About Me

I am a novice to birding and have become interested since walking Frank our dog, a cross Flat Coat / Springer around Hastings Country Park and the surrounding area, I realised the little brown birds weren't just sparrows.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Glossy Ibis on Pett Level

I eventually caught up with the Glossy Ibis on Pett level the other day, it was with the Coote flock but always hidden in the ditch between the roadside pools. Today on an off chance I stopped to have a look and it was in the open amongst the Cootes. A couple of record shots with the little camera.


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Long-eared Owl at Dungeness 1st December

With the winds a little lighter today Paula wanted to twitch the Long-eared Owl at Dungeness, with very little persuasion I said lets go. Just after the visitor centre at the back of the dipping pool he was roosting - my second ever and Paula's first.


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Ouzeltastic at last sunday 18th October

This morning it was dull and misty after some overnight rain, after walking the dogs and seeing up to 2000 goldfinches moving east I thought it might be good for migrants at Dungeness. After breakfast etc. I arrived at the point, a walk around the lighthouse garden found a few Chiffies and a Goldcrest so I headed over to the observatory where a load more Chiffies were flitting around. I was called over to be told that a couple of Ouzels had been trapped and about to be released. After being processed I was offered the chance to take some photos so I did.
Juvenile/female

Juvenile/female

Juvenile Male

Juvenile Male
 A walk out into the dessert and onto the trapping area I found 5 Ouzels on one bush,
5 Ring Ouzels
 Despite creeping closer they gradually disappeared and then there were 3
3 Ring Ouzels
 And then there was only 1 left.
I continued around the trapping area seeing another single and then a pair, but don't know if they were what I had already seen or new birds dropping in. A great 2 hours well spent.

Friday, 16 October 2015

A first for me on Pett Level Thurs. 15th October

The normal early morning dog walk along the Royal Military Canal and then along the beach to the pools and back to Toot Rock. As in recent days good numbers of Goldfinches and Meadow Pipits, a few Siskins around but no Crossbills today. Frank decided to take himself back up the beach most unusual as he always heads for the waters edge and starts barking which leads me to see what he has found.
 At first the pup seal laid lifeless so I phoned the RSPCA Wildlife and after several press buttons and agreeing to be sent info etc. I finally spoke to someone who wasn't interested in the slightest and cut me off. Fortunately the tide was incoming and the seal started to move down the beach.
 After about 10 minutes it reached the sand, another 15 mins and the tide would reach him so I left alone.
 Thankfully no sign this morning. Over the past couple of months a couple of adults have been present and locally known as Dennis and Sammy. But in the last 10 years of walking this beach it is the first time I haver ever seen a pup. (Photos taken on my cheapie phone)

Monday, 5 October 2015

Scilly revisited 28th September 2015

A long awaited trip back to The Ilse of Scilly finally came and our flights to St Mary's were not too bad considering the wind was gusting to 30mph and only took 15 minutes. On arrival clear blue skies greeted us and stayed all week.
Twin Otter aircraft Lands-end to St Mary's
 While waiting for Paula and Elsie to land, I walked frank around the airfield heard and glimpsed one of the 3 Lapland Buntings present. A walk down into Hugh Town to get dog food we then sat on the strand and watched the Scillonion dock.
Scillonion in St Mary's
 There were still plenty of Sub-tropical plants in flower
Sub-tropical plants?
 Tuesday 29th we headed for St Agnes as the reported Red-eyed Vireo had been seen first thing. On arrival at the harbour we joined a dozen or more birders and headed for the fruit cage (which looked nothing like a fruit cage) After a few minutes a Reed Warbler showed and then a Yellow-browed Warbler. After about another half hour someone spotted the Vireo and just as I got onto it flew over our heads. Another couple of visits to the area later in the day drew a blank. The rest of the day was spent walking round St Agnes and Gugh
St Agnes harbour from Gugh

Island of Gugh

Amaryllis growing wild on deserted farmland
 Wednesday we spent walking around St Marys stopping off at Higher and Lower Moors
Common Snipe

Jack Snipe

Jack Snipe with Green Sandpiper Lower Moors

Jack Snipe with Green Sandpiper and 2 Common Snipe 

Pec Sandpiper Higher Moors
 Thursday we went off to St. Martins exploring the rugged coastline in the north and the white sandy beaches in the south
St Martins

St Martins looking towards White Island
 Friday we stayed on St Mary's again walking the north part of the Island
St Mary's looking towards Bryer (left) and Tresco (right)
 In the evening we treated ourselves to Dinner at Jullietes and watched a stunning sunset
Sunset over Porthloo
 Saturday we walked the Garrison before having lunch and heading for the airport for our late afternoon flights back to Lands-end, flying over Senen Cove.
Senen Cove from the airplane

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Empidonax?

