Sunday, 27 March 2011

Walk like an Egyption

With a couple of hours spare I ventured to The Chase for the first time in ages. Unfortunately no Kingfishers or Little Owls could be found, but I did find two very noisy Egyption Geese, in the first paddock by the stables. Also of note were three Chifffchaff. Then a quick look in at Harrowlodge Park lake to enjoy the displaying Mute Swans and Great Crested Grebes, as I about to leave, in flew two Eqyption Geese, from the direction of The Chase!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Short Toed Treecreeper and yet more Waxwings

Shaun, Hawky and I couldn't resist a trip to Landguard NR, near Felixstow in Suffolk this morning when news arrived that the rare Short Toed Treecreeper, was still present. This was Britian's 25th record and Suffolk's 1st. There were around 100 birders on siTe when we arrived and by the sound of it the bird was proving difficult to pin down. Hawky refound it after 15 minutes or so but could not get us onto it in the few seconds he had it in view. The bird then moved west along the trees of Icky Ridge eluding most of us. Hawky then again spotted the bird fly 20 yards to the next clump of trees and everyone moved with it. Then at last after another 5 minutes the bird eventually gave itself up and as you would expect appeared at the bottom of a tree creeping its way up, very tree creeper-esque. And that was that! Later, this afternoon Sophie (my 13 year old daughter) headed toLakeside shopping centre where after our short shopping excursion, we caught up with around 70 Waxwings near Debenhams.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Florida Gators and other stuff

A few more pics of Florida wildlife, starting with a manatee at Blue Spring State Park, Orange City.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Florida Trip List (Sunday 20 Feb to Friday 4th March 2011)

Trip details:
3 nights Sanibel - Sun 20th to Tues 22nd February 2011

1 night Everglade City - Wed 23rd February 2011

8 nights Orlando - Thurs 24th to Fri 4th March 2011

Trip List (number seen/location/notes) if blank = many seen
* = tick

1 Pied Billed Grebe
2 American White Pelican - dozen - Ding Darling Preserve Sanibel Island
3 Brown Pelican
4 Anhinga
5 Double Crested Cormorant
6 American Bittern - 1 briefly on the Blue Spring State Park boat trip
7 Great Blue Heron
8 Great Egret
9 Snowy Egret
10 Liitle Blue Heron
11 Tricoloured Heron
12 Cattle Egret - single figures all locations
13 Green Heron - 2, 1 -Ding Darling Preserve Sanibel and 1 Epcot Disney
14 Black Crowned Night Heron - 2 juvs only both Ding Darling
15 Yellow Crowned Night Heron - 2, 1 hotel grounds Sanibel, 1 BSSP boat trip
16 Glossy Ibis - 2 - both Everglades
17 White Ibis
18 Roseatte Spoonbill - approx 20 Ding Darling Sanibel and 1 Gatorland Orlando
19 Wood Stork
20 Canada Goose - 1 over seen by Jamie only
21 Mallard
22 Mottled Duck - 4 - singles at various sites
23 Blue Winged Teal - 4 - one flock Bailey Tract Sanibel
24 Lesser Scaup - one double figure flock on lake in Orlando
25 Hooded Merganser - 2 together on pond in parking area Magic Kingdom Orlando*
26 Black Vulture
27 Turkey Vulture
28 Osprey
29 Swallow Tailed Kite - 2 at Corkscrew Swamp Naples
30 Cooper's Hawk - 1 Orlando*
31 Red Shouldered Hawk
32 Red Tailed Hawk
33 Bald Eagle
34 American Kestrel - 1 Sanibel
35 Peregrine Falcon - 1 Sanibel
36 Wild Turkey
37 Moorhen
38 American Coot
39 Limpkin - 2 both on the Blue Spring State Park boat trip*
40 Sandhill Crane
41 Killdeer - 2 small flocks, 1 Sanibel and 1 Everglades
42 Greater Yellowlegs *
43 Spotted Sandpiper - 2 both Sanibel
44 Willet
45 Dunlin
46 Laughing Gull
47 Ring Billed Gull
48 Herring Gull
49 Royal Tern
50 Rock Dove
51 White Winged Dove - 1 Universal Studios Park*
52 Mourning Dove
53 Common Ground Dove
54 Belted Kingfisher
55 Yellow Bellied Sapsucker - 1 Corkscrew Swamp*
56 Red Bellied Woodpecker
57 Downy Woodpecker - 2 Gatorland
58 Northern Flicker - 1 Gatorland
59 Piliated Woodpecker
60 Eastern Pheobe - 3, 1 Corkscrew Swamp, 1 Everglades and 1 Orlando*
61 Great Crested Flycatcher - 1 Corkscrew Swamp
62 Loggerhead Shrike - 1 Sanibel
62 White Eyed Vireo - 1 Corkscrew Swamp*
63 Blue Headed Vireo*
64 Blue Jay
65 Fish Crow
66 American Crow
67 Tree Swallow
68 Purple Martin
69 Tufted Titmouse
70 Marsh Wren - Ding Darling Sanibel*
71 Carolina Wren
72 Ruby Crowned Kinglet
73 Blue Gray Gnatcatcher
74 American Robin
75 Gray Catbird
76 Northern Mockingbird
77 European Starling
78 Northern Parula - 4, 2 Corkscrew Swamp and 2 Gatorland
79 Yellow Rumped Warbler
80 Palm Warbler*
81 Pine Warbler - 2 or 3 Corkscrew Swamp*
82 Yellow Throated Warbler - 1 Hotel grounds Sanibel
83 Black and White Warbler
84 Common Yellowthroat - 1 Corkscrew Swamp
85 Painted Bunting - 4 or 5, mostly males Corkscrew Swamp*
86 Northern Cardinal
87 Chipping Sparrow
88 Red Winged Blackbird
89 Common Grackle
90 Boat- tailed Grackle
91 Brown Headed Cowbird - 1 small flock of juvs Corkscrew Swamp
92 House Sparrow
93 House Finch

