Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Triple dip!

After missing the Sardinian and Melodious Warblers down the road (both Spurn ticks) through my National gallivanting, I completed the treble this afternoon by missing out on the Montague's Harrier seen along Easington straight. Conditions were grim and I made two attempts, but no luck.
Phil, who's closer than me, managed a pic...

Down to London tomorrow for my pre-operative assessment. Something's bound to turn up!

Monday, 30 May 2016

Great White Egret - NDC 151

I paid another visit to Sunk Island this morning to enjoy the Turtle Dove once more. It was dry but VERY windy! I tried to find some shelter and tried even harder to hear the bird. As previously mentioned the sound this bird makes is far-carrying...fortunately. After around 15 minutes I got lucky despite the swaying trees...
Lunch again with the boss, then a planned visit to Spurn to stand looking into a bush for a singing Melodious Warbler, in a gale force wind of course!
3.04 North Yorkshire Great White Egret North Duffield Carrs mid-afternoon
That's better. The chance of a Duff' tick! Surely not 2 this Spring? I left at 3.10 and was in the hide at 4.14. A lone birder was present and he immediately gave me the great news that the bird was present.
This species was on my shortlist of possible additions to my NDC list (as was Black Tern). To get both within a few weeks was a BIG bonus.
I contacted Haydn who unbeknown to me had missed the message. Within half an hour he'd joined me in the hide. 5 minutes later Elaine from the village arrived. It was like old times! It was great to see them both.
After they left I had a walk down to Garganey hide. I was pleasantly surprised as it had been repaired after the winter floods. The GWE was slightly nearer and I managed my best distant image...
It's taken 30 years for this species to arrive. There's a thought!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

More...Turtle Dove

After a nice and much needed lie in I made my way down to Sunk Island again to look for the Turtle Dove seen previously.
Gavin was already down there. He'd heard it but no sightings. He had however seen an Osprey passing through!!! Very nice indeed.
He'd left the site when I arrived. I parked up and walked the area but there was no hint of the bird in a strong wind. After around 30 minutes I wimped out and returned to the car to listen to the Test Match. I had the volume on low and the windows down. The car was out of the wind so I felt I'd here it if it struck up. After around 15 minutes...it did. It's quite a strong sound and carries well. This can however make it difficult to pin-point in the increasingly dense foliage.
On my previous visit I'd managed to see it on the wires opposite, so I kept checking them as well. It was mobile as "the noise" emanated from different areas but nothing was seen in flight.
Eventually I managed to pick it up high in a tree...

I was later joined again by Gavin and he managed to pick it out distantly in an adjacent garden...an excellent spot pal! We both agreed that it was VERY special to have this much persecuted species so close to home. To see and hear this "sound of summer" was a very uplifting experience indeed.

Saturday, 28 May 2016


Here we go then...
I was returning from the SW after my second failed attempt on the LAMMERGEIER when the MEGA alert sounded again...
Sunday 22nd May 5.54pm
MEGA W.Isles BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO reported North Uist in garden opposite junction of north end of Paible circular rd and main road this afternoon
BBC is a scarce bird in the States and would get many an American birder scurrying.
Time for a few phone calls...after pulling in of course! I tried a couple of numbers but got no answer. A third connected with Colin at Gamston. Game on!
My thoughts on selective twitching have already been aired so I won't dwell on it. I was up for the Charter on this one. After grabbing a few hours sleep I set off from the Cottage at 6.30 arriving at Gamston which is just off the A1 near Retford at 8.15. A message confirming the birds presence eased the stress somewhat.
We then met Colin our pilot and made our way out to the plane...
I played the dodgy leg card which enabled me to sit "up front". I was going to ask him what happens if he felt unwell, but I let it go!!! Memories of Airplane 1980 sprang to mind..."Can anyone fly a plane"?!
Nice bloke Colin. He was very informative and explained many things to me regarding the operation of the plane and the geography of our journey. We were blessed with excellent weather which gave us great views of the British countryside.
View from the cockpit
Onward to the Lake District...
West coast of Scotland...
...and finally North Uist...
As we were landing I could see more light aircraft on the ground. One was just unloading...birders! The timing worked out well as we joined them in a pre-arranged mini-bus and we headed for the North of the island.
It took around 30 minutes to get to the site. On arrival it was re-assuring to see the assembled group of admirers in FULL focus. Within 5 minutes I was looking at my first American Cuckoo in Britain...the rarer of the two. 
It was a tick for many a big lister. It eased the personal pain of my YELLOW-BILLED dip in Cornwall when I was marooned on Scilly. I'll get that one back one day...hopefully?
The bird performed brilliantly in the sunshine. We got the full suite including extended flight views. The bird was very mobile covering an area of around 400 yds. The admirers understandably slackened off with some following the bird, while others just relaxed enjoying their success...
Another pic...

