Thursday 30 July 2009

Little surprise

Spent an accumulative couple of hours at the Houb yesterday going through the waders. 8 Whimbrel and a dozen or so Dunlin with the usual Turnstone, Ringed Plover and Redshank. Still no joy with the hoped for Knot & Sanderling, but an unexpectedly brief Little Stint more than made up for their absence and was a welcome patch tick.

A check of the Houb this evening produced a Sanderling roosting with the Turnstones but no sign of the Little Stint.

Tuesday 28 July 2009

Not long now ?

A selection of photos from the garden and the Houb. Thankfully autumn is nearly upon us, as the patch could do with something to liven it up.

Monday 27 July 2009

The young and the free

Out on patch a few times today hoping to get lucky! Highlights, 2 Whimbrel and a fly-over Grey Heron. The garden has been entertaining a family of Wheatears and a couple of pesky, fledged Herring Gulls. Also roaming the garden are my 2 Hens !!

Sunday 26 July 2009

1 in a billion ?

Back home for a week but unfortunately no birds to speak of, just yet ! I did notice in the glorious sunshine of this afternoon though, a couple of Painted Ladies that seemed very bright and fresh around the garden. Could these be the spawn of the invasion ? Hope so.

Wednesday 22 July 2009

Blue cheeked ? More like red faced

I must admit Kent is not my most favourite of counties, in fact it is probably my least favourite, why ? Well, my success rate for birds is questionable and its also the mother of all bitches to get to, as if the M6 isn't enough to contend with you also have to travel along the M25 with the prospect of delays around the Dartford crossing. So when a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater turned up at what may as well been Dover my heart sunk, as well as some of my enthusiasm. But ever the optimist i set off with Malc & Robbo for company. A few stops later and it was decided we were chasing a lost cause, the last stop being the last M40 junction before the M25. All was not totally lost with a slight detour off the M40 to view the Red Kites around the village green at Stokenchurch, magnificent views although they didn't seem to interested in the bacon i threw out for them !

Tuesday 21 July 2009

Relocation, Relocation.

Put in a hard days graft today ! and so finnished it off with a 2 hour drive down the M62 in the hope the Collared Pratincole was still in residence at Pulfin & High Eske NR ? Fortunately it was but seemed content in sitting tight on the exposed spit instead of displaying its flying masterclass, could this be the same individual that first appearred in Norfolk before relocating to Swillington Ings ? A good supporting cast was made up of 2 Little Gulls, Ruff and 3 Otters, that ran across the path beside us.

Monday 20 July 2009

Birds of the Orient

Made the effort to get out today and with most of the day spent in and around Stockport thought i would pay Etherow Country Park a visit. Apart from the eclectic mix of wildfowl on offer their was an eerie silence around the park, with only the occasional Tit or Wren disturbing the silence. Star attraction are the Mandarins with Etherow probably one of the best sites in the NW, with upwards of 2 dozen, mainly on the river by the weir. Unfortunately the drakes are now well into eclipse but still a pretty bird non the less.

Saturday 18 July 2009

I'm still here !

For those that follow my blog i am still around, currently in Cheshire trying to sort work and the rental of my house. Tried earlier in the week for the Terek Sandpiper at Thurstaston but had no joy, and am trying effortlessly to get out but the Cricket is a bit of a distraction at the moment ! Hopefully will try and get out, maybe to Moore NR and have a wander about ? We shall see.

Sunday 5 July 2009

Twilight birding

Joined the hoards last night and made the journey over to Mousa to visit the Storm Petrel colony. Very up close and personal sights and sounds made it a very memorable evening and an absolute must for anybody visiting Shetland between May and July. With the rest of the night to fill, decided to tour a few sites hoping for some unfamiliar Shetland sounds. A very vocal Corncrake at a top secret undisclosed site was all that was on offer, even though that is more than enough. An enjoyable evening although my body doesn't quite agree me today.

Friday 3 July 2009

More, more, more

Another hot sunny day (when the fog lifted) and more Crossbills, with a male briefly visiting the garden and 2 fly over groups of 3&2 whilst walking around patch. A check around the isle this evening only produced 1 further Crossbill over at Isbister. Hopefully more of the same tomorrow !

Thursday 2 July 2009

Loxia central

Decided to try and photograph Crossbills today, so set off early in the fog with Unst the desired destination. En-route to catch the Yell ferry called in at Lower Voe and located half a dozen Crossbills in a block of pine trees.

Once on Yell met up with Dougie, who was along for the ride also with the hope of getting some sound recordings. On Unst amidst the flies and fog we located 6 Crossbills at Norwick feeding on the seeds of Red Hot Poker and 6+ at Haligarth.

On arrival back at my car at Toft i was met with a rather unambiguous note left by some prick on my windscreen ?
Back on Whalsay took the dogs for a walk around patch and all was quiet until 5 Crossbills flew over calling and duly landed in my neighbours garden, managed to view them also from the garden adding them to the garden list. Whilst photographing them a further 4 flew over just wish they would divert and call at mine.

As if i hadn't already overdosed on Crossbills a text from John Laurie of a dozen at Skaw had me checking them out, a very mobile and jittery flock the majority of which were males seemed to have increased to 20+.

Wednesday 1 July 2009

A bit of the action

The influx of Crossbills continues throughout Shetland so that spurned me on to get out and see what Whalsay had to offer. Made my way up to Skaw to check the plantation, this proved successful with an individual dropping in briefly before vanishing, a check of the trap area produced the same individual which was duly caught and taken for ringing to Mr Marshall. Upon inspection it was thought to be a 2cy Male. A check of Brough also produced a patch tick female type Crossbill that put in a very brief show. Also in Brough, a Crossbill visited a neighbours garden yesterday, c.10 flew over Marister on Sunday and possibly up to a dozen are visiting garden feeders at Hamister, fingers crossed some come and visit mine ?