Sunday, 30 June 2013

Texas 13 - Galveston

More Brown Pelican? Love this species. Synonymous with the Gulf Coast. Great comeback from near extinction in the 70's due to pesticides that made the eggshells brittle...more here.

I popped out early from the Motel to the mouth of Galveston Bay just to enjoy the typical species of the area...

Peaceful breakfast with Laughing Gulls?

It was springtime!

Black Skimmer
The above is an amazing bird...more to come of this one.

..and the beautiful Royal Tern...

It was a great spot for easy access and close views...

Just one more...

Slightly out of focus in the early morning light...but I love it!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Big Year 2013

Digressing slightly from my Texas review I've added a couple of US Birders efforts to my Blog list. You may want to take a peep at half-time (6 months)?

Short one tonight. Off to the pub. 3 days off!

Pity the White-throated Needletail arrived in the middle of my two breaks...No, I wouldn't have left the wedding!!!

A tragic end...It hit a wind turbine if you didn't know.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Texas 13 - Anahuac

Top reserve.

We made a few visits here. Amazingly our first was to twitch a Ruff! A star bird at Duff. This was an ABA Lifer for me and a great start to the holiday being just down the road from our Motel..

We also saw some of these which you definitely don't get back home...

Only managed to see a Least Bittern in flight. Managed an out of focus snapshot of a fast disappearing American Bittern...

Better views of a Great Blue...

Tomorrow, thoughts from Galveston...

Brown Pelican

This shot was taken from our Motel balcony, A daily feature as they drifted down the seafront..superb.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

STK..a few more

I make no apologies for posting a few more images of this superb species...hope you like them...

right over my head...brilliant!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

What a weekend!

The wedding went superbly, even dodged the showers for the photos...

Might be a grandad soon?

TEXAS 2013
As promised I intend to do a reprise of my Texas trip. Hopefully not over long! The format I will use is site based in chronological order.

The first site of note was a new one for me. I was really keen on getting good views of Swallow-tailed Kite. A good look on eBird (a fantastic resource) gave me a site where they had been seen in the last week!

Crosby - is a small town east of Houston. My visit started poorly with no sign in a couple of hours of humid afternoon heat. Then I caught sight of a possible in the distance over the Pineywoods. It drifted closer, through the haze...

What a bird!!!

More tomorrow...

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Half-time report

As I start my 6 day break I thought I'd reflect on the first half of the year...

Not the luckiest period for listing, missing Baikal Teal, Rock Thrush and Caspian Tern for Yorkshire whilst on holiday (no regrets) plus the Pacific Swift on Sunday for my British list.

As already stated...can't get 'em all. See 'em when you can...asap!

Below is the list of birds I expect to see on the Patch after the half-time team talk (some easy...which I should already have, some not so) a few rarities of course...and maybe a Mega?

Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus)
Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus)
Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Common Sandpiper (Tringa hypoleucos)
Pomarine Skua (Stercorarius pomarinus)
Arctic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus)
Great Skua (Catharacta skua)
Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus)
Little Gull (Larus minutus)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus cachinnans [argentatus])
Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus)
Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii)
Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea)
Razorbill (Alca torda)
Little Auk (Alle alle)
Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)
Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)
Richard's Pipit (Anthus richardi [novaeseelandiae])
Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus [spinoletta])
Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)
Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)
Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)
Barred Warbler (Sylvia nisoria)
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)
Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix)
Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)
Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus)
Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor)
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)
Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis flammea cabaret)
Lapland Bunting (Calcarius lapponicus)

Plenty to go at...starting's a marathon not a sprint!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Bus sightings

Cruising the highways of South Holderness I happen upon the odd decent sighting. Today I saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Marsh Harrier. Barn Owl sightings are almost daily.

Talking to one of my colleagues at lunchtime he informed me that he'd seen a Red Kite and a Jay yesterday.

Brightens up the day...

Monday, 17 June 2013

Pacific Swift - A twitch of woe!

With the kind assistance of a workmate, (cheers Mark) which allowed me to finish at 1, and my wonderful partner Louise, we made the trip belatedly (fatal) down to try for the bird.

As I arrived the pager informed me that the bird had disappeared. I made the long walk anyway and watched lots of Swifts. Alas the bird had flown...

I'm not going to harp on with a sob story, just to say that I found it remarkable that it hung around so long...unfortunately not long enough for me. Still, maybe the next one at Spurn (4 sightings) will wait for me.

