Saturday 28 November 2009

Back off !

Back on the Northlink this evening, to collect our remaining furniture from storage. At least i have some company for the journey with Dougie joining me (only for some birding), hopefully we can get him one or more from the following : Brown Shrike, Glossy Ibis, Serin, Cattle Egret, Penduline Tit, Caspian & YL Gull. Will update when i return Thursday. Bird wise on patch, there isn't much to be missed it seems! Plenty of Robins and the Chiffchaff remains, the only new bird was a Goldcrest on Thursday. Just hope it stays that way until i return.

Monday 23 November 2009

Tick bits

Blue skies and sunshine graced us again today but a northerly wind took the edge of the temperature. A walk round patch with the dogs paid dividends with a patch tick, a Water Rail just up from my house in a neighbours garden. Hopefully it will make its way down the hill and into the comfort of my garden ? Wishful thinking. Also around Brough were 3 Robins and 4 Purple Sandpipers down at the Houb. A check of various sites around the isle produced nothing spectacular with a Jack Snipe on Symbister meadows, a family party of 5 Whooper Swans on Vats-houll and another 5 at Skaw as well as 2 Song Thrush and a Robin. Shopping and DIY are on the cards for the next few days, not that there is much to be missed ? Famous last words.

Sunday 22 November 2009

Home sweet home

After a fortnight of hard graft it was nice to get home yesterday morning, made all the better with brilliant sunshine and blue skies. As expected in late November birds are thin on the ground, with no sign of the Snow Buntings, Whitefronts and Grey Wagtail that graced Brough whilst away. Yesterday produced just 3 Robins but 31 Pinkfeet flew over heading south. Today was slightly better with a female Blackcap, Chiffchaff, 2 Song Thrush, 3+ Robin and 2 Great Northern Divers. An egg-on-face moment came over me this afternoon with me thinking i was looking at a winter plumaged Ring-billed Gull, which turned out embarrassingly to be a Herring Gull ! My only defence, if any, was it was distant ? Its a wonder how i id anything !

Saturday 7 November 2009

A good trio

Making the most of my time in Cheshire, i joined old pals Malc & Al for the long journey to Kent for the long staying Fan-tailed Warbler. A 2.20am start was a bit hard to take but the journey was a good chance to catch up and put the world to rights ! We arrived just after 7am at Pegwell Bay CP and joined the increasing swell of birders. Then just before 8am the Fan-tailed Warbler began to call and was soon picked up out on the salt marsh, showing well but distantly. Cheers to Chris Galvin for strapping my camera body to his monster lens and grabbing some shots of the bird.

Happy with our views we set off for the Brown Shrike at Staines Moor, and after a muddy trek we eventually reached the clearing and enjoyed fabulous views in the brilliant sunshine. A real top quality bird with views eclipsing last years Flamborough bird.

From Staines it was off to Didcot for the Azorean Yellow-legged Gull which again showed well though distant, not sure what the future status of this bird will be, so maybe just one for the armchair ?

A cracking day out that thankfully i can recover from tomorrow, as work calls on Monday !

Friday 6th November 2009

Fresh off the Northlink in Aberdeen decided to try for the Richards Pipit only 1 mile away, unfortunately there was no sign just a Meadow Pipit. A slight detour whilst en-route to Manchester was to call into Aberlady for the resident Lesser Yelowlegs, no such problem here with it showing well from the wooden bridge.

Thursday 5 November 2009

Out on a high

After yesterdays totally wasted day due to the weather, it was good to get out and about. A walk around patch with the dogs produced absolutely nothing, so after dropping them at home decided to check out Skaw. Better luck here with 2 Woodcock in the plantation, a Chiffchaff and the Black Redstart bounding up and down the road and 15+ Snow Buntings that showed well.

With that gave Brough another go, the Bluethroat put in another appearance tho very mobile and 5+ Robins were logged.

Next stop Sandwick, finally got out of the car after a heavy shower and headed for the now much depleted crop. Nothing was evident until i reached the top end and disturbed something small tacking away, it was restless and gave no identifiable views and after a couple of flight views it was lost along the seaward side of the fields. On call though i was happy it was a Dusky Warbler but was obviously wanting a decent view. After an hour or so returned to the crop to try and relocate the bird, fortunately it was still present and when it finally settled was able to get decent views to confirm the id.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Ghost bird

A windy but fine morning was followed by strenghening winds and rain this afternoon. When i was out Brough boasted 3 Robin, Blackcap, Wheatear, Reed Bunting and a Goldcrest ! An Otter gave decent but brief views, tucking into some lunch. A call this afternoon about a 'white' warbler/sparrow sized bird at Isbister was followed up, but it drew a frustrating blank.

Monday 2 November 2009

Bloody Hoodies

A pretty miserable day weather wise, with a blustery SW'rly wind and intermittent showers. Definitely the highlight of today was a Short-eared Owl in the fields just below the house, constantly harassed by 2 Hooded Crows. Just managed to grab some shots before it was ushered along.

On that high note decided to check patch, unfortunately there was no sign of yesterdays Bluethroat but 4 Jackdaws flew by and a late Wheatear was frustratingly of the 'northern' variety.

The rest was made up of the usual. A Goldcrest, 3 Robin and 2 Blackcaps. The Black Redstart was still at Skaw and the Lesser Whitethroat and a Robin were still at Sandwick.

Sunday 1 November 2009

Nice, but the wrong colour ?

After a good couple of hours badminton this morning decided to get out and check patch. The fog of the last few days has gone but we still have leaden sky's. A few thrushes still in residence with Blackbirds still holding the majority. Not a great deal to be had around Brough, or so i thought ? After checking the majority of gardens for 4 Robin, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest and a Blackcap it was time to check the tattie rig. A Redpoll, which was probably yesterdays Mealy was sat on the tractor at the foot of the rig briefly. Then 1 of the Chiffchaffs was bounding up the rig, half way up though flushed a very late Bluethroat, which showed very well in the gloom. Not had any Bluethroats on patch, then get 2 in the space of a fortnight ! Hopefully the weather may clear tomorrow so i can try for better shots, if its still there.