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Hants, Berks and Surrey Borders

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Old Saturday 8th July 2006, 17:43   #26
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Found 'em. Two adults and a chick, which is quite a bit down on last year when there were several pairs. Still fairly tame, but still had to resort to digiscoping to get any shots. Also saw a meadow pipit, but nothing else too far out of the ordinary.
I'll post a photo in a bit.
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Old Sunday 9th July 2006, 19:15   #27
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here's the photo...
A bit sketchy, but it was digiscoped and it's enough for me to paint from...
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Old Sunday 9th July 2006, 23:57   #28
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Hopefully, Fleet Pond tomorrow...
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Old Monday 10th July 2006, 16:33   #29
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Well, weather was pretty poor, but there's a bit about on the pond.
two egyptian geese and four juveile mandarins, quite a few great crested grebes, half a dozen common terns, tons of canadas and greylags and a fair few reed warblers.
I'll chuck a photo on in a bit...
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Old Monday 17th July 2006, 22:07   #30
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Thought I'd have a break as I've been on the computer for six days straight for twelve hours a day writing up.
Took a walk down the Blackwater from Swan Lane. Not much about, but did see two groups of Canada geese of all ages swimming and waddling along the rive. One group of 16 and a second of 33. Some of them were quite small and were just coming into their adult plumage. Sandhurst Balancing Pond is a bit of a state - looks like the blue-green algae has got in there. Still coot chicks and a small clutch of mallards. Didn't see much else as I went home half-way along as my cold's still making me a bit knackered.
However, I may still go for Dinton tomorrow, just for something to do as I've gone on strike from work for a couple of days...
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Old Tuesday 18th July 2006, 21:05   #31
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Have you been for the Red Footed Falcon at Moor Green yet Tony? It was still about today & if you've got a couple of days spare, bit of a no brainer eh.

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Old Tuesday 18th July 2006, 22:42   #32
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good stuff Tony ...
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Old Wednesday 19th July 2006, 11:58   #33
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Hi Johnny, I haven't yet and I didn't make it to Dinton either. I'm just waiting for the membership details for Moor Green so I can use the hides while I'm there as well. There's some hobbies there too.
At the moment it looks like I'll be up there on Tuesday as we're away this weekend and we've got a lot of stuff to sort out first.
Speaking of which, if you find yourself in Kent, in the vicinity of Richborough, I'm one of the archers on the Roman side...

Des - cheers!
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Old Friday 4th August 2006, 19:48   #34
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A bit of a mixed bag lately. The square root of sod-all in the garden until today, but even then, nothing really (house sparrows, dunnock, blackbird). I did see a whole family of long-tailed tits in formation fly over the A30 on the way to Camberley. The house martins are still flying in and out of the eaves of the building over the McDonalds in Camberley as well as pied wagtails near the Meadows roundabout.

Looks like a green woodpecker has moved into the area. We've heard it close a few times in the last week, but no sightings.

A few days ago, it seemed the black-headed gulls were starting to accumulate on the Sandhurst Balancing Pond again, as well as a few more mallards and Canada geese. All four of the moorhen chicks are growing up well and still avoiding the foxes. The coot chicks have completely disappeared, probably off to pastures new (so one would hope). There were also five or six house martins over the pond.

Over on Yateley Common, there's not a lot about. Some juvenile blackbirds, blue tits, a family of green woodpeckers jumping from tree to tree, a willow warbler and a chiffchaff, of which I got a very poor photo which I'm too ashamed to show here.

The one downer was the female common pheasant who copped it at the Hawley roundabout (A30) today. Looked like a broken neck and took a few minutes to lie still, but no chance of me weaving amongst the moving cars to put it out of its misery, poor thing.
The foxes will get that tonight.

With some luck, I'll give myself a break from thesis writing (current rate 170 pages/year) and get to Moor Green, although the RFF has long gone by the look of it. As Noel Coward once said 'I always arrive somewhere just in time to miss something. I find it very relaxing.'
Or something like that.
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Old Friday 4th August 2006, 21:04   #35
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Ah, forgot to say, on the little island on Bracknell Mill Pond, there was what looked like a chinese goose. Obviously plastic, but are they an 'artificial' breed (like khaki Campbell ducks) or just domesticated?
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Old Friday 4th August 2006, 21:09   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin Haig
Does Fleet Pond come under NE Hants? Twitched there a couple of times some years ago - nice spot. Also have seen GG Shrike at Frensham (?) in the past, I think, so not all mundane stuff. Look forward to hearing what you see
Exact ditto!
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Old Friday 4th August 2006, 21:27   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin Haig
Does Fleet Pond come under NE Hants? Twitched there a couple of times some years ago - nice spot. Also have seen GG Shrike at Frensham (?) in the past, I think, so not all mundane stuff. Look forward to hearing what you see
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jos Stratford
Exact ditto!
Fleet Pond's definitely in. Although every time I go there, the weather's terrible or I can't do any birding as we're hiking there with the Scouts.
I'd like to go and have a look at Frensham, but it's just a case of cadging lifts depending on where Dad's working. The RSPB have bought a bit of it there and set up a reserve.

Fleet Pond's where I saw this little warbler chappie, although no clue as to what it is, even after posting it on the ID thread...
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Old Saturday 5th August 2006, 11:09   #38
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Looks like a possible bit of bad news for the house sparrows round here. They've done well this year and there seems to be a lot more of them, but they mainly live in the bushes over the road. Unfortunately, these bushes are part of someone's hedge and I think words must have been had as they look set to trim it back a lot (we have a lot of people round here who'll go to the housing association at the drop of a hat...).
It'll be interesting to see if they cope ok.

