March 2007

The drake green-winged teal was still on the Axe Estuary on 25th.

After seeing the drake lesser scaup as a distant speck at Blagdon on a couple of occasions, it was great to get close up views at Cheddar Reservoir on 24th. Again, more pictures can be seen by clicking on the image below.

lesser scaup

I've seen HOOPOES in many countries on the continent, but had never previously seen one in Britain. A bird has been present at Knighton near Hinkley Point for at least 6 days now, so I couldn't resist the opportunity to go and see it. Click on the image below to see more.


I saw three red kites between Didcot and Reading from the London train on 21st. Surprisingly, the best views were of a bird quartering over waste ground just outside Reading train station. Also a couple of brown hares seen on this stage of the journey. A brief late afternoon trip to Portbury Wharf on 18th. Birds included a barn owl, kingfisher, goldeneye, and a drake ring-necked duck.

ring-necked duck

A quick late afternoon visit to Blagdon Lake on 13th to see the drake lesser scaup. It was quite difficult to find in the middle of the lake, diving frequently with some tufted ducks. An adult winter little gull flew over the gull roost at Chew at dusk.

First chiffchaff singing in Flax Bourton on 12th.

Pheasants are frisky at the moment, and rushing onto roads to defend territorial boundaries. Here's a photo of the iridescent plumage of a road kill (that found its way into the cooking pot).

pheasant feathers

On 11th I spent the day birding in Cornwall, and had some good experiences with the new 500 mm lens. First stop was Copperhouse Creek in Hayle, where the WHITE-BILLED DIVER was showing ridiculously well. Click on the picture for more images.

white-billed diver

Nearby, near Lelant, the juvenile spotted sandpiper was close by in nice light. Click on the picture to see more.

spotted sandpiper

A first-winter Mediterranean gull was also present, as were the redshank and shag below.



I saw a first-winter Iceland gull at Drift reservoir. No sign of the Pacific diver at Penzance - only 3 great northern divers around the Jubilee Pool. To cap an excellent day, I headed for Stepper Point north of Padstow. At 18.10h the immature white phase gyr falcon flew over the quarry - the first I had seen since the Berry Head bird over 20 years ago.

Excellent conditions for observing a total eclipse of the moon on 3 March. At first contact, the earth's umbra covers the moon's edge. The umbra extends over the moon until it is totally covered. Then the moon appears red as the blue light from the sun is removed from the refracted light bent around the earth's atmosphere.

lunar eclipse

lunar eclipse

lunar eclipse