Thursday, 29 September 2011

Worth a try!

Left school at 3.30 and made a dash for Filey! SANDHILL CRANE for Yorks? I'd been following it's progress down the east coast and it was looking good. Richard Willison and Haydn Patterson were already in place but I couldn't contact them as my phone had packed up. I decided to go for the Country Park and look north towards Scarborough. No sign of the chaps or the bird. I also met a birder called Jonathan who's a mate of Pauls. He was the chap who let me look through his scope last Saturday early doors...small (Birding) world!
So, what will happen tomorrow? Seen again or off into the great blue yonder...time will tell. Hope it hangs on till I finish work!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

More Temps

I've been playing the Temptations for a while on the way to work. I keep coming back to this track. The incomparable voice of David Ruffin plus the amazing Funk Brothers band. Why do sad songs sound so sweet...

Since I Lost My Baby - How cool is this

David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks and Dennis Edwards...GENIUS!

Temptations - Since I Lost My Baby (Original Stereo)

Monday, 26 September 2011

SHORT-EARED OWL - 4th record

not my pic!

Back to local birding after the excitement and exhaustion of the weekend! It was just turning 6.30 when I scanned the Carrs and was rewarded with my 4th record of this superb Owl (105). It made it's way north along the river towards Aughton and I had a brief further sighting on the far end of the reserve at 6.50. Great Stuff...

Sandhill Crane postscript
The bird has departed South? Could it land again in Britain...Yorkshire?! I suppose it could be viewed as lucky to get this "one back" after missing it 2 years ago on Orkney. I prefer to take the view that it's justice for the weekend only brigade. Just couldn't do Orkney at weekend...only just made Loch of Strathbeg, driving there and back...getting soft in my old age!

Saturday, 24 September 2011


Left at 9pm last night with Tom from Sheffield. We picked Andrew up in Co Durham and I drove on into the night. We arrived just north of Aberdeen at 5am. We grabbed an hour and a half and arrived at the RSPB Loch of Strathberg reserve at dawn (7am). We were all surprised how few Birders were present...but we were! Two young female staff members informed us that a small group were already viewing the bird from an adjacent building. A quick peep through a kind chaps 'scope relaxed things somewhat!!
We then walked out towards the hide and scanned the marsh from behind as it was a bit cosy inside.

We could see the bird well but distantly and the light still wasn't great by 8am. Around 8.20 the bird took off circled and headed off low North. We refound it some 30 minutes later on the ridge of a field. Again after a short feed it took flight...

It was now around 10.15 and the bird had disappeared again We decided to locate ourselves in the spot it had been seen on previous days. This proved to be a good move as after a short wait Andrew picked it up again in flight heading towards it's favoured field. Sure enough it landed and we walked the first stubble field to view from around 100yds...

A truly fantastic bird, well worth the effort and everything a MEGA should be. I have no hesitation in placing this bird in my top ten RUSH BIRDS/Best of Twitching (see list) at Number 8...

p.s. Andrew informed me that SIBERIAN STONECHAT has now been split. Armchair ticks for Britain and Yorks...result!

Friday, 23 September 2011


OK. Cunning plan in place. Leaving at 9pm. Managed to fill the car. Wish us luck! Full (hopefully successful) story on return...

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Exciting times!

L.T. STINT gone. Massive rarity but not a bird to get the pulse racing...Little Squint? SANDHILL you're talking! Everything crossed for a Saturday connection. In the process of filling the car. Be a great pull back after the similar timed Orkney bird of '09...surely not the same bird? I was considering a rather extreme attempt for the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH on Saturday. The thought of the spew-bucket and the drive there and back plus a very limited 4 hour window didn't inspire!

Looks settled?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Local/National Stuff

2 cc Marsh Harriers still being seen regularly down North Duffield Grasslands! a supporting cast of Buzzards.

The MEGAS just keep on coming. 3 birds now available that I need. If only I didn't work...but then I'd have no money!!! I'm tempted by the WATERTHRUSH but the LONG-TOED STINT would win...if it stays? SWAINSON'S will have to wait till October...on Scilly!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


I'm saying nothing!!!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Scilly status...last comment

I've just read LGRE's comments on Scilly. He makes some fair points but for me it's more than just rarity hunting. It's a special place to which I will always return. While I'm still teaching it will always be half-term week when I can meet some old friends and share a story or two. The fact that Louise also loves it is a big bonus!
Yes, it's getting more expensive, but what isn't? I maintain that birds will always turn up here. If there's less people going, never mind...there's more chance of yours truly finding something!!!

SOLITARY SANDPIPER lurking around the Dump today. Memories of the bird I saw in 2000 which remarkably stayed 30 days allowing me to connect on it's last day and my first!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Just because I feel like it!

