Saturday, 27 December 2008

Wonderful Waxwings

Most of us Brits here probably know that this winter is a 'waxwing winter'. Obviously Bill Oddie predicted it one year too early! There were around 15 birds outside the Folkestone B&Q today, and as the sun was showing I was able to take some lovely photos, despite the howling winds, bitter cold and annoying fence! Seriously, the waxwings were great models, coming within less than a metre at times! I just hope they stay a little longer so more people can enjoy them. What with global warming, waxwing winters will be becoming less likely to occur.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Eve's Night Delight

Hi all, Ben here.

Seeing as the Night Heron at Hythe (same place as Green Heron earlier) was still hanging around, I decided to go and see it. After all, why not, if the bird is so near to home?
Well, the conditions were hardly perfect, but at least it didn't rain. I can't say I took any good shots today, but never mind. Donana should prove fruitful for a better Night Heron photo next year. I found the bird in the reeds near the bridge, along with a couple of Kingfishers, a young Black-headed Gull, a Little Egret and a Grey Heron. A weasel kept me entertained too while the heron did nothing. Unfortunately a family with young children and a dog scared it off, but never mind. I watched it, I photographed it and it brought back memories of Spain. That's really all that matters!

I tried later for the Waxwings at B&Q, Folkestone, but there was not a bird in sight. Never mind, there's always next month.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Cliffe, Capel Fleet and BB

A great day, nice to get away from the house and do some proper birding! GCN picked me up and we set off for Cliffe RSPB. The weather was stunning for the whole day, despite the biting cold, the sun was out!
We arrived and quickly got onto target bird numero uno, Spoonbill, a kent tick for me, and as spoonbills usually are, it was a very lazy one! Until about an hour or so later when it awoke and started feeding! WOW Next were 7 Goldeneye, target bird numero dos, another kent tick for me. They performed well, if alittle distant, but still some were drakes and doing their lovely displaying, heads back etc etc. Other birds of note here were 2 Greenshank, 1 Green sandpiper, 2 Redshank, c1000 Lapwing, 4 Little egret, 3+ Reed bunting, 10+ Pintail, c500 Teal, c300 Wigeon and an astonishing number of Little grebe with over 100 seen!!!
We decided to move on to Capel Fleet, Sheppey and have a look round there. 2 ringtail Hen harrier, 7 Marsh harrier, c1100 Golden plover ( showing incredibly as they were scared up into the air by something and flew low over, I could hear their wing beats!) Lapwings, c10 Linnet, 16 Reed bunting, Goldfinches, 2 Kestrel and 2 S E Owls ( which were fighting in mid-air for a while) but the best bird, or 20 of them were Corn buntings, surprisingly a lifer for me, I have just never managed to connect with these birds, they were quite stunning I must say!
We decided to get to bough beech to look for Goosanders and we weren't disappointed as there were a minimum of 13 birds including a few drakes; also c150 Jackdaw, c7000 B H Gulls and 10 Mandarin. The diver was seen by others, but not by us. A great day.........again!

I do hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and I look forward to competing in 2009's year listing competition!


Saturday, 6 December 2008

Beach birding

Hi all,

The south shore of Long Island, NY, has been productive recently. Last weekend I was able to my third Snowy Owl from a very safe distance on the beach. Unfortunately not everyone was so considerate... as they do every time one of these Arctic gems appear, the photogs (unseen for the rest of year) jump into action and do their best to harry the owls. Luckily there is plenty of barrier beach to go around, and the two or three birds hanging around Jones Beach last weekend did not show today. Also present last weekend were a pair of Short-beaked Common Dolphins that had accidentally swam into an inlet and mistook a boat basin for an oceanic exit. After nearly a week in the channel, the two were successfully scared back out into open waters by those terrifying things we call boats. Cetacean lifer!
Today some of the young birders of downstate New York gathered at the same beach for an unofficial walk. 6 members of the New York State Young Birders Club were able to make it. The Snowies had since departed, but several thousand scoters, a couple of eiders (including what turned out to be a distant King) and a Peregrine Falcon amused us. At our next beach location, Point Lookout, we eventually found our extroardinary target: Harlequin Duck. The east coast population of Harlequin is quite small, and the site we visited is probably the most reliable place to find them in the state. We all enjoyed close views of a male and female diving for crabs and the like. At our final destination for the day, the Massapequa Preserve, we quickly located the interesting shorebirds: Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitcher and Wilson's Snipe. At another pond we easily located a distant Eurasian Wigeon, which was only my second for NY state (1st for Nassau County). It's pretty embarassing since multiple birds often winter on the North Shore of the island!

