Waxwing: Bracknell, Peacock Farm, December 10th – January 1st

Michael Hunt first found these birds in the new-ish Jennet’s Park estate beside the A329(M) on a TV aerial (well, his wife actually found them). The flock has grown over the month and can now be as many as 70+ but is more usually 50-ish

Coming from the M4 towards Bracknell on the A329(M) take the first turn after Wokingham (get in the “Local routes” lane) following the road east takes you along Peacock lane where you’ll see rose hips beside the road. The birds feed on these bushes and will be quite confiding (large trucks will, however, flush them)

Image

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Buff-bellied pipit: Queen Mother Reservoir, December 12th – January 23rd at least

Mike McKee found this first for Berkshire and only second mainland bird for the UK on the 12th. It showed very well, often down to a few feet, attracting birders from all over the UK as well as some from Europe.

IMG_9477_jpeg_1Amazingly Mike found a second bird, feeding with the first, on the 26th. As long as a bird is found again before January 1st the reservoir will be opened and permits will be issued on the day for all those first-footers.

Here’s a link to the “Queen Mum” page on BirdsofBerkshire.co.uk

http://www.birdsofberkshire.co.uk/QMR.htm

The pair  have been seen together intermittently since at QMR but also at Horton GPs (just south of QMR)

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Snow bunting: Queen Mother Reservoir, October 21st

Although a pretty regular winter visitor it’s rarely seen away from QMR. You’ll get them on both Spring and Autumn passage but more often in Autumn and generally in late November or December

The bird at QMR this month was an exceptionally early bird – the earliest Autumn bird in over fifty years and the second earliest recorded ever in the county

The site is in the far East of the county and you are supposed to have a permit (free from the BOC). The link below has details of the location and niceties of the site

http://www.birdsofberkshire.co.uk/QMR.htm

Please “click” the bird photos for stories about particular birds at the site (especially skua spp which can be  tricky to ID)

Info on the permit position links directly from here too:

http://www.berksoc.org.uk/archive/2009/access_to_qmr.shtml

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Great Bustard: Berkshire, June 7th – June 15th still

One of the Salisbury Plain birds has made its way to Berkshire. Unfortunately it’s hanging about at a stone curlew site and so is being “suppressed” on the Berksbirds website

For that reason I’m not publishing the site here either but, if you know of any stone curlew sites in Berkshire you could give them a try!  The wing tag shows a white 17 on a black background

The project is controversial with 150 birds released over nine years and only 20 surviving at present. Here’s a link to the project http://greatbustard.org/the-project/

[visible in the photo below are the two quite small stonie chicks at the site]

Apologies for the poor quality of the photos, they were both taken with stacked extenders (2x, 1.4x) behind a 500mm on a crop body (magnification ~ 44.8x)

The peripatetic Roger Wyatt has a couple of better shots on the Oxon blog page (dated June 9th)

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Turtle dove: Moneyrow Green, May 27th – June 7th still

Turtle dove is hardly a rarity but can be tricky to see in Berkshire; there are, however, a few sites which still seem to have regularly returning birds. Moneyrow Green (nr Holyport) is one of them (Woolhampton/Ruscombe/Nuptown are the others)

Click here for an overview map (red arrow for the viewing point)
This is the easiest entry to the site:   http://goo.gl/maps/reoB
You can park in Bartletts lane (blue cross) just opposite the entry to the bridleway shown in the Google ‘streetview’ link above

Park at the blue cross, view from the red crosses to its favoured trees, green cross (I’ve seen it feeding on the ground, west of the green cross, with pigeons)

While you are in the area it’s worth checking Bray GP, a site which has turned up RF Falcon, wryneck, Fudge duck, green-winged teal, slav grebe, scaup, RB merganser …
Click here then click the “MORE INFO” button

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Ring ouzel: Pinkney’s Green, May 6th – May 8th still

This bird allows quite close views (unlike most rouzels in Berks).

A female was found late on the 6th and this male was reported on the following day.
Park here: http://g.co/maps/ctpru
and view from the gap in the hedge here: http://g.co/maps/7kvtx
Look north in front of the metal silo (it drops down to feed every 20-25 minutes or so)

You can see more Berkshire birds seen in 2012 by clicking HERE

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Garganey: Redwood avenue pond, March 20th – April 11th still

This pair have, seemingly, been hiding on this suburban pond for a couple of weeks – the pond is just over the road from White Swan lake

Click here for a Google map centred on the pond

Either walk from parking at Lavell’s or Sandford or you can park in the estate for a shorter walk

Click here for the parking place in Redwood avenue
[note: if you’re using an iPhone you’ll have to drop a pin first then click the man icon]
Walk up the path to the right of the white car, taking care to avoid the bins, then follow the path left (west) behind the houses for a hundred yards or so until you get to the eastern side of the pond. There’re lots of places around the pond where they can do a typical garganey disappearing act …

A pair of garganey have been present on Lea Farm GP since April 5th and may be this pair …
Link for the ‘BirdsofBerkshire’ Lavell’s webpage

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