Friday, October 29, 2010

Morse RIP

I had to have one of my cats put down this afternoon. Poor sweetie at least he came to me and didn't go off somewhere to die.
My friend Pat drove me to the vets who were professional but really kind.....
Morse was never any trouble, he was such a sweetie.....he was a scared cat in many ways
- first met him as two small eyes shining at the back of the cat box the three siblings were in! I wanted a black cat and another one - the woman said I have two black cats and another one---I couldn't leave the scared one!
14 years and a few months later ......bless him he was never any trouble and even today he was not any...he ay have run away whenever the front door banged but he was at his happiest sitting on the louge near me!

I will be able to remember all the good times after tonight.....


I wish!

I have just heard from my friend Tommy on Fair Isle and they still have waxwings there - even in the wind and rain!
These are all Tommy's photo's -I am sure he will be happy to let me share them!
Fancy looking out in your garden and there is a flock!
Such exotic birds and so very lovely!

Earlier this week I went to Sussex ( photography of the Autumnal season being the main aim) and watched more woodland birds than for a long time!
Treecreepers by the 10! Jay's, and tits galore plus wrens and the usual suspects.
Nuthatches too.
Have to say I was hoping we might see a Waxwing or two and took the pager in case any had been spotted locally where we were - never mind there are so many around this autumn that I feel sure I will be watching some before long!

(photos from Tommy H Hyndman)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Catching up on a UKtick!

Hugh Harrop's photo of the bird that I dipped!

I left Shetland full of cold and a great deal miffed! on the Friday my biggest bogey bird had just been seen at Sumbrough Farm and it had been flushed or gone to roost when we reached the Hotel (having been thrilled to see my second only ever Red-flanked Bluetail at Goesetter)everyone else was happy to wait until the morning when they could see now I was due out on the 8.15am plane..."you will have time to go and see it before the plane"- oh no I was actually in a minibus on route to the airfield still in the dark at 7.00am

Sometimes people can be too effecient!

However a Pallas was seen in Norfolk and else where - then yes one in Sussex! I could go for this and an adult Rosy was also nearby!

Well I managed both - a uk tick and my first adult rosy! such pretty birds both!

The other highlight was passing 250 for the non year listing list!

Locally a Lapland Bunting was at Staines reservoirs....funny I thought I had seen lots of these on Shetland and Fair Isle - oh yes but this was a London tick - not that I have a London list!(something to do on a wet cold winter evening - see just what is on that list!) - or is that a Surrey tick? anyway i really dont care they are a lovely bird and it was local so a patch tick!

The twitching documentary that I might have been the time I decided to speak to the producers they had obviously found their token woman who went on some twitches!LOL! Well finally it is being shown on BBC4 on 1st November at 9pm (an hour)will record it.
A new birding blog has been recently launched -here is a photo from Ken Kaufman's entry - it also includes Tom McKinney .....cheer - whoo hoo and others will be one or two to blog on a regular day - short text with photos! Rarar .....
here - sorry I cant link it as my pc has decided to stop showing https or http on the screen and I cant unravel it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Some pics from Turkey

Not mine - but Pat's - finally a pic of a Kingfisher and she had to go all the way to Turkey for it!

And the gull - well I think its a Yellow-legged Gull.
I like this pic!

I had no pics from Shetland of mine! So I will beposting some of Hugh's and if I am lucky a couple from Jon - but that might be a while.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

another lifer!

This time Citrine Wagtail...and what great views we got as well!

Another warbler species causing id problems...a Booted - wellthats what we thought but later re id as a Sykes Warbler!
Either way - another british tick! But what to do about it? Can I be sure in mm mind what I actually saw - should we go with the actual id?

I will ponder this a while!

Still 3 UK lifers was good reward!

Well the shetland local usuals - Paddyfield, Pallas' Grasshopper Warbler and Lancy still defeat me!

So to Fair Isle - actually the winds were in the wrong direction but we did enjoy a Honey Buzzard and 2 Little Gulls - an Adult and a 1st winter....the Little Gulls are a FI rare!
Bluethroat showed well .......

