Sunday, 11 December 2016

I was out of the house this morning at 6.15am where a few minutes later, I pulled up and parked outside of Nethergong by the bridge. I sat in the car and listened into the darkness for a while where I could hear Greylag Geese leaving the Stour Valley, c5 Snipe called as they flew over, 1 Woodcock zoomed by the car into the darkness, Mallard called as they flew out from the lake and the odd Blackbird and Robin could be heard. As the light picked up, I parked up in Nethergong and spent a few hours walking around the site trying to see what species were on offer. I started off at the eastern gate in the hope a few Egrets would fly by and maybe the Cattle Egret following but despite seeing 3 Little Egret, they had no anticipated follower. Later in the morning I popped up the road to Marshside where I saw the Cattle Egret still in its favored field.

Cattle Egret (Marshside)

Maybe it might make the short jump south this week at some point! Birds noted today included 53 species which included 2 Grey Heron, a few Redwing, 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Cetti's Warbler, 4 Fieldfare, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Water Rail, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Pheasant, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Stonechat, c700 Starling flew south at dawn, 1 Bullfinch, c400 Cormorant, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Mistle Thrush still in song, 4 Yellowhammer, 9 Stock Dove, 6 Golden Plover, 1 Kestrel, c300 Lapwing, 1 Siskin and 1 Jay. With another week until my next visit, I hope the Cattle Egret finally flies a little south and enjoys the lush fields that Nethergong has to offer. As for any new species, we really need a good cold spell to push a few bonus birds this way. 


Saturday, 10 December 2016

With news of a Cattle Egret earlier in the week being seen in fields north of Nethergong, I was hoping that it might roost in the Stour Valley and fly out to feed early morning so with this in mind, I arrived this morning in the dark and waited for the light to pick up. I was hoping that if I viewed from the northern path, it might fly over towards its favoured area but despite waiting for quite a while, the only Egret I saw was a Little which seems quite loyal to the fields there. It was later seen again in fields half a mile north of Nethergong and I managed to see it on the way home. Hopefully it may fly this way and get attracted to follow the Little Egret! I spent the next few hours walking around the site in cloudy, dull and drizzly conditions and saw a good total of 58 species. Birds noted included 4 Snipe, a few groups of Wigeon heard flying over in the dark, 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Skylark, 2 Green Woodpecker, 2 Yellowhammer, 1 Common Buzzard in fields hunting worms, 2 Cetti's Warbler, 4 Fieldfare, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Marsh Harrier, 14 Stock Dove, 2 Grey Heron and c400 Cormorant flew out of the Stour Valley.There were 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Reed Bunting, c10 Redwing, 2 Mute Swan, 2 Bullfinch, 10 Long tailed Tit, 1 Greylag Goose, 17 Tundra Bean Geese were seen flying north east at 8.35am where they landed in distant fields before flying back to Grove Ferry at 9.42am. Other birds noted were c400 Lapwing, 3 Jay, 1 Mistle Thrush singing, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Stonechat, 1 Merlin, 1 Water Rail and 1 Kestrel. 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

I made another visit to Nethergong this morning, arriving at 6.15am in the dark where after getting ready, I walked up the path where I wanted to watch and listen to see if any Long eared Owls were calling. I have never seen this species on site before but have seen them a number of years back nearby so I hope they may be some around. Despite listening, I didn't hear any but was pleased to see 3 Woodcock fly into roost which gave lovely silhouetted views.

Waiting for Woodcock

As the light picked up, I wandered down towards the eastern gate and watched for an hour before moving on and doing the circuit a few times. I managed to see or hear 56 species which included 2 Cetti's Warbler, 5 Fieldfare, 3 Reed Bunting, 2 Grey Heron, 5 Snipe, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Grey Wagtail, c1000 Cormorant out of the Stour Valley, 5 Marsh Harrier, 4 Pheasant, 1 Linnet, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Skylark, 2 Stonechat, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker, 1 Kestrel,1 Little Egret and 1 Common Buzzard. There were 2 Mute Swan, 2 Water Rail, 1 Ring necked Parakeet, 1 Jay, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 Goldcrest, 5 Yellowhammer, 1 Green Sandpiper, 6 Stock Dove, 45 Golden Plover, 1 Sparrowhawk and c400 Lapwing. I walked up the stream checking likely areas for a Jack Snipe but didn't see one on this occasion. Maybe a few days of cold temperatures and frozen pools will push one on to the stream. Still a few weeks to go and hopefully the year is not done yet. What will next weekend deliver?