Quite a few familiar faces were present. Tony Dixon and Trevor Charlton arrived shortly after I did from the Ferry. Brett Richards was in my mini-bus. I also saw Andrew Kinghorn...amongst others.
A great twitch in wonderful surroundings with favourable weather...and...

(Local) MEGA - Turtle Dove!!!

Acting on a tip from my pal Phil I found myself (recovering from my exploits) down at Sunk Island this morning.
As I got out of the car, I could immediately here a wonderful sound that I hadn't heard for many years. A Turtle Dove purring or turr-turr..ing from whence it gets it's name...apparently!
The bird (or birds), I'm pretty sure I heard another (amazingly) was calling at regular intervals. While giving Bud a stretch I scanned the trees constantly but the cover was pretty thick and I couldn't SEE anything.
We went for a walk up the road. I heard purring from the adjacent bushes briefly but still no sighting.
On the way back to the garden I noticed a "bird on a wire"...
It was only there for seconds (after I'd seen it anyway) but I managed to grab this image. It flew back to the gardens and despite more scanning I didn't see it again.
As you're almost certainly aware this bird is heavily persecuted in the Mediterranean on migration with Malta being the main culprit. There does seem to have been a few more records this Spring but things are still grim. I hope things can improve in the coming years as the dinosaur hunters become fewer and further education changes the attitudes of the young. One can but hope...

Friday, 27 May 2016


I returned home last night with my tail once again between my legs after my third failed attempt. I'm thinking 70 hours now. Just to rub further salt in, the pager informed me this morning that the bird was "reported" yet again yesterday. What joy! Where? You guessed it, exactly where I was viewing from!!!

It's difficult for RBA. They're damned if they do etc

The mixture of "reports" paints a very confusing and frustrating picture leaving one not knowing what or who to believe? The positive out of all this (believe me I had to dig deep to find one) is that my hunch about the bird returning to Dartmoor has proved correct (providing the sighting is correct of course). This has eased my conscience somewhat after starting at Dartmoor on Tuesday morning therefore missing the bird in Cornwall. This is getting confusing.

Once again though...you've got to be in it...to win it!

So I better get in it...again. I'm taking Louise out for an Indian tonight!!!

I WILL post a report on my BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO twitch but it will have to wait until this prolonged episode has concluded...one way or the other.

UPDATE: I've finally had enough...for now. The plethora of dodgy sightings has turned the chasing of this magnificent bird into a farce. I'm not convinced it's still on Dartmoor. I'll only make my next visit on 100% definitive news...if that ever happens!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016


Bet you've missed my pearls of wisdom?!
Thing is, I've been at it again...twitching that is. I've made 3 visits to the South West (still there as I post this) in search of the LAMMERGEIER. I've been to Dartmoor, Cornwall and many places in between. I've tried:-
Last Sighting
Roost Site
Lucky break
I'm going to give it one more day. I reckon my total time now exceeds 60 hours!
In between time I popped up to North Uist to connect with the marvellous BBC. A dream bird and extreme rarity. Missed the Yellow-billed at Porthgwarra, which makes this one SO much sweeter. You've probably gathered by now my love for American birds!
Posting this from a dodgy connection in my Pub B&B, so I won't keep you. I'll do a full write up on my return home.
Here's an image to keep you going...

Friday, 20 May 2016

LAMMERGEIER - seen again!

The Giant bird is seen...again! I don't know, you go to the area and give it 2 days. You return home and...guess what...

12.05 MEGA Devon LAMMERGEIER (probably 1s) south of Brandis Moor over Cookworthy Moor Plantation for 20 minutes late morning then drifted west

Oh dear...or words to that effect!!! That's the ups and downs of twitching.

At least it wasn't seen again after 6pm on Wednesday when we departed. Now that IS looking on the bright side. This latest sighting isn't even on Dartmoor but approx. 30 miles to the NE.

What to do now?


Update: Thing is, it's not that simple, or is it? Just go, look and be in the area (granted a BIG area). It's a dream bird to see in Britain. There's been no further sign today and birders have been at this site. The weather forecast is poor, at least till lunchtime. It's impossible to estimate how many birders will try tomorrow, although it IS the weekend.

