Tuesday, 14 July 2020

LAMMERGEIER - Reflections

Just about recovered...I think!

It's impossible to avoid social media these days, although as you know, I do try to limit my involvement. It does have some uses? For every opinion there's a counter position. Modern terminology passes me by...thankfully.

I won't harp on but here's an example of how differently people see things (hope you've picked up my understated irony here..and elsewhere come to that).

I refer to my "walk". Hopefully I've graphically illustarted how difficult I found it. Some however, found it "no problem". I'm a wimp! Granted I'm knocking on these days and I've had the odd mechanical alteration but I still consider the walk to the roost site...a challenge. Also my fitness levels are (definitely) not what they once were! However, I do know what effort feels like...or at least I can remember it...having been "in sport" most of my life. There you go...there's some right wags out there!?

My other point is regarding the "worth" of the occurence. Again, opinion. Some "not bothering" because it's Category E. Fine. However, in my opinion they're missing out on a spectacular bird and a special occasion.Many have voted with their feet!

Back to the bird...

Still present and roaming the area as I write, giving great pleasure to many people. What an occasion it is. I may be tempted back if it lingers BUT I won't be visiting the roost site...unsurprisingly!!

Theories still abound about its provenance but hey...lets just enjoy its presence, eh?


I hate negativity and I really hope there's not a tragic end to this tale...

Sunday, 12 July 2020

BONECRUSHER!!!

News of a LAMMERGEIER (Bearded Vulture these days apparently but not in my book) roaming the Peak District pricked my ears up! As you may recall, I spent some time with Trevor Charlton in the South West in 2016...without success. The problem was the sightings were intermittent and wide ranging. Would it settle this time?

This species is special to many Birders and my two trips to the French Pyrenees always had this bird high on my list of targets. The opportunity to see one in Britain regardless of its Category was strong for me.

News came through on Thursday that the bird was frequenting the Strines area, an area I am familiar with from many trips in the past, to try for Goshawk.

More news from the same area on Friday. I nearly set off at lunchtime but didn't as I felt the uncertainty and time remaining was restrictive.

So, it was time to formulate a plan for Saturday. The issue was I had to back for 11 as we were expecting a delivery and Louise was working. Information is easy to obtain these days with many online resources available. I weighed up access and parking possibilities before hitting the sack at 10.30. I must confess I still had reservations as again, time was limited.

The alarm went at 1am, I felt positive, so I packed the car and headed for Sheffield. I arrived at the Strines car park around 3.15. I knew parking was limited and unsurprisingly there were no spaces as the overnight brigade had filled them all. I had planned to park further down the road anyway and approach from the North. This was thwarted when I saw the road closed sign! I returned to the Strines area and fortunately found a space. As I opened the gate Lee Evans appeared out of the darkness along with a few other hopefuls. I was hoping to be at the roost site for 5am? The start was steep, very steep. A real tester for my three replacement joints and dodgy back! I was puffing like a steam train as I started the ascent...

The daylight view of the start on my return

There are not many hills around Holmpton. The others soon disappeared into the night (fair enough) as I slowly but surely gained altitude in the now half-light.

Pre-dawn view over the Moors

Fortunately the increasing light gave me a view of the trail of Birders heading onwards. Something to hang onto. The walk along the ridge was obviously easier but it still seemed to take forever (due to my sedentary pace). Thankfully the path was lined with flags...a truly amazing achievement!! At one point a chap (of similar age) passed me and we had a brief chat. He casually dropped into the conversation that he'd broken his back last year! All of a sudden I didn't feel as tired, just humbled.

It was now around 4.30. Understandably I was now looking for "the group". I couldn't see them? I could see the trail of walkers bending around a valley into the distance. This was some walk. Of course, it turned out that the roost site could only be viewed (without potentially flushing the bird) by doing nearly a full circle around the valley. At least there was a path (or so it seemed). WRONG!!!

The next 45 minutes or so were some of the most difficult movements I have ever made. There was no path...just a series of large spongy tufts, pot-holes, bog and heather...oh and a stream to cross! I'd have struggled at 36, at 63 this was hell. I lost count of the number of times I fell. I've questioned my sanity many times when twitching but this particularly morning took the biscuit. At last I could see the troops but I was still (frustratingly) a few hundred yards away, which felt like a couple of miles in my now exhausted state. My legs felt like jelly. Another fall and as I looked up at the sky I heard voices..."It's flying"!

I'd nothing left.

When I eventually got back on my feet it was obvious the bird had drifted down the Valley away from the roost site...and out of view......and possibly on to pastures new?

