier in the week that had even ventured to show themselves on more than one occaision, also because I needed Corn Bunting for my year list and also to see what Butterflies were around.
 Well I dipped on the Quails but Corn Buntings were quite numerous. The Butterfly situation this year though seems desperate, with half a dozen Meadow Browns and a single Small Skipper the only ones seen. It seems this wet spring has had disasterous effects as this place is normally alive with various varieties.
 I decided not to visit the Tring Reservoirs as I normally do when in this part of the world but instead chose to have a look for the Ring-necked Parakeet that resides in the Southcott Village area of Leighton Buzzard - another fruitless exercise.

 When I got home I saw that a Little Gull had been reported at Startops Reservoir and reflected that would have been nice to see especially as it was frequenting the Bucks section - Oh Well !

 The big surprise today though was finding out that the bird in question was actually an adult winter plumaged Sabines Gull !! Someone had photographed it and forwarded the photos on to Lee Evans who i.d'd it as Sabines.
 Amazingly the bird was still present today, so a trip after work saw me watching my first ever Buckinghamshire Sabines Gull. A super bird that flew elegantly over the water picking insects off of the surface, often interacting with the local Common Terns and several times coming so close that it seemed possible to touch it.

Sabines Gull