Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year!

Just a quick line to wish everyone the very best for 2010. Let's hope it's a bird-filled year...with a lifer or two or more!!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

What's in a MEGA?

As darkness falls and I sit here smugly basking in the glory of my wonderful Lifer (BOU 470), I was just contemplating what really does constitute a Mega? Rarity obviously, but something has always puzzled me about birds like Gyr and Snowy Owl. Species, location and odds on seeing also need to be considered. Don't get me wrong, an Eastern Crowned Warbler is a wonderful 1st and should be fully celebrated, but if you go, you see it! I know half a dozen experienced birders who still need Gyr as a lifer? To me it still is a Mega. Todays gutted twitchers would possibly agree?
p.s. Snowy Owl on Scilly was also a Mega moment for me

Back into GYR!!!

Best way to get a pick-me-up...see a LIFER! Been waiting a long, long time to see this beauty in Britain, 23 years to be exact (seen a grey phase in Alaska). Special mention here for my wonderful non-birding partner Louise who came with me to share the driving...couldn't have done it on my own at the moment...STILL recovering from virus! Anyway, got there about 11, even stopped for a coffee in village before site, cool eh? Drove road to Port Eynon passed half a dozen birders, turned around and set up shop. Puzzled by small number? Gave it an hour, then up screeched a car with a pair of Donny (Doncaster) birders saying they'd just had it from the chippy window!! We all started scanning and sure enough making it's way across our view was one of the best birds you could ever wish to see. A truly special moment. The rest of the day was spent waiting for/chasing the bird on the peninsular. Saw it three times very well in flight and once on a fence post...just too late to get scope on it before it flew. Great day, great bird. Definitely going in my top 5.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Dragging on!

Been back to Docs...still got virus. No birding till fully recovered.....

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Duff Rising

No birding...but quick update on water levels. Still on the up with more rain forcast. Numbers increasing. Wish I could get out there!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Car Park stars

2 brief snippets on afternoon canine constitutional. Cracking male Bullfinch and c20 Tree Sparrows. It appears I have had a few visits...welcome!

Crippling Views!

Still on brief visits with me sick note! Well cheesed off now. Carrs looking superb, flock of c800 Lapwing swirling around in morning sun. Visitor reported 5 Whoopers present at far end, many more on Ellerton Ings apparently. Mate Haydn gone for Fudge Duck at Pugneys...who knows eh, as good as any? Innocent until etc! Report of Spotted Redshank on Bubwith Ings...get well soon!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Filling up nicely

Starting to feel better so took a stroll along the floodbank at Bubwith with the hound. Banks have burst on both sides. Carrs/Ings filling up nicely. Whoopers not present and bird numbers generally low. Usually takes time for things to settle down. Anyway site set up nicely for the next 6 months! Be nice to confirm Whoopers have reached 3 figures and some unusual Geese (wild) would be nice.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Lookin good...feeling Bad!

Still strugglin' with to dog relief trips at moment. A few snippets and reports on pager and locally. Red-necked Grebe and Green-winged Teal "reported". Bumped into my mate Vince who reckoned Whoopers could well be in three figures now, he had a Buzzard over the Carrs.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

True Wild Swans

Caught sight of what looked like snow on far side of Carrs while driving back from dog walk. Grabbed the trusty Leica APO62 and focussed in on c60 WHOOPER SWANS (saw a Bewick's on Bubwith Ings on 23rd Nov). First time I've seen the group on Duff this winter. Only regular, significant number in Yorkshire. Real wild Swans these, no feeding here...magnificent!

Crisp and ...

2 Barn Owls drifting around the river at 8am as dawn broke on a beautiful clear frosty morning...Superb! Never get sick of seeing these magnificent birds. Seemed to be a movement of Wood Pigeons SE. Plenty of water on Bubwith Ings, Duff slow to fill as usual...need more rain!!