Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Twitching is crazy - but good fun!

Watching the eldest playing Footy for Tadcaster yesterday afternoon. About 4.20 "box" informed me of a probable Collared Fly' at Spurn!

Dilemma...You know how it is, right? Should have been going over to Wakefield after the match for a Barbecue. What to do? Chewed it over for 10 minutes. The bird had been caught and measured but was obviously not confirmed. Would it ever be? A very difficult ID to nail.

However, insurance ticks are always wise, so I confronted my good lady with the 64,000 Dollar question. Being the diamond that she is I got the nod and promised to be back 7.30ish! Made good time and arrived around 6 to find Andy Gibson and John Grist looking at something promising by the entrance gate. Within 2 minutes I got great views of the bird perched on a fence. Very Lucky!

Return journey was a breeze and I arrived to a burger at 7.30!

Friday, 27 August 2010


Made the annual (and admittedly feeble) attempt at sea watching this morning. Nothing half-hearted about the arrival time at Flamborough (05.45) but I must confess it's not a passion of mine. I just don't seem to get on with the sea, watching it and definitely not ON it!

However set out my stall next to a regular (Andrew Allport?) and started to watch...the sea. A few other stalwarts joined us in the next hour or so including Craig Clay-Thomas and Andrew Lassey. Also had a good chat with Andy Malley "the Chairman" of the group. Nice bloke and fellow teacher who had just returned from the States.

Anyway, onto the main business of the day. We had a steady trickle of birds to keep us interested, the highlight being 2 Balearic Shearwaters. Back up was in the form of c20 Sooties and c5 Manx.  Bonxies reached double figures including 4 together plus c25 Arctics.

The real reason I did the 5 hour sit? Well, don't tell anyone but somebody still needs Cory's Shearwater for their Yorkshire list!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Wader selection

Trundled down the super-highway to Blacktoft Sands this afternoon. Enjoying what's left of my (admiittedly) long holiday. Always nice to brush up on wader ID and I was pleased to see a fair selection of species in variable plumages. Spent a couple of hours in different hides watching Ruff (c20), Green Sandpiper (c15), both adult and juvenile Black-tailed Godwits (c10) and just as I was about to leave this superb Spotted Redshank dropped in about 100 yds away.

This picture was taken with both the camera (Panasonic Lumix TZ7) and 'scope (Leica APO62) hand held! It amazes me what can be achieved these days with the latest compact cameras. It doesn't even have an internal zoom! Just shows you can get a decent shot with easily portable gear.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Better views acquired!

Having dashed from Ferrybridge last night (returning from the Birdfair) in response to the the slow drip beep of the MEGA alert, I arrived at Patrington minus optics! This is not the first time this has occurred. Always feel it's better to arrive as soon as possible! Also there will probably be someone there already!!!
Came away rather quickly due to having left Rocky at home most of the day. Many thanks to the kind soul (who's name I've forgotten) who let me look through his scope.

As the bird was still present today I decided to go for better views at Spurn and maybe a record shot. Managed the above images with my hold and press digiscope technique. Well, you can see what it is? While I was there the bird was showing well off the Crown and Anchor to 100yds.

Excellent Yorkshire tick. Is it possible it's the same bird that was at Sammy's 3 years ago? A long time since my British tick at Foryd Bay, Gwynedd 25/8/1996! Anyway, a great start to the autumn. More to come...hopefully.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Back in Blighty

Well...just got back from a whirlwind trip around the NE USA. Fantastic sites in an incredible country. Top billing must go to Niagra Falls...simply awesome! Oh yes...I did pretty well with my target birds adding 18 species to my ABA list, bumping it up to 641. A trip report will follow shortly.