Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Friday, 19 December 2008
Monday, 15 December 2008
Yesterday I volunteered at tophill, roping off a LRP island and cutting down Willow. Only bird of note was a Water Rail at the feeding station.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Scott, G.W., Turnbull, S. & Spencer, J. (2008)Promoting & Engagement: Using species action plans to bring together students and conservation professionals, Bioscience Education e-journal, 12(5)
http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/journal/vol12/ - no link to the full article as yet but only a matter of time.
Sorry to bore you with that but as a lonely student (currently avoiding doing any work) im a smidge proud. But pride before a fall and all that...
Monday, 8 December 2008
p.s. im on commission
Friday, 5 December 2008
Monday, 1 December 2008
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Anywho my bumbling about on Barmston beach just after 8 on tuesday morning did produce a few birds of note. Some Blackbirds - looking like cold weatehr migrants from Scandinavia were feeding around the holiday camp. A Jack Snipe in off, single Purple Sandpiper on the collapsed road at the foot of the cliff and numerous Sanderling up and down the beach. Nothing of note offshore. A quick trip up to Flamborough saw the Hooded Crow west of Danes Dyke on the Bempton road. 257 for Yorkshire now but still 4 behind Mike and 5 behind Marcus. So close. May be headed back down to Lincs for the Steppe Shrike again on Sunday.
On Monday I had a trip out to see the Rough-legs at Pocklington - managed to get great close views of an adult female and 1 juv plus a couple of Red Kites, Common Buzzards and single Sprwak Merlin & Keza. Super raptor watching.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Monday, 17 November 2008
Rolled up at 10am and had a coffee with Richard who was outlining the direction the reserve is going in (upward!). I gradually came too, as my caffeine fix permeated my veins. The grand plan for the day was to dig out a diesel sump which had become choked with vegetation and stagnant. We were cleaning it out so that dragonfly nymphs could thrive in future in the sump. Tophill has a decommisioned sit on lawn mower as a tractor impersonator and i was allowed several goes on this across the day. It beats walking. We cleaned the sump out surprisingly quickly with only the phragmites proving tricky to remove. It stunk and my left wader leaked a little but i wasnt disheartened. The only pain in the bum was as i got to lunch i noticed my left arm had been leeched! Barely clotted blood dripped down but it was all good.
Further coffee for lunch with a Kitkat and i was raring to go but not before seeing a Sprawk buzz the feeders. A few coal tits buzzed about but nothing much else was doing. In the afternoon we were clearing the willow scrub that had surrounded the sumps. Many small to medium sized woody trees were cleared and the whole area became much more open. Shame about the massive bramble tangle that we came to. We also managed to remove most of the willow that had started to invade the reedbed (we were on South Marsh for those that know!). Birdwise we had a good passsage of Curlew and numbers of Redwing roosting in the pines that previously held Amur Falcon. Not a lot else was seen bar the odd coot or moorhen but all said a thoroughly enjoyable (and tiring) day.
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Expect linkage like this :
Expect assorted Portsmouth players to be scoring belters like this (http://guardian.chtah.com/a/tBJGbWMAY30QpAe9jDF$eZ6Y1Lq/fvr26 ) now that NottinghamForest legend Johnny Metgod has been appointed first-team coach atFratton Park.
And comedy values like this:
The FA has asked Joe Kinnear to explain his comments after brandingMartin Atkinson a 'Mickey Mouse' referee. We're not sure which bit ofJoe's critique is open to misinterpretation either - perhaps Atkinsonhas particularly large white hands and eats a lot of cheese.
Here is the link for subs:
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Monday, 10 November 2008
A quick 90 minute jaunt to Filey ensued arriving just behind the red Kia which is the gypsy king mobile currently. The paddy white arse was over the cliff and then whoosh it was flitting round the holiday camp with many people in pursuit. 2 rares one morning. Just to top it off 3 Tundra Beans in a field up the way at Buckton made it a 4 lifer weekend feeding round a puddle with 6 y-fronts. Nice.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Saturday, 1 November 2008
We saw next to nothing as we went around the head and quickly headed to Reighton. Where we saw nothing. And then to Filey where a couple of Goldcrests in Arndale were the sum passerine total. On the brigg were a couple of purps and a sand blasting. We managed to get a position up on carr naze that offered plenty of shelter and jim got on a large diver flying north which i didnt manage to get on. A bird i did but confused me massively was a distant single female Velvet Scoter which took ages for me to pin down but eventially gave itself up (was Very distant!). We heard of the reappearance of the Subalp at Bempton so went for a gander. It was freezing and the bird wasnt showing so we decided to try and find our own scarce. Unless Goldcrest is scarce we failed miserbly although we flushed a Peregrine in the field to the south east of the visitor centre.
