Sunday 22 March 2020

High Wycombe and Staines Reservoir - 14th March 2020

As it was just a few miles north from home, so a visit to see the Black-bellied Dipper at High Wycombe was just a bit to close to avoid making the effort to see it.

Afterwards a visit to Stoke Common produced a few Heathland species, followed by an early pm visit to Staines Reservoir where the male Long-tailed Duck was present, but distance on the north basin, along with nine Black-necked Grebes on the north and two on the south basins.


Black-necked Grebes

Friday 13 March 2020

Welney and Norfolk - 3rd - 5th March 2020


A few days away, booked last October ended up being a bit better than expected considering the terrible weather of late. We decided to go up via Welney. There was a great deal of surface water on the fields with rather a lot of swans. On the reserve the water was extremely high, explaining why the swans were pushed off onto the surrounding farmland.

Whooper swans

We amused ourselves trying (and failing) to read rings on the ducks on the bank.

Female Mallard GV36............

There were also quite a few Pochard.

The paths from the hide were submerged.

Black on orange XKV

Black on yellow LID

The only two darvics recorded on the reserve had been seen there before, but we picked up another on nearby farmland that was new, balck on yellow BPY.

We continued on to North Norfolk, staying at Briarfields.


It was a surprise to find that the next day started with bright sunshine. We headed to Holme dunes where we spent the whole morning. Although we didn't go far we found a Scaup amongst the wigeon on the sea, heard and saw a Woodlark and watched Brent and Pink-feet geese. Two birds had neck collars but they were too far away to record the codes. We were also fortunate enough to see a Barn owl.

The afternoon got cloudy and the temperature dropped so there were very few people at Titchwell. Again, the water level was very high. While watching harriers at the end of the day, two Great White Egrets flew overhead. 


A visit to Holkham with a very big flock of Common Scoter on the sea, bouncing up and down on the waves a little to far out to pick out any Velvets, but six Shore Larks and 22 Snow Buntings on the beach was nice. The Fresh Marsh was nicely flooded and with some newly constructed scraps. Amongst the Black-tailed Godwits were two colour ringed birds originally ringed by the Humber Wader group, and the Rough-legged Buzzard went over Lady Annes Drive towards Wells.

Wednesday 4 March 2020

Cote d'Azur birding (while attending buhurt tournament) - 14-16 February 2020

We were in Monaco for a buhurt tournament that our son was fighting in. But, there were chances to see birds - using the one pair of binoculars that we'd taken between us.

Yellow-legged Gulls on the cliff face

 Black Redstart in Princess Grace gardens

It's easy to get away from the roads and find birds 
(although the species range is rather limited)

Blackbirds make good use of the parks and roof-top gardens.

Male Black Redstart on the beach

Chiffchaff were frequently heard

Peregrine pair on the cliff face