The roost site at Howden Edge from Crook Clough

Sickening doesn't cover it. If (a little word with a large meaning) the terrain hadn't been so incredibly difficult I'd have made it for 5 and seen the bird. It was surprising (and rather disappointing) that the Vulture left its roost so early...but there you go.

I'd made the effort, so I walked the remaining yards and sat down on the grass with the chaps/and a few lasses...exhausted...and gutted!

The highs and lows of twitching...guess which one this was!

As I gathered my thoughts and my breathing rate decreased, I became aware of some interest in the far distance. Hope?

It was still present!!!

Trouble was my bins (understandably) were steamed up and I couldn't see anything. My attatched lens cloth was also saturated but eventually I managed to clear them. There it was, circling the distant Tor! RELIEF!!!

So, at least I'd seen it...and I definitely thought I'd earned it. It had been quite a challenge.

It was now around 6. As mentioned earlier I had to be home for 11 and the return journey to the car was going to be another challenge...and take at least 2 hours. I decided to stay till 7.15 hoping it might return or at least come nearer? I was slowly recovering and my spirits lifted further when it became apparent the bird was drifting back this way. I raised my camera and then realised it to was fogged up! I detached my extension, gave the lenses a wipe and managed a few images...

Pre-wipe at 5.53am

Incoming.....


The next 30 minutes were simply wonderful as I was treated to the FULL show. My effort was rewarded after all. The LAMMERGEIER drifted, then circled around the valley in the diffuse early morning light...



...before alighting on a chosen pillar of rock to enjoy a meal...and a preen...


The trek had been horrendous but the views justified it...I think?

Birders online have debated this record endlessly...as is the case these days. That's fine...everyone's entitled to their opinion. You have a choice...go...or don't go! The status of this bird is irrelevant to me...I just wanted to SEE it. I will say this. The populations in the Alps and Pyrennes are increasing and more "wild" young are fledging. This is the second bird to have made it over the channel. I guess its origin will remain a mystery.

I've now seen an ALBATROSS (WS 235cm) and a LAMMERGEIER (WS 275cm) in Britain...and more so Yorkshire...in EIGHT days. Pure fantasy. Who'd a thought it?!!!

I won't dwell on the return journey but it was equally as challenging and frankly dangerous. At one point my leg went down a crevasse up to my hip! My surgeon did a great job...thankfully!

I made it back to the car for 9 and made it home in time to score some points.

It was like a who's who of Birders proving the phenominal interest in this bird regardless. I bumped into Andrew Kinghorn and Tom Middleton on "the bog" and John Harriman and Gary Taylor at the Tor then Adam Archer and Jason Oliver on the descent. I didn't have much breath for conversation, unfortunately.

The power of motivation is strong...as I prove on every holiday lol! Some days I struggle to get up the stairs, so I'm amazed I made this slog. Glad I did though. It was great to feel alive and at the limit of my endeavours. The thrill of the chase will always be with me and once I've "locked on" I'll give it my best shot.

There may not be "a tick" here BUT it doesn't matter a jot...it was ALL about the experience.

Last word to the Bonecrusher. Not the best image but I feel it grabs the essence/jizz of the BIG ONE...surveying its domain early morning...

LAMMERGEIER...a far superior name!

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Aspects of Birding

I enjoy most aspects of Birding, as you've probably gathered. I'll sometimes even go and try to see a bird that may not be a tick e.g. LAMMERGEIER...at least not yet!

The Shearwater conundrum at Portland Bill is not for me. Various plumages and sizes suggests uncertainty... to put it politely.

Birders invest time and money to chase birds and I wouldn't want to upset anyone BUT I can't believe there'll be a definitive conclusion here.

This situation is a million miles away from last Friday's experience...

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

BBA - postscript

I'm afraid I told a porky on my last post. Further to an exchange of messages with John Harwood from Scarborough, I've decided to post the "conversation' we had, to hopefully give a flavour of the excitement of "the moment".

Hi John,
Things turned out rather well after our drenching earlier. I was lucky after wimping out to the car to warm up. What a day!!!

Hi Alan
Couldnt believe how lucky we were , I saw your arms raised in victory, did you see it on bartlett or grandstand where i saw you ?
I heard somone shout "get in" as it appeared in front of us. SO GOOD.
many on the viewpoints to the south missed it as it circled us a few times then flew north.  

Hi John
That was my shout on Grandstand! Unforgettable. Yes, cruel how it u-turned. I'll never forget the birders on Bartlett swinging round as it passed them!! Then the moment when it came into view sooooo close. Glad you connected.