And for the human drama of the day... one of the members and his father locked their keys inside their van. Eventually they pried the back vent-type window open a little and attempted to use a wire to unlock a door. That was too difficult, so they asked someone at the residence they had parked in front of for hedgeclippers. They snapped part of the mechanism that held the window to the van and the member slid through the window. A great day! And after all the excitement, I saluted the anatid highlights of the day by devouring a duck breast for dinner.

Two Black Birds (logically three)

I was down at my local patch today watching the male Black Redstart that was there... what a stunner! The real surprise came later, when, barely having left the rifle range, a pair of Ravens flew over calling, mobbed by the local Jackdaws as they went. What a great patch bird!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

BB, Foreness Point and Capel Fleet, Sheppey

A planned trip to collect more ticks and get myself nearer to 200 fro my British list. I arrived at bough beech this morning and looked for the GN diver but couldn't see it so assumed it was down the over end. Here there were 1 Kingfisher, 4 Snipe, 2 Redpoll, 15 Mandarin amongst the regulars of note. Met Graham and we decided to head straight to Foreness point for purple sand.
On the journey there was a Buzzard in the usual spot along the M20.
At Cliftonville near Margate, I picked up an adult winter Mediterranean gull on a field by the sea which was a nice start to the day. At Foreness there was a large gathering of waders.
c150 Oystercatcher, c50 Grey plover, c20 Sanderling, 3 Curlew, c100 Ringed plover, Turnstones, Redshanks and a very Un-showy Purple sandpiper, a lifer for me. Graham has seen up to 40 of them here so we were alittle disappointed at 1 of them! 10 Fulmars were a great site and the best views I've ever had of one. 1 Kestrel showed well down to 3 metres, and to end our stop here 2 lifers: 2 male Red-breated mergansers flew past and I got onto some very distant divers which turned out to be my 1st Red-throated divers, 3 in total.
On the way to sheppey we came across another Buzzard at by the motorway.
We headed for Capel fleet and drove along the Harty Sheppey Road where we had incredible views of 3 Short-eared owls and I soon got onto a Rough-legged buzzard, the last lifer of the day. It was hovering in front of the Elmley Prison and showed for a short while before disappearing. Further along the road we totaled 3 Hen harriers showing well and 5 Marsh harrier. A Great Day!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Snow Bunting, Short-eared Owl and more, Kent 23rd November 2008

I spent the day with Josh J Shaw. The two main sites that we visited were Leysdown on Sea (where all the below photos were taken) and Elmley Marshes RSPB (Short-eared Owl). Both were lifers for Josh and year ticks for me. A full report (with a video) is available on

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Great Northern Diver

Went to see the GN Diver at bough beech today. Fantastic views of it diving ( Well it would be, wouldn't it??!!!!) A lifer for me and it brings my Bough beech list to 122 species. Lovely stuff!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Grey Phalarope at Home Park

What a great day birding with David Campbell. First Beddington SF with a Jack Snipe and lots of Tree Sparrow (both lifers). Then Home Park (Hampton Court Park) with a Grey Phalarope literally 1 metre away from us!