First track on the radio this morning. Billy Joel prefers it apparently. The Maestro!

Spurn...great weather means few birds (usually!)

Despite the dodgy forecast we faithfully journeyed to the sacred patch leaving home earlier than usual (8am) due to our new addition, who came with us for his first outing to the coast.
The weather was fantastic as we departed and hopes were high, as always. The day remained glorious which unfortunately meant that few migrants were seen. We enjoyed the walking however including a trip to Beacon Ponds...

looks like the Med!

Buddy was introduced to the sea...

The rain only arrived on the way home. It all proved too much for the young lad in the end!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Scilly...not what it used to be (2)

I've been going to the Isles of Scilly since 1991. I didn't go every year in the early 90's due to family commitments. I did a 2 day twitch in '96 connecting with a female Black and White Warbler and American Black Duck on Tresco and an American Buff-bellied Pipit on St Mary's. The massive bonus was hearing that a Little Bustard had just landed on the Lizard Peninsular!!! After that I was hooked.

The last few years I've kept hearing many people say that it's had it's day? Not for hasn't moved as far as I know! True it needs the right weather systems but in my opinion they have and will occur again, and they will produce quality today...

Hope there's something left for late October...

New Birding Buddy

Start 'em young!

NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH!!! Missed the Portland bird (14th - 17th October '96) due to work and this one seems destined to slip by also. Ah well, another one for my retirement list. Maybe it will hang around...some chance! Longest stayer of the previous 8 was 13 days again on weekend? Always optimistic!
Probable/presumed? A difficult ID. Surely not one of these?

Louisiana Waterthrush

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Big Hawk Down...the Duff

Bumped into Arni Cowan this evening. He told me about his Goshawk sighting although he didn't see it tonight. I'd been down with junior for an hour. I had a ccMarsh Harrier and 9 Golden Plover south.

Watching Billy Connelly on Route 66 at the mo...different class!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Scilly...not what it used to be!?

Buff-breasted Sandpiper 8
Spotted Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper 4
Citrine Wagtail
Woodchat Shrike
Aquatic Warbler 1/2
Ortolan Bunting
Lapland Bunting

In the last couple of days...

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Things are hotting up!

The remnants of the Hurricane seem to have brought a few things across the pond. Star billing goes to the GREATER YELLOWLEGS...genuine this time! Luckily I'm old enough to have seen the Rockcliffe bird in Cumbria 16/10/1994. I'm sure there will be a lot of Birders praying it sticks till the weekend!! My pal Haydn's thinking of making the trip Friday, hope it hangs around for him?
Scilly is also scoring well with a Red-eyed Vireo heading the cast. Hope the weather and the birds continue to stay favourable...till I get there!!
Closer to home a possible Sooty/Bridled Tern in Co Durham...hope it's a BRIDLED!!! I could make it after work...

Sunday, 11 September 2011

One good tern...

Finally made a trip to see something elsewhere. Took Louise to Langlands for lunch taking junior with us!

Then onto North Cave Wetlands for hopefully a view of the juv Black Tern. On arrival it was nice, though not surprising, to see Gary Dayes who told us where to go to view the bird. He also told us an Arctic Tern was also present...bonus! Both birds showed well from the hide and I managed a few pics of my two new (site) ticks...sorry!

Also managed a cc Marsh Harrier at Duff.

Strong winds are a comin...

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Possible Goshawk?

Report of possible Goshawk at NDC. A couple of sightings recently but no sign last night...

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Weekend thoughts

First full week back at work...rather hectic, with lots of new ideas! Anyway, looking forward to some weekend Birding...might have a trip to the coast. Ah, just looked at the forecast...southerly winds and plenty of rain. Something good from the Med?

Early morning rises with junior at least allow me to catch a bit of early local action. Male Sparrowhawk seen every morning and c100 House Martins drifting over the house...won't be around for much longer...

Time for some sounds tomorrow...

Sunday, 4 September 2011

I owe, I owe it's back to work I go!

Has to be done to pay for the next jaunt!

7 WEEKS till...

Bring it on...

Saturday, 3 September 2011

September sit

Going to escape from puppy sitting in the morning. Thought I'd spend a few hours down the patch grinding out a few September never know?

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene certainly stirred things up Stateside

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Whinchat - 104

Many thanks to Elaine for a text to tell me a Whinchat was present in front of  G.S. Hide this evening. My third record following birds on the 25/8/2006 and 17/9/2008. 6 more needed to break my best!

Black-browed Albatross south past Spurn - I wonder where it's been this summer...British waters?

Autumn's HERE...