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.

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