I'll sleep on it...not sure how long for though!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Search for the BONECRUSHER!

After the usual discussions between myself and the chaps. Trevor (Charlton) and I decided to give it a go on Dartmoor for the LAMMERGEIER (much preferred personally to Bearded Vulture). Tony (Dixon) in the end declined. Trevor picked me up from home at 3am Tuesday and we started the long drive down to Devon. Obviously at this time of year there's plenty of light which makes things more relaxing, giving plenty of hours to search and hopefully connect.
There's an excellent summary of previous events here.
There'd been a series of sightings on and around Dartmoor the previous day. We decided to start at the logical place i.e. the site of the last sighting on Monday evening which was a viewpoint over Soussons Down from the Warren House Inn. This was the mid-morning scene...
The weather and visibility wasn't great. There was low cloud, showers (some heavy) and a cold NW wind. Not great conditions for Vulture flight, although they will fly in poor weather. We had a few discussions with other Birders. Some were rather sceptical about yesterday evenings sighting from this spot, which didn't raise the spirits. I then saw Steve Webb and went over for a chat. He had been here the previous evening and was puzzled about the sighting, as he arrived shortly afterwards and no-one had been present who had seen the bird?
Still, we were here and a decent number (c40) had decided to view from here. So we waited. I had a mild desire to try Dartmeet (the site of yesterday afternoons sightings on Yar Tor) but I decided to go for the large view/more eyes theory and Trevor agreed. Other big listers such as Steve Gantlett and Chris Heard were also present.
The morning travelled by slowly. We had a few distant Buzzards but no sign of the BIG 1.
A persistent Cuckoo harassing the Meadow Pipits provided some entertainment...
The view...
It was early afternoon now but we were still focussed, things could get better, much better, in an instant! Around 4.30 a flash Landrover pulled up and a country gent called across to us. "Have you seen it?" No, we replied. "I HAVE!!!" He proceeded to give an impressive description of the bird and backed it up by pointing to his field guide. Trevor commented that he must be VERY familiar with the local Buzzards. He also had Swaro' bins. He said he'd seen the bird circling the TV mast on North Hessary Tor. He said the site was around 4 miles west of our location through the village of Princetown. The rest of the chaps hadn't heard this conversation, so we let them know and let them decide on it's merit. As we were the last to leave they obviously thought it was worth considering. I also let RBA know.
The TV mast soon came into view and we made our way towards it, discussing the best place to view from. We eventually joined the group. Trevor walked over to them and it was obvious to him there was some scepticism about this "sighting". I could understand this completely. We had to make a judgement call on what he said. We believed him and that was that. Trevor emphasized our view.
Nothing was seen for the rest of the afternoon. On the strength of this sighting we decided to stay overnight and try again tomorrow. We don't give up easily.
We found a smart B&B and a Witherspoons before getting some much needed sleep.
We were up at 7. A quick stop at Morrison's and back up onto the Moor. The weather was still poor, although it did improve as the day wore on.
View 2...
We hardly saw another birder all day!? At this point I'd like to say we connected and had magnificent views of a potential first for Britain. We didn't.
We left at 6pm after a total of around 17 hours in the field.
Was it worth it? YES. A long shot/needle in a haystack...of course...BUT imagine if we'd "got lucky".
Other cliché's like "you've got to be in it to win it" certainly apply, especially when we're coming from Yorks!
We both agreed that our efforts were worth it and we're definitely ready for another crack, if it re-appears.
The very fact that I was trying to see this bird in Britain was enough for me...and Trevor. It wasn't even a consideration! The fact that so few people were looking was even more motivational somehow. We had a greater chance of being the ones to re-find this cracker. It didn't work out but it was still enjoyable just to be "in the game" For many years previous I'd been at work longing to be trying for a MEGA...now it was my turn.
The journey back to the North-east passed fairly quickly and was made easier by Trevors tales from the past. He's seem some amazing birds from the 70's including WHITE-CROWNED BLACK WHEATEAR,  MAGNOLIA WARBLER and 2 AMERICAN REDSTARTS!!! His knowledge of birds is extremely impressive.
He dropped me off at Holmpton at 1.30am, the end of our search for the BONECRUSHER...for now.

Monday, 16 May 2016


MEGA Devon LAMMERGEIER imm again 3.24pm Dartmoor just North of Dartmeet at Yar Tor

Says it all really.

I HAVE to try for this bird. Missed many for various reasons previously stated BUT I have the time now...and boy am I going to use it!!!

In flight...

An idea of size...

