Sunday 23 September 2012

Head On

Still the debate goes on. So some head on shots nicely showing crown and nape. Photos as they came off the camera.

Friday 21 September 2012

Peep Show

Another excellent day birding along the North Wirral coast, with the sole intention of trying to secure video footage (and a sound recording) of the Semipalmated Sandpiper. Unfortunately, whilst it was still showing well it was keeping a reserved distance. I mooted on the drive over that we should really find a Baird's or similar, sure enough whilst searching for the Semi-P a fellow birder picked out a White-rumped Sandpiper. Like earlier it showed very well but kept its distance hence the very fuzzy photo. Another great find and more reason to keep searching.

Internet chatter being what it is, the (now as far as i  am concerned) Semi-P is getting a damn good grilling. And i suppose to a certain extent rightly so, after all this how we can improve our own ID techniques. Various other photos, excellent as they are seem to show the Semi-P in light which can add/throw contrast and colour. In the field the peep really is very drab gingery brown and not the rufous toned bird depicted in other photos. I went through some other shots from Wednesday just to try and show how it appears in the field. I hope they are of use.

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Bloody Peeps?

A couple of (half) days working on the wrong side of the river in Maghull has meant a couple of decent days seawatching from the correct side (via the mersey tunnel) at Leasowe. A good couple of hours yesterday with Alan Conlin produced 15+ Leach's Petrel including a few lingering close inshore, Arctic Skua, 8+ Bonxies including 1 over the car park, 4+ Manx Shearwater, 2 Fulmar, Razorbill, 10+ Gannet and 2 Kittiwake.
Today produced 6 Leach's Petrels, Arctic Skua, 3 Bonxies, Manx Shearwater and a GC Grebe.

Today's great excitement wasn't quite out to sea but on the shore down at Hoylake? An earlier text from Alan Conlin informed me he was checking through waders at Hoylake before doing a seawatch. This ultimately paid dividends. A call from Alan asking "was i on my way" was then met by the news he had just found a Semi-P whilst checking through the wader flock. The tide was approaching fast and even though there is only 4.5 miles between the sites the drive is less than straight forward. Arriving at the infamous Hoylake bus shelter i joined Alan and Mark Turner unfortunately the bird had typically flown, but it wasn't long before it was relocated fortunately directly in front of us (myself and Frank Duff) affording us fabulous views. Upon leaving Hoylake for home Alan called wondering if the peep was actually a Western Sandpiper. I can't add anything to the conversation other than pictures. They may help?

Sunday 9 September 2012

Return of the Jedi

.....Only in a another life i think. Seems like an age since i actually updated, oh wait it has been an age. Well not a great deal has been happening, lots of work and thats about it. Managed to get out yesterday making the journey to Dorset for the Short-billed Dowitcher at Lodmoor, Fairly elusive for the first 30 minutes then came out into the open to please the swelling crowd. An iPhone-scoped effort as it sensibly kept a safe distance.

A short drive away on Portland was my highlight of the day, a Monarch butterfly was found the day previous and was still resident around a small buddleia bush in Easton along side numerous red Admirals . Sunning itself in the warm sunshine it gave fabulous views. A butterfly i have always wanted to see. Tick.