Sunday, 30 September 2012

Hard work

Gave it 4 hours around the village this morning with little reward. Just a few Goldcrests and Chiffys. Still it was a lovely morning.

Late afternoon I took Bud down to Beacon Ponds to see if the Little Stint was still around. No joy but I did bump into Karl Dutton and his crew. Always nice to see him, always cheerful. We swapped "war wound" stories concerning our legs. Coincidentally we both have appointments with our respective specialists in the morning. All the best pal.

Forecast looking great for a Yank this week with strong westerlies right across the Atlantic with the attendant fast moving fronts. Unfortunately the theories don't always work out in practice! Let's hope in this case it does!!

Let's about one of these...

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Saturday morning magic!

Deadly seawatch at Out Newton didn't get the weekend off to a flier. I watched the sea!

The news soon started filtering through from down the road. Firecrest still present. That'll do me.

I was determined to connect this time and set up vigil opposite Sandy Beaches. I noticed a couple of Goldcrests but no sign of the "little gem". After around 20 minutes I noticed another birder waving frantically from further up Beacon Lane.
"I've just had it to 4 feet" he informed me, pointing to his notebook?

With this he drifted off and I continued scanning. I was joined by Geoff Dobbs and Mike Bayldon. After a short while we picked up some 'crests' in the opposite hedge. We decided to try the other (sunny) side. This paid dividends as within 5 minutes I'd connected (S.93, P.156) albeit briefly. Always gives me a buzz to see this bird, especially in clear Autumn sunshine. A bonus came in the form of my first Siskin (S.94, P.157) of the year...

I then made my way up to the churchyard on the report of a YBW. Plenty off bird! As I was leaving I saw Geoff and Mike running towards the Crown and Anchor!! This is surely a good sign (and a rare sight) I thought to myself. I even managed a run of sorts myself! I was then in the initial situation of knowing there was something good but not having a clue what it was?

Turns out it was a distant Honey Buzzard (S.95. P.158) over the Humber...NICE. Only my second record for Spurn.

Finished off a great morning down at Sammy's but no luck with the reported LEO.

I always have heightened expectation on Saturday morning...maybe it's the last remnants of Footy days gone by?

Friday, 28 September 2012

One in the hand and one in the bush!

Lunchtime session at Spurn fuelled by a report of a Firecrest. Turned out it was found by my mate Gary Dayes who I bumped into by the Bluebell. No luck with the little jewel (one of my favourite birds), so I ended up scanning the bushes in the immediate area.

Phil suddenly appeared around the corner informing me of an imminent release of a ringed bird (really must remember my radio!). Trouble was we didn't know what or where! Turned out it was a RBF (P.155, S.92) at Kew.

When we arrived "the crowd" were looking at another RBF in the bushes by the caravan park!
Paul then brought the second bird out to show to the crowd...

Nice head!
Following an early morning Goldcrest (106) at Holmpton a big bonus this evening came in the form of a cracking SEO...


Here's to a bird-filled weekend...

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Pleasant morning

Nice start to the day with a couple of young deer on the cliff top pre-dawn.

One last look...

Not much doing despite extensive scanning except a Redstart. I decided to try for the Greenish Warbler at Kilnsea. Joined the small group but it wasn't cooperating.
We did however all enjoy great views of a Lesser Whitethroat...

Rich Willison turned up and we spent a pleasant hour searching the area for our quarry without any luck. An old gentleman into who's property we were peering got quite annoyed!! Eventually we managed decent if distant views (P.154). Also saw my mate Vince (although not to talk to) and Joan Fine who I hadn't seen for quite a while.

Reflecting on the last week or so it's just sinking in how lucky I've been. Firstly connecting with and obtaining such excellent close views of my nemesis Cory's followed up by just making it by minutes for the PGW.

Hope I've not used up all my luck for the Autumn? Scilly from the 20th for 7 days.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

P.G. Tips!


Bit giddy know how it is. Having tried for the last one "up there" in the Doctors garden (aka Good morning Vietnam) in October 2010 I set off from Holmpton for Hartlepool on the MEGA alert at 10.35.

I'd already had a good morning locally having seen at least 4 Redstarts and a Peregrine (H.105, P.153) off the cliff...

As we know this is NOT a showy species! So it was no surprise that "no further sign" was the order of the day. Still, no pain, no I drove on...ever optimistic. As I approached scenic Middlesborough at 1.12 another MEGA alert...PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER Whitburn Coastal Park, to be released at 1.50!!!?

DRIVE ON...rather quickly!

I rang RBA for directions and as usual they were superbly helpful. Luckily I got a clear run. A couple of fortuitous choices when asking directions saw me entering the park around 2. I immediately saw "the crowd" but was the bird still "in th'and"? No parking space, no time, so up on the grass and out. Tried to look calm but it didn't work, still who cares.


