Thursday, 27 June 2019

Local Breeder

Song Thrushes are smashing birds. I'm fortunate to have them singing away in the lane every Spring. Yesterday, I had confirmation of success this year from the lounge window...

Monday, 24 June 2019

Bempton jinx continues

Chatting with Louise last night I suggested we might make our annual trip to Bempton RSPB. After studying the forecast we decided against it, as there was a strong likelihood of thunderstorms.

Of course, this happened...

MEGA E.Yorks SOOTY TERN NW past Bempton RSPB at 11.49

Oh dear!!!

Obviously, no guarantee I would have connected... but I would have had a shout.

Bad memories of my BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS dip came flooding back. Yet another "work dip"!

Maybe I'll get day?

Midsummer madness at the moment with a LITTLE BUSTARD still present at Slimbridge. Also a BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER (briefly) and a GREAT-SPOTTED CUCKOO in Scotland.

Lots of goodies then. Just shows, you're never completely safe to leave the Country if you're a twitcher!

Sunday, 23 June 2019


The Sand Martin colony is still in full flight at Old Hive this morning. Great to report an excellent breeding season. I prefer good news!

Spoonbills have been loitering around Kilnsea lately, so when news of one being present this morning sent me down the road. I spotted John Hewitt scanning from the flood bank by Beacon Ponds but my initial scanning couldn't locate my target. I tried the viewing screen...still no luck. I ended up in the hide with Rich Swales. The bird was still here (P.95, S.68), doing what Spoonbills do a lot...sleep...

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Taking Stock

Family and work commitments this week. Clear tomorrow, so let's see what I can see...

Monday, 17 June 2019

Take a look around

Just had a peep at the old thunderer (computer) and updated my Village year list (77). Everyone needs a kick up the backside on occasions. My Village life stands at 165, so plenty to go at, plus new additions of course.

Summer doldrums at the moment as the breeding season is in full flow. However, it's NOT all about numbers, far from it!

A walk down to Old Hive this morning were I was greeted with c200 Sand Martins hawking over the beach and adjacent arable. A fine sight indeed!

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Sunny side up

Yes, we saw the sun this morning! Time to look for some birds...

Saturday, 15 June 2019

On the up

Plenty of inspirational ideas forthcoming. If it ever stops raining, I'll put them into practice. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

A time for reflection

As another Spring of diminishing returns closes I find myself trying hard to remain positive about my British Birding. I guess it's partly an age "thing'? I always find it difficult to adjust after a foreign trip especially when it's Texas!

I WILL remain positive and I'm in the process of creating some new challenges... I just haven't decided on them...yet!

There is no doubt that there is an inevitable decrease in numbers of many species due to human activity. Rarities will continue to turn up giving some spice to the pastime. Unfortunately the preservation of natural areas i.e habitat, is not a priority and never will be for the " money men".

For me, it's a question of tailoring my Birding to maximize my enjoyment and make it meaningful, in these changing times. I'll find a way...

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Garden tick!

Due to various circumstances we've not got round to sprucing the garden up for the summer... yet. So, quite a few "natural" plants thriving at the moment!

Not all bad news though, as this morning as I left for work I had this chap feeding on seeds...

OK, just a phone pic but proof indeed. Always a pleasure to view a Bullfinch.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Texas 19 - Summary

As you're probably aware, I've been to Texas quite a few times...not a boast, just a fact! The amount of information on-line is comprehensive and I don't intend to repeat it here...hopefully. It's just a privilege to Bird this wonderful State. Situated perfectly geographically to catch the vast majority of north-bound Spring migrants. Add to this some superb habitat for residents and migrants alike, easily accessible and varied and you have the perfect recipe for some prime-time quality Birding. Oh and Louise loves it!

I was pleased with my basic plan, which was to base ourselves in Galveston (the flat was perfect) then add two mini-breaks, one to the Hill Country and one to Port Aransas. I have to admit to being dis-appointed with my efforts to get pics of Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler in the HC. Maybe I was a little "late" with birds having already settled down to breed? I'll just have to try again!

Port Aransas gave  a nice change of scenery and I learnt about a few new sites. I didn't get lucky with a major "fall" though.

Galveston Island has the lot. You could arguably see most species just Birding the Island...and see less Birders...than High Island for sure!

So, what were the highlights? Well, a "new" Bird is always memorable, so adding CAPE MAY WARBLER and BOBOLINK to my Texas List was obviously VERY special indeed. The Great Black-backed Gull was less inspiring! The Black-throated Blue Warbler at Sabine Woods early in the trip was a BIG bonus and a stunner. Other memorable encounters included finding two Least Bitterns on Frenchtown Road,

Disappointing to miss the Fork-tailed Flycatcher at Smith Oaks by minutes. I tried hard for Audubon's Oriole but it wasn't to be.

Trip List - highlights/favourites in bold

Black-bellied Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
Fulvous Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna bicolor)
Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula [platyrhynchos])
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca carolinensis)
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)
Black Scoter (Melanitta nigra americana)
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
Rock Dove (Columba livia)
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Inca Dove (Columbina inca [squammata])
Common Ground-dove (Columbina passerina)
White-tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi)
White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus)
Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri)
Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris)
Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola)
Sora (Porzana carolina)
American Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus)
American Coot (Fulica americana)
Common Gallinule
Whooping Crane (Grus americana)
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus [himantopus])
American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana)
American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliates)
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica)
Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus)
Wilson's Plover (Charadrius wilsonia)
Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus [hiaticula])
Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous)
Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda)
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus)
Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa)
Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
Red Knot (Calidris canutus)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Stilt Sandpiper (Micropalama himantopus)
Sanderling (Calidris alba)
Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
Baird's Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii)
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)
White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis)
Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla)
Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri)
Short-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus)
Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus)
Spotted Sandpiper (Tringa macularia [hypoleucos])
Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria)
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)
Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus)
Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)
American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)
Great Blue_ Heron (Ardea herodias [cinerea])
Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea)
Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)
Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Green Heron (Butorides virescens [striatus])
Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)
Yellow-crowned Night-heron (Nyctanassa violacea)
White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi [falcinellus])
Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja)
American Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus [caeruleus])
American Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus)
Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis [plumbea])
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
White-tailed Hawk (Buteo albicaudatus)
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus)
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Red-taile Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
Ringed Kingfisher (Ceryle torquata)
Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon)
Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle Americana) Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)
Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)
Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes aurifrons)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Ladder-backed Woodpecker (Picoides scalaris)
Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis)
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Crested Caracara (Polyborus plancus)
Aplomado Falcon (Falco femoralis)
Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla)
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed_ Gull (Larus fuscus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Least Tern (Sterna antillarum [albifrons])
Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica)
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri)
Royal Tern (Sterna maxima)
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis)
Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger)
Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus borealis)
Eastern Wood-pewee (Contopus virens)
Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens)
Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus)
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)
Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens)
Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)
Couch's Kingbird (Tyrannus couchii)
Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)
Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)
White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus)
Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii)
Gray Vireo (Vireo vicinior)
Hutton's Vireo (Vireo huttoni)
Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons)
Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius)
Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus)
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
Woodhouses's Scrub-jay (Aphelocoma woodhouseii)
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus)
Chihuahuan Raven (Corvus cryptoleucus)
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
Purple Martin (Progne subis)
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)
Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia)
Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Cliff Swallow (Hirundo pyrrhonota)
Cave_ Swallow (Hirundo fulva)
Carolina Chickadee (Parus carolinensis)
Tufted Titmouse (Parus bicolor)
Black-crested Titmouse (Parus atricristatus [bicolor])
Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps)
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)
Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla)
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
Sedge_ Wren (Cistothorus platensis)
Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)
Blue-grey Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
Veery (Catharus fuscescens)
Grey-cheeked Thrush (Catharus minimus)
Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)
Wood Thrush (Catharus mustelinus)
Grey Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)
Long-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma longirostre [rufum])
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus)
Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria)
American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
Cassin's Sparrow (Aimophila cassinii)
Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum)
Olive Sparrow (Arremonops rufivirgatus)
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)
Clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida)
Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)
Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata)
Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus)
Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus)
Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow (Ammodramus nelsoni [caudacutus])
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis sandwichensis)
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)
Canyon Towhee (Pipilo fuscus)
Rufous-crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps)
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus [erythrophthalmus])
Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Blue-winged Warbler (Vermivora pinus)
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)
Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)
Tennessee Warbler (Vermivora peregrina)
Orange-crowned Warbler (Vermivora celata)
Nashville Warbler (Vermivora ruficapilla)
Northern Parula (Parula Americana)
Yellow_ Warbler (Dendroica petechia)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Dendroica pensylvanica)
Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca)
Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata)
Black-throated Green Warbler (Dendroica virens)
Golden-cheeked Warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia)
Yellow-throated Warbler (Dendroica dominica)
Palm Warbler (Dendroica palmarum)
Bay-breasted Warbler (Dendroica castanea)
Blackpoll Warbler (Dendroica striata)
Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea)
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)
Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea)
Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorus)
Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus)
Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis)
Louisiana Waterthrush (Seiurus motacilla)
Kentucky Warbler (Oporornis formosus)
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)
Wilson's Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla)
Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrina)
Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)
Dickcissel (Spiza americana)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus [ludovicianus])
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Blue Grosbeak (Guiraca caerulea)
Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena [cyanea]) - a brief but clear view of this stunner
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)
Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris)
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus)
Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)
Scott's Oriole (Icterus parisorum)
Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) - always intrigues me
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) - common but stunning
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)
Bronzed Cowbird (Molothrus aeneus)

Trip Total 264

That concludes my story for another year. Already put a 50% deposit down on the flat for next April. Nowhere else I'd rather go...