Thursday, May 14, 2009

A brilliant piece of prose!

Well by any other name.......


apart from being an hilarious blog its interesting too!

I am still elated by yesterdays happenings altho cant add the full story yet!

Must go again!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A superb day!

Well I am very happy to say that I am glad I didn't go for the Black Winged Pratincole yesterday. Bob and I went to Kent today.

Full details later as I must have a bath - creaking old limbs - well knees and have something to eat as well as dry the old boots out!

Dungeness - called in at Info centre see Melodious down nr the patch....on route 100plus Swallows over the road with Sand Martins and a few House Martins.
Saw a Tree Pipit(YR tic 1)on route
Find a Subalpine Warbler!(yr tic 2) We saw it together and Bob id it immediately as he sees lots in Spain.I managed to take a record shot (to be posted later!)This was at 11am.
Saw 10 Black Terns (Yr tic3)on the patch
Went off to the Old Lighthouse Garden to seek out very elusive Melodious Warbler (Yr tic 4)

off to Grove Ferry for Black-winged Pratincole (lifer! yr tic5 ) and then Temmincks Stint (yr tic6) along with a Little Stint - brill to compare!

Yes I got wet through but very happy! Celebrated in the Grove Ferry Inn with a Pint of Early Birder!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Where to today?

After a chat with Bob yesterday - I followed his advice and decided to visit Otmoor (RSPB) nr Oxford a nice little run out on the M40/A40 (Any excuse to see Red Kites!)

Just before I was leaving I saw the Black winged Pratincole had been relocated to Stodmarsh (it was found at Reculver at the w/e) what to do...a longer trip than i had planned on or what?

Its a lifer....its not been in Kent for 20 odd years - its not been in UK...

I changed my mind -ok Kent.

Got to car - a soggy tyre...its a puncture I thought...the nearest Kwiqfit is very near so off there....88 quid later its a new tyre...

weather clouding over whats it going to be like in Kent?

No if Bob wants to go we can only go tomorrow as he is busy today. OK stick to Plan A.

60 Red Kites on the journey there with 4 Buzzards and a Kestrel!

Otmoor is well hidden and I managed just one wrong turn into avillage rather than bypassing it but found the place . A helpful volunteer and I had a chat.

off to find see able Groppers...Grasshopper Warblers....notoriously skulkers first class...and a Cuckoo - target birds....

well the firing range wasn't today so I could walk there- lots of singing but non seeable birds due to the winds.

Back to the bench nr the feeders.Be patient -well rewarded was I!

A Gropper popped out and showed well and then vanished!

A REd Kite flew over my head and stayed for a secong or two giving fab views. I found the camera and tried for some shots of the flying beauty- shouldn't have bothered! Went back and sat down and immediately stood up again - A HOBBY! flying in that same field and then vanished. A little while later scaning with bins and I found him sitting in a tree and watched him for 20-25 mins as he swayed in the wind perched and then flew to capture an insect and back!Brilliant.

Heard the Cuckoos and on walking back up to the bridle way was rewarded again with a flyover Cuckoo!

Wow 3 year ticks - and one I was not even looking for!

Plenty of other birds about including Lapwings a very nosy Rook, Crows and Magpies as well as a wide variety of smaller birds- Reed Warblers, Long tailed Tits and Chaffinches with Greenfinches and the usual garden birds!All looking at their best...also lots of fledglings- Blackbirds and two Swallows on my way up Otmoor Lane.

I was quite happy with my day!

On the M25 - (after 38 seen Red Kites on route back!)thought should I go to Kent bird still been seen up to 2.17 and it was three ish-- no I really ought to wait in case Bob wants to go too.....( I hate the M25 in the rush hour and at other times too like today I didn't fancy it one bit!)

then it had flown off by 2.40 and I was glad!
But it was back by 3.10...reported at 3.34.

I hate this twitching lark it plays havoc with your brain! Better to be at work i think then you cant go!

Well you cant see them all says Kite!

Still I think its a phone call to Bob re tomorrow as I think I would like to go!


A couple of photo's here

you need to scroll down to see

There has been a bit of a discussion as to age....I didn't think it looked as clean black/white as adults I had seen before - but then i know not a lot about WWBT!
A birder there yesterday wondered about 2nd summer and this seems to be the considered opinion at the mo.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A local twitch

Well I arrived home after helping in my local school with the yr 6 SATs (reading).
On the pager (dont take it to School in case it went off in the exam!) was White-winged Black Tern at Staines Rservoirs - my tetrad for the Bird Atlas and a local patch.
But the bird had been flushed by a Marsh Harrier ...which is quite an uncommon bird here anyway.

Eating my chicken and sweet corn sandwich I realised there was another message seen at 1.12 - so that was it....scope into car and off I went.

Friendly bunch of birders on site as I arrived and there it was -great year tick and patch tick!So from 1.50 to about 4 I spent time watching the bird - first on the South basin then on the north -flying over the causeway nearly over our heads! Stunning!

I rang my mate Bob;s house and heard he had gone to his allotmentas the bird had been flushed - tell im I am watching it now -I said to his wife...later Bob phoned and he was on his way. Eventually (despite the traffic) he arrived and soon picked up the bird...several times we had had close passes and now the bird perfomed brilliantly - so close had I had my camera I might have even got a pic!

At one time the wind was gusting a hooly and the birds were battling against it!

Nice to have a local twitch which was with friendly birders!

I'll see if I can find a good pic for those of you who dont know what a WWBT looks like.

Friday, May 08, 2009

A cool rescue on the Scillies

My birding mate Danny the Pirate resides on the Scillies at the moment and was involved in a great rescue recently - a dolphin was stranded and he helped refloat it!

read hear for the tale

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

My Swifts are back!

Now I have seen Swifts over the last week passing over my house at first light and also when woken up and looking out of the window.But these are the "local" Swifts.
In the middle of the day screaming over the house and catching flies.

I shall have to go to see whether they have started building their nests at a local site....not too far away and in the middle of houses....all the way from SA...lovely.

Now they do outshine the Savi's Warbler.....altho from a rariety viewpoint not.
A very early visit was necessitated to see the said bird but you would have had to be deaf not to have heard it! A very elusive bird! oh it was in the Lea Valley and a certain non twitching birder went to see it with a more twitching friend but they heard only.They got there at 7 am and I think breakfast got in the way of them staying all day plus they wanted to look at said non twitchers local patches.....

Friday, May 01, 2009

A lifer and a UK lifer.

Well what an exciting week -a trip to Portland for the lifer -a Collared Flycatcher which conveniently came out of an inaccessible garden so we could see it and a Crested Lark at Dungeness which was mobile but seen!

Great sea watching as well those days but I had to turn up at Staines o my way home to see a Common Tern (well 40) and my first Swifts of the year - must have been 50!

Think it will be Norfolk this w/e but which day? Not Monday - never go anywhere if i can help it other than local on the bank holls! Not sure where else - but why is there another good bird down at Portland?

no pics not even record ones my long lens is being borrowed by a friend. Typical!