A text from birdguides saying an Empidonax sp at Dungeness with a Mega status got me thinking whats this. A quick look in my Collins bird book suggested an American flycatcher. A couple of minutes thought and I was off. On arriving at Dungeness point there were cars each side of the road from the lifeboat house to the new light house, and there was me thinking if I could find the location.

At least 150 birders were there, and within 5 minutes I was watching the first ever Acadian Flycatcher to be seen in Britain, the nearest being a dead bird found in Iceland in 1987. Having had good views in my bins I tried a photo, but then the rain set in I managed 1 shot and missed it.
What a nice water butt, but that's where it was. Although I didn't get a photo I was very happy with what I saw.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Wilsons Phalarope

Having reached the 300 species of UK birds last winter it is now hard to get more onto the list, so what a delight it was when I had a bird guides text telling me of a Wilsons Phalarope only down the road. After a 30 minute walk along the canal to panel valley there it was, but distant and the reeds at times hiding it. A couple of record shots heavily cropped.

Wilsons Phalarope

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Thorney Island Tuesday 15th September

I met the usual group on a rainy windy morning having travelled 3 hours through the rush hours traffic to Thorney Island.
On arrival Paul had already found 2 Ospreys on The Deeps which gave great scope views.
One of 2 Ospreys
We set off in an anti clockwise direction for a change seeing 3 Kingfishers, 10 Greenshanks, 2 Stonechats, Black and Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Whimbrel, Sanderling, Dunlin, and a couple of Winchat. Other raptors seen were Kestrel, Hobby, Common Buzzard and Peregrin. After seeing a few of the Spitfires and Hurricanes from the Battle of Britain fly past and seeing the Ospreys again  3 of us went to Pagham harbour Ferry Pool to twitch the Grey Phalarope which took all of 5 seconds to find. However the elusive Pec. Sandpiper took a bit longer like 10 minutes.


Grey Phalarope
 

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Red-backed Shrike 4th September 2015

Its now about 6 years I have been birding and one I have always wanted to see is a Red-backed Shrike - I don't know why? but its always been high on the must see list. Despite a good search last year at the Birds Eye factory at Lowestoft where the bird had been seen daily for over a month I dipped. Then an adult male turned up at the Cuckmere while I was in Suffolk, cutting the holiday short by a day I came back to see it only to dip again. Then on Thursday while at Rye Harbour I got news of one there but couldn't find it. On Friday the one at Dungeness RSPB was reported in the am and showing well. So I set off with the dogs to Dunge not to see it. Stopping where it was supposed to be I scanned the bushes and blow me in 10 seconds I found it although quite a distance away and in poor light.





Come Saturday the shrike still being there I went back for another look, first stop however was at Dengemarsh gulley where I had 2 Wheatears, 4 Winchats, Kingfisher, Willow warblers, numerous Whitethroats, a couple of Sedge warblers and a Lesser Whitethroat, on arrival at the reserve quite a few birders were looking at the shrike and although better light it was further away than Friday, probably the noise from the crowd didn't help


Red-backed Shrike - a cracking bird for me

Monday, 20 July 2015

Greater Yellow-legs 18th July

With all current home projects up to date, weather and tides looking favourable I  set off to Titchfield Haven to see the Yellow Legs, sadly it wasn't on the river viewable from the road so paid the £4 to go onto the reserve where it was showing well although distant from Suffrern Hide. Despite it being present for several months now I was surprised to see several birders like me that hadn't seen it before.


Greater Yellow-legs


On the way home I stopped off at Wilmington to look for butterflies but on the top of the downs it was too windy, however in the sheltered track leading to the Long Man there were lots of Small Skippers and Marbled Whites and one Silver Washed Fritillery
Silver Washed Fritillery

Small Skipper

Marbled White
 

Monday, 29 June 2015

Hudsonion Whimbrel 28th June

My plan was to twitch the Hudsonion Whimbrel at Pagham and the Yellow legs at Titchfield, but the Yellow Legs went awol  the day before and didn't show again for 72 hours.

At Pagham harbour the Hudsonion Whimbrel was with 5 Eurasion Whimbrel and so the slight difference could be seen, however it was a long way out in the harbour so only scope views were had and I came away with a heavily cropped record shot.

Hudsonion Whimbrel
 On the ferry pool was a stunning summer plumaged Spotted Redshank but too far away to photograph. Arriving back home I was surprised to find this Green Woodpecker on our lawn, although often heard I think this is the first to come into the garden.
Green Woodpecker