And exciting bird news from my sister this morning:
'There were two birds in the garden earlier.'
'What did they look like?'
'Err, birds. They had feathers and stuff.'
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Old Saturday 5th August 2006, 21:35   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colonelboris
Fleet Pond's where I saw this little warbler chappie, although no clue as to what it is, even after posting it on the ID thread...

tricky one as it is the head only of a recently fledged youngster (yellow gape) - from what I can see, I would ask if Cetti's occur there these days?
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Old Sunday 6th August 2006, 10:30   #40
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Well, it was mentioned, but I didn't hear any, only reed warblers. Here's another photo - showing the rump of a second bird next to the first and a third showing the underwings of the nearest bird.
Sketchy, I know...
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Old Monday 7th August 2006, 15:32   #41
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Lasy night's 15-minute trip over Yateley Common South gave a pair of juvenile Dartford warblers playing in a shrub and a green woodpecker. Wasn't out quite late enough for nightjars.
Today we've had a juvenile robin in the garden and saw a juvenile grey wagtail being fed by its parent after attemping to hawk some flies on the Blackwater. And the usual long-tailed tits along the river.
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Old Tuesday 8th August 2006, 23:01   #42
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Todays garden sightings were two very neat juvenile house sparrows and the juvenile robin again. A whole inch has disappeared out of the feeder in the last two days. The last inch took a month.
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Old Wednesday 9th August 2006, 21:01   #43
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Watched Female Kestrel eating what looked like a frog from no more than 6 feet away at Tices Meadow tonight, the kids were well impressed! Also new record of 8 Grey Herons at the gravel pit.

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Old Thursday 10th August 2006, 19:02   #44
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Nothing as exciting as a kestrel, but saw a ton of long-tailed tits along the Blackwater. As usual, the camera decided it couldn't focus on anything nearer than 400 ft unless it had moved just after the shutter was pressed, but just prior to the shutter opening.
Also saw what looked very much like a white wagtail in company with a pied at the Meadows roundabout. light grey body and black head, body didn't look dark enough for a female pied.
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Old Monday 14th August 2006, 12:25   #45
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Hi Folks

Just thought I'd introduce myself - a Yateley Dweller - Just getting into the local birding scene so looking to get any tips on decent locations - esp for Photography - I find the hides at moor lakes too high to get any decent eye-level shots. Feel free to email/pm me with any suggestions of locations where I can get down close to the water and where there will be something interesting to see!!
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Old Monday 14th August 2006, 13:25   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colonelboris
I think it's safe to go from 'possible' to 'pretty certain'...
Hi Tony

Just seen this posting - Tree Sparrows are pretty much extinct up in NE Hants so wondered what makes you pretty certain as you may want to let the local recorder know.

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Old Monday 21st August 2006, 21:12   #47
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Hi Allen,

Ah, the lack of field notes made at the time makes me realise just how much of a newbie I really am - the main characteristics I saw were a brown top to the head and the cheek patches. I checked with people here about the flight (slightly undulating, going from low in a bush to high up in a tree on the other side of the road), but I did only see it for a second. I posted an enquiry on the ID thread as soon as I got a chance and the flight didn't seem to fit with dunnock (which it really didn't look like as I couldn't see any of the lead grey).
Short of hypnotherapy to get a sketch of exactly what I saw, i can't really provide an awful lot more than that, so I guess I could have been a bit hasty on that one...

However, I'll keep an eye out at the spot (just over the A30/River Blackwater bridge into Hampshire in the bushes opposite the fast food shops) and see if anything else turns up.

Cheers,

Tony
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Old Monday 21st August 2006, 21:22   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spradders
Hi Folks

Just thought I'd introduce myself - a Yateley Dweller - Just getting into the local birding scene so looking to get any tips on decent locations - esp for Photography - I find the hides at moor lakes too high to get any decent eye-level shots. Feel free to email/pm me with any suggestions of locations where I can get down close to the water and where there will be something interesting to see!!
Hi Spradders!

A good place to look for locations and birds is www.berksbirds.co.uk, which has good reports on sightings at places along the Berks/Hants boders as well as the rest of Berks. The HOS site is more based around rarities, and mostly in the Southern half of the county, but is also good (www.hos.org.uk).

For the most part, I plod around the River Blackwater, Yateley Common South (the army ranges) and occasionally round to Moor Green, Minley Manor (good for raptors - sprawk, kestrel, red kite and buzzard) and occasionally further afield if I can scrounge lifts from Dad and when I get a break from writing.

The thing that gets me about the Yateley area is that there's so many lakes and ponds, but hardly any access due to some really bolshy fishing wardens.

Well, good luck and keep us posted on how you get on!

Cheers,

Tony
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Old Tuesday 22nd August 2006, 00:59   #49
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Hi CB

You're doing well here! Building it up nicely. Sounds like you've got some great spots there. Keep up the good work!

Ps. You're not a million miles away from Pagham, so if you ever get the inclination ...

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Old Tuesday 22nd August 2006, 02:58   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colonelboris
Hi Spradders!

A good place to look for locations and birds is www.berksbirds.co.uk, which has good reports on sightings at places along the Berks/Hants boders as well as the rest of Berks. The HOS site is more based around rarities, and mostly in the Southern half of the county, but is also good (www.hos.org.uk).

Tony
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