Thursday 23 February 2023

Australia 2019


At the end of 2019, just before SARS-Cov-2 became obvious to the world at large, we celebrated our retirement with a holiday to Australia.  It was fantastic and we would love to go again. 

However, the holiday was before I took up birdwatching.  Such a tragic missed opportunity.

Almost by accident, ‘we’ (meaning mostly my son) did take pictures of a few of their fabulous birds in the Northern Territories - mostly while on the Yellow water, Kakadu, looking at Salties.


Glossy ibis

Comb-crested Jacana

White faced heron - possibly

White bellied sea eagle



Nankeen night heron

Pied cormorant

Plumed whistling ducks

Purple swamphen

Magpie goose

Thursday 16 February 2023

Elmley, mid February 2023

A report on Bird Guides suggested that the Long eared owl was showing by the pond. So despite the gloomy weather, I popped across to Elmley. The warden on gate duty deflated my expectations immediately, by saying that she had looked and not found the owl earlier in the day.

The visit was a simple drive to and from the car park, with a quick look at the back of the pond, to confirm the absence of the LEO.  Plenty of Lapwing, Starlings, Godwits (rather thin looking), Coots and Curlew were visible from the drive. There were a few Redshank around plus a male Marsh harrier and a single Sandpiper.

Jackdaw's were feeding from the blue bucket feeder. I had previously assumed that this was for Pheasants and Partridges. Today there was a Moorhen underneath, picking up the seeds dislodged by the Jackdaws.

Friday 10 February 2023

Elmley, early February 2023

No owls or Penduline tits appeared during my trip to Elmley. The drive to the carpark offered plentiful views of Lapwing, together with the usual Starlings, Crows and occasional Marsh Harrier. Plus, a fleeting view of what could have been a Redshank flying off.


However, there was a distant Merlin on show and a small group (covey) of Grey Partridge right by the road but sheltering under a bush.  The Little grebes were very noisy and there was the occasional physical altercation between them.






Tar Lakes and Farmoor reservoir, early February 2023

Tar Lakes are working and ex-working gravel pits south of Witney. A public footpath takes you round several of the lakes although the view is often obscured by trees and shrubbery.  There were a few waterfowl species evident, geese, Mallard, Gadwall, Coot and GC grebes in particular. The highlight was a distant view of a Great White Egret perched on top of a very tall tree. It did not exactly blend in to its environment.

Farmoor reservoir is a recreational resource run by Thames Water, with sailing and fishing allowed. There is a paved walkway around the two main lakes.  On this visit the obvious birdlife on the lakes was restricted to Coot, Carrion crows, Pied wagtails, Cormorants, Little grebe, Tufted duck and a single Dunlin.


Tucked away, adjacent to the pumping station is an area of wetland that runs between F2 and the Isis (Thames). Part of this has been sculpted into the Shrike meadow and there is a well placed hide. On view were Mute swan, Grey heron, Moorhen, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Great tit, Reed bunting, Mallard plus the three winter thrushes, Fieldfare, Redwing and Song thrush.  It is a lovely spot and I would like to return when I’m next in the area.

Slimbridge, late November 2023