Thursday, 23 February 2017

Siberian Chiffchaff

Found this cracking SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF at Sherborne Sewage Works during the weekend giving amazing close up views. Heard & seen giving classic "tristis" calls and some subsong. Also present include 15+ Colybita Chiffchaff, 2 Firecrest, 15 Goldcrest, Bullfinch, 8 Siskin, Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail and 30+ Pied Wagtail.

Took a trip to Chew Valley Lakes to look at the large Gull flocks present and saw this putative Heuglin's type Lesser Black Backed Gull. Thoughts on this bird may be a hybrid Herring X Lsr Black backed Gull rather than Heuglin's but it shows some very interesting features. No sign of any Ring-billed Gulls, but 150+ Lesser Black backed Gull, 150+ Common Gull, 11 Scaup and 2 Black-necked Grebe other birds of note.

Short leggs, light slate grey mantle& wings, heavily streaked head, neck & flanks

Obvious white tail with 2 distinct markings, slate grey wings and dark streaked head giving hooded appearance

Heuglin's type Gull

Large white tail, dark primaries & pale grey mantle

The heavily streaked head, neck & flanks very distinct here.

Moult on Right Wing 

Monday, 13 February 2017

Caspian Gull on the Thames

Struck lucky with this very smart 1st winter Caspian Gull at Thames Barrier Park yesterday morning. Also several Argentatus type Herring Gulls and 1 Yellow-legged Gull. Also found this cracking Continental Cormorant "sinensis" further upriver by the O2 along with large gull flock. A great weekends Gulling on the Thames!!

Caspian Gull!!

Argentatus Herring Gull (left bird)

Scandinavian Herring Gull

Sinensis Cormorant

2nd year Yellow-legged Gull

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Weekend Gulling in London

Up birding around London for the weekend and started today off very well with some nice gulls at Thames Barrier Park. No sign of any Caspian Gulls but found a 3rd cy Yellow-legged Gull, two 2nd cy Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Argentatus type Herring Gull and 6+ Common Gull. Spent the rest of the day exploring more of Central London, hoping for chance of finding a Caspian Gull tomorrow.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Patch Birding

Great few days on patch with highlight of flyover CATTLE EGRET this afternoon seen briefly flying low over some nearby fields, then dropping down into fields near River Char with no Cattle!! Relocated the bird shortly afterwards flying off over woodland/fields heading towards Hogchester Farm right over my patch again!! 1st site record for the patch!!
Cattle Egret-Charmouth
Good numbers of wintering "Colybita" Chiffchaff on patch over the past few days numbering from 5-15+ birds at times. Today's estimate count of 15+ present int he willows/reedbed by the stream/lakes giving some good view. No joy yet in finding a Siberian Chiffchaff. One pale greyish Chiffchaff showing some characteristics for "Abietinus" type Chiffchaff photographed below.

Colder & greyer plumaged, possible "Abietinus" type Chiffchaff- Giving a peep-dunnock like call

Grey Wagtail

Meadow Pipit

Meadow Pipit
Reed Bunting. Winter plumaged male-Trapped & Ringed on site. One of 5+ birds frequenting the reedbed.

Other sightings of note on patch at the weekend include 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Meadow Pipit, 3+ Reed Bunting, 16+ BullfinchCetti's Warbler (singing male), 2 Water Rail, 3 Moorhen, 1 Coot, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Green Woodpecker, 10 Siskin, 30+ Lesser Redpoll, 2 Firecrest, 5 Treecreeper and 2 Raven. Lots of the usual Tits, Finches, Thrushes across the patch with a notable increase in Goldfinch & Chaffinch numbers 40+ now frequenting feeders.
Looking forward to the spring migration to see what migrants will pass through on patch!!................