Hi Alan
Luvved the day, your shout and victory wave was precious ! I was stood with Chris Bradshaw ex BBRC man and worldwide traveller he needed it for a lifer.  So everyone was happy on grandstand.
I was lucky to see the Oct 2016 flyby there just after watching the eastern crowned warbler  but the views this time were "unbelievable". Good to see you Alan, must chat next time we meet.

There you go. Can't buy it in a bottle!!! After careful consideration and reflection I've decided to elevate the BBA to "numero uno" in my Rush Birds. The NIGHTHAWK took some shiftin'.


In contrast...a controversial Shearwater was seen today off Portland Bill. Looking at Collin's, I'm none the wiser. I've not selected this bird...

I may be selecting a visit to the Peak District soon though...

Monday, 6 July 2020

BBA - Last word

*smug alert*

I try not to be!

I'm aware of maybe over-egging this one but please bear with me...as I hope you'd agree, it was a landmark moment!!! I realize successful accounts can be rather "gripping" (twitching parlance for not connecting with your target bird).

Anyone caring to read this who has dipped...I genuinely feel your pain, for I have been in that position... many times. It's truly a sickening feeling. That's what undoubtedly makes an eventual connection...all the more sweeter!

Beating yourself up is understandable... as hindsight kicks in...

"I should have done this..."
"If only I'd..."
"Yet another Friday departure"

The nuances of a twitch can be subtle... and very painful...yet fascinating and stimulating. The quarry can vary (they're all one) from the "little brown job" to...er...an ALBATROSS!!!

The circumstances in which you connect can also add value and satisfaction to the occasion.

Geography is also key. My chosen location is favourable... even though I'm a Lancastrian! Two MEGA SWIFTS - WHITE-RUMPED and PACIFIC have also turned up locally at Hornsea Mere as well as a certain ACCENTOR in Easington. Other "off the top of the head" memories include REV and CLIFF SWALLOW at you know where. On the other side of the coin, I'm a long way from Cornwall and Scotland.

One example. I still remember vividly Trevor's phone call telling me the BBA was sat on the cliff at Bempton when I was at work in May 2017. Gutted doesn't cover it after being away the year before. Still, third time lucky at the Seabird Colony.

Signing off with my favourite instrumental...


Fleetwood Mac ~ Albatross (1969)

Saturday, 4 July 2020

BBA - Reflections

Obviously still Buzzin'!!!

A follower pointed out I'd missed out of my review another dip in Cornwall! I guess I tried to erase it from my memory. Thanks anyway.

As I write there have been no further sightings of the bird after I left just before lunchtime yesterday. Very surprised and disappointed for birders who have yet to connect...

My last view

Love the wingspan comparison.

I have to say you would have thought it would have shown today by now? You just never know in this game. Wouldn't it be great if it found a spot to settle for the summer.

Something I rarely do is add something retrospectively. However, this was one of the rare occasions when a naked eye view was undoubtedly...THE best!!!

This record goes straight to No 3 in my "Rush Birds" list. Pop pickers!

As well as being a spectacular bird, the site is also spectacular and it would have been sacrilege not to appreciate this fact. So lucky to have this site just "up the road". I've seen the Gannet numbers increase steadily over the years and you can now view them right by the coastal footpath...

Beautiful bird

...an alternative view...


...and an immature...


Always nice to get a decent view of a Puffin...


...and of course my favourite Auk, the super sleek Razorbill...


Always a privilege...

Friday, 3 July 2020

BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS

On one of my first trips to Filey in 1987, I was stood at the end of the Brigg watching a Little Gull that had been pointed out to me (dark underwing) when a shout went up...ALBATROSS! I scanned and scanned but nothing was seen? Partly due to not knowing what I would be looking at! Something BIG I guess.

Fast forward to May 2008 when I took part in a trip to Sula Sgeir in the Outer Hebrides organised by Rare Bird Alert. A fantastic adventure but alas no ALBATROSS.

Onto Bempton in October 2016 when one was seen at Bempton when birders were enjoying an EASTERN-CROWNED WARBLER. A double-whammy as they say. Yours truly was on The Uists dipping an EASTERN KINGBIRD.

A year later I was at work when I received a call form Trevor Charlton, again at Bempton, to inform me an ALBATROSS was sat on the cliffs!!! Needless...to say, I didn't make it.

