Sunday, 11 February 2018

Four counties birding


Kenny and friends conducted a ringing operation at Linford Lakes today, successfully catching and processing 99 birds of 10 species. This total was made up of 32 Blue Tits, 36 Great Tits, 4 Long-tailed Tits, 6 Dunnocks, 5 Robins, a Blackbird, 2 Bullfinches, 8 Goldfinches, 3 Chaffinches and 2 Siskins. Other birds noted on-site included a Cattle Egret and a Great White Egret.

Eric Graham's efforts on the Titchmarsh Reserve at Thrapston provided observations of a Great White Egret and an early returning Oystercatcher. Eleanor spent some time at Cottesbrooke today and saw two Hawfinches, initially in Station Road and later in trees around the playing field. A pair of Raven were there too and the Hanging Houghton Barn Owl put in another appearance.

A small team of us travelled down to Dorset and Hampshire and after a bit of a wait successfully saw the wintering Stilt Sandpiper at Stanpit Marsh. Other birds there included Firecrest, Spoonbill, Spotted Redshanks and a couple of Water Pipits. Off then to inland Hampshire and some pig fields attracted large numbers of birds with lots of Ravens, other corvids, Starlings and gulls. A Thayer's Gull showed briefly and promptly disappeared and we enjoyed views of Yellow-legged, Caspian and Mediterranean Gulls. A Hawfinch showed briefly in nearby woodlands.

Our last main venue was Blashford Lakes where the two youngest of our party expertly picked out an adult Ring-billed Gull amongst Common Gulls from the main hide. And then shortly afterwards the Thayer's Gull caught up with us and landed on the water not too far and provided excellent views both settled and in flight. Despite the cold wind and wintry showers with some lovely sunshine in between we saw 91 species during our day out ''down south'!


Neil M

Great White Egret.

Courtesy of John Tilly.

Great Tit.
Courtesy of John Tilly.

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