Showing posts from 2013

Brünnich's Guillemot at Portland Harbour

Friday 27th December 2013
 I travelled with Mike setting off early to Portland Harbour and arriving at Osprey Quay just as it was getting light. Almost immediately we got a poor, untickable, view of the target bird in silhouette only at 7.50am. And then it disappeared. For three hours. The BRÜNNICH'S GUILLEMOT finally showed at 10.45am by which time we had weathered several squally showers and the ever-present strong westerly wind (at least we were looking east and not into the wind); and as the bird popped up in front of the crowds, driving hail. It was worth it though, what an excellent bird, and what a relief after the long wait. It was even worth the M5 delays on the way back. Other birds included two Great Northern Divers, a Common Guillemot, three Razorbills and c30 Red-breasted Mergansers.

Desert Wheatear at Severn Beach

Saturday 14th December 2013
What a treat seeing the first-winter male DESERT WHEATEAR at Severn Beach with my fellow amigos Andy and Mark. I had already made the trip to see it on Friday afternoon to make sure it was in the bag as it were, being a lifer and all that. On Saturday conditions were much brighter and the bird showed extremely well in the fine conditions.
We stopped off at Aust Warth on the way back where we saw the two Twite which were a nice bonus. Back in the garden bird numbers at the feeders are increasing, the most notable being the Goldfinches which have reached nine in number.

Mega-flock of Two-barred Crossbills in Gloucestershire

Saturday 16th November 2013
Sometimes things just come together in birding and you get one of those memorable days. Already heading for Woorgreens in the forest (despite gloomy conditions), exciting news came through from Lewis Thompson that he had located several TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS feeding in trees along the Gloucestershire Way beyond Kensley Lodge; in fact near the location Gavin Black originally found them last Saturday. I spent the morning watching what turned out to be at least 15 birds, possibly around 20. A small number of Common Crossbills were around too, but nearly all the Crossbills I saw were Two-barred. The Two-bars were predominantly feeding on the small cones of Western Hemlock and Larch, and sometimes seen taking buds, and were also reported on Alder. Lots of Siskins and Lesser Redpolls around too. An absolutely amazing experience, including hearing the distinctive calls including the piping 'trumpet' calls and song too. Oh, nearly forgot, a lifer too.

Siberian Chiffchaff, Purple Sandpiper & Green-winged Teal at WWT

Saturday 9th November 2013 First, some photos to ponder of the Siberian Chiffchaff at WWT Slimbridge this morning. Most of these were taken in bad light, the latter in light rain too. I would liked to have heard it call (or even sing!) but the features fit tristis and it showed a marked contrast to a Common Chiffchaff present.
Also on site, the Purple Sandpiper was still in the Rushy (again bad light!): ... and the Green-winged Teal was on the Top New Piece along with 3,500 Eurasian Teal (luckily I had good directions - thanks again Paul T.):

A Few Photos from Turkey

4th-11th October 2013
Some photos here from my recent holiday in Ölüdeniz, Turkey. The Nuthatches first, (Western) Rock Nuthatch above, Krüper's below. 
A few more:

And a cool reptile:
I will post a more detailed account in due course.

Black Redstart & Wheatear at Leckhampton Hill plus Upton-on-Severn

Saturday 28th September 2013
The Black Redstart was still at the derelict Hill Farm, Leckhampton Hill, in the morning. It was very elusive at first in a cool easterly wind, but showed nicely as the wind dropped and short glimpses of hazy sunshine broke throughthe cloud. The bird made a couple of excursions towards the car park and was on power lines near my car later. Also a Wheatear at the farm briefly, which soon moved SE and then flew off, plus a charm of 35 Goldfinches.
In the afternoon I went to Upton-on-Severn, Worcs, with Linda and Tansy (the daughter not the plant). On a pleasant walk along Upton Ham I saw two Kingfishers, also three Common Darters, two Migrant Hawkers, and an Angle Shades moth and Comma Butterfly. Also some Tansy (the plant not the daughter) in flower.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper at WWT

Saturday 21st September 2013 The BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER showed well at the Dumbles edge over the high tide in the morning. A good range of other birds included Dunlins, Ringed Plovers, two Curlew Sandpipers, four Little Stints, a Golden Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, two Common Terns, Yellow Wagtails with the cattle, and last but not least a COMMON SEAL, my first in the county.

Also at Slimbridge, the wild 2nd yr Common Crane was in a field to the east of Van de Bovenkamp hide, the female Ruddy Shelduck was with collection birds again in the Asia Pen, and at Zeiss Hide a Spotted Redshank, two Greenshanks and ten Ruff.