Sunday, April 22, 2012


Pulborough Brooks RSPB Reserve produced 52 species for us today. Highlights were:
  • Nightingale (At least 6 individuals heard and a few seen, lifer for Lori)
  • Cuckoo (one bird heard clearly and seen as a flyover)
  • Blackcap (12 individuals)
  • Whitethroat (1st of the year, three birds heard and seen)
  • Little Stint (1st of the year and lifer for Lori)
  • Treecreeper (great views)
  • Song Thrush (great views)

Song Thrush

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Arne RSPB Reserve - Dorset

Had a few hours down at Arne RSPB Reserve yesterday as the last birdy trip of the Easter holiday. A little windy and the wrong tide were the downfalls. On the other hand, we did luck out on a few birds, one of which was a Dartford Warbler! This bird still holds as much magic now as it did 35 years ago; when i would stare longingly at it in my ladybird book. Other species on the heath included Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff and two very welcome visitors back from Africa: Swallow and House Martin.

Lori Scanning for Dartford Warbler

We did have to work for the Dartford as the two places that we were told about produced 0 birds. Walking around the trails we found our first Stonechat, seconds before the heavens opened. Luckily, it was only a brief shower and after relocating the Stonechat, we got our first look at a Dartford Warbler. It kept us on our toes as it went from perch to perch, singing its scratchy song. We did take a little look from the blind, which produced distant views of Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew, though that was about it. We only managed to bird one small part of this reserve, having run out of time but hope to return one day to see it all.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Norfolk - Day Trip

Had the best Easter ever by hitting not one, but two, of England's great reserves. Departing Woking at 05:40am put at us at the Titchwell RSPB Reserve, on the Norfolk coast, at 09:00am. Having recently read a report about all the work that has happened at Titchwell, including the new hides, I couldn't wait to see for myself. The reserve is fairly easy to navigate, having a single main path running through the reserve, terminating at the sea.

The bird activity throughout the whole reserve was amazing, starting with a singing Cetti's Warbler that decided to show itself with killer views! Just before this skulker decided to burst its song from the reeds, Lori pointed out a raptor flying above us: Hen Harrier! That's the first for many years for me and a British lifer for Lori. This was followed soon after by displaying Marsh Harriers and Redshank.

New hides at Titchwell
Further along the trail I stopped to scan through some Black-tailed Godwit when I connected with a bird that has been on my radar since being back in the UK. SPOTTED REDSHANK! I only got my lifer last year, when I birded Cliffe Pools in Kent. However, today I got to see this unique breeder from the arctic taiga in breeding plumage!

Spotted Redshank

After a good twenty minutes of ogling this brilliant wader we moved on to the hides. Here we were spoilt in the state of the art hides with comfortable seating, great views and mechanical clear window coverings.

Black-tailed Godwit

After scanning through all the ducks and waders we continued along the trail and out to the beach. Here we recorded lots more waders including: Dunlin, Sanderling, Grey Plover, Knot, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Turnstone and Bar-tailed Godwit!

Bar-tailed Godwit

We departed Titchell at about 13:00 and headed along the coast to the famous Cley Marshes. As our day was slipping away we got straight out to the hides. More splendid views of Marsh Harrier displaying greeted us along with a male Bearded Tit, that decided to play hide and seek until we finally walked away..

Marsh Harrier

Many of the same species seen at Titchwell were present here though we did get a great bonus bird: 4 to be exact: SPOONBILL! A lifer for both Lori and me...No photos unfortunately but great views through the scope. 

Species count for the day: 78

  • Oystercatcher
  • Avocet
  • Ringed Plover
  • Golden Plover
  • Grey Plover
  • Lapwing
  • Knot
  • Sanderling
  • Dunlin
  • Ruff
  • Snipe
  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Bar-tailed Godwit
  • Curlew
  • Spotted Redshank
  • Redshank 
  • Turnstone