The bonus of a visit to FI - well a stay at Auld Haa with Tommy and Liz - the best food on FI by a street!
Good to see them again and Henry!

We returned via a flight up the east coast of Mainland (due to high winds) with fantastic views of Mousa!
Hugh was there to take us to Geosetter where I enjoyed eventually great views of a fab Red flanked Bluetail! My second ever!

Then my biggest ever bogey bird was seen just before our arrival at Sumburgh Hotel - Pallas warbler! No sign ....and unfortunately no time in the morning as I was on the 8.15 flight! Big error there!
I now see it was at Sumnburgh Farm in the morning of sat! that hurts!

What to do about next year?
I will be going to the Labour Party can I then go for a couple of weeks to Shetland? Not sure but I really want to go for at least a week!Have to try to sort out dates soon!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

2 lifers in one day!

I am watching the news and the phone rings - get your birding gear on - Swainson's Thrush!
Speedy change and out to the minibus.

I cant quite believe it! A possible second lifer in a day!

We arrive and its the biggest Shetland twitch ever.

Eventually the bird was seen - phew relief!

Its now Sunday and I think we will return to see if we can get better views with less crowd later this morning.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

A lifer at last!

Great news - a lifer and not just any lifer!
Radde's Warbler here at Sumburgh Head in the 2nd quarry!
Came up on my pager at 1.39 and off i went - arrived with lots of birders watching and fortunately for me there was a space next to Paul Harvey - who happily directed me to where the bird was- and what a lovely bird- fortunately it was busy feeding and showed all the features nicely in the sun!
Hopefully some photographer will get a good shot!

This morning I was watching Redstarts - they are a really fine bird and a woodcock - and now a Bluethroat!

So on my 8th day on Shetland I have a Lifer! I shall celebrate tonight!

Unfortunately the Booted Warbler that was found yesterday but refused to show for me, was seen beautifully this morning by Hugh and I hear a couple of people who have been here with us for the last week. Thats a blow as it would have been a lifer for me - well I know which bird I want us to go for tomorrow morning as i expect it will have to wait until then.


Here are a few photo's with thanks to Hugh Harrop.
Well between slow internet here on Shetland and travelling to Unst the blog has a bit of catching up!

I will stick to highlights and the dips not always sure that they were all dips as birds may have not stayed overnight!

So Sunday was the Arctic Warbler in sunshine and posing nicely besides roses!
Monday were three Buff-breasted Sandpipers at Esha Ness lighthouse - such pretty waders and quite confiding!
Tuesday was a real twitch - Buff-bellied Pipit a lifer for Jon and only my second ever! Eventually the bird did show and quite close to the minibus!

Meanwhile a White's Thrush was seen and then didn't show for the assorted twitchers!
Certainly are more birders on Shetland this year!

Wednesday we had a delightful and showy Arctic Redpoll on Unst.

Thursday it rained everywhere and boy did it rain!
I forgot to mention that Sunday and Monday the weather was positively hot for Shetland - well the sun shone and there was little wind!
That was made up for by Friday where the wind howled!
Severe weather warning put out so it was bad over night - gale force winds!
seasterlies so ther should be more good birds about!

oh those dips well David found a Redflanked Bluetail on Tuesday night on Unst and we spent a lot of time on Wednesday trying for it - no sign!
There was a drama in Quendale where a Paddyfield Warbler had been reported - but when we were there a very flighty warbler was found -Blyth's Reed Warbler.
This was re-found by us on Friday - after 90 mins walking through the lilies but even then I didn't get good enough views for me to id it! so Warbler sp it remains!
I did however self find a very nice Yellow-browed Warbler on Burra later that afternoon!

Totals for those who are interested?

11 Year ticks(as you know not so much birding this year!)
with 8 new birds for Shetland including Rook, Collared and Turtle Dove!But best of all were two Hawfinch on Unst on Wednesday!

Now for a day birding in the South to see whats landed in the storm - and another week on Shetland - going to Fair Isle on Monday!