Here are a some of shots from the day.....
A Tree Sparrow at Beddington
And of course, the Phalarope......!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

GREY PHALAROPE and Jack Snipe 15/11/2008

I spent the day birding with Billy Dykes. First we went to Beddington where we flushed a Jack Snipe (lifer for Billy, year tick for me). Shortly afterwards, we went to see the Hampton Court Grey Phalarope. It took us a while to find the right place but we eventually watched the bird at 1-2 metres range during a beautiful sunset.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Pine Siskin invasiom

Hi all, Brendan here,

Pine Siskins have been moving down the eastern seaboard in mad numbers lately. Some estimates from the barrier beaches of New York lately have peaked at 6,000 birds. I was able to see some on two occasions recently. The first instance was a rolling flock of ~50. The second was a smaller flock feeding in some pines that I check regularly this time of year for Northern Saw-whet and Long-eared Owls (those two and Snowy Owl are the only owls I have in my county!). There they all were, quietly nibbling on cones. Interestingly, I was repeatedly encountering tapping noises that day in the grove of pines but could locate no avian source. Finally I noticed some cones were shut tight and others were open like a flower. The noise was actually the cones popping open! Good timing for the siskins, who also seem to notice a difference (below).
On a different note, Pine Siskin happened to be my 299th New York state bird. Pine Siskins are pretty regular upstate, but aren't terribly common in the state most years, much less downstate. I am also missing several other winter finches, including both redpolls, both winter grosbeaks and Red Crossbill. Luckily, none are expected to invade soon so I can still control my 300th state bird!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

The Famous Green Heron

Thank goodness! My 500mm Sigma lens is now fixed, although some clumsy oaf at the Sigma warehouse in Nottingham managed somehow to break my manual focus mechanism! Never mind, I never seem to use it.
Seeing as I finally have my lens back I can get back to birdwatching again, and I went to see the Green Heron again to take some photos. They're not as good as those that some have taken, but the conditions were excellent for that lucky few. I'm pleased enough with the photos; at least it's proof that I saw it. Who knows, if I'd managed to take a photo of that grosbeak I saw in Donana, maybe all the issue that surrounded it may never have happened!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Bushy Park- Wigeon Wonder

My first upload to this blog!

I have had a very boring couple of weeks recently as I haven't really gone birdwatching anywhere, but it was a very nice surprise when I found an eclipse male Wigeon at Bushy Park today. Ok, not the rarest of birds (it is in Bushy Park) but it provided a great photo opportunity.

and a fluffed up Pigeon....
On a couple of last notes, I can't believe I came 2nd place in the bird race and thanks David for letting me become a site member :). Also, don't forget to visit my blog at
Billy D

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Green Heron!

1st Winter, Royal Military Canal, West Hythe, Kent.

A great bird that showed really well. Apologies for the very poor pic, the camera kept playing up and the weather wasn't all too great either.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


Got back from Cornwall on saturday to find Slavonian grebe reported on Birdguides at bough beech. So went there on sunday and had superb views of it all day.
Back to the main subject...Cornwall. To be honest the trip was quite un-eventful seeing as I had no way of traveling without my mum driving me places so I didn't see anything mega or rare but still had 2 lifers and some nice birding. The 2 lifers were Shag and Raven, which were both seen on the same day at Rame head. Great views of both species...later on that same day I dipped a firecrest reported near rame at Penlee battery. Oh well! Other good birds seen on the trip were: Golden Plover, Peregrine, Curlew, Dunlin, lots of Buzzards and surprisingly good numbers of butterflies, the most common being Red admiral. Photo: Peregrine that was seen perched for ages on the viaduct 5 mins walk from where we were staying in St Germans, nr Plymouth.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Getting in on the fall...

