Sunday, 9 February 2014

The past few weeks.....

Well it's been a few weeks since my last blog, so to quickly to recap the events of my last few weeks birding we have to start at West Hartford.
It's a site I've frequently visited since my last blog, and it's played a blinder. A new site to me for birding but it's become one of my favourite places to bird.
I'll summarise my best sightings from there in a list.

Marsh Harrier (my first ever and as soon as I got out the car no less)
Woodcock (Always a brief 'flying away' glimpse)
Snipe (Flushed and climbing high but quick descension into the reeds)
A close encounter with a female Sparrowhawk (amazingly close)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Decent fly by view)
***possible (can't confirm) Water Rail running through the marsh near the fence post
Kestrel (regular treat) 
And a brief glimpse of a Short Eared Owl as day soon turned to night, last Thursday after work, very exciting. Purely for the reason that's the one bird I was after considering the time of day! 

The picture below was taken just after seeing the owl, I happened upon it just out of chance by scanning the back hedge line. It landed briefly on a fence post to the right of the big tree and vanished into shadows! 

I spoke to a dog walker and birder who told me what had been seen at West Hartford etc 
He shocked with news he had earlier flushed a Bittern, unfortunately no sightings by myself as of yet.

I also revisited Horton Burn again recently, seeing the Little Egret and Kingfisher/ers again. As usual the foliage and gardens along the burn were teaming with multiple passerines. And surprisingly a Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen in a conifer tree. Nice surprise. 
(Shame about the rubbish pic!) 

Wrapping up warm left me looking slightly suspicious!