I joined the appreciative, elated crowd and took a few pics (amazed I remembered my camera in the circumstances).

The Warden then decided he could wait no longer, to be fair to the bird. So he marched down to the release area...

Pied Piper!
and the bird was gone...

Fantastic LIFER, obviously rather chuffed! Thanks also to Andrew Kinghorn who helped me with directions and maybe helped them to hang onto it for a few vital minutes...cheers pal.

Having missed the Blakeney Point bird due to fatherly commitments and the Spurn bird due to distance this was indeed a sweet moment.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

No reward

Started with a fruitless hour scouring the clifftop bushes. Bits and Bobs at Spurn so I had a ride down. Crown and Anchor car park again drew a blank with no sign of the YBW or the RBF.
Beacon Lane next in another forlorn search for a LEO.
Did bump into Rich Willison, Keith Rotherham and Brian Fendley.
Spent the last couple of hours searching Holmpton...nowt!
After all this depressing news I need a pick-me -up...

Above is a Cooper's Hawk that patrolled Montrose Point for at least 3 days. I even saw it trying to catch a squirrel on one occasion. Here's a shot of it lurking in the understory...

I'll be out on the cliff at dawn...

Stop press: Just adding my sightings and realised I picked up a Patch year tick with 3 Pinkfeet (152) down Beacon Lane. Result!

Monday, 24 September 2012


Quite a City! Taken from the top of this!

Here's the view looking down...

A brilliantly planned City with parkland running the entire length on the Lake edge. An obvious migrant trap as birds make their movements. I selected Montrose Point about 5 miles North of the city as my base for migration watching.

I made around 7 early morning visits plus one full day. Loved it. Most mornings the birds entertained well although on the last morning the place was dead. This, after a cold front had past through?

I spent a lot of time near this dead (Magic) tree...

Birds were obviously easy to see here. Views could be brief but usually stunning in the (almost constant) sunshine. I'm not a great one for photo essays but I'll post a few of my better efforts for your perusal...

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Back with a BANG!

Opportunities were limited for Blog posting and let's face it...I'm on HOLIDAY!

We had a great time, as usual and I'll be sharing some of the highlights over the coming weeks...birds that is!

Keen to join in the fun on the East Coast...and find my own, I've been scouring Holmpton these past few days, without much luck, it has to be said? Many Yellow-browed Wablers just down the road at Spurn...couldn't find one here! If, no when, I find one here it will be all the sweeter.

Sea watching has also increased and I'm enjoying it thoroughly. Spent some time yesterday afternoon with Phil. Buddy decided to stay with Phil as I made my way back to the car! Wouldn't budge. There's gratitude for you. I was knackered, still adjusting after the holiday. Words were exchanged...he understands now...I think?

Down again first thing this morning. Stall set out, lets have a gander...

I hasten to add this is not my photo!

BUT it's my 370th YORKSHIRE TICK (P.151, H.104) AND seen at Holmpton...FANTASTIC!!! MY bird was in view for around 10 minutes as it effortlessly meandered north at around 600 yards giving great views. Almost certainly the same bird was later seen at Hornsea.

It only took 25 years!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A Eurasian Tree Sparrow in America!

Fortuitously connected with a group at Horseshoe Lake NE of St Louis despite the less than optimum time of 2.30pm.

Heading back north towards Chicago today, calling in at Michael Jackson's birthplace in Gary, Indiana.

Going to spend the last few days migrant watching on the lake edge.

I'm not a Motor Sport fan but the tour of Indianapolis was impressive...

500 miles, 400,000 fans!!!

Sunday, 9 September 2012


Managed to connect with my 3 target warblers. No luck with the Greater Prairie Chicken...after 12 hours fruitless searching!!

In St Louis, Missouri now. Eurasian Tree Sparrow the target? ABA list and all that.

We just drove over the Mississippi. Going to see the Gate way Arch this afternoon.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, 2 September 2012


Finally found a computer that cooperates!

It's HOT...106 yesterday, which isn't conducive to migrant watching...or migrants for that matter. Cooler today, just a mere 78.

Enjoyed Chicago immensely. Awesome buildings and a great city generally. That's a big compliment from someone who generally detests the urban environment. The diversity of architecture is simply stunning.

Birds...Connected with my Cape May and Connecticut Warblers already. The "Magic Hedge" at Montrose Point is ideally placed for a few early morning sessions.

Moved on through Milwaukee and onto Minneapolis.

Returning to Chicago on the 5th. Route 66 to St Louis follows.

Post when I can...

P.S. No photos until I return. I can bore you then!