Thursday, 25 March 2010

Long time no see

Bumped into my pal Vince down Wheldrake this afternoon. Not seen him much due to the fact that I haven't been out much! Visit was due mainly to the fact that 1. I felt like it and 2. Reports of Garganey and LRP's. Nothing was seen but I enjoyed the chat.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Still here!

Spring in the air...there's magic everywhere! Name that tune? Finally managed to see 3 Egyptian Geese (a LDV tick). Also heard 3 Chiffchaffs in Wheldrake lane yesterday plus three Buzzards over the woods. Alpine Swifts drifting around, hope one makes it to Yorks. Just a few lines and no mention of my health...whoops!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Downs and Ups

Been feeling rough for a couple of days, so as I felt brighter this morning I decided to have a ride out to look at/for the Black Brant/s at Spurn. Found the group easily and started to rake through them. Many different variations in plumage, some very pale pale-bellied and some very dark dark-bellied. I'd refreshed my memory regarding key field marks, having looked at various photos of "classics", plus the photos on the Spurn website. Alas, I couldn't convince myself that I was looking at a Black Brant in this group. Neither could the other 4 lads who joined me. Maybe I really am a Duffbirder!
Nearly back home (knackered again!) when the message box informed me of a report of 2 Glaucous Gulls at Market Weighton tip, very handy. First two large gulls viewed through scope!!!
Things got even better as another beep told me of a Little Egret at Bank Island. Correct!
Unlucky morning...VERY lucky afternoon!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Black and White

Just a quick topical note for all my followers! I know at least two of my mates read this...sometimes! Thanks Haydn and Rich.
Took a trip up to the Dales with Louise to try the usual site for Black Grouse. Still plenty of snow on the tops which made every mound of earth look like the target bird. Needless to say no luck. Tan Hill Inn saved the day!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Wild Goose Chase...What a Lark!

Had a ride over to Spurn to look for the Black Brant. Checked out Beacon Ponds for an hour...296 Brents none of which could be turned into Brant. Excellent views of a male Peregrine though.
A sign of Spring came with the news from Haydn that Woodlarks are back on territory at a local venue...Bring it on!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Couldn't think of a witty title!

Spent an hour scoping at Bubwith bridge this morning. Nice selection of waders as the water levels recede. In the end decided there were 35 Ruff in various plumages looking respledent in the morning sun. 10 Golden Plover and a Pink-footed Goose were suprises...both very scarce this winter.
.......but wait what the hell is that just beyond the waders in the main river flow? A log, a tree trunk......No, 4 OTTERS!!! Just goes to show if you scan for long enough, you just never know. Watched them playing in the bottom of a bush and along the river for a good ten minutes...MAGIC.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Optics - a personal view

Guess we all have our opinions on best optics. Make, size etc etc. For me it's all about convenience. Top makes (if you can afford them) are all excellent with very little to choose between them. Here's my two penneth:-
Zeiss - fantastic image but poor depth of field therefore forever focussing
Swarovski - razor sharp, slightly larger mag and shows great detail. Brilliant ergonmics. Image rather flat and slightly pale
Leica - rich 3D life-like image with greatest contrast/resolution. Smallest and lightest. Focussing issues until HD
Brief or what! All comments apply to 8x32 which I have tested extensively and in my opinion and age is all you need. I see lots of birders with bricks around their necks? Having said that I respect everyone's right to choose. Like I's a personal view!