Thursday, 17 June 2021
Didn't manage much sleep on the way down but caught up a bit on the mercifully smooth Scillonian crossing...(hence this late initial post).
As we were about to dock I picked up a Puffin on the water, which was a Scilly tick having never been in Summer before.
Those of you "in the know" will be aware there were no reports of the EV. I'm staying till Friday afternoon to enjoy the Islands and maybe, just maybe...it might still be around. The SHORT-TOED EAGLE of 1999 did a tour of some of the more remote Islands and stayed 5 days. Hope springs eternal.
Late afternoon a report came through of the "resident" Iceland Gull, which I eventually managed a view of from the Garrison. Another Scilly tick after dipping last Autumn. As I was walking down to the Quay for a closer look a van pulled up. It was Kris Webb aka "Spider" who runs the WhatsApp group. He asked if I was going for the Red-footed Falcon...yet another Scilly tick! I hopped in and 40 minutes later I was enjoying brilliant scope views of this beautiful bird.
I'm writing this from the harbour having just had the obligatory "full English". The weather is set fair... fingers (and everything else) crossed...
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
MEGA Scilly EGYPTIAN VULTURE ad Tresco in pine on north side of Pool Road near Pentle House at 12.10pm
Now that's what I call BIG news!!! Still recovering from Lundy.
I can be guilty of making assumptions, less so as I age...hopefully! Origins/provenance etc...the usual stuff. Lets be positive, it's better for you.
Of course, I was just getting out of the car at the wonderful Bolton Abbey when the news..."broke". An intended leisurely stroll with Louise and Bud up to "the Strid" had become...less so. It's a game!
NOTHING was going to affect our day, so we had some lunch at the Cavendish Pavilion and started our walk the magnificent trees and along the River Wharf. It was very quiet with few people around. Peaceful. The highlight was on the way in as I spotted a male Redstart on the approach road. The heavily shaded riverside walk produced the obligatory Grey Wagtails ...
A bonus was a Mandarin Duck acting like a Torrent Duck...sort of.
After reaching the Strid for the mandatory pic...
...we retraced our footsteps to the car. This was a nostalgic trip, as I used to visit here regulary with my parents in the late 80's/90's. All 4 of my German Shepherds have been here. It must be 15 years since I'd been. No luck with Pied Flycatcher or Wood Warbler although we bumped into a chap from Burnley who'd seen one last year.
A great day.
So, what to do? The heavily connected would be zooming down to Penzance overnight to grab spaces on charter boats (3 left at 6am this morning I later found out in a conversation with one of the owners). Fair play. Logistical problems made this impossible for yours truly; besides, I wouldn't have got a seat anyway!
Today's news seemed a tad confusing...to say the least! Initially it was apparently being scoped from St Mary's at 2.5 miles in heat haze! The rest of the day was a series of confusing messages which must have been VERY frustrating for Birders present on the Island...an understatement!
Deciding whether to make an attempt can be equally confusing, if less tiring. Mid-afternoon claims (later withdrawn) raised hopes and initialted planning. Dive in...and waste money; leave it to late and you're not going anyway!
I eventually made a commitment. It was based on...
- Quality of bird
- Location - my favourite
- Time of Year - can add some Scilly ticks as I've never been in Summer.
So. I'm going over on my old "friend" the Scillonian at 9.15am tomorrow and I'm returning on the 3.15pm flight on Friday. The way I see it is this...
- I'm retired now, so no rushing around anymore (I've done plenty of that believe me).
- I can travel and have my little adventure totally relaxed thanks to my wonderful Wife.
- This type of situation partly fulfils my wunderlust.
- Lastly, I might be looking at an EGYPTIAN VULTURE over the Fortunate Isles tomorrow.
I'll keep you posted...
Sunday, 13 June 2021
Just a quick update. Popped over to Wheldrake Ings late afternoon and sneaked a brief but conclusive view. An obvious MEGA for the area. The bird was very distant, so no frame fillers on this one. Nice to go back to one of my old stomping grounds.
Back to the Footy!
Thursday, 10 June 2021
- Unfamiliar with the area and access - although it can soon be figured out with some luck on the internet and phone!
- Bud to go in the Kennels as an Island is involved - contacting and space can be an issue
- Doctors appointment
- Louise isn't a problem as she's a diamond and always supportive. I'm very lucky.
- Time isn't an issue these days...but outlay can be!
- Every second counts...ASAP...and all that.
|Looking South...for our boat!|
- It was great to get "back in the saddle" again.
- I saw my first Dolphin in Britain on the journey out.
- I met several and had chance to talk with many old acquaintancies from over the years which helped kill the hours. It was great to see them again.
- I added Lundy to my impressive Islands of Britain list!
- It was another great adventure...and that IS the most important thing...honestly. I'll spare you the Top of the League/Cup Winner/European places speech.
- I was disappointed with the outcome but satisfied with my effort.
Tuesday, 8 June 2021
Quality sighting this morning. Two Hobbies (P.112, H.107) on Snakey Lane! Always nice to get at least one sighting each year for the Village. The birds circled in typically acrobatic fashion before climbing high and heading North...
My camera didn't want to play initially but at least I was able to record the event...