Fast forward to yesterday evening, it was Trevor again. This time I was sat at home watching TV with Louise and my son Robert who was over for a visit. He informed me an ALBATROSS had just flown North past Bempton! This wasn't ideal timing with my lad going back to Dubai on Wednesday. I didn't mention it. Shortly after...a message...

17.14 BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS Bempton sat on cliff at New Roll-up Viewpoint

I put my proposal to my son...and we were...OFF!!! We made good time due to light traffic. Of course the bird had been flushed from its perch by agitated Gannets. We joined Trevor and a handful of hopefuls and waited...and waited. No joy but Robert enjoyed the Seabird spectacle and I enjoyed spending quality time with my son...


Onto today...early. 6.15 and the phone "went". Louise beat me to it...which isn't difficult at this hour. It was Trevor again which could only mean one thing! BBA. I was supposed to be taking Robert over to Doncaster to meet his Mother and Brother for 9. After a brief meeting Louise offered to take him and Robert was fine with it. I wasn't entirely happy but they convinced me it was OK. Sod's Law or is it Murphy's?

Even better time was made this time at this early hour. Not quick enough unfortunately as the bird had disappeared again. A report of it being sat on the cliff was erroneous (as they say). Again, I joined Trevor and a few more hopefuls...at a safe distance of course. Some had gambled, went early (as I would have done if my son hadn't have been visiting) and scored. Nice strategy.

The weather was turning nasty...and I was in my shorts and sandals! In my defence I'd left in rather a hurry (you don't check the weather forecast under these circumstances)...and it is July!

I now had the familiar waiting game. It's a long day at this time of year. By 9 I was feeling it. The wind was strong and the rain was heavier. Trevor left for refreshment...I didn't dare. Phil Jones and Steve Lawton were on their way and Haydn was coming later when he had a break in his work schedule. 9.30 and I cracked. I headed back to the car to warm up. I know...risky/stupid...but necessary.

As I reached the car Phil appeared and obviously wondered where I was going! I explained and said I'd join him in a while. The situation was compounded by there being no signal in my car. After I'd warmed up I decided (dubiously) to drive out of the car park, so I could update my phone messages. The good news was there had been no further sightings, the bad news was I'd almost certainly lost my space. There was a moment here when, I admit, I was tempted to abort. My past history, another couple of dips and the poor weather tested my fortitude. Fortunately I'm stubborn, very stubborn.

I returned to the Grandstand viewpoint and joined Phil. Birders were understandably arriving and things were starting to get cosy, which obviously wasn't ideal in the current climate. Fortunately there's plenty of room at Bempton and there are numerous viewpoints, which helped to spread the troops out.

It was now turned 11 and fortunately the rain had abated. Then one chap stated he'd received a message saying the bird was heading South from the Reighton area. Exciting! We could see the viewpoint to the North at Bartlett Nab and all eyes were fixed on the Birders there. It became obvious they were..."focussed". Even more obvious when they turned around and started looking TOWARDS us!!!

Then a shout..."there it is"! I was looking out to sea and that was my mistake, as there it was drifting right towards us at eye level along the cliff edge. MAGICAL. I didn't get any decent pics but it didn't matter (there may be one or two on-line), the images are embedded in my head. The view was more important than an image. I'll never forget the sight of an ALBATROSS gliding towards me, so close to home. Etched in my brain...forever. A pic courtesy of Phil...

BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS

There you go. It was my turn at last and well worth the wait. Another major piece in my retirement plan jigsaw.

My BUBO badge has never shone brighter..

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

RFF 2&3

I thought I'd pop a few thoughts down while I wait for the bird to fly...hopefully?

I came down at dawn (I know...unusual) but wasn't rewarded for my "effort" in 3 hours!


After a kip and a trip to Tesco I returned early afternoon. Nice to meet up with Phil and his lady friend who'd popped over the bridge for a look.

This time the bird was on show, albeit distantly...

 Handheld phonescope at 100yds

Maybe I can add something else later?

I can!

After a futher two hours of watching the bird resting in the tree...


...there was a kerfuffle as the small group of patient admirers started to disperse towards the ploughed field. I drove up the road passing the group and parked on the wide verge at what I considered a reasonable distance (c50yds). The bird was sat in the field. The group then reached my car with some passing it. Guess what...the bird flew off. I then heard some chunnering about my car from people well beyond it!

As said recently...opinions eh..

Anyway here's the ground shot that I managed before its untimely departure...


A lovely bird and my favourite plumage for this species.

Monday, 29 June 2020

RFF

I decided it was about time I tried to SEE something...instead of all this pontificating!

