Sunday, 19 June 2016

More images from Skomer Island

Hurry there's a Herring Gull coming
Puffin forum
Puffin
Puffin
Puffins 
Razorbill
Guillemot
Transport to the Island
Guillemot
Chough

Finally got a boat to Skomer

My last three attempts to get over to Skomer Island have failed miserably so with news that the boat hadn't sailed all week due to the persistent northerly winds I checked the weather reports to see that the wind was due to drop a little over night then switch to a more westerly on Saturday morning so I set off in hope that the boat could sail.

Puffin on Skomer Island
On arrival at 6.30am I paid the £5 car park fee and walked to the booking office where I found 250 people had beaten me and had already formed a very British queue. The captain arrived at 7.30am and advised that an extra boat had been put on and he would be able to land 300 people today over six launches but by now there were closer to 400 people waiting. The booking office opened at 8am and started sorting the queue. Some left disappointed and some booked a round the island cruise whilst the lucky 300 managed to get their hands on landing tickets with my "yellow" one getting me on the 11.30 launch after I'd parted company with another £10. Once booked I killed some time by walking the deer park where I was entertained by a pair of Wheatear with their three fledged chicks.Whilst sitting on the cliff edge watching the Wheatears a pair of Chough flew in and sat a few yards from me feeding on the grass bank before a being flushed by other visitors walking the footpath. Raven, Fulmars, Gannets, Shags, Auks and Gulls added to the list along with the expected Linnet, Stonechat, Mipits and Whitethroats.

Puffins on Skomer Island Pembrokeshire
I boarded the 11.30am boat, paid the captain his £11 and the ten minute crossing was made without drama. On arrival I had to listen to the usual talk from the warden (which is great if you've never heard it before) and then the rope was removed from the footpath and I was at last free to explore the Island. I made my way to the Wick and enjoyed plenty of Puffin action before heading off to explore the rest of the Island. I also saw my first ever Skomer Vole but it was far too quick for the camera.

Really delighted to have made the trip especially as I actually managed to get on the boat and when questioning the sanity of the extreme day trip I just need to look at the images below to justify it.

Year list now at 250

Chough
Guillemot
Razorbill
Whitethroat
Stonechat
Sleeping beauty
If you haven't been then it's time to consider a visit to Skomer but hurry as the Puffins start to leave next month.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Great Knot at Titchwell

I popped into Titchwell today whilst on my travels, With instructions to look for the big yellow bouy that sat on the sand bank I quickly found the right area and I was greeted by several thousand Knots roosting on the beach. The work started with scope in hand as I tried to find the Great Knot amongst all the not so great ones then as I struggled along the whole lot took flight circled around and landed back on the same sand bank. This time the GREAT KNOT sat out at the front and gave great scope views before walking all the way along the back edge showing really well as it did and then slipping back among the roost and out of site. A smart bird in good plumage and showing much better than the last one I saw.

Avocet with three chicks standing on her legs.
Avocet Chick
Avocet 
A few common Scoter, Cuckoo, Bittern, Bearded Tit, Red Crested Pochard, Spotted Redshank, Little Gull, Little Tern, Little Ringed Plover and Marsh Harrier all added to a nice supporting cast.

Marsh Harrier
At the drying barns I located Grey Partridge, Yellow Wagtail, Turtle Dove and a single Corn Bunting otherwise a very dull and grey Norfolk visit.

Grey Partridge
brown headed Gull
Meadow Pipit
The not so great Great Knot record shot


Year list now 248

Monday, 13 June 2016

Gardenwatch

So the rain and being knackered from working too hard has kept me in this last weekend but I did pull the camera out whilst being entertained in the garden by the local bird population which is a little larger thanks to my constant feeding.

It's great to see so many species bringing their youngsters to my feeders although some seem to be better than others with the parenting skills.

House Sparrow
House Sparrow
Starling 
Magpie
Local Little Owl
T!

Wood Pigeon

Sunday, 5 June 2016

American Golden Plover at Rye Harbour

Another early meet and we're on our way down the M20 towards Rye. We pulled into the car park and walked the short distance to the black hut with the red roof and after a short scan of the shingle we located the American Golden Plover in it's full breeding plumage which made for a comfortable ID.

American Golden Plover at Rye Harbour


Little Tern gave another year tick as at least six hung in the air above the reserve and sat on the shingle islands. Other birds seen consisted of Med Gulls, Wheatear, Avocet, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Sandwich Terns to name a few.

Wheatear at Rye
Little Tern at Rye 
At Dunge we found no fewer than five Hobbies hunting along the entrance track and also found an obliging Whitethroat a few Bearded Tits a Marsh Harrier and a couple of Cuckoo were seen and heard. A Fieldfare was reported in the trapping area which is a strange June tick for Dunge.

Hobby at Dunge
Hobby  at Dunge
Whitethroat


Year list now 247


Robin in the garden this afternoon 

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Rose Coloured Starling at Caddington Beds

A few days "Up north" again with work helped me to bag a Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher whilst on a walk along the river at Bolton Abbey. Dippers showed well as did Goosander and Mandarin.

Dipper
Wood Warbler
Curlew
Red Grouse
A brief stop at Welbeck watchpoint delivered just Common Buzzard, Hobby, Sprawk and Kestrel before arriving in Caddington where the adult Rose Coloured Starling was quickly found in the paddock area behind Mancroft Road. A stunning bird that unfortunately kept it's distance during my short visit.

Rose-coloured Starling record shot



Year list now at 245


Monday, 30 May 2016

FALCO SUBBUTEO

A few more images from my recent brief but special encounter with a Hobby down at Dunge.


Falco Subbuteo "The European Hobby"
Hobby 
Hobby Dungeness 29th May 2016  what a bird!
Hobby
looking at me looking at you.....A Special moment

A remarkable encounter with the bird sitting on a shed whilst we pulled up along side in the car enjoying it for a few moments.

The Hobby summers in the UK with c2800 breeding pairs. It is an amazing bird to watch as it hawks for dragonflies etc over lakes and rivers.

The scientific name Falco Subbuteo derives from the Latin word for Sickle (falcis) which refers to the birds talons and Subbuteo again from the latin words sub meaning near to and buteo meaning Buzzard.

The word Subbuteo being better known as the  table football game taken from the name of the Hobby for the hobby if that makes sense.