In summary, very cold, some very good birds. Lovely. Oh and Velvet Scoter was number 250 for the year.
Friday, 31 October 2008
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Monday, 27 October 2008
Sunday, 26 October 2008
When we got back we had a bash at bowling - bear in mind we both used to be quite decent, regularly going over 160 it was awful. I got whooped 2-0 (there was a 110 all draw) and I only managed 99 in my other 2 games. Tom managed a 141 but his other game was nearly as shoddy as me with a 104. Loved it mind! A few pints were had in various drinking holes in Cambridge followed by a visit to Tommy Tuckers - a genius fast food place, half chippy, half kebab house. Magic.
This morning we went down the driving range and I celebrated getting a few shots straight and over 150 yards whereas my brother revelled in drilling it ff the back fence of the driving range - in the region of 300 yards. Sickening.
After leaving I figured it would be rude for me to come to East Anglia and not see one of the famous reserves so I had a paddle around Wicken Fen, not far from Cambridge. Not a lot of birds bar the masses of Redwings buzzing about. A single Barn Owl, a couple of Green Sandpipers were the pick plus plenty of heard only Cetti's Warblers. A nice if slightly expensive reserve (flaming national trust). Back home and amazed at the siberian and nearctic goings on (Northern Flicker, Green Heron, Sibe Thrush and now Brown Shrike!!). Lovely.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Friday, 17 October 2008
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Some great shots kindly provided by Marcus Conway of our trip to Cornwall for the Alder Fly
In the net! - the bird flew straight into the net after the ringers left the area. Who said americans were dumb?
nb. it wasnt me!!
A super tarts tick - this juv Dartford really showed as well as the pics indicate.
Friday, 10 October 2008
Woke up to the smell of meaty farts as 2 men with digestive eastern promise quickly polluted the surroundings. A quick escape was called for and by 7 we were on our way to a top secret location for some Cyril Buntings. First all we heard were Chiffchaff and Siskin but gradually we saw some birds and working the ploughed field by a distant hedgerow were up to 15 Cirls. Lifer. A few were males in good plumage and they provided a bigger thrill than the Yammer lookylikey fems and juvs.
A quickstep to Exminster marshes saw the addition of Little Egret to the trip list but this wasnt why we were here. I needed Cetti's Warbler (oh the shame). All the usual spots Marcus gave failed and it was only a distant explosion as we walked the canal bank that gave a bird away. Repeated traipsing past a bush gave rubbish views of the bird after it exploded (into song!)randomly but enough to be sure of its ID - being the bird that was singing. Trying to conjure up an Osprey proved fruitless and an bar a Black-tailed Godwit Bowling Green Marsh was too.
Our last stop was at Aylesbeare Common for a Dartford Warbler or 4. We got there eventually, the god of SATNAV is rubbish, and immediately got onto the birds we wanted but the views were fleeting. After half an hour we both saw adult and juv and Marcus took some shots of a juv that showed beautifully. It was time to head back.
3 Tarts down. Many more to go. This was an incredible journey/decision/effort/experience and hopefully one to be repeated. Aside traffic issues we were done. Next stop Yorkshire.
Cornwall arrived. Penzance went by and we hadnt heard any news since 10.30. It was 13.30 by now. We got on site at about 14:10 after a few minor cockups and motor down. There it was!!!!! Alder/Willow Flycatcher. We both had a good look and some record shots were taken (to be added asap). Oh and whats going on? theres ringers coming to catch it. The nets were set up round its favourite bush and it came lots closer to the assembled throng and showed a treat. A decent eye-ring was evident and me and Marcus bet a quid on its ID. I landed with Alder. Whoosh the bird shot back to the bush and the net as soon as the ringers retreated - this bet was gonna be settled quickly. After ten minutes or so the bird was released and whilst initially sitting down soon became visible again - no shrinking violet this one! And then the pagers go as one - ALDER FLYCATCHER - 1W MALE NANJIZAL. Oml!!! A quid better off we moved to go as the TV presenter tripped on his lines over and over trying to tell the general public about this transatlantic waif. Marcus high-fived and a funny call over a flyover passerine with the shout of Merlin had us all turning round. It was a Snow Bunting being pursued and it was very lucky. Escaped by very little climbing in tight circles keeping the falcon behind.
As weleft heard a juicy bit of gossip about the 'MEGA' that came out in the morning. Quote the random '...and he said theres the (Yellow-throated) Vireo! And I replied, "where in relation to the grey wag is that...'). Naughty.
We dashed to Porthgwarra (a mere mile away) to get one of Marcus's tarts & fill up on coffee/cornish pasty. I quickly pulled out a distant Balearic Shearwater. In reply he pulled out a very close bird and I got best ever views of this species and he got a self found tick. We bashed 60 foot cover (to no avail despite loads of squeeks and peeps) and had Peregrine float over us. At the watchpoint a Raven was very close dismembering a dead rabbit.
We decided that the trip to Yorks would be too much for us and we overnighted in Torquay. A flavoursome (msg??) Dopiaza was had plus a few jars with a stay in Torquay international hostel, at £12 a bargain. We settled happy bunnies. Alder flycatcher, eh?! The next day we were to catch up with some southern specialities.
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Also met Michael Flowers, he of birding with flowers local fame and had a very nice natter whilst he had his lunch during a guiding visit. Thanks for the calender! Check out his birding blog and associated courses which seem very good (I bumped into one a couple of weeks ago). Check his stuff out here
Monday, 6 October 2008
The White Lies - Death. Had to get the live version as am not allowed to embed the full video
Majuva - Township Funk
Cool african house music
The Airborne Toxic Event - Sometime Around Midnight
Friday, 3 October 2008
nb sorry if you saw this pre-edit, half a bottle of southern comfort had lowered my ability to censor myself
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Saturday, 27 September 2008
News of a Radde's and possible Serin at South Landing had me heading there. No sign of the Serin when i got there but the Radde's was there although very difficult to pin down often grubbing about for 10 minutes at a time. Brief views as it alighted on the fence or surrounding bushes before heading back up into the canopy for a while. Bit rubbish really but another Yorks tick - 1 more for 250.
Thursday, 25 September 2008
The twitch was very busy with the great and the good turning up en masse. Saw a couple of familiar faces down there but missed most of the Bf boys - only Schiffornis (Andy) in passing. The bizzies decided to close half the road as mental drivers nearly killed half the UK400 club. In all the commotion I decided to have a wander down to old fall for some YB action. Not to be dissapointed between 4-10 of these beauties kept leaping into my bins and then out. Again. Kertick (year). A brief view in the middle of the plantation of the juv RB Fly was a bit sexy as was the flyover of a few Lapland Buntings. Missed the Dick's Pipit but I was shattered.
Headed back up to the shrike for second helpings and it showed beautifully if at a mental distance, feeding vigourously on the hedge at the far end of the field next to the golf course. Very happy. Plus with all the other megas going off between 11 and 1 all I can hear in my head is RBA mega alerts.
Sunday, 21 September 2008
I was going on my first Birdforum mett in a while after missing the last 2. During these i'd missed Black Kite, Shore Lark and Little Tern - 2 lifers and a Yorks tick. Today iscored none of those things but had a great time. It was good to meet Pete (NaturePete) and to reaquaint with Julie (Jay-jay) and see the rest of the usual crew (skink1978,bitterntwisted, marcus conway-ebirder, birdieboy123, keith dickinson, lawts & unclelawts) and a shame to miss Mark who slept in. Today we were off on the Yorkshire Belle scene of the Great Shear last year. I also nearly missed the boat when i slept through my alarm only to be woken by Julie outside my house.
I race off and a McD's does the trick to wake me. The cruise itslef was anticlimactic with 7 Bonxies a couple of Arctic Skuas and singles of Sooty and Manx shearwater. Other bits included a couple of Little Gulls, lots of Porpoise and some Common Scoter, all fairly standard. Upon landing and fish and chips most decided to go to Tophill Low.
Landing at Tophill we immediately see a birder on something. A Hobby it turns out and we get good views of 2 birds. There had been no sign of the RF Falcon in the morning and we duly went elsewhere first seeing a Spotshank and a few Ruff and single Dunlin at Watton Borrow Pits. Sat on the pylon was a Common Buzzard. The azure streak of a Kingfisher zipped by and we made our way to South Marsh, where bar a few teal there was nothing. Until a Falcon appeared over the trees. Slate-grey all over and red vented with red boots. We all got flight views followed by it preening in a tree. In order to get better views we moved round to the side of O res but it failed to show. An adult Hobby zipped through but that was our lot. A check on D res revealed the BNG distantly plus a Sparrowhawk over and a Fox in the fields. Very excellent.
Saturday, 20 September 2008
Friday, 19 September 2008
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
p.s. on drive to work last night finally caught up with Tawny Owl with a flyby at Little Driffield.
p.p.s Had a good research round the Warbler at Flamborough and am now happy it was a Booted.
Monday, 15 September 2008
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Very Obliging Little Stint
One of a couple of Wrynecks showing at Bay Brambles
The Booted Warbler, or is it a garden warbler? amorphous blob? This could have been the bird but it and a garden warbler hunkered down and fed when the mist rolled in and you could only jut make it out, could have been either.
I land scoring some half decent shots of the stint being interupted by a phone call from mike - apparently Bay brambles was holding 3 Wrynecks - a much needed lifer (dont know how ive missed em before). When I got across I quickly get a couple of out of focus shots on the closer of the two that is showing and a good look at a better marked individual that is a bit further away. Then my phone goes again - Lawts who has slipped away is chasing a guy who has told him about a Booted Warbler near Old Fall. We peg up there and quickly get on the bird but no ID is nailed down (milky tea coloured small, slight hippolais with a weak bill, distinctly concolourous, pale below and light brown above, pumping its tail slowly and deliberatly occasionally (as opposed to the 2 garden warblers it was knocking about with)). Rumour circulates that it is an eastern olly or a garden warbler - it goes out on the info services as both but it was definitely not the common and may have been the rare - im not qualified enough to say so. Some images were taken by the guy who runs the Buckton Birder blog and hopefully the ID can be cleared up. Got some stick on BF from ppl not on the scene and they can stick it - It was not a Garden Warbler, that much I know. Some people going on 2 bird theory which works for me as there were in fact 3 birds in the hedge. At the twitch a few people were moaning that all they could see was garden warbler but this was due to the fog rolling in at 5.15 putting all the birds into the bottom of the rambles with only the odd tail or wing showing.
Naturally I will put my shots of the Wryneck and Stint up asap but it was too dark to shoot the warbler.
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
On the birding front - an untwitchable Barred Warbler at Old fall being the only bird of real note (although some Spotshanks a Swine Moor continue to put that place on the map). This weekend looks pretty shit hot on the east coast, probably Yorkshire north again.
P.s. England are winning in Croatia as i write this - im sure that wont have lasted by the time you read this but it is making me smile a little more.
p.p.s. Lance Armstrong - you wont win anything especially if you cant take your 'supplements'.
Monday, 8 September 2008
No early morning start as ange had organised for me to sit in for a workman to pre-assess some work on making our washing machine gap big enough for a washing machine. Stupid fucking builders. First up at 11 was Speeton church yard. Scored diddly. Moved onto Hoddy Cows scoring little more bar a couple of Willow wobblers and sngle Lesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler ( it was as i left here that the Redwing over flew). Stopped on at Bempton checking the Dell with the results a paltry single Chiffer and a brace of Goldcrests. Rubbish. Had a much needed Magnum to lift my mood and checked the birdnews. Apart from the Brown-headed Cowbird (wtf?!?!) there was a RB Fly and an Icky in Old Fall.
Rocked up scoring Redstarts by the gallon. A dude tour was busy stringing these as the RB Fly but that was sadly absent. The hedge produced further Redders and a millions of Wheatears were on the field with a scattering of Whinchats guarding the posts. The plantation held a year tick in the form of Paddy Fly (couldnt be arsed to visit Bolotn Abbey in spring) plus even more redstarts and some Spot Flys. Infact after the first pied fly it started shitting em - they were all over. Nothing any more interesting than that unfortunately but not a terrible day.
Maybe tomorrow - especially if that cowbird gets nailed down...
Sunday, 7 September 2008
I was on nights last night so was pleasantly surprised to find my wife suggesting a walk at Tophill. I had obviously checked my bird alerts and was well aware of the presence of Garganey, BNG, Little Gull and the aforementioned LEO. Unfortunatley the Gulls had cleared out and we didnt have time (and my wife lacked the inclination) to scour D res for the Grebe and Garganey but I have seen plenty of each this year. Only other birds of interest were a Common Sandpiper and Snipe on South Marsh. Still no Green Sandpiper this year. Also Tophill Low news worthy is the discovery of roosting Nauthusius Pipistrelles amongst the Soprano Pips in the visitor centre (a bat detector and a ninja suit may need to be procured for some underhand batting).
Amir Khan got stuck on is arse twice in 54 seconds and still the new Audley thinks he is gonna win world champs - not unless you've got a hell of a defence because with a glass jaw like that you aren't gonna win shit. England football team = gutless wankers. Nuff said.
Here for your delectation is the funniest and most impressive thing i have seen in ages.
Friday, 5 September 2008
On the way back me and Mike tried for some Daubenton's over the Wansford Canal but no such luck. A couple of glimpsed Barn Owls being our reward. We do have a public access place for Leisler's Bats now though and we reckon we should see these beauties soon.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
Tonight I'm off batting, not the cricket related activity but on a bat walk at Harewood House with a couple of mates from BF, Mike & John. Heres hoping we get some good stuff. Obviously the results will be here tomorrow.
Monday, 1 September 2008
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Sunday, 17 August 2008
On the tuesday I got late word of a pass out and it was too late to travel a great distance so I made a trip to Trevose head. Initially it was very quiet but had a glut of small shears pass through on the back of a shower including a single Balearic - my first self found. 3 Peregrines duelled overhead dive bombing each other as close as you like. A Kestrel was acting like a hobby giving very vigourous chase to House Martins on the headland - i didnt know they were that good at flying. That said it was unsuccessful. Families of Wheatears buzzed around the headland and Id had my fill as the sea became very quiet.
On the Friday I made an early start and headed back to Porthgwarra. Scored and early Balearic followed by a slow stream of manxies with the odd sooty and balearic. A Bonxie went through hassling gulls and gannets and a sleek looking dark phase Arctic was nice but the biggest bonus was an adult pale phase Pomarine Skua - another lifer. A couple of basking sharks at distance were cool and a very distant large Shear was no more than a shape at about 1.5 miles out in the haze. Harbour Porpoises gave sprodic appearances. I dived off for a shot at Dartfords on the lizard and dipped those. Whilst I was away a Cory's went through. I returned to see absolutely nothing save a few manxies. Rubbish!
ps begging for a pass on the thursday failed as I had to hold my mates baby as the girls went shopping. 40 Cory's and 10 Great Shearwaters went passed Pendeen that day, my intended destination. Dammit!!
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
A week with my wife and a couple of friends on the Red Sea coast promised little in the way of birding, especially as I had been to Egypts Red Sea coast before. Despite this I managed the heady total of 9 lifers including a few 'Good' birds. The hotel grounds provided merely House Sparrow, Laughing Dove and Rock Dove - not a heady mix, with Laughing Dove being a pretty standard bird in these parts. A single Rock Martin over the pool on the 2nd day was the first lifer of the trip. Other birds seen on the Hotel complex were a few passing White-eyed Gulls offshore and a female Common Kestrel a couple of times harrasing the pigeons and doing passing trade in dragonflies. Can I just say at this point - if your going to Sharm, the Sunrise Hotels are rubbish (unlike the sister hotel in Hurghada which was ace). Food was bland and unexiting, service was poor and sullen and sunbeds which the signs said were unreservable had to be towelled at 4 in the morning to stand a chance by a pool. Fuck that! We booked into the 4 star Island Garden but upon arrival we were told there was no room and were moved to the supposed 5 star island view (the Island being Tiran Island halfway to Saudi Arabia across the gulf of Aquaba.
Back to birds, I was suprised to see so Little on the sea but we were in a bay and thus passage may have been occuring further out. Also the reef shelf wasn't massive and thus didnt prove to be a productive feeding ground unlike Hurghada which had Osprey, Sooty Gull and Caspian Tern as well as teh White-eyed Gulls. A single Trip to the Water Treatment Works on the Dahab road out of Na'ama bay was my only briding trip of the week. The first birds we clapped eyes on were 6 Collared Doves. A good examination ensued and I was satisfied witht the Rosy Breast, large collar and pale undertail that these were African Collared Doves. They had a vwery different 'feel' to their European counterpart despite looking very similar. Im unsure as to the status of African Collared Dove on Sinai but suspect that these were a good sighting. The second bird seen was a single White morph Western Reef Egret - further round a further 20 or so of these birds were seen including two dark morph birds. This was my 300th Bird for the Western Palearctic and a good one at that, 301 was a Whiskered Tern that dropped onto one of the pools next to us. A slightly unexpected find but I guess passage has started! Spur-winged Plovers were abundant and noisy as were 3 Black-winged Stilts that alarm called around the pools. Squacco Heron, Night Heron and Cattle Egret were all recorded very quickly with the first being another lifer. Several of each species were observed. 2 White Storks were flushed by my companion who as a non-birder had the fieldcraft of an Articulated Lorry. Sorry Mark, but its true! A further 2 White Stork carcasses seemed to indicate hunting around the pools as did the skeletal remains of a Reef Egret. Waders started to flush from the central pools witha few Common Sandpipers and good numbers of Temminck's Stint (lifer) and a small Tringa which appeared to be Green Sandpiper but by this time it was getting dark. Passerine interest was kept up by a nesting pipit like bird which the first I saw of was as it darted into its hole, never to return. House Sparrows flitted around and a few Hirundines flew over the pools. These consisted of a couple of Barn Swallows resembling savignii and Rock Martins including one juv that was sat on the side of a pool allowing very close approach. Unfortunately there was no sign of the Sandgrouse despite leaving in the dark. Perhaps the quadbike disturbance was too much or they needed half an hour longer.
A trip to Ras Mohammed failed to produce the hoped for Striated Heron amongst the mangroves (infact our guide point to some scrubby bushes and claimed these were mangroves). What was seen were many Lesser Crested Terns and a few Bridled Terns feeding amonst them. The ball and chain spotted a Dolphin sp. Probably a Bottlenose of some description. Little else was seen. On our way back to Sharm, a Brown-necked Raven hopped onto a lamp Post for a brief naked eye view. And thats the entire trip. Heres hoping Cornwall this coming week is more productive.
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Monday, 21 July 2008
Yesterday I also did some birdwatchering, dipping the RC Pochards at North Cave but finally finding the Little Owl tree and getting distant views. Another North Cave tick in the form of Corn Bunting, singing away was cool. Other birds of note were a kettle of 4 Buzzards of the hills and a juv. Common Tern being fed small Roach at the bottom of the hide I was sat in was quite cool. Less notable were the numpties flushing everything off of reedbed lake by blundering off track past fishing pegs and right in to the middle of the reserve. Nobs.
Off to Egypt (Sharm-el-Sheikh) on Sunday but ringing tomorrow plus gonna try and gets some photos of the Hoopoe in the PM so maybe another post before I go away. We shall see!
Here is some Mott the Hoopoe for your delectation:
Saturday, 19 July 2008
p.s. made a winning debut for Nafferton CC last night and we kncked off 64 for the loss of 3 wickets and I finished on a princely 4*. Lets hope it goes nicely tomorrow!
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Monday, 14 July 2008
- 1 Cetti's Warbler
- 2 Red-crested Pochard
- 3 Twite
- 4 Ring-necked Parakeet
- 5 Hawfinch
- 6 Bean Goose
- =7 Temminck's Stint
- =7 Shore Lark
- 9 Stone Curlew
- =10 Ferruginous Duck
- =10 Cirl Bunting
- =10 Short-toed Lark
- 13 Ring-necked Duck
- =14 Whiskered Tern
- =14 Spannish Sparrow
- =14 Squacco Heron
- =14 Wryneck
- 18 Short-toed Treecreeper
- =19 Black-eared Wheatear
- =19 Short-toed Eagle
- =19 Pomarine Skua
- =19 Collared Pratincole
Well at least I dont have to leave the country for my next WP blocker. Im crap!
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
- Cetti's Warbler
- Dartford Warbler
- Red-crested Pochard
- Bean Goose
- Ring-necked Parakeet
- Black-winged Stilt
- Temminck's Stint
- Great White Egret
- Green-winged Teal
- Ring-necked Duck
- Red-necked Phalarope
- Pomarine Skua
- Spotted Crake
- Ring-billed Gull
This seems to show a few of things, 1) where I live (oop north away from all the 'local' stuff) and 2) that i've only been birding a few years as there are a few fairly basic birds in there, finally 3) I'm lazy and can't be arsed to twitch crap thats too far like the stilts and Great White Egrets that i have seen abroad.
- 1) Ring-necked Duck
- 2) Icterine Warbler
- 3)=Common Rosefinch
- 3)=Spotted Crake
- 3)=Little Tern
- 6)=Pomarine Skua
- 6)=Red-crested Pochard
- 10)=Asian Desert Warbler (What!!!!)
- 10)=Temminck's Stint
- 10)=Shore Lark
- 10)=Bean Goose
- 10)=Marsh Warbler
- 16)=Booted Warbler (A bit surprising)
- 16)=Glossy Ibis
- 16)=Richard's Pipit
- 16)=Pallas's Warbler
- 16)=Hume's Warbler
- 16)=Long-tailed Skua
- 16)=Laughing Gull
- 16)=Great White Egret
Most of the weirdness is due to low numbers putting in Yorks lists on Bubo perhaps BUT its worth noting that a lot of the easy national stuff doesn't get anywhere near the top 20 Yorkshire bogeys. And Asian Desert Warbler does which is frankly mental.
Saturday, 5 July 2008
Friday, 4 July 2008
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
Here is some reciprocal linkage to the Limestone Birders of Italy and Slovenia with a cracking little website: http://www.freewebs.com/limestonebirding
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Thursday, 19 June 2008
Prior to heading up we were some of the first out on the roads and got a few good spots in the process. A few Red Deer alongside the roads looking massive compared to the Roe's im used to here in sunny east yorkshire. A couple of Peregrines worked the ridges and an Osprey flew overhead. It took us about 3 hours to ascend the mountain which is an hour more than really necessary but we werent killing ourselves. When up there we searched and searched but the cloud base was in low. We couldn't see a thing. All of a sudden it lifts and a quick phone call to Dan Pointon (twitcher extraordinaire) soo had us looking in the right direction beyond the cairn. Quickly I got onto one, no two, no three Ptarmigan (which now has to be said patarmigan thanks to the bloke from abernethy forest who looked like the scabby guy from Something about Mary but with a brummy accent).
The three birds sat and posed nicely not remotely disturbed moving to within 15 feet or so of us and hunkering down in the wind. Marcus wasn't happy though - the cloud may have lifted but the light was still too crap for pictures. We pressed on another couple of hundred yards and the sun burst through like a neon torch. A scotsman in the car park had said as we started it was good for the soul and we knew what he mean't (but not what he'd eaten, he got up a good hour quicker than us and was retired. Bastard). The view was spectacular with the 4 highest mountains in the British Isles viewable. As we made our way back Marcus tripped over another showy group of 3 Patarmigan. Now these buggers would have sat on your lap and enclosed is a picture I took on a compact digital camera and no cropping or optical assistance. Whilst not the best shot you'll see, you can appreciate how close we were (without spooking them - ive heard about those guys that chase rarities to death and can assure you that when they flinched so did we, was just we had to move back to focus our cameras).
After giving these beauts a good slice of our time we pressed on back to the main path having given up on our other targ...hang fire whats that mewing like call? Well i'll tell thee, it was only a ruddy female Dotterel legging about like a crazy. She had obviously dropped in within the half hour we'd been past this point and after Marcus got a few snaps she bugged out quick as a flash. Enclosed Dotterel pic is by Marcus Conway.
We descended to the tune of Mipits and Tripits (fuck you those who dont like abbrevs.) plus the nasty thin song of Wheatears. Pah! They still look good though. Once back at the car we departed and Marcus did his usual trick of winding the window down so he could hear the song whilst I battled to get the radio on full blast. Im glad he won this time as he managed to pick out a couple of Wood Warblers when we passed the entrance to Loch an Eilein. We stopped and they duly showed tres badly. Not to worry, there only flash Willow Warblers with a cool song really. Doh.
Upon returning to Boat we tried the flashes leading in for some Sum Plum Slav action. Nothing. Then Loch Vaa which is supposed to be a goer. Still nada (apparently the water level is too high at Loch Vaa at the mo with no sedges exposed for nesting. Another lochan which we thought likely looking had a bloke with a big lense attached to it and we duly scored righteously with a brighlty coloured Slav hauling a lily pad into the sedges (breeding perhaps?).
The final stop of our day was at the Rothismurcus fish farm of Springwatch fame. A quick bit of bartering gained me free access and Marcus in for not too much to the Springwatch hide (yup its tres good!) and before we could reach it an Osprey had appeared above. Bearing in mind that Marcus hadn't had time to sit down I think his images are pretty good. Alas it was the only Osprey to come in that evening (and Marcus' other attempt was even bleaker). We headed home for a few jars and some Pro Evo action.
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
A 3.30am get up on the 7th June to pick Marcus up at 6 from pudsey before going headlong to Scotland via Northumberland was the plan. We were headed for a week on Speyside, staying at Boat of Garten to nail the scots specialties. A quick journey through to Druridge bay where we were to try and nail a couple of Spoonbills. These evidently had moved along the coast but we did manage a Roseate Tern, Little Egret and an Otter at the various sites (Hauxley, Cresswell, Druridge Pools and East Chevington). Was the 3rd time Marcus had seen Otter at Druridge pools in 3 visits. Good skills.
We continued on to Long Nanny further north in Northumbs as it held a Lesser Grey Shrike. MArcus got some good shots and i got some out of focus rubbish digiscoped stuff. The bird showed really well for us for prolonged periods as we sat down in the dunes. Unfortunately that was ruined by other birders marching straight up to the bird. Here is a shit shot.
After this we hauled ass to the highlands making pretty good time. We decided on a sweepstake on Buzzard numbers for the holiday with my guess being 220 and Marcus going for the lowly figure of 150. 5 Buzzards in a kettle just after we crossed the border gave me plenty of optimism. An Osprey over a river as we headed towards Perth was a bonus lifer for both of us (we expected to score that on Speyside many times over). As we headed on the terrain became more hilly and Perth came and went. Eventually we arrived at Boat of Garten. Much smaller than I expected but according to Marcus right in the thick of it.
When we got to our cottage we dumped our stuff and full of enthusiasm went for a wander into the local woods. We heard Crested Tit and talked about Capercaillie but nothing was doing. In the end we had some crossbills which it seems likely that they were Scottish but we had nothing to compare them with and left them in the pending category. It went dark at 11pm. Thats quite late!
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Friday, 30 May 2008
A trip to see one of the many scarce/rares that ive missed in my move got me good views of a Male Red-backed Shrike at the Old Tip in Filey. Little else of note other than a JTW521 who promptly informed me of some bits and bats at Old Fall. Journeyed down to Flam where a dip on a Great Reed Warbler/ Savi's Combo was eased by a female Golden Oriole flying into the plantation. A Nightingale flushed along the hedge and I have a feeling the small flycatcher with the Spotted I was watching was a fluffed female Red-throated but I cant say for certain with only brief views. Some song from a Marsh pretending to be a Swallow didnt make up for not seeing the bird but work called and I had to leg it. The whole hedge was dripping with birds and everything felt rare, shame I didn't quite have the time to put the effort in but a couple of lifers and year ticks are very nice.
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Sunday, 11 May 2008
Saturday, 10 May 2008
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
Monday, 5 May 2008
Sunday, 4 May 2008
Racing through Crowle Moor, there were a variety of Warblers including Grasshopper Warbler and Whitethroat which were both year ticks. Got views of lots of Whitethroats in the end and a few Groppers. Once in Yorkshire we cottoned onto 4 or 5 Turtle Doves which were a good find and a few Cuckoos (had about7 or 8 during the day). A Marsh Harrier passed overhead and other warbler year ticks were Reed Warbler and Garden Warbler. No Black Terns unfortunatly. Plenty of hirundines about and Swifts but no Hobbies to harass em - even though we tried to string Swifts, Cuckoos and Kestrels. The ten of us were on the moor for about 7 hours and nailed a few Tree Pipits and walked many many miles. Red Deer and Roe Deer were seen around the reserve and a special but unmentionable breeding bird was seen (but not one I knew about beforehand), so well done Lawts for that. A Willow Tit was a nice surprise. Once we had gathered ourselves we headed to North Cave.
No Black Terns as the reports flooded in form everywhere else. John (Hull City) and Lawts (Leicester City) were disappointed due to football matter but we made ample compensation with a male Kingfisher, displaying Little Ringed Plovers, breeding plumage Dunlin, Common Sandpiper and Lesser Whitethroat goiving nice scope views. As Keith cursed we noticed the Pied plague were amongst us with Avopigs everywhere. At one point I managed to string a Greylag as a Numenius sp. OOpps. No other real surprises here other than a Bacon Butty. We decided to press on to a secret loaction for a crack at Woodlark. None of those as the local bat group were out and about but another Cuckoo, numerous Red-legged Partridge were nice. After a few guys headed home a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was seen before flying high in the canopy and then bounding away across a clearing. Fantastic! Probably missed loads of details but a cool day was had and 8 year birds added.
Friday, 2 May 2008
Sunday, 27 April 2008
Saturday, 26 April 2008
Also went to Girdle Ness where I caught up with the local Glauc and a few Wheatears, Purp Sands and Rock Pipits but no King Eider unlike off Flamboro Head (GRRR!!). Right off to go searching again!
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
'James has his birthday on Saturday' says incisor 1.
Incisor 2 replies, 'Its alright, I'm starting with an abcess at my base, he wont be doing any drinking this weekend.'
'Great, I think I will join the party and develop a gum infection' incisor 1 says knowingly.
Well the bastards didn't stop me drinking but a lack of hangover on Sunday indicates they perhaps had an effect on things. I didn't use to be scared of the dentist until a mad, bad and dangerous fella gave me fillings with no anaesthetic when I was about 16. It fucking killed. Id been brewing with toothache for a while but I figured it'd pass especially as I have no NHS dentist. So when I had to stop at Market Weighton on my way home last thursday because I physically couldnt drive without further painkillers the penny finally dropped that I may need an appointment. Friday and the emergency dentist laughed and said I had no chance getting in today.
Booked in for first thing on my birthday. Get there sat in chair and the dentist mentions that I have a gum infection to my relief. Then he taps my tooth. I scream. He says some of the scariest shit Ive ever heard - 'thats not good - I think we need an X-ray.'
In the end he drilled my tooth out (with anaesthetic), drained the abcess and I was feeling distintly unwell and looking like a hamster. Got home with that stroke victim look caused by the anaesthetic and took some phone calls from my parents and siblings wishing happy birthday. My wife bless her told me to 'shut the fuck up, i'm sleeping'. Now I feel this is a little unsensitive as she had all week told me stop being a big wimp and that there was nothing wrong. And there was. And it was my birthday. And she was being a bitch.
Went out on the lash and came home at 11pm. After 4 pints. Weak.
Monday, 21 April 2008
How birds and brains become mutually exclusive