Louise had a hospital appointment in Hull (which went well) so on the way back we detoured to Cherry Cobb Sands, west of Keyingham to try for the lingering female Red-footed Falcon. The strong wind and frequent showers meant we failed to connect in an hours vigil. A few familiar faces were noted including Stuart Griffiths and John Harriman.

I may try again in the morning.

So, no pic. Instead, here's a rather smart Duck from Texas 19...

Cinnamon Teal, Santa Ana NWR

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Swift movement

Lots (precise term) of Swifts moving South the last couple of days. Always the chance of "a rare" amongst them, although the spectacle in itself is unmissable!!

A walk with Louise revealed a surprise breeding record in the Village. Herring Gull chick on a local chimney stack! Nice.

Today's memories from the annals as I trawl my Blog sightings...

  • The Cliff Top Pond which gave me my only Water Rail record 15/9/14. Sadly no more...



  • My DUSKY THRUSH twitch which could well qualify for my top ten "Rush Birds" on reflection? Click on the "red bit" as per usual...

Friday, 26 June 2020

Profound Opinions?

As we're deep into breeding season when birds are better left alone, I thought I'd post a few more thoughts on...opinions.

We all have one right...and we're entitled to it. You're entitled to mine!

You only have to look on Twitter/Facebook (I really try to limit my participation to bird news) to see the seething vitriole that can be spouted forth. Frightening really and a sad indictment of certain sections of the population. The other side of the coin, thankfully, is informed and balanced input plus humour of course!

Here am I daring to pontificate about numerous topics on my little Blog. If you're reading it...I'm genuinely flattered. Hope you're still with me Tim...despite the new format?

Last word/s on the "travelling to twitch" topic. It 's (still) amazing (at least to me) how people view things so differently. In a nutshell...people will justify their movements to suit themselves. Hypocritical behaviour abounds in this scenario...as in many others. It seems the British public can be trusted!!!?

This is how busy Brighton beach was today
My idea of hell...anytime!!!
Keep your distance?

No sports crowds, no concerts attendance but the above is...allowed! Two words spring to mind, (actually there's a few more that I refuse to use on here).

My problem is this. The good people who adhere to the "advice" end up feeling like...mugs. Albeit safer mugs. This applies to "the Tern"...last mention promise. I'm certain some twitchers would have loved to have dashed across to Ireland to see it...but didn't for reasons already aired. Some did and many endorsed their decision. "Go on chaps...fill yer boots" or words to that effect. There you go...or rather they go!

Thing is, the bird is breeding and will remain well into next month when restrictions will ease. Followers will know my mantra..."ASAP". I guess it depends how you define possible?

Tomorrow ABA Big Year Birding...

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Memories

Scorcher today...very nice indeed. The "Beast from the East" seems a long way away...thankfully. Nothing of significance to report bird-wise locally.

Still enjoying transferring my Bird Recorder records to eBird for posterity. I've only got 33 years of records to move. I may overlook the odd Blue Tit record! As I trawl through my sightings, some great memories are re-kindled. A couple of examples...


  • 2010...My British List stood at 471. I as well pleased with that total. I wouldn't have predicted another 51 species in the next 10 years...diminishing returns and all that.

  • A prediction from the same year. I've since seen 4 of the 5 birds. My speculation regarding CAPE MAY WARBLER miraculously came to fruition in 2013. BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was another dream addition in 2016. Feel free to click the links for the full story. So, only PARULA to fall. I'm confident I'll get a chance, hopefully on St Mary's whilst I'm in residence!



More (predictable) online fun regarding "the Irish Tern" I've aired my views. Entitlement is strong...but sometimes misguided...

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Irish Tern - Beyond the Pale

Nobody is keener or more determined than I am (or at least I like to think so) when it comes to twitching a MEGA...of my choice. However, "The Tern" in Ireland at the moment involves a journey, that as far as I'm aware...is illegal? As previously stated...I'm a British twitcher and that has saved me a few quid over the years! So the current target is moot. I do find the current trend to split hairs...sorry birds...thinner and thinner is getting tiresome, despite the "appliance of science" (now where have I heard that before?). So speaks the grumpy old fart!

I never get into specifics regarding individuals decisions, especially on forums etc...it's a free world and people are free to make their own choices. They must also be ready to face the consequences! Not that some will care. I wouldn't want to upset anyone...would I?

To be honest when all is said and done it's a futile race to...nowhere! I enjoy the "thrill of the chase" but trying to "win the league" is an area shaded with grey.