Florida Birds #6 - Gatorland

On our last morning the kids and I had a visit to Gatorland, while Julia packed. Hawky had told me about a previous visit of his and a very productive boardwalk through a mangrove swamp. He wasnt wrong. We had an excellent haul of birds in just an hour or so on the boardwalk as well as numerous egrets and herons on the main site.

Downy Woodpecker

Tri coloured Heron

Carolina Wren

Northern Parula - poor pic I know


Piliated Woodpecker



Boat tailed Grackle

Great Egret

Great Blue Heron

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Florida Birds #5 - Blue Spring National Park

The following pics were all taken on a 2 hour boat trip at Blue Spring State Park, near Orange City, approx 1 hour north of Orlando.

Limpkin - my 1st ever and high on my wanted list - a 2nd was seen poorly later on the trip

Another Belted Kingfisher picture

A pair of Sandhill Cranes on nest - a dozen seen during the holiday, including 3 pairs on nest on this boat trip

Red Shouldered Hawk - many seen during the holiday

A displaying male Wild Turkey - many seen on this trip, plus a group of 6 in the grounds of Magic Kingdom

Red Winged Blackbird - one of only 2 seen well, although many were seen at dusk in Orlando going to roost

Juv Bald Eagle

Common Crackle

Double Creasted Cormorant

Florida Birds #4 - The Everglades

We only had half a day in the Everglades as we had to head north for the re arranged space shuttle launch (see pics posted earlier today). We still managed to see loads of Alligators, birds and fit in an airboat ride!

Belted Kingfisher from the airboat
Mottled Duck from the airboat

Palm Warbler - one of half a dozen seen

Northern Mockingbird - very common

Bald Eagles and nest

Northern Cardinal at a feeding station

Florida Birds #4 - Cork Screw Swamp (Naples)

On route from Sanibel to the Everglades we stopped off at Corkscrew Swamp where we spent the morning.

Painted Bunting - my no 1 target bird!

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue Headed Vireo

Great Crested Flycatcher

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

Swallow Tailed Kite - on arrival we were told that no Swallow Tailed Kites had been seen so far in 2011. Julia changed that by spotting 2 drifting over!

Eastern Pheobe

Tufted Titmouse

Female Painted Bunting

Turkey Vulture - very common - hundreds seen