Thursday, 27 January 2011

Da Doo Ron Ron - The Crystals

Yet another country to add to the readership today, by way of Yemen. I visited the country under less than favourable conditions in 1966 but feel so pleased to welcome you to the Blog. As ever I would ask you to pass on the link to your friends and family.

A day 'birding' beyond the county boundary today as I headed for Hampshire under a leaden sky but otherwise set fair for a good day. Arriving at the small hamlet of Hook, nestled on the edge of the Solent (the stretch of sea that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland), I was just a short distance from my first target bird of the day.

From here the Fawley Oil Refinery was clearly visible

with its landmark chimney on the skyline.

In the distance No Mans Land Fort could be seen, one of the 4 Palmerston Forts built in the 1800's to protect Portsmouth, the others are Spit Bank, Horse Sand and St Helen's.

The wind was piping along the cliff line, but there was a conveniently placed wartime pill box which I used to search the foreshore for

a Red-breasted Goose that had been here for a few days.

The tide was about as low as it could be, with little chance of seeing the Goose, which was feeding with dozens of Brent Geese at the low water mark, at close quarters.

However, the Brents seemed to be continually attacking the Red-breast

eventually putting it to flight,

and sending it a little close to where I stood. From here I headed for the New Forest, and in the first instance to Fritham.

Here, the Royal Oak stands as a fine example of a Forest Public House. At

it took quite some time to find the resident

Mandarin Ducks and even then there were only

2 boys and

a single girl.

On the way back it looked like a couple of New Forest Donkeys were waiting for 'opening time',

and what was once the elegance of Fritham Manor

is now a Nursing Home. A number of Thrushes can be seen feeding on the grass verge,

and here they are a little closer up, a Mistle Thrush and a

Redwing. So far this year the best bird I have seen is the White-tailed Sea Eagle at Downton, but today's find will probably go down as the luckiest! Quite close to the village is an excellent 'Raptor' (Bird of Prey) watch-point which I felt well worth a look being so close.The road was under repair, but there was access to where I wanted to go, but miscalculating the site I parked some distance away. Deciding to walk anyway, I cut through a small stand of Holly Saplings 'flushing' an Owl in the process. Of the 6 or 7 times I saw it only once was it perched but this gave me the chance to positively identify it. It was a Long-eared Owl - an excellent find. Continuing through the Forest to Ibsley Bridge, 13 of the reported 15

Bewick's Swans were easily located but

remained at quite a distance.

Of the 13 seen, one was a juvenile but stayed even more distant and

partially obscured by a tree.

In searching for a Great White Egret (but not found) this house looked of interest, maybe especially to our overseas readers, as an example of a typical English cottage.

Along the way was a field full of Mute Swans, but it was now time to turn my attentions to the Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve.

Plenty of birds here, as usual, including these Siskins

a couple of males

and a female,

and yes Sheila, sorry to drop this on you in such a way, but look who I found in the hide! Ron 'Chunky' King has to be one of the longest standing 'birders' in Great Britain and his country list certainly matches this. GREAT to see you today my mate, next stop the Portland Obs?

Collared Doves were taking advantage of the feeding stations, as

were a good number of Brambling -

altogether a great day!

and finally, I found this video clip most amusing. I am probably the least PC (Politically Correct) person in the world so I would.

No comments:

Post a Comment