Monday 31 August 2015

Bank Holiday Bankers

As a member of the full-time employed having limited time available for birding around family activity, Bank Holiday weekend can allow a few extra hours in the field to ensure that two scarcer chats hit the list. Was not around for vast majority of this weekend, but still found the pair needed. Redstart (a few days early) on a sneaky extra half hour walk before work on Tuesday and Whinchat as part of a scout around on Saturday. Now for the hard work to find something really decent on them there hills.

Thursday 20 August 2015

Mellow Yellow

I'm not proud and I'll take them whatever way they come. Noticed a gathering of large gulls in a stubble field next to the A600, opposite the bike park area of Rowney Warren and stopped in the handy layby for a look, where this beast stood out from the crowd.

I'm not even going to mention what should have been another "tick" this morning with a Wood Sandpiper......


Wednesday 19 August 2015

Sunday 16 August 2015

Thursday 13 August 2015

I knew if I complained enough...

Within a day of my SFYL-ing lament, I managed to add a new bird to my SFYL - only just mind you.

I arrived to a deserted GLE roadside and a wader flew in and landed - sandpiper...pale underwings...looking good.  A quick scope revealed a Wood Sandpiper which stayed for at least a minute while I phone-scoped it.  It then started raining and it flew up and over but calling frequently.

The ace GLE bird finders Stu Warren and Martin Stevens walked into view saying they reckon they'd had a Wood Sand a few minutes earlier.

Back of the net!

Wednesday 12 August 2015

My last SFYT was over 14 weeks ago...

My last SFYT was in the first weekend of May - and these were summer migrants like Hobby, Reed Warbler.  I'm amazed I've not bumped into anything new for the year since then.  I'm on my bike so lunchtime trips are rather dry.  But even so, no Quails, no Crossbills over.  I did hear a Greenshank this morning which would have been new had it not been in Cambs.  Right, I'd better get on my bike then...


Sunday 9 August 2015

Double Bubble

It's all kicking off - or so it seems.

A wander around a bit of river I've been watching on and off for 15 years now wondering why I've never seen a Mandarin there finally paid off with a couple making a brief appearance from under the willows. I'm sure they must have been there at some point previously but it's a fairly inaccessible spot, so we'll see what happens in the future.

With it being so hot during the day I decided to leave walking the dogs at Broom until the evening, with a bit of a hope that a "funny" gull would turn up. None did, but it was still good to watch the 2 Greenshank, which after a bit of a display flight seemed to head off purposefully south.

I hung about for a bit longer before calling it a night and was just going back over the fence when I heard a Greenshank calling at the south end of GLE. It appeared to come in from the south and was flying low over the water but as I watched realised that it had a VERY small wader for company, that landed on one of the exposed "islands" where all the Lapwing sit. The size alone made me immediately think of a Stint but I didn't want to set off a false alarm if it turned out to be "just" a Sanderling. It was also almost dark, so whatever the case by the time anyone else arrived it wouldn't be possible to see it. All I could do was move along a bit further and try to get as many pictures as possible in the hope that something would turn out from shots with a handheld 400mm lens at 1/60 sec shutter speed. Checking the books back home made me pretty sure it was a Little Stint but I was relieved (and very grateful) for confirmation from Steve after sending him the pic. I should probably have had a bit more courage in my conviction from the start that it was a Stint of some flavour and got the word out but, given the time of day, don't think it made that much difference. A smart little bird to see and amazing to think how far it's probably travelled so far on its journey south.


Saturday 8 August 2015

Broom Garganey

Not actually found a Garganey since the start of this blog so a good tick for me this morning in the SW corner of Peacocks Lake. Greenshank, Common Sandpiper and Little Egret on the nearby banks behind it made for a pleasant outlook. Back at GLE, shortly after bumping into Roger, a pair of Ruff came through with a few circles of the lake and a brief few seconds on the deck before heading off high to the south-west. Not a bad early morning out...

Sunday 2 August 2015

Waders in the dark

I just wanted to make sure I was going in the right direction for the standard of record shots expected on this blog and after much coaching by Matt think I've got it cracked.

A couple (same one returning an hour later?) of Greenshank at GLE last night, with this one coming in as it was almost dark.


2 Greenshank at GLE - 7 Aug 15