Monthly Archives: July 2014

What’s That Bird?

On my way home from Wales this morning i noted at least thirty Little Egrets in the wet area next to the M48. Shame it isn’t possible to stop to see what else is there. After work I needed to go to John Toomers garden centre in Lydiard Millicent and from there headed off to Pit 305 at Eysey. It was fairly quiet here with the highlight being a count of over a hundred Greylag Geese. Then it was on to 306 (Round House). An initial scan found three Little Egrets and a few Lapwing. I then noticed a wader on the edge of the fist patch of water. Getting it in the scope I was a little surprised to note that it had a white head and breast. With no idea what I was looking at I grabbed the camera and took a few record shots. Then it was out with Collins to sort out what it was. Lots of white as mentioned, mottled brown / black on the wings, black and orangey beak and yellowish legs. With no idea and no luck with the book I phoned a friend. Sounds like a Ruff he said straight away. Another look and the penny dropped, of course it was a Ruff. Quite an unusual looking one as it was obviously moulting heavily but all the same it should have been an easy one. I blame tiredness as I was up at four this morning after a busy weekend. Another scan found a Greenshank which surprisingly was a year tick. With the Ruff being a Wiltshire year tick I have now hit the 150 mark with hopefully a few more to come. Plenty of insects around as well with many Dragonflies, Butterflies, Bees etc.

White Ruff

A Congregation of Egrets

Yesterday evening on my home from work I stopped in at Southleaze. My first visit for a while and I was pleased to see that the lake has not been affected by all of the recent work in the area. In fact it is looking great with the Reeds having grown tremendously. The hoped for waders were not here but there were three Little Egrets and a couple of Herons along with thirty plus Mallards. I also looked in at Wroughton Reservoir where I saw three Little Grebe and a Moorhen. This morning I stopped off at Froxfield. No Sandpipers today but five Little Egrets, three Herons and a Lapwing were noted. On my way home from Wales this afternoon I drove along the M48 and alongside the motorway is a wetland area. There were at least forty Little Egrets scattered around the area. The most I have seen together in the UK.Southleaze Lake

Southleaze Lake

Two Days Running,

Amazingly I managed to get some birding in again today with a stop at Coate Water on my way home from work. Well worthwhile with a few waders to be seen. There were four Green Sandpipers, juvenile Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover and six Lapwing one of which was also a juvenile. Around thirty Canada Geese were on the grass and Mallard and moorhen were around. A small flock of Linnets was flying around and there were plenty of House martins and Swallows feeding over the water.IMG_5224 (1280x1028)

Just Ten Minutes Birding

That was all I managed this weekend. I was working yesterday, we had friends round for a BBQ in the evening and today was mainly spent in the garden. However I needed to go to Marlborough and Hungerford this morning so made a couple of quick stops en route. The first was at Froxfield where there were seven Green Sandpipers, six Little Egrets, Four Herons and a single Lapwing. The second stop was at Chilton Foliat where for the first time that I can remember the Widewater was totally devoid of ducks and grebes. The only birds on the water were a family of Swans, two adults and five Cygnets.

Bushey Park Again

Went to Bushey Park again yesterday during a visit to London to see my Mum and Sister. Not a birdy visit so I just had my camera with me, no binoculars. The highlight was the large amount of Banded and Beautiful Demoiselles along the Longford River. Also a good supporting cast of Treecreeper, Green Woodpecker, Mandarin and Grey Heron along with the commoner stuff.

Another Me Day

Following on from my travels on Wednesday, yesterday (Thursday) I was out and about again. I started with a half-hours birding at Eysey followed by a quick look at 306 on my way to Fairford again. Eysey gave Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Little Egret,Yellowhammer and Sparrowhawk whilst 306 just had a single Green Sandpiper, some Lapwing and Mallard. At Fairford a couple of Common Terns were regularly passing over the runway threshold on fishing expeditions to Totterdown Pits. Noted several times carrying fish back to their young. Also noted were Skylark,Blackcap, Whitethroat and Little Egret. Also plenty of aviation interest. On my way home I stopped at Twitchers hoping to see my first Wiltshire Hobby of the year. Fortunately one appeared after just a few minutes of waiting bringing my 2014 Wiltshire total to 148. Finally along Tadpole Lane I came across what appears to be a recently constructed Flood Lagoon on a new housing development. It seems that the local Gulls find it to their liking. A spot to keep an eye on if you are a gull aficionado.

A Bad Start but Got So Much Better

At last a day with no work, paid or unpaid, (the garden!). The bad start was a visit to the dentist to have a tooth out. Actually other than the initial two out of five injections it wasn’t that bad. Then it was off to Pit 306 to look for the Wood Sandpiper that had been found yesterday evening. My luck was in and both the Wood Sand and a Green Sandpiper were seen within five minutes. Other than a few Lapwing, Moorhen and mallard that was it. Next stop was Fairford to watch some of the aircraft arriving for the Air tattoo. About an hour-and-a-half was spent here before I was back on the bike and heading for Pittville Park in Cheltenham for the Night Heron. Again I was in luck and after just a few minutes waiting it made an appearance. Unfortunately it didn’t come right out in the open but I wasn’t complaining. It was a slightly surreal experience sat in the sun watching a lifer in a town park with kids, dogs, students etc wandering around. Plenty of interest was shown by the local park users with several taking up the offer of a look at the Heron in scopes or binoculars. Then it was back to Fairford for another aviation fix. Plenty of birds to be seen here as well with at dozen or more species noted. Final sighting of the day was the first Dragonfly of the year to find its way into the house. It was certainly good to be out and about after an almost birdless couple of weeks. Especially with a lifer and a year tick. Tomorrow will again see me out and about in the Water Park and at Fairford.