I've always been competitive but with twitching it's best to choose your races...and this definitely isn't one of them in my book. I will enter a few in the future...hopefully...

Monday, 22 June 2020

Decisions... Decisions!?

So, my long anticipated BAIKAL TEAL addition to my Yorkshire List (I saw the accepted Minsmere bird) has bit the dust! It has been deemed unworthy by the "ten just men".  The Flamboro' bird (with wing damage) was accepted? No evidence of captivity on the Spurn bird. Granted, it did linger but it also travelled North (and came from the south) and eventually left for parts unknown. Other long(er)-staying wildfowl examples can be found.

Wildfowl provenance is always controversial but are the decisions consistent?

Historical records of certain species are also being retrospectively admitted i.e. FALCATED DUCK. Maybe this record will be reviewed...someday?

Someone has to make a decision and opinions on that decision will obviously vary. Vested interests can fuel that opinion... as mine does in this case! Even if I'd have seen the Flamboro' bird I would have deemed this record...just as worthy.

Inconsistency dilutes the value of "The List" for me. I won't mention the Chinese Pond Heron...whoops, I just have!!!

It's a game...

There's a funny Tern in Ireland at the moment. It's mating with a Sandwich Tern?
Some will travel no doubt. I won't be one of them. Not interested in the bird and don't "do" Ireland. Just Britain for me...that's big enough!

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Tawny Owl - breeding evidence


This juvenile flew past our lounge window and landed briefly on a distant wire. It was 10.10!

Friday night flit MEGA

I see the ASIAN DESERT WARBLER has departed. One of many Rare Birds shy of the weekend. Like many things in life...no justice. The usual debates on-line regarding travel and distancing...yawn...

On the bright side, I guess many will have connected that might otherwise not have done so, due to the current situation...which is something. Some of the less scrupulous amongst us seem to wallow in the mis-fortune of others. I'm not one of them.

Dipping the RUPPELL'S WARBLER of Sept '92 at Holme, Norfolk...still stings!


Locally the Song Thrushes in the lane are on their second verse. Lovely to have three in earshot. I also had a brief visit to the lounge window...from a male Bullfinch!?

You may have noticed my lack of activity lately? We have one or two domestic issues to sort out at the moment. At least they've occured at a convenient time of year. I enjoyed a wonderful few hours today with my two sons and my grandson by the Humber Bridge for Daddy's Day. Quality time.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

"What a Beauty"?

We all love birds...right? It doesn't matter if it's the local Blackbird (which I adore) or some far flung waif I may have travelled a ridiculous amount of miles to see
(hopefully). However, some birds are definitely more impressive than others, I think we would all agree?

Some of the "little brown jobs" are extremely desirable but it's "rarity value" that's the motivation here...surely.

I admit to having a chuckle at some of the comments, as the umpteenth pic of the latest star appears on one of the social media outlets. "What a beauty " or "It's a cracker " being a couple of the more widely used phrases.

I'm sorry but not all rarities are "Crackers" or "Stunners". In fact many are pretty DULL!!!

How about..."great addition but underwhelming" or "Not sure what it is but I'll see what's decided".

To each there own but...call it as it is...a touch more realistic?

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Mid-Summer MEGAS

Well...getting there! Breaking news yesterday evening!!!

20.02 ASIAN DESERT WARBLER, Holy Island, Northumberland. Male at Half Moon Slack

I have two records...

14/10/1991 Flamborough Head, South Landing

7/5/2000 - Spurn NNR, Sammy's Point

A late blast of rare warblers...wait...and there's more...

As I write...

13.05 GREEN WARBLER, Fair Isle


Blimey!!!

There'll be another...in fact, there seems to be more recent records. Dare I suggest more of the Phylloscopus family being scrutinised more closely...and ID'd?

Sunday, 14 June 2020

New layout - mixed reviews!

Blogger is changing (doesn't everything eventually) so I decided to pre-empt this forced alteration by re-designing things to fit my more senior status!

I obviously like it but "one man's meat..." and all that. There's also the phone/laptop aspect. More and more sites are leaning towards being "mobile friendly". Blogger is available in both formats (you probably knew that). I've always been a small font man...double tap and drag always useful on mobile. So, you have a choice... in fact you have three...don't read it...Nooooooo...

.....................................................

A VERY strange Spring has resulted in some interesting late records. I've been a good lad with just one brief evening visit to Spurn for an insurance Greenish Warbler. Us twitchers have " got away with it". I remember 2015...WELL! See left hand column "roll of honour".

P.S. I also need to reinstate HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL