Wednesday 14 October 2015

Woodoaks Farm

8th Oct 2015
Woodoaks Farm near Maple Cross. Stonechat near the new manure pile, Red Kite (4), Buzzard (2), Little Owl, Grey Wagtail.

Ring-necked Duck at Startops

Oct 6th 2015
Ring-necked Duck at Startops Reservoir, Herts/Bucks border.

Lapland Bunting and Risso's Dolphins at Sumburgh Head

4th Oct 2015
A showy Lapland Bunting and 3 Risso's Dolphin  at Sumburgh Head.

RB Shrike and Pallid Harrier

3rd Oct 2015
Back to Unst where we had some great views of a Red-backed Shrike at Burrafirth, On Yell whilst looking for an American Golden Plover we struck lucky with the Pallid Harrier we had previously dipped on Unst.
A couple of Red-backed Shrike pics and then the Pallid Harrier pics are courtesy of Paul Frost


More Pechora

Fri Oct 2nd 2015
A return to Loch of Norby for some more slightly relaxed views of the Pechora Pipit.
A few Pechora Pipit pics below then drake Scaup with Tufted friend and a Mipit having a preen.


Thursday 1 October 2015

Arctic Tick

1st Oct 2015
Bluethroat was still present at the stream close to our house at Tumblin.
Pool of Virkie; Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot, Sanderling, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Ruff, Curlew, Redshank, Turnstone, Goldeneye, Swallow, Bonxie, 40 Pinkfoot over.
Scatness; 10 Whooper Swan.
Quendale Mill; 2 Chiffchaff at the Quary, Yellow-browed Warbler and Reed Wabler in the Iris beds and a Grey Wagtail on the stream.
Another try for the Arctic Warbler at Cott, Weisdale Voe; 5 Chaffinch and a Brambling on route. After a two hour wait the Arctic Warbler finally gave itself up, showing quite well in the sycamore we had decided to stake out.

Another Barred Warbler

30th Sept 2015
A Barred Warbler, Merlin, c50 Twite, a singing Chiffchaff and 6 Yellow-browed Warbler at Dale of Walls was a decent start to the day. 45 minutes at Hestingott; a Blyths Reed Warbler didn't show but a single Yellow-browed Warbler did. At Loch of Spiggie; 5 Whooper Swan, a handful of Bonxies and another Merlin.
Durrigarth; 2 Yellow-browed Warbler and a Bluethroat showed very briefly.
An Arctic Warbler was reported at Cott, Weisdale but we couldn't connect in the 2 hours spent there.  2 Slavonian Grebe were on Weisdale Voe.  Then at the other end of Weisdale Voe a Little Gull.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Pechora Pipit just the fillip we needed

29th Sept 2015
Of course we started today with another dip. This time a Grey-cheeked Thrush. Wester Quarff was our next stop where 2 Red-breasted Flycatcher, 6+ Yellow-browed Warbler and a single Pied Flycatcher gave us all a bit of a lift. Then a "mega" on the pager. Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler at Quendale. We headed to Quendale and "twitchy walked" along the track towards the quarry, however, as we got nearer to the birders already on site it became obvious by their body language that we were going to be disappointed yet again. No Pallas's just a Gropper. Trudging back to the car some information came our way of a Pechora Pipit at Loch of Norby. This was quite a distance from where we were but we decided to head off all the same. A more leisurely drive and we even stopped for some lunch on route. We arrived at Loch of Norby and joined about 30 other birders. Frustratingly we had lots and lots of flight views of the Pechora Pipit but could not get any on the ground. We stuck it out and were eventually rewarded with some nice views of the Pechora Pipit feeding on a narrow pathway between the Iris's. A Jack Snipe was seen in flight and a Scaup on the Loch.


