Sunday, 26 February 2017

The Kings of Beddington, 26-Feb-17

At school, I have to do a project on Social Issues with two friends - we decided to learn and help the Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust. For our presentation in a few weeks, we needed some pictures and videos so we met up for a quick walk in Beddington Park this morning. I practised filming some birds, and managed to film a Kingfisher catch a small fish. 
The session was fairly productive, and the highlights consisted of 3 Kingfisher (1 male, 2 female,) 6 Nuthatch, 3 Grey Wagtail, 1 Mandarin, c.60 Redwing, 4 Little Grebe and 3 Green Woodpecker.
Kingfisher (1)
Little Grebe


Redwing


Green Woodpecker

Grey Wagtail
Towards the end, my sister found this male Mandarin and all 3 Kingfishers appeared at once - the male evaded the camera though. 
Kingfisher (2)

Kingfisher (2)
Mandarin

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

LWC Barnes - 15th January 2017

Last week we planned to go to the London Wetland Centre in Barnes with my school-friend Dexter, and so we did.
We arrived at about 11:15am, and straight away went to the Headley Hide on the West route. This is where one of the Bittern's had been seen regularly over the winter.
There was nothing really showing, although the hide guide said that the Bittern was around. With nothing other than a Reed Bunting, we continued to the Wildside hide.
Reed Bunting (m)
All was quiet in the wildside. A few ducks lazed around. Another Reed Bunting showed himself.
Pochard (m)
Reed Bunting (m)
Then we bumped into my mum and sister, who had seen the Bittern in the Headley hide after we'd left. So we returned. 
We were then rewarded with views from 15 metres away of the Bittern, which was climbing up the reeds, staying well hidden amongst them. 
Bittern

Bittern

Bittern
Then we had lunch, after a fairly satisfying start to out visit.
When finished, we started trudging to the Peacock Tower, via the South Route, when we came across another kind birder. He told us that another Bittern was showing well from the WWF hide.

And so we carried on, jogging slightly. We were then rewarded with some cracking views of a Bittern for a good half hour. It was very happy out in the open, fishing and posing delightfully. This was fantastic for us, especially as my friend Dexter had never seen a Bittern before!


Bittern

Bittern

Bittern

Bittern

  
Bittern

Bittern

Bittern
Some Shelduck made an appearance, as did some Lapwing.
Shelduck 
Lapwing
After settling with the double Bittern bonanza, we walked to the Peacock tower in the hope of a Water Pipit - a bird not yet on my life list. However, today seemed to be the day. I spied it about 600m off, nearer the Charing Cross hospital, but always distant. Using my scope I spied a Redshank as well.
Water Pipit

Water Pipit
Redshank
Our luck continued. I scanned the edges and found another Bittern badly camouflaged under a small tree!

Bittern (3)

Bittern (3)
We headed back at around 1630, with several more birds added to the list, including a yellow-billed Moorhen.
Moorhen (yellow-bill)

Green Woodpecker

Chaffinch (f)
An incredible day with some exciting species. After a total of approximately 45 species had been recorded throughout, making this (probably) the most successful Barnes visit yet.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Beddington Park, 14th February 2017

After feeling bored throughout the morning, my mum, my sister and I decided to get up and go to Beddington Park for a quick afternoon walk. As we left the house, all the birds went up as a Red Kite flew straight over. It was a surprise, and I hadn't got the camera out yet.

When we drove into Beddington Park, things almost got off to an absolute disaster or if you like, a flyer. A smallish bird flew right across, making me yell, 'Mind the robin.' 
The robin with bright blue - We almost ran over a Kingfisher.
After 5 minutes of searching, we found it fishing on the opposite side of the river, further away than I'd wished for a picture.
Kingfisher
We then just went for a general walk around the lake, where Teal and Mallard lazed around. Several Little Grebe swam around the bare islands.
Little Grebe

Teal
My sister found a Mallard with a bluish-grey bill; I would appreciate any ideas on why the bill's this colour?
Bluish-grey beaked Mallard
We carried on walking. A Robin followed us for around 300m, singing all the way.
Robin
Then my mum spotted a Little Egret, fishing peacefully away from the dogs. Also nearby, a Little Owl was calling but I couldn't find it in the woody area - I am yet to see every type of British owl except Tawny Owl (even if I woke up at stupid o'clock in the Brecon Beacons as a Barn Owl lived down the road.)
Little Egret

Little Egret
Little Egret

Little Egret
Once it flew into a tree, spooked by a dog, we started trudging back to the car.
On the way back some Mute Swans swam calmly on the water.
Mute Swans





Sunday, 12 February 2017

Poulter Park, 12th February 2017

Having had a cold, I woke up with the need to go out for a walk this morning.
So when I read that the Siberian Chiffchaff was still present at Poulter Park nearby in Morden, my mum was willing to take me. 
However, as I had never been to this park before I had no idea what it would be like.

When we arrived, a female Sparrowhawk flew over in the heavy wind.
Then when we got to a Wooden Bridge where the Chiffchaff had been seen at, straight away a bird appeared in an overhanging tree on the opposite side. Although fairly obliging in the tree, it still flitted around, always covered by branches. However, it was not what we were looking for.

Common Chiffchaff
As we watched, several more birds came into view including 3 Goldcrest and a Grey Wagtail. Another Chiffchaff joined the party.
Grey Wagtail
Chiffchaff

Goldcrest
Then the tristis gave several calls from our left in a nearby bush, and flew right across the river joining the Goldcrest group. Since there were now so many in the tree, I could hardly tell with all the movement which the tristis was. 
Siberian Chiffchaff

Siberian Chiffchaff


Then, to my amazement, a Firecrest began singing with several more Goldcrest behind me. My mum saw the bird, while I watched it fly past. Frustrating.
It reappeared several minutes later, but didn't stay long enough for a picture.
A Redwing appeared as we departed soon after, as did a Song Thrush when we returned home.
Redwing

Song Thrush

Overall, another successful birding day!

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my new blog!
My name is Arjun, and I have had a passion for wildlife - especially birds - since I was very young.
I often go twitching in my local area, along the River Wandle with my sister (who prefers butterflies to birds.)
As I live near Croydon, about 2km from Beddington Farmlands, I have seen many species very near my home which interest me, if not my friends!