1/11/08 North Norfolk - Simeon
I managed to get out today after realising how much action I was missing on the coast!
First stop was Muckleburgh Hill where after following people (who didn't know where they were going!) for a while we eventually arrived where the bird had been. After about 10mins of waiting/searching a call went up as usual on twitches!
About ten minutes later I had had quite good views of it on the ground/in the lower branches of small trees. One disadvantage of being tall is that I had to crouch! The bird showed quite nicely but I left it after a few minutes to be hassled by the photographers!!!
Chris Orders kindly gave me a lift to Kelling where we arrived just in time to see 18 Waxwings sitting in a tree K-I-S-S... sorry - couldn't resist that! They were lovely and I was so pleased because I haven't seen one for literally about 7 years!
I then got dropped off at the station and got the train to West Runton. Near the farm builings I found a Yellow-Browed Warbler and several Goldcrests, and moving along the coast, there were several Blue tits in the clifftop scrub at East Runton. They must have been migrants - obviously new in, and large numbers have recently been recorded in Norway. Not really a bird I'd associate with long distance migration, but still nice.
My next (and final) stop was Warren Wood in Cromer. The habitat looked amazing but unfortunately the wind was too strong. I managed a Woodcock and a Yellow-Browed/Pallas's Warbler in the clifftop gorse near the lighthouse.
I good day by most standards and looking forward to next weekend providing the Easterlies remain...

Monday, 3 November 2008

Golf course Firecrests

I found 2 Firecrests at my local golf course (Banstead Downs Golf Course) on Friday and they've been showing well daily since then. This is quite a significant record for south London/north Surrey because there are 2 birds and they are both staying for a fair while (4th day today). They are generally scarce in my local area too with a brief bird at Mitcham Common earlier in 2008 being the only record this year.

Today I checked on them after school and one flew inches away from my head! Yesterday when I brought a friend to see them, I sat behind a small bush and played the call to lure them in- one came and landed half a metre away from me, no exaggeration! I was breathless. This whole Firecrest thing must be one of the most breathtaking experiences I have ever had.

Despite coming so close they are extremely quick and restless (although the one that came very close sat there for quite a while, but I was too scared to raise my camera!) and hence very difficult to photograph.

I've managed a few shots and below is the best so far:


Sunday, 26 October 2008


David here.

Got great views of this stunner today, though not as good as others got just before I arrived.
6th record for UK, 1st for Kent, the whole of the south east and quite a bit further than that. Last British record was on Angelsey, Wales in November 2005.

I extend my sincerest thanks to Phil Wallace for taking me and giving me a great day.


Hi, Ben here

Some of you may be aware that there was a Green Heron at Hythe today. I couldn't resist going to see it, despite the fact that my 500mm lens was away being serviced. It turns out I never needed the camera; driving rain and wind prevented any time for a photo, and I only had a brief view of it flying into the denser reeds from a perch, but still... WHAT A BIRD!!! For a photo of it visit Kentos or Folkestone Birds (from Kentos).

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Today's Birding...

I was expecting an average day at Bough beech where it started well with passage of 33 Skylarks over and a few Redpolls, Green sandpipers and Siskins. Graham soon arrived and offered a lift to the R B Shrike in Wouldham/ Halling area. We arrived and had brief but tickable views of the 1st winter bird and then made out way to Dunge. Seawatching was OK with the Highlights being Great Skua(1), Kittiwake( 10), Fulmar(3) and Little gull(3). We stop at a known roosting spot for Harriers and almost immediatly we got onto a ringtail Hen harrier, though it was rather distant and in fading light!
All in all a great day with 2 lifers and 5 Kent ticks! Off to Cornwall for a week 2moro, so wish me luck!
BOU 2008 List= 180

Monday, 20 October 2008

David and Josh's bird race

With the cousins safely in Camberely, I spent the day birding around London with Josh J Shaw ( for the Young Birders Bird Race 2008.

First of all we visited Nonsuch Park, my local patch. Here we needed Little Owl, Green Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Stock Dove, Goldcrest etc.

We quickly ticked off Coal Tit, which was calling by the car park and it was not too long before we heard Green Woodpecker and Nuthatch. We saw a few Redwings flying over, which were my first record at Nonsuch this Autumn. At the Cheam Park end, we got site scarcities like Grey Heron, Pied Wagtail and Lesser Black-backed Gull.

After a bit of searching for the Little Owl, we heard it from the usual spot but it was quite a way north of us! Maybe it has relocated due to high disturbance where it used to be?

There were large numbers of Chaffinches and a single Song Thrush. In the gardens we flushed a Sparrowhawk.

Nonsuch Park got us up to a respectable 32 species in just over an hour (my site record is 34 in about 4 hours!).

Next up, Beddington SF. This visit turned out to be a useful boost to my Beddington list and produced an addition to my British and European year lists.

There were large numbers of Little Grebes and Meadow Pipits around and not many Gulls (because the landfill doesn't work on Sundays). 2 Pochards were over at the far side with a Wigeon and large numbers of other wildfowl. Tree Sparrows were visiting the feeders and the remains of a flock of c140 Ring-necked Parakeets seen there earlier that morning passed by noisily.

Out of the blue, a flock of 29 Fieldfares flew south! My first of the autumn and a Beddington year tick, one which got my Beddington year list equal with my overall Beddington list! Small numbers of Redwings flew over which, surprisingly was another Beddington tick.

Just after a Sparrowhawk flew over, Josh called a female Brambling on the feeders to everyone's delight. A Beddington tick for me and one of the few I've seen in the local area.

We took a walk with Johnny Allan ( around the site to see if we could find the Rock/Water Pipits which another of the regulars had seen. No joy but 6 Green Sandpipers, 4 Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk and a Reed Bunting (Beddington tick).

Shortly after we arrived back at the mound, a flock of 4 Lesser Redpolls flew over! This was the year tick I was talking about and the first I've seen for 2 and a half years! Of course, a Beddington tick too.

Now my Beddington list is on 97 and my Beddington year list is finally equal. I hope I get to 100 soon.

Beddington got our day list up to 60.

To the London Wetland Centre! We had a bit of trouble getting in because we had to be accompanied by an over 16 year old, I forgot my card and Josh didn't have one but luckily the staff sympathised with us and let us in.

Birds here included about 3 Great Black-backed Gulls, 77 Cormorants, large numbers of wildfowl, great views of Little Grebes, Wigeons, Great Crested Grebes and 2 Green Woodpeckers which landed right in front of us! If only I was quicker with the camera.

Above: Little Grebe

There was also a putative Yellow-legged Gull which someone claimed as a 1st winter but to me, the legs were too short, bill not heavyh enough and furthermore it lacked the all dark bill despite having the distinctive greater covert pattern.

We left content and with 66 species for the whole day, including a year tick for me and some much needed patch ticks. Odd thing was we saw no Warblers, not even a Chiffchaff.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Parasitic Jaeger

Hey, everyone! Chris W again reporting from the state of Wisconsin in the USA. 

Here's a couple photos of a Parasitic Jaeger (pronounced "Yay-ger") that I took at Wisconsin point in Northern Wisconsin at the tip of lake Superior back in Sept. 

This is the same species as Europe's Parasitic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus) just a slightly different name. 
This bird made close flybys that allowed for some great shots. Normally, photos of this bird are fuzzy and the birds are much farther away.  Since they are pelagic birds, Parasitic Jaegers are labeled as uncommon to rare in Wisconsin and are found, of course, only on the great lakes.
All 3 species of Jaegers (Pomerine, Long-tailed and Parasitic) have been seen in WI. The other 2 are much rarer though. 
Happy Birding! 

Monday, 13 October 2008

Some recent pictures

Hey guys, Chris W here from Wisconsin in the USA.   I've posted some photos that I took last month while attending a field trip in Superior at the tip of Lake Superior. 

This Osprey provided great looks.

This Merlin posed just long enough for a picture.

Franklin's Ground Squirrel.
A rare species in Northern WI.

This Red-necked Phalarope provided spectacular views and photos.

This White-throated Sparrow posed for a classic picture. 

I'll post some more pics sometime, maybe this week.  I got some nice shots of a Jaeger (Skua to most of you) that you might like to see.  Til then, Happy Birding! 

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Little Stint

Spent the day at Oare Marshes NR where I finally saw 6+ juv Little Stints, a much needed lifer. Excuse the poor quality shot, hand held digiscoped...

Saturday, 4 October 2008

My local patch on the big screen!

From Friday 2nd to Saturday 4th October the Mansion House and the Gardens in Nonsuch Park (my local patch) were used as a setting for filming of a sequence in the family film 'From Time to Time' with Timothy Spall and Maggie Smith. Not good news for me because there were tonnes of caravans which were putting the birds off and blocking the cafe and some essential footpaths. Anyway, it will be interesting to see Nonsuch on the big screen.

Great stuff!

This morning I was sat in the school Art room for 2 and a half hours for 'Open Day' and then my mum picked me up and took me to Bough beech. On the way it was starting to rain alittle and I wasn't looking forward to getting soaked...we pulled up on the causeway and I was pleased to see Graham there with his scope. We had a chat for 10 minutes or so and he offered to take me to Dungeness for the afternoon to do some seawatching, my mum said I could and we soon set off. On the journey I noted 3 Kestrel and 1 Common Buzzard. Once we had arrived we headed staright for the seawatching hide but sat outside it for a total of about 2-3 hours. the first bird apparent were c30 Gannet out at sea, also lots of gulls including a Yellow-legged gull. Graham soon got onto some skuas which were Great skua's, a lifer for me. In total there were about 4 seen. There were also 5+ Arctic skua, 2 Little gull, c20 Common Scoter, 9 Common tern and 1 Sandwich tern. But the best bird of all was a juvenile LONG-TAILED SKUA which gave distant views as it headed east and into the bay in the afternoon. What an incredible day with 2 lifers.
2008 BOU list= 176
BOU British Life List= 181
Kent Life List= 145

Monday, 29 September 2008

Iceland July 2008.

A bit late in posting but thought I would post my lists etc from a trip to Iceland that I took in July. I went out there to help Icelandic bird ringers to catch and mark Whooper Swans to follow them on their migrations south to the UK during the winter, were I must say that a few have arrived already at WWT Martin Mere along with thousands of Pink Footed Geese! Lots of nice birds seen in Niceland and over 6+ new species for me. For anyone who has never been, I would certainly recommend going - its a fab country!

28/07/2008 - Reykjavik - Oystercatcher, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, and Arctic Tern. Akureyri – 8 Long Tailed Ducks, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Eider, 35 Arctic Tern, Common Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, Redwing and Greylag Goose.

29/07/2008 - Myvatn area – Merlin, Meadow Pipit, Redwing, Arctic Tern, c250 Barrows Golden Eye, Golden Plover, Whimbrel, Red Throated Diver, Arctic Skua, Redshank, Black Tailed Godwit, 10 Ptarmigan, Great Northern Diver, Whooper Swan, Red Breasted Merganser, Snipe, Teal, Pied Wagtail, Fulmar, Wigeon, Common Scoter, Garganey and Slavonian Grebe

30/07/2008 - Birds seen – Oystercatcher, Common Gull, Tufted Duck, Whooper Swan, Greylag Goose, Meadow Pipit, Redwing, Golden Plover, Whimbrel, Redshank, Snipe, Teal, Fulmar, Slavonian Grebe and Gyr Falcon

31/07/2008 - Akureyri - Birds seen – Lesser Blacked Backed Gull, Herring Gull, Arctic Skua, Black Tailed Godwit, Meadow Pipit, Snipe, Black Headed Gull, Redwing, Tufted Duck and Wigeon.

01/08/2008 - Bjorg - 4 Raven, 48 Red Necked Phalarope, Kittiwake, Gyr Falcon, Whooper Swan, Common Scoter, Fulmar, Arctic Skua, Snipe, Dunlin, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Greater Black Backed Gull, 4 Wheatear, Black Guillemot, Redshank, Purple Sandpiper, Harlequin Duck , Redwing and Meadow pipit.