I would have got it Saturday evening but I did the right thing and went out for the promised thank you meal with Louise's parents.

I guess if you drop everything no matter what and can go 24/7 you will (obviously) maximise your chances of success. If you have a life however this is simply not possible.

Graeme's (my eldest lad's) wedding on Saturday when I will definitely NOT be twitching!!!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Pacific Swift...NO

Computer has been to the Docs. Got it back tonight. Been to the Pub with the in-laws. Finished work at 3 and was fully aware of the news.

Trouble is I have to work like a lot of us do. I'd been up since 6 and I'm working tomorrow from 7. So a trip to Suffolk was out of the question.

Of course the bird stayed till dusk...which is amazing for a Swift.

Congrats to all who connected...I really mean that. If I had no commitments I could get them all...well most of them...but I do and I'm glad that's the case.

Maybe next time...

Tuesday, 11 June 2013 generation

Returned to Kilnsea Wetlands this afternoon and was delighted to see a couple of youngsters...

Monday, 10 June 2013


Fluked a group of them the other day at Kilnsea wetlands...

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Yellow birds

A couple of snaps taken down Snakey lane today...



Thursday, 6 June 2013

THRUSH NIGHTINGALE - heard and now seen!

A stroke of luck this morning as I was in the right place at the right time...namely Sammy's Point! Actually I was having a doze at Long Bank when news came over the radio that the THRUSH NIGHTINGALE had been trapped.

A quick drive...then walk had me in position just in time... I have seen it...but in the hand?...I give up!!

(very) Late update...In all the excitement I forgot to mention I had a Hobby (P.134, S.105) over the road on the way down to Sammy's this morning!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Spring over?'s the 6th June tomorrow. Always a significant date in my mind. Spring probably at an end, although this year who knows? I always expect a biggy for some's a few of them...

Black Duck

Baillon's Crake

White-tailed Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Ivory Gull

Scops Owl

Tree Swallow

Collared Flycatcher

White-throated Robin -
who could forget!!!

Citril Finch

Quite a list!! Well worth being out there tomorrow I feel, if you can of course. I'm on afternoons so I'll be up early having a go...

Added Thrush Nightingale (P.131, S.102) and Marsh Warbler (P.132, S.103) to the patch year list...after all, they were there, I heard them!!

Had an hour along the canal this morning hoping for a glimpse of the female Red-backed joy but added Reed Warbler (P133, S.104) to the year list(s).

Monday, 3 June 2013

A nice walk

Enjoyed my day off with a walk round Easington. Nothing significant but enjoyable nevertheless...

Curious Whitethroat

Nice thatched Barn

Singing Wren on wire

Goldfinch on same wire!

Nice walk on a great day...

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Quality sighting

Started at Sammy's with the obligatory dog walk. Lovely day.

News came over the radio that a Spoonbill was moving north over the Humber. Unfortunately it eluded yours truly but I did pick up a Peregrine. I decided to give the Thrush Nightingale a miss!!!!

Spent late morning around Kilnsea. Felt quiet and generally was. Just before lunchtime I was walking past Kew when I spotted a couple of birders looking interested. I joined them and they informed me they'd just "had" a Pied Fly. They drifted off and I decided to hang around hoping it might did...right in front of me...

Sometimes they come to you.

This afternoon was spent down at Patrington Haven...

Shimmering Barley
Inadvertantly flushed a Little Egret from the pathside ditch...

Other highlights included baby Little Grebe...

...and Cuckoo...

Last day of Spring Birding for me tomorrow. So, up early and plenty of scanning...

Some beauties from the 3rd June...

Bridled Tern

Caspian Plover

Fox Sparrow

Myrtle Warbler

Mamora's Warbler

You never know?

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Heard but not seen?

The tickers dilemma! You hear a bird but don't see it. Can you tick it for whatever list you are keeping?

Obviously, some species are very difficult to see i.e Quail, Corncrake to name but two. For me , if it's a LIFE bird it HAS to be seen.

What about a County tick? Same criteria for me.

BUT...How about a year tick for a Patch. Mmmmm.

You hear it, you recognise the song/call, so it's there right...on the Patch...but you can't SEE it.

What to do?

This scenario happened to me this morning at Sammy's Point. I had great audio of a Thrush Nightingale (a first, the song that is) but no visual (as Jack Bauer would say). This was supplemented by a Marsh Warbler...same scenario.

Answer...not sure...! Let's face it...who cares's my/your list!!