 OK, it's an immature...but who cares...I certainly don't. Origin...who knows?

Sunday, 15 May 2016


Enough of this splitting (pardon the pun) hairs Birding. More fun today with the "Sub-Alpine group" as a bird was muted as ALL THREE species and both sexes!!! Blimey!
How about another... 
MEGA Gwent LAMMERGEIER imm on Thursday Sudbrook on rocks then flew east then NE along Severn Estuary

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Near and Far

I spent a good few hours looking for the Hoopoe today but I couldn't find it. I had a couple of hours down at Sammy's with Phil and Richard Boon. We had intermittent bursts of song from the THRUSH NIGHTINGALE but true to form no decent sightings.
BIG news nationally with the discovery of a probable GREEN WARBLER on Unst, Shetland. It brings back memories of my only charter for the wonderful CAPE MAY. So glad I went for this bird which was my most wanted...even though it did cost me a pretty penny. Somehow this current bird doesn't warrant a similar outlay as far as I'm concerned. Yes, it's only the second record for Britain and they all count as one in twitching terms.
From my personal perspective I'm content to selective twitch from now on as I've reached my target of 500 BOU. Don't get me wrong I'm still keen but I have other interests in my Birding, namely foreign trips, and I don't have unlimited funds!
I also have problems with certain splits and DNA testing to ID a bird!? It somehow dilutes the field guide somewhat don't you think? Some extremely similar species i.e. Empid Flycatchers have been accepted with field views and yet this latest MEGA needs DNA testing for the second record when the first one was accepted with field views on Scilly in 1983?
Anyway, to each their own. Good luck to the troops travelling tomorrow for two reasons. I hope "it's" there for them and I definitely hope it IS a GREEN WARBLER!

STOP PRESS - News of a new field guide...The DNA guide to Bird Identification. It comes complete with a mist net and all the necessary scientific equipment. So sling your Bins, Scope and Field guides away and join in the..."fun"!?

Friday, 13 May 2016

Quite a day

The day started with a phone call from Phil informing me that he was looking at the Hoopoe on the lawn of Cliff Farm, Out Newton. I should have been there...will I never learn...probably not!
Anyway, cornflakes abandoned, clothes thrown on and off to join him. Needless to say the bird had disappeared. The lads from Spurn soon arrived and started to scour the area. Nothing for 30 minutes or so. I tried further down the road towards Easington but no luck. I made my way back to Cliff Farm. As I drove up the track I caught sight of Mick Turton waving to me and pointing into the garden of the adjacent house.
Great I've got it at last!
Wrong...but WHAT a consolation prize...
A daytime Nightjar sighting. The lads had seen it flying into the garden. A wonderful bird. I then gave my neighbour Richard a ring to tell him of the find. He soon joined me and we returned to the site but the bird had gone.
I then went home to walk Bud before returning to look for the Hoopoe. As I reached the crest of the hill just before the turning for Cliff Farm I saw a dark "raptor" type bird flying low across the crop. Not a sight I was familiar with...no wonder...it was the Nightjar!!!
I saw it cross the road in front of me and then I lost it over the hedge. I wasn't sure if it had continued towards the farm or dropped on the other side of the hedge. I decided to search the immediate area. The wind was whistling in off the sea, it was cold. I reckoned it would be looking for a more sheltered spot. I checked all areas that I could get a decent view of but no joy. Then I looked along the edge of a cropped field with a decent hedge. Amazingly there it was, tucked in low between the hedge and the crop...
After double checking it wasn't a clump of earth (this has happened in the past) I rang Phil but I wasn't sure he'd heard me so I texted Steve Exley and Adam Hutt. Within 10 minutes birders from Spurn were arriving and everyone saw the bird. I also called Richard again and this time he connected. After a while I left the scene and headed off down to Spurn to try for the Red-backed Shrike. On the way I called Richard Willison and gave him directions to the site.
When I arrived at Spurn I had a walk down the canal and managed to find the bird with the help of Adam. It was fairly distant but what a cracker...
Time to go now but as I was leaving I saw Richard W coming the other way. He'd seen the Nightjar with a few further directions from yours truly. He told me there were still a few watching the bird when he left. We had a brief chat then we continued on our way. I hadn't had a good chat with him for quite a while so I u-turned and headed back to Kinlsea. I saw him taking pics of the Shrike and he was pointing his camera my way. There it was not  30 yards away...
After having a good chat with Richard I did leave this time but not before getting more luck at Kilnsea Wetlands with the pair of Garganey...
More luck as they were right by the side of the hide.
I'd been keeping Gavin informed about the Nightjar and he was hoping to see it after work. I returned to the site around 4pm to give him an update. I was trying not to let my cynicism take hold. Unfortunately my fears were confirmed on reaching the site. I looked along from the earlier vantage point...
but the bird had gone. I guess it could have moved on of it's own accord...and then maybe not...
The area of trampled down vegetation was almost directly opposite were the bird was roosting.
I waited for Gavin to show him the correct area before returning home. I haven't heard from him so I guess he was deprived of seeing his "favourite bird"... and the bird was deprived of much needed rest.

