Monday, 24 February 2014

Suprise Woodcock

Visiting a friends new house Sunday and he reveals that as he walks along the muddy edges to his lane, strange birds are being flushed. He has only been there a short space of time but he reckons it has happened every time he has walked to the pub village.

So naturally we take a wander and luckily for me these strange birds are Woodcock. Now this is a bit handy, i've been tramping around Berwick looking for one of these now for three years!! A Lifer.....

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Abberton Reservoir

Arriving at Layer Breton Causeway for 10.30 am, it was very windy; most birds preferring to stay hidden within the margins. I viewed for probably and hour before moving on to the center.

Little Egret, Teal, Shoveller, Greylag & Canada Geese, Kestrel, Black Headed Gull, Red Crested Pochard, Tufted Duck, Grey Heron, Shelduck, Great Crested Grebe.

I took a wander round the water within the center, plenty of Goldeneye, Lapwing along with 3 Stonechat's along the fencing and one Oystercatcher.

Spending most of my time down the old road looking for the Firecrest which wasn't to be.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Yellow Rumped Warbler - High Shincliffe

What can i say; 11 hours round trip and did i need a beer after it or what, luckily the fridge cooperated. 

4.30am on Saturday i was on for the longest twitch i have done so far, the Yellow Rumped Warbler - High Shincliffe. Monster winds, driving rain, diversions and i hate to say but a very nasty; ridiculously awful; my thoughts are with the relatives accident. It wasn't even 6am.

I think if both me and monkey are truthful we were both glad to get to Mackie Dees for a break from the road even if we still had a stretch to go, plus it was still dark and we had no news on the Warbler.

We get to Shincliffe and start to head towards the birds location, not many cars but enough, we knew others would be there already. As we walk the bend, all eyes were to the skies, it was there and in view. A brief run and we're both straight on it. Yellow Rumped Warbler - Tick no7 for 2014.

Tree to Tree, to Coconuts, Roofs and hedging all in sight with good views for about half an hour before it heads off.

We take our leave at this point looking for the Waxings in the area; these were not to be found. A little news from a local who had just walked from somewhere through some woods, a Willow Tit. We didn't find that either but wasn't that concerned after all we had just seen Myrtle.

Back to the bird and we spent some more time watching it flit about in the bushes around the coconuts, this time preferring to stay within them. A brief chat with a few of the other London guys and we came home..

Photo by Martin Blow - Cheers for driving

Sunday, 2 February 2014


I have only been once, last August; Hawky and Mo pulling me in no less than 10 life ticks in the day; this time i didn't have their expert eyes; i had mine.

My dads always wanted to go so we headed off this morning and was passing New Diggins and Arc Pit by 7.45am. I wanted a Great White Egret however at this time it wasn't to be but we were both nicely surprised with a Black Throated Diver (lifer each 1-1) on Diggins.

On to the fishing boats, i was confident in finding the Glaucous Gull; this was my 3rd attempt for one, West Canvey Marsh and Shorham Harbour both resulting in nothing. We parked the car and i hate to say i took a brief cursory glance at some gulls; i didn't realise this was the roost; we headed towards the shoreline.

It wasn't until we were parallel to them that the Glaucous Gull was found (lifer each 2-2) amongst them, may have missed it at first look but we got there in the end.

proof of life shot

As we hit the shoreline; the weather changed, the supposed clear skies and no rain turned to very black skies and very heavy rain and wind. We hunkered down for a sea watch; loads of activity with masses of Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe. A few Guillemot started to appear and mixed Gulls patrolled the coast.

It was no good, we had enough; back to the car via the Glauc bumping into Brian, Jim and Jim senior; It was good to catch up with you all again.

Then onto the lighthouse; We held for a while as the rain stopped and then went to the Patch. Things had improved, Little Gull, Mediterranean Gull along with a dozen or so Kitts.

Back to Arc & Diggins; we stopped with a longer search for the Great Whites (lifer for me 3-2) and found the first of two for the day. Also a Goosander on Diggins.

 Tree Sparrows next at the farmhouse, along with Reed Buntings. (Tree Sparrows a life tick for dad 3-3).

Into the reserve and we were running low on time; we stopped finally at Scotts Hide over looking Burrows. We were kindly put onto a Black Necked Grebe (dad lifer 3-4) and finally a Red Head Smew (dad again 3-5).

Looking forward to getting down there again...