28th Sept 2015.
A trip off Shetland mainland to Unst. Two ferries involved, Toft to Ulsta and then Gutcher to Belmont. From the ferries we encountered Bonxie's and Black Guillemots. First stop on Unst was Uyeasound where our run of dipping continued when we could not connect with the recently reported Arctic Warbler. We did, however, add Twite and Blackcap to our trip list here. Northdale was our next stop and our poor run continued when the Pallid Harrier failed to show. We did find a Barred Warbler here though. Lots of Ravens and Bonxies were also to be seen from our viewpoint. Next over to Baltasound and here we encountered an elusive Pied Flycatcher, Blackcap, Ruff and 2 Siskin. A Sparrowhawk and Merlin were also seen nearby. Back to Northdale hoping to see the Pallid Harrier come in to roost but no luck again. Several Raven performed some aerobatics but these were outshone by 10+ Bonxies in the air together. While waiting for the ferry at Yell 3 Otters showed well.

Sunday 27 September 2015

Bluethroat in our garden

27th September 2015.
Day one of our Shetland trip (should've been day2!). A decent nights sleep followed by a big breakfast onboard the Northlink ferry and we arrived on time at Lerwick. Not long before we picked up our hire car and we were on our way. We found our accommodation near Bixter with no problem. We parked the car and were unloading our luggage when things got interesting as a Bluethroat flew from some bushes opposite our house and flew into some Iris beds. We managed to track it down and had some reasonable views. After unpacking and a cup of tea it was off to Mossbank where we tried in vain to find the garden of a house where a Subalpine Warbler had been reported. Mossbank was much bigger than we anticipated and despite a good wander around no other birders could be seen and the news services messages were a bit too vague. We decided to abort this mission and head off to Toab in the hope of seeing a Blyths Reed Warbler. We found the right area and on our walk across the field a Merlin harassing a flock of Golden Plovers was nice to see. We soon located the Blyths but although we had several sighting they were pretty much all flight views. Off to Queandale Mill next and we soon had some nice views of 3 Yellow-browed Warbler. Tesco's for some much need provisions was next and then we finished off our day near Dale of Walls where we had another Yellow-browed Warbler.

Shetland Trip

26th Sept 2015.
Day one of a trip to Shetland Mainland with Dave, Brendan and Paul. Also on Shetland are Ian B, Brendan F and Steve B. Coincidently we have exactly the same travel arrangements. Everything was going smoothly on our outward journey until an announcement by the captain as we circled Aberdeen, our destination airport. We were now doubling back and landing at Edinburgh because of technical fault. Oh dear! we've got a connecting flight from Aberdeen to Shetland to catch. On landing at Edinburgh we were told we were to be either bussed or a fleet of taxi's over to Aberdeen. Luckily for us we managed to get the first taxi. On route we contacted the ferry terminal and booked an overnight crossing to Shetland.  The ferry left on time and some decent sea birds were seen before darkness fell. Another bonus were a couple of distant Minke Wales.

Friday 25 September 2015

Grey Phalarope at Cuckmere Haven

Sun 20th Sept 2015
A trip to Cuckmere Haven with Paul, Brendan and Ephraim.
It's fair to say the Grey Phalarope showed well.

Staines Moor Barred Warbler

12th Sept 2015
A trip to Staines Moor with Ephraim and Paul. The Barred Warbler kept us waiting but finally gave us some nice views.

Whinchat and Wheatear at West Hyde

13th Sept 2015.
A visit to West Hyde produced several Whinchat and a couple of Wheatear.

Aldbury Nowers

Sun 9th Aug 2015
An afternoon trip to Aldbury Nowers near Tring. At first I tweeted a couple of pics as female Common Blue but now not so sure. Could they be Brown Argus? Further along the Ridgeway near Pitsone Hill a juvenile Kestrel performed some aerial acrobatics

keyhaven, pennington and new forest

Sat 1st Aug 2015
A trip to Hampshire with Paul F. First stop was Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes. As usual a good selection of waders was to be seen. A family party of Raven was also nice to see. We also maged to pick out one two Med Gulls amongst the roosting Black-headed. From Keyhaven we visited a couple of sites in the New Forest to look for dragonflies.