Thursday, 12 May 2016


Trevor (Charlton) arrived from Grimsby around 9pm Monday and Tony (Dixon) made it just before 10. I was the designated driver on this one as Tony had done a few last Spring when I was working. We picked Tony's mate Russ up in Hull and headed for the M1 were we'd arranged to meet Steve Lawton at Woodall services.
We had a few issues with road closures (not what you need on a 400 mile plus night drive) but we made it eventually. The weather was kind and the chaps kept me awake. We were deep into Cornwall when the first signs of light appeared...through the fog!
We arrived at Lands End around 6 and it was still foggy. We drove around the peninsular and eventually found a decent clump of expectant twitchers. Trevor, Steve and Russ had a stretch, I had a rest in the car with Tony. After around 20 minutes they returned as nothing was doing in the cold, foggy conditions. We decided to try and find a high point with a good view over the area. We eventually found a good spot on the Porthgwarra road.
Time passed and the fog lifted...slowly. We now had a good enough view...to see a Pelican!!!
Around 10 a car pulled up. I recognised the face as I'd seen him over the years on a few twitches including the CAPE MAY and the SIBE RUBYTHROAT. It was Franco. He was off to Porthgwarra to walk his dog. He told us there was a rumour that the bird had been seen passing Marizion Marsh?
It was worth checking out and we were soon down at the car park. There were plenty around but there was no real focus and the information was confused to say the least. We bumped into Brett Richards and had a coffee with him while we decided what to do next. We then overheard that a Woodchat Shrike was present right across the road. It would have been rude not too...

Things were slow at this time while we worked out our next move. Our decision was made for us at 11.33...
Cornwall DALMATIAN PELICAN ad again Land's End over Swingates House at 11.30
Scramble! We made our way quite quickly back from Marizion to Land's End. It was a lively scene on arrival...understandably. Some of the car parking left a lot to be desired! The bird was disappearing into the ether but we all got a (distant) view. Was that going to be it? Had it spiralled up...and away?
Some unfortunately didn't make it back in time. I hoped it wouldn't be our last view. It wasn't. It soon re-appeared and proceeded to give a fantastic display floating back and forward over the peninsular.
A giant of a bird with a wingspan of over 10 feet it made for an awesome sight for everyone to enjoy.
There's been a wealth of comment and theory about the birds provenance. Some interesting and informed, some not so. I have an open mind on the bird and will let the relevant authorities decide. I prefer the innocent until proven guilty theory.
Pelican immediately suggests "escape" and it may well be BUT just because there are plenty on the continent in collections it doesn't necessarily mean this is one of them...does it? I'm sure further investigations will ensue but surely we need facts and not assumptions!
Anyway, it was a great day out with some good lads...and a hell of a bird!!!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


Quite a day yesterday!!
I've also been down at Spurn today. I'd like to do a write up of my trip...but it won't be tonight. Amazingly it took some time to find/see it.
Can't think why...
More later...

Monday, 9 May 2016

Pelican brief!

Had to use it!
After much consultation with my fellow twitchers were off to Lands End tonight hoping to see a Dalmation Pelican!!!
There's the usual for and against stuff on-line which I steer well clear of. For me it's a good mainland day out with some great lads. What will be, will be...
Managed this pic of a Cuckoo early morning at Sammy's...nice view of the wing pattern...


My neighbour Richard came round at lunchtime to inform me he'd had a Hawfinch on his feeders!!! He kindly invited me round for a cuppa but the bird didn't show. He managed to get a decent pic through his bedroom window...
Thanks Richard. Question is...migrant or breeder?
Got to go now. Just going to fill my feeders!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Black Tern - NDC 150!!!

