On the 29th January:
Another cold, misty early morning, becoming warmer later, and we were back at Radipole Lake, this time we did see the
Pied-billed Grebe, a new bird for us. We had to walk to the western side of the lake and view along a narrow stream which drained into the lake. The bird with up to 6 Little Grebes showed now and again at the mouth of the stream about 50 yards away, and was watched for around 25 minutes during a period of 3.5 hours. We also saw a Kingfisher, 3 Water Rails, 13 Grey Herons and 4 Ruddy Ducks. During the day we returned to Chiswell Bay and saw the Ivory Gull again, still on the beach, on Portland Harbour there were 2 Slavonian Grebes, 20+ Red-breasted Mergansers and a female Eider. Returning to Radipole Lake on the way home we saw the Pied-billed Grebe again.
An early morning by the beach at Sizewell waiting for the eagle to appear. During that time we saw 13 Brent Geese, an exceptional 76+ Red-throated Divers on the sea or flying over it,10+ Kittiwakes, 8 Common Scoter, 8 Canada Geese, a Snow Goose and a Barnacle Goose of unknown origins, 16 Grey Herons and 16 Whooper Swans.Then at around 11.45 am the White-tailed Eagle appeared, over some pines about a quarter of a mile away, a new bird for us. Although the views were distant, details on such a massive bird were easily seen, its manoeuvrability when mobbed by a female Hen Harrier was really impressive, the harrier being dwarfed by what appeared to be twice the wingspan and four times the size. Altogether we saw 4 Hen Harriers in this area and later 3 Bewick's Swans and an adult and a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull.
White-tailed Eagle drawings by Laurel Tucker.
In Tanzania, around the Seronera area of the Serengeti, 7 new birds seen today and a new mammal, a female Leopard feeding on a reedbuck in a large acasia tree.
Photo: female Leopard feeding on reedbuck.
On a two hour boat trip to the Poor Knight Islands, North Island New Zealand, 3 new birds today and 4 new reptiles.
Photo: Red-fronted Parakeet.
In the garden in Portishead were 2 male Blackcaps, then a drive to Burnham-on-Sea to see a wintering Yellow-browed Warbler which was in the trees and bushes at the top of the beach, along with lots of Redwings, Fieldfares and Goldcrests.
A walk along the sea bank at Clevedon Bay, that's what I call the bay with no name south of Clevedon to the River Yeo.
It was almost high tide and the waders were being pushed to the top of the beach, with gave me a good opportunity to film around 2000 Dunlin with 12 Grey Plovers. Also, there were Curlew, Shelducks, Wigeon and Teal.
Along the grass bank towards the River Yeo and in the grasses at the top of the beach I saw 9 Short-eared Owls, they were hiding in the low vegetation to keep out of a fairly strong wind, occasionally flying up if I approached too close.
Video: Short-eared Owls, also see here.
A dull, wet afternoon at Tesco's car park in Bradley Stoke. After a few minutes of standing in the rain, the flock of around 15 Waxwings flew in to feed on Rowan berries by the cars, they only stayed a few seconds before flying to some tall tree at the edge of the site.