Wednesday, 27 March 2013

First few days of Florida birding

So far, after three days, I have amassed a species list of 91 species. This is a decent total as I have not birded obsessively.
Yesterday, I went to Pelican Island  (USA's first nature refuge). Besides American white pelicans, I had  a nice variety of birds, including four species of warbler and both species of yellowlegs.
 Here is a list of species I saw yesterday.
Merlin (female)
Common ground dove
Black and white warbler
Prairie warbler
Black throated green warbler
Great crested flycatcher
Greater yellowlegs
Wood stork

Today, I went birding with a tour guide called Dave Simpson. He is a great birder and one of the best in Florida.
First stop - Fell marshes
There we saw:
Roseate spoonbills
Marsh wren
Savannah sparrow
Fulvous whistling duck (our target bird for the area)
Black winged stilt
American bittern
Cliff swallow among hundreds of Barn and Tree swallows
Yellow crowned heron
Bald eagle

Next stop was blue cypress lake, where there was not a Short tailed hawk, which we dipped for and annoyingly it was seen the day before.

Next was Pelican island again, here we saw
A male Eurasian wigeon
A white cheeked pintail.

GC flycatcher

Female merlin 

black and white warbler

male eurasian wigeon


Sleeping white cheeked pintail


Black necked stilt
 Both these birds were lovely to see despite the wigeon being very common where i come from! The pintail though countable by ABA guidelines could well be an escape.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Wow what a week for patch!

I have been very lucky recently.
I had a male mandarin duck with males on patch yesterday. So pretty, such a  shame i didn't have my camera.
Today a clear influx of migrants like a single chiffchaff. Better was one Wheatear on the hill, great to see them now! At the sewage works, their was a Little-ringed plover feeding on the mud. A patch record!
Finally while walking out of my house i had a Osprey fly over my town! So cool! A patch record!
Sadly after this great run i will be in florida for the next 3 weeks.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Peregrines and Med gull,

Yesterday had a very pretty adult Med gull on the lagoon. It showed well and a lovely patch record.
This afternoon i saw 2 peregrines getting ready to lay eggs. The even mated before me!  It was also a patch record.

Patch life list- 102!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Patch mega

On Tuesday i saw an Avocet on my patch. It was a new patch record and the second ever for the lagoon(last one of an amazing flock of 19 in 2011). This a rare bird inland and lovely to see.
It showed the following day. But i did not see it today (thursday). Also an Med gull has been seen but i have sadly not been able to see it.
An record shot of an avocet.
Despite the the lack of Avocet i saw an Barn owl.The fourth ever record for me. Hopefully they might breed here.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

A tri twitch

Went out this morning with three target species all around Portsmouth.
First Budds sewage farm, where eventually finding it ( after getting lost a couple of times). I arrived to a  shy female Scaup on the left pool. It was hard to see well but nice never the less. Out to sea there were several rb mergansers. One target bird down two to go......
 Next on to Southsea Castle, where i saw a lovely flock of Purple sandpiper, there were about 15 of them right below the castle. Two target birds down and one to go....
Next i went to go and see a celebrity in its own right. It was 'Waldo' the long returning Ring-billed gull. This gull has returned for its seventh winter here in Gosport. Arriving at Walpole Park (Gosport), I was soon greeted by the adult Ring-Billed Gull, washing its self in the estuary. It was a very pretty bird and lovely to watch. There were also several Common gulls which got me excited. A medium flock of brent geese and two little egret.
Purple sandpiper

'Waldo' the Ring-billed gull

Rb gull

Rb gull

Common gull
A great day!!! And all target birds seen.