Today was a special day for yours truly, a very special day...eventually. If you have a "local patch" and toil faithfully year after year to add species to your list, you'll be able to relate to how I feel this evening. Maybe you can anyway?
As already stated I'd made the journey to the old site on Friday to try and add Black Tern to my NDC Life list which stood at 149.
It's been an exceptional passage this May. This coupled with my enforced free time gives me NO excuses not to give it ALL I've got (granted not as much as I used to have!).
I started today at the cliff hoping for Terns...any Terns. News was coming through from down the road of an excellent movement of Arctic and Black Terns. I gave it 2 hours and managed a modest 10 Arctics...but no Black. IMHO the Blacks were re-orientating out of the Humber after the east winds and carried on East. Either that or I can't see Black Terns!
I went back for Louise at 10 and we took Bud on the beach for an hour.
Then...it was time for a second attempt, especially as BT were still being reported in good numbers in Yorks.
I arrived with moderate hope at 2.30 to an empty hide. I set my stall out and had a quick look in the sightings book. I usually don't do this for a while but today I just...did?
6 Black Terns at 2pm
Fingers and thumbs ensued.
Then there they were. All six, floating over "my" reserve. A species MADE for it, like the finishing touch to a masterpiece! 30 Springs have come and gone and FINALLY I've connected and my 150 to boot. Couldn't think of a more fitting species.
The photos are horrendous. In my defence they were at least 800 yds away in the heat haze. Anyway for the record...
No big deal in the grand scheme of things...except for me of course!

Saturday, 7 May 2016


 I was down at Sammy's by 7 after driving through the thick fog! Fortunately the visibility improved...if only slightly. I made my way down to the far end with my four-legged friend passing Rick Swales on the opposite bank. I heard him talking to Mick (Turton) over the radio. Mick had the good news that a few Spotted Flycatchers had arrived. Good news indeed as they are one of my favourites.
Didn't see much on my way to the Southern end were I found Mick. He was looking North along the fenceline..at some Spotted Flycatchers. He reckoned he'd seen three. I joined him and I was soon looking at one on the fence...
A few minutes later I picked another up in a bush. The good news about this species is it sits out in the open a lot. Probably another good reason for liking it. Better than looking at leaves for long periods!!
My final image is particularly pleasing as it is framed by the emerging leaves behind...
 Before I left Mick he told me that he'd seen some Whimbrel in the paddocks and a Ring Ouzel by the woodpile No luck with the Whimbrel but...
 There were a couple of Yellow Wag's present also...
 I then picked up a distinctive sound as I reached the car. It went something like this...Cuc-koo.
They are notoriously difficult to get close too, although I have been lucky on the odd occasion. This view was somewhere in the middle...at least I SAW it..
A bit hazy but you get the idea!
ALPINE ACCENTOR tempting me in Lincs. Co-incidentally, my only British sighting was also in Lincs at Rimac in November 1994. Pity it couldn't have made it to Yorks!

Friday, 6 May 2016


Made the trip over yesterday. I was tempted by the Black Tern passage (good numbers further South) and had dreams of seeing them floating over my beloved reserve while celebrating my 150th for the site.

I can dream...and still will. One day in May?

I had a very enjoyable 3 hours in the Geoff Smith hide accruing 52 species. The reserve looked a picture in the sunshine. I'd post a pic if I could! Never seen as much water on in May.

That's better!

Great Crested Grebe...3 including a displaying pair
Little Egret
Common Tern...2 south down river
Bullfinch...pair along path to hide
(Black Swan)?

Year total 54

STILL no Swift seen in Yorks?

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Little Owl

The return journey from the local Indian tonight produced a new site for Little Owl...on Snakey lane! Surprise No 1.
The new visitor to my feeders appeared again this afternoon...Surprise number 2...
...and yes, the net feeders have gone!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


Popped up to Flamborough this morning to try for the Hoopoe...and to see my pal Tony Dixon who lives there. As I reached the headland I could see Tony scanning the gardens, he was the only birder there. There was no sign of the bird.
After parking the car I re-joined him. He'd moved further towards the seaward end of the road. He told me it'd been seen on the golf course...by the first tee!
As we were talking it flew across the road right in front of us. Far to quick for me to photograph. We decided to make our way back to the garden it seemed to be favouring. Sure enough within 5 minutes there it was...
There would have been a pic here but my card holder has packed up!
We watched it feeding on the lawn for a good 45 minutes before it was flushed by a Herring Gull. I also bumped into Craig Thomas who I hadn't seen for quite a while. We shared holiday stories before he moved on to look for the bird. Good to see him again.
I'll post some pics when my new reader arrives.
Just received some from Tony...
A wonderful bird and a young Spring male to boot!
Here's one I saw at High Island, Texas in 2013...