Friday 27 November 2015


It was finally my turn! After creeping round the G&M Pits at Broom and expecting nothing, two very showy birds appeared on the top of the reeds and then perched within 10 ft of me in some nearby Sallows. About time...............
Photo courtesy of (Jammy) Jim.

Monday 23 November 2015

Golden Patch

It generally does not take long to count the waterfowl on Poppy Hill fishing lakes. There are usually only a few Mallards, a couple of Moorhens and a family of Mute Swans. Wigeon, Shoveler and Teal are occasional visitors, while Tufted Ducks are more regular. This morning the three male and one female Tufties were joined by a female Goldeneye, the first I have recorded on the patch and my second new duck inside a week - a male Goosander was seen flying west over the pits on 16th November.  

The Goldeneye takes my patch list for 2015 to 115 species.

Sunday 22 November 2015

Nothing to see - hear!

Standing having a natter with Martin S in the general area of the recent #titgate affair and we got around to birds that the site should be perfect for but haven't been recorded there. We'd just mentioned Cetti's, when one gave a blast from the reeds. We hung around for a fair old while after and did get the usual fleeting views, followed by calls from its new position, but not even a chance of a blog standard record shot.

Another one I thought I'd missed this year.

The next bird on the missing list was Bittern........


Saturday 21 November 2015

GLE does the business again

I really didn't think I was going to get Goosander (in Beds) this year for some reason but lady luck played its part again today. I couldn't park at my "usual spot" at GLE, so had to move along the road a bit and saw these flying around and then over as I got out of the car.


Sunday 15 November 2015

Wildlife photographer of the year contender?

I suppose as record shots go it's all you need to confirm ID. After seeing a Skua reported in Herts I thought we'd be in with a chance of some wind blown strays today but 3 of these on Peacock's Lake this morning was the best I could manage. Funny ducks seem to be the flavour of the month just now.


Tuesday 10 November 2015


...not my ideal but I've tried to find a Caspian on a number of occasions.  Sending the odd photo to Steve to check - but they always end up being Moorhens or Herons.  But maybe I've got my eye in now.  We got on this gull at Derek's and hey presto, it was a 2nd winter Caspian Gull.  Phone-binned for the correct standard for this blog.

Monday 9 November 2015

Patch Gold!

Highlight of this morning's walk round my Henlow Grange patch was a Great Grey Shrike!!!! Not only a patch tick; not only a SFYL tick but (probably) the first GGS I have found for myself. There was a commotion of Linnet and Corn Bunting alarm calls as they chased something across the horse paddocks alongside the railway. It took me a while to realise it was a shrike, but when the penny dropped I'm sure I had a big smile on my face. The smaller birds chased the Shrike until it landed on a hawthorn bush alongside the railway where it stayed for about 5 minutes before it was flushed by a train. While perched, it was not mobbed by any smaller birds. After another 5 minutes the Shrike reappeared on top of another hawthorn bush on the far side of the railway. This time it remained in view for about 10 minutes, occasionally dropping into the bush where it could be seen moving about. It was flushed by another train and this time flew east towards the solar panel farm, landing in a hedge (alongside the track to the farm) where it was lost to view.
Distant view of Great Grey Shrike, Henlow Grange, 08/11/2015
Distant view of Great Grey Shrike, Henlow Grange, 08/11/2015

Saturday 7 November 2015

Dodgy ducks

Looking for a wandering (plastic?) Bufflehead last weekend, bumped into a wandering (plastic ancestor?) Red-crested Pochard. Always a useful SFYT but did not need it for 2015; blocked it out for others, and me in 2016 though...

Sunday 1 November 2015

Still coming up short

One of two Short-eared Owls, photographed at some distance tonight at Thurleigh Airfield tonight.