02/08/2008 - Vestmannsvatn - Birds seen – Raven, Whooper Swan, Great Northern Diver, Greylag Goose, Whimbrel, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Common Gull, Arctic Skua, Golden Plover, Redshank, Arctic Tern and Black tailed Godwit.

03/08/2008 - Akureyri - Redpoll, Redwing, Goldcrest, Pink footed Goose, Raven and Oystercatcher.

And a few pics from the trip -

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Summery Summary

Hi all, Brendan F from New York speaking:

This summer season has been quite good for the two lists I've been favoring recently: ABA life list and New York State list.

Back in May I found Tennessee and Golden-winged Warblers to add to both lists just north of metropolitan NYC. Then in June, I saw my first Acadian Flycatcher in NYC's Jamaica bay (after hearing my first a month earlier). A visit out east on Long Island produced my life Grasshopper Sparrow, Cory's Shearwater and heard-only Whip-poor-will and Chuck-will's-widow.

Right after that it was breaktime, and I was off to Arizona. 2 weeks of VENT's Camp Chiricahua was absolutely spectacular, albeit rainy (!). I acquired 91 lifers (including a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher seen while changing planes in Houston, TX). There were too many excellent experiences to wrap into one little blog post, but they included almost a dozen species of hummingbird, 8 species of owls, a fine sampling of venomous critters, and a loud Flame-colored Tanager.

Back to NY! Two weeks later a Red-necked Stint was found at Jamaica Bay while I was out of town. Naturally I was at the site the next morning and was rewarded with not only the stint, but an adult Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (only the state's 3rd record or so!). Finally, last weekend I got to see a Lark Bunting at a local barrier beach. I currently stand at 297 species for NY, including the heard-only caprimulgids, and 467 for ABA.


What a Dip...

Hi, Ben here.

I tried to do a little twitching today at Bockhill. Who wouldn't with 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Barred Warbler, a Dusky Warbler, a leucistic Spotted Flycatcher, Ravens and a Great Grey Shrike all in the area?
Well the score is Birds: 7, Me: 0
I couldn't find any of them!!! Just shows how unlucky I am as a twitcher. I stumble across something fantastic then don't see anything for the rest of the year. I'll just have to remind myself that a White-winged Black Tern is nice enough as a trophy for a normally non-twitcher such as myself.

Report from local patch today.

Swallow (1 south, patch lifer for me) Pied Wagtail (3rd patch record for me), Grey Heron, 24+ Jays, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Nuthatches, 10+ Goldcrests, 1+ Chiffchaff, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Moorhen, c10 Jackdaws, 2+ Mistle Thrushes, 2 Stock Doves.

Despite 4 hours of more or less non stop thorough checking I turned up nothing more than good patch birds as you can see...


Digiscoped at Rye Harbour NR today, one of about 25. Also 1 Whinchat, 5 Stonechat...


Saturday, 20 September 2008

Brockholes Wetlands LWT - 20th September 2008

with recent days producing a great number of migrating Honey Buzzards throughout the country, I thought I would make an effort at Brockholes as I would assume migrating Birds of Prey would use a major river valley such as the Ribble for direction. Before I had time to react, I received a text from Bill Aspin saying that John Wright had seen a Juv fly >SW...damn! maybe there would be more.
I went down and because of the last few days producing a juv Hobby on the back pits of the site near Boilton Woods, I headed in that direction. There were several assembled observers and we soon picked up the Hobby. This was by far the best experience I have had with a Hobby and I even managed to hear an Alarm Call as it was flushed by a fisherman. This is a nice late record and a promising bird...
Also on Site was 2 Snipe and overhead there were 7 Curlew and 3 Golden Plover >west, the latter being increasingly hard to see down at the quarry.
No Honey Buzzard but theres still time...