MEGA Devon SULPHUR-BELLIED WARBLER male Lundy in Millcombe Wood
Sunday, 6 June 2021
We have a couple of MEGAS present in the Country at the moment...
A RIVER WARBLER in Somerset at Ham Wall RSPB and a RED-NECKED STINT in Northumberland on the Blyth Estuary.
I've seen both before, due to my advanced age...
"My" RW was at Scotsman's Flash, Wigan 14/7/95. This was a rather chaotic experience which seemed great fun at the time...less so now.
"My" RNS was even earler at Cley, Norfolk 2/8/92. The Blacktoft Sands bird was just before I started Birding in 1986. That would have been a fine Yorkshire Tick!!
The RW is showing well and the RNS is in summer plumage, so I guess there's a reason to see both again...but I won't be travelling.
I bumped into Richard this morning and he told me he'd read my post regarding elastic recording areas! We've decided that the Bee-eaters ARE in our "Holmpton recording boundary"!
Tonight's evening stroll to the Cliff didn't produce any avian interest but I did see a sea creature. Harbour Porpoise I assume...
Friday, 4 June 2021
Thursday, 3 June 2021
A few around the area but none seen here...yet!
To chase or wait? I'm more of a waiter these days...I'd like to be more of a finder!! Better get out there and find somert...
No sooner had I posted this than...
Update: 1.35 The two Bee-eaters are now sat on wires by Southfield Farm (Kilnsea). I cracked and chased...but failed!
The same birds as yesterday apparently, so still in with a shout...maybe here?
Update 2: As I came out of the Opticians around 4.30 (complete with dilating eye drops) I stumbled for my phone before falling into the good ladies car to be driven home...
4.19: 2 on wires by Out Newton Rd late afternoon
Maybe I drove past them on my way back from Spurn?!
We arrived around 5 and I saw them distantly on the wires. A quick return home for Optics and I was back on site at 5.20...having passed Richard on the way...
Tuesday, 1 June 2021
|Live long and strong team|
Sunday, 30 May 2021
Early news on Saturday morning...
Garganey at North Duffied Carrs in front of the Geoff Smith Hide
As most of the country is now bathing in long overdue sunshine we're experiencing the famous North Sea fret. In between pulses of mist I found three Yellow Wagtails at Cliff Farm...
Friday, 28 May 2021
Yesterday found me in Lincoln. The old girl needed a service...the car that is! I combined it with a trip out with Phil to Messingham Sand Quarry. Memories of GREEN HERON and a past life living in Scawby. After some initial roadworks hassle we arrived at the Reserve around 11. We enjoyed a nice stroll around a pleasant site for a couple of hours before returning to collect the car. It was good to see him and thanks for the help pal. Much appreciated!
|Plenty of Reed Warblers present|
|Hadn't seen this for quite a while|
The evening stroll to the Cliff was brightened (literally) by some of the locals taking in the evening sunshine (yes...sunshine)...
Today I made my last attempt of the month for my 2021 Garganey at NDC...I also FINALLY got my hair cut! No joy but a pleasant 3 hour session was had. The visit was notable more for the sounds than the sights with displaying Curlew, Lapwing and drumming Snipe...
|Not easy to "catch"|
Determination in a photo...
The weather looks set fair for the forseeable, so let's hope we have some surpises in store over the Bank Holiday and into next week?
Tuesday, 25 May 2021
The good lady had to visit her Dentist in York so I cadged a lift and she dropped me off at NDC around midday.
After the negativity regarding the poor conditions for fledged birds this was indeed a fine and uplifting sight! "Ne'er cast a clout till May is out"...
Is it the Month or the Flower? It doesn't seem to be clear? I prefer the Hawthorn angle!
I'm aware of repetition having visited quite a few times over the past few weeks, so I'll try to be succinct...I usually am, to be fair...aren't I? Got to make the most of the Spring before the Summer doldrums.
The weather was still volatile and as always, I was hoping something "good" would drop in. I enjoyed a pleasant hour seeing and hearing what was about, while enjoying the wonderful view that I never tire of...
|The River is in sight again!|
I was then joined by two Birders, one was John Heaton who lives locally and was someone I'd seen from time to time over recent years. I said I'd give you a mention John...as you read my Blog! Much obliged. His friend Nigel Robinson was trying out his new Swarovski "bins". We spent the next hour discussing various wildlife topics (I added Common Tern to my year list, as two birds fed distantly along the river) before they left and I moved down to Garganey Hide...
|A nice carpet of Buttercups|
A Moorhen passed close by...
After around 15 minutes it started to walk along it in my direction. The weather was poor now but the bird seemed oblivious to the heavy rain (which continued unabated) and continued East along the Bund...
It then returned West...
I like to think I was rewarded for my loyalty. It's somewhat fitting that the iconic species of the reserve has left a Sentinel bird to watch over things until its counterparts return in the Autumn.
NINE drumming Snipe in torrential rain are worth a mention!
No Garganey for me but a nice surprise to end a 5 hour vigil came in the form of a lone Little Grebe (83) that suddenly materialised on the pool by the hide...
There's always a surprise...if you watch long enough.
The last word goes to this bush by the River!!!
On this date in 2010 I had my best sighting for the Reserve. I'd just got home from work and had taken my Rocky down for his walk...
I noticed a bird perched in the top of the bush...