Welcome to my online wildlife diary, which I update from time to time with sightings, thoughts, comments and photos relating to birds, and nature generally. I am based in Gloucestershire but like to visit other counties, especially Norfolk, and like to visit foreign shores too.
Buff-breasted & Pec fest
Saturday 22nd September 2012
Pectoral Sandpiper, left, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper, right - both juvenile birds
The midday guided walk at WWT Slimbridge on to The Dumbles produced absolutely stunning views of both the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER and PECTORAL SANDPIPER feeding together on the tidal salt-marsh ledge. The lighting was perfect, and many people enjoyed the experience, many with cameras. Thanks to the WWT staff and volunteers for arranging and facilitating a great couple of hours. Here are a few of my best pics of the Yankee sandpipers; first, Buff-breasted:
As if that wasn't enough, I spotted my first PAINTED LADY for two years on the Ivy near the In Focus shop. The Ivy flowers were swarming with Hoverflies, including Helophilus pendulus, and several other butterflies; I counted seven Red Admirals, five Commas and two Small Tortoiseshells.
Elsewhere on the reserve the LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was on the Top New Piece with 291 Black-tailed Godwits, also c10 Snipe, six Ruff, a Spotted Redshank, 24 Redshanks and the four GCP Common Cranes. Several Southern Hawkers were also noted and a few Common Darters.
Saturday 3rd September 2016
A juvenile Shag was still present at the SARA pool, Sharpness, first thing this morning. Found by Andy Jordan, it was joined on the pool by another Shag just as I was about to leave. Six Cormorants were also noted in the area.
A superb morning with Andy and Mark was spent on the Somerset Levels (photo above of Shapwick Heath). The showers coming in on the brisk westerly wind mostly missed us, and the sun shone for just about the whole time, although that wind kept the temperatures chilly. We managed to note 61 species between us, the highlights being:
Photo above from Noah Hide, Shapwick Heath
Marsh Harriers - three in the air at the same time (poor record shot below!) Sand Martins - c30 Swallow - two, my first of the year
Photo above of Little Egrets at Meare Heath Garganey - a lovely drake Little Egrets - 12
Ham Wall RSPB Bittern - this was the star bird, Mark caught a snatch of booming at midday, though distant, and after a little wait I had a glimpse of the bird moving a short distance in the reed-bed. We walked round to get closer, and soon the bird performed by giving several bursts of its booming call, each several minutes apart. This is the first time hearing…
Tuesday 11th March to Friday 14th March 2008 The main highlights of our holiday in Venice last week were the stunning views, the food, the wine, the music, the architecture, the weather - in other words, Venice itself. It wasdefinitely a non-birding trip, but there were some interesting birds seen - besides the large number of Feral Pigeons for which bags of grain are still sold in Piazza San Marco.
Tuesday 11th March We arrived in San Marco airport after a one-and-a-half hour flight from Gatwick, and took the Alilaguna waterbus across the lagoon. At the airport quayside, the first birds were Italian House Sparrows(above), Yellow-legged Gulls and Black-headed Gulls. On the hour-long boat-ride to Venice I saw 15+ Garganeys, a Great Crested Grebe, two Oystercatchers, four Little Egrets, two Great White Egrets, a Hooded Crow plus several Magpies, Yellow-legged Gulls, Cormorants, Black-headed Gulls and Mallards. We took a walk in the afternoon taking in the Riva Degli Schiavoni, (the lagoon…