Sunday, 30 September 2018

Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Scotney

With the Jims needing Buff-breasted Sandpiper for a tick we headed off down to Dunge this morning.
A quick trip down Gallaways gave up nothing of note but we did find six Cattle Egrets at the farm on the reserve. At ARC we had stunning views of a Bittern as it walked around in front of Hanson hide. Five Great White Egrets hunted here too but at greater distance.

We waited for news of the Buff Breast but by 11am only had one negative message. With it being a lifer we decided to make the trip anyway so the short drive was made and the long walk started.
As we headed out a stream of birders headed back all reporting no joy despite a long search.
As we arrived at the gates to look back across the water we could see why they had struggled.
Four birders remained with us searching and after a while we found the target bird in the distance and in a rather nasty heat haze but the view was clear enough to ID the bird and get the guys the reward they wanted. We managed to get the other four guys on it and get news out hoping some of those walking back could turn around and see the bird.

On the way home we did our usual stop at Elmley to break the journey and found another six Cattle Egrets from the entrance track. It looks like Great Whites and Cattle Egrets really are set to follow the fortunes of Little Egrets and become ever more common here.

Year list now 239

Bittern from Hanson hide
Cattle Egret at Elmley
Cattle Egrets at Elmley
Stonechat at Dunge
Mipit at Dunge
Great White on ARC pit
These were flowering all around Dunge today.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Pallid Harrier Therfield

After the rain today we shot up the A10 to Therfield. We parked in the village and walked up Mill Lane before continuing down the Icknield Way for about 800yards or so plotting up near the large haystack pile. We scanned the fields from this point picking out several Red Kites, Buzzards and Kestrels before finally connecting with the target as it hunted along the hedgerow infront of us for about half an hour or so.

year list now 238 and level with my worst ever year so that's something small to celebrate.

Pallid Harrier at Therfield
Pallid Harrier at Therfield

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

A noteable Pomarine Skua at South Gare

Whilst at South Gare last weekend I took a few shots of the Skua with the small crowd but then they all moved on and left just me and another guy with the bird and it was at this point that it relaxed and started to expel a pellet. This gave me the opportunity to snap a mouth open shot which was something a little different to all the other shots being posted on line and I thought it was probably the best shot I got on the day.

With this in mind it was nice to see the image given a noteable on the Birdguides photograph of the week.

I then looked at the RBA review of the week to find the same image featuring in their round up.

So here's the image

The noteable

Sunday, 16 September 2018

more of the POMARINE SKUA at South Gare

As promised....just a few more images from South Gare.

Just look at that!
Pom landing
In flight
permission to land!
I didn't quite get the shutter speed on the money but I still liked this one.
Pomarine (referring to the scaled nostrils) Skua (Hunter) 
A small twitch for the Roseate Terns
Terns.....Common, Sandwich and Roseate

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Pomarine Skua at South Gare Cleveland

I took a solo run up the A1 today 258miles up the A1 to be precise. Having seen various images on line over the last three weeks I had to take a chance on connecting with the Pom that's stopped off in Cleveland on it's journey south.

My luck was in when I found the bird sitting on the sea wall straight away but it quickly took flight before the camera came out of the bag. I found it again shortly after on the beach but this time it was flushed by a dog walker. Third time lucky and it settled back on the beach and gave me a chance to get the images I'd travelled four hours for.

The bird flew back towards the lighthouse and settled on the sea for about an hour before eventually returning to the beach.

As the tide went out it revealed a rocky ridge and this attracted lot's of Terns to rest on it. Amongst the Sandwich and Commons were some Roseate Terns giving a second year tick for the trip and a couple of Eider ducks drifting along gave me a third year tick.

Guillemot, Gannet, Red-throated Diver, Kittiwake, Wheatear, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Knot, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Turnstone, Redshank, Oystercatcher just some of the supporting cast.

Year list now 237

The reason for the trip!
Pomarine Skua at South Gare Cleveland
What a bird
The Pom
On the prowl
On the sea
As you can imagine I have a few more images so may post a couple later once I've looked through them again.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Landguard for Wryneck and Whinchats

With me and the Jims all needing Wryneck for a year tick we headed up the A12 to Landguard in search of the bird reported yesterday.  We got lucky getting straight on the bird before 8am and enjoyed decent views on four different occasions during the morning.

At the caravan end we found at least eleven Whinchat and at the point a couple of Wheatear.
I picked up a Garden Warbler for a late year tick but we failed to find an expected Pied Flycatcher despite a couple getting reported during our visit. The Jims picked up a Redstart and we had numerous Lesser Whitethroat which is always good.

A decent morning in good company and the year list moves on to 234

Wryneck at Landguard
Whinchat at Landguard
One of the eleven Whinchats seen today
What a little cracker

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Purple Heron and Fudge Duck at Abberton

First light this morning and I was on the Layer Breton causeway looking for a Purple Heron which I quickly found roosting in the trees at the fat side of the site. It showed well through the scope but was a bit too far away for my 400mm lens although I did take a record shot anyway.

Purple Heron
Whilst waiting for the Heron to do something more exciting I tried a few flight shots of the Canada Geese and took a couple of shots of the Little Egrets which roost here in large numbers now.

Canada Geese
Canada Geese
Little Egrets
Little Egret
I moved on to the reserve and walked through to Bay hide where I found the Fudge duck asleep on the mus bank directly in front of the hide. Again distant and again a quick record shot as it eventually swam a short distance before sleeping again.

Fudge duck asleep
A couple of Great White Egrets came into view and one had a Fox walk within inches of it but surprisingly neither the Egret or the Fox seemed to pay each other much notice.

Great Egrets
Fox encounter between Great and Little Egret
The year list moves to 232 with the addition of the Fudge Duck although it's credentials remain in question.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Dunge and a bit more of the Wanstead Shrike

Destination Dunge!

We arrived at Gallaways for first light and found at least fifteen Whinchat, ten or more Wheatear lot's of Stonechats and a single Spotted Flycatcher but despite a good search during the morning including a long walk through the Long Pit area we failed to find anything else on the move. A pair of Raven flew over as we searched and a Sprawk flew between us as we searched the lighthouse garden.


A single Cattle Egret remained at the farm with yesterdays other ten seemingly departed.

Cattle Egret
The only other thing of note was a Grass Snake swimming in the Long Pit.

Grass Snake
On the way home we stopped for another hour an hour with the Wanstead Shrike and it showed really well for us enabling a couple of slightly improved images.

Wanstead Shrike
Red-backed Shrike at Wanstead
No year ticks but a good days birding with the Jims all the same.

Spotted Flycatcher