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...

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Seeing as there have been so many photos of Cranes recently I won't post my poor record shot from Welney WWT. The windows are angled (presumably so that the nesting house martins don't crash into them all the time!), but this makes photography very difficult - especially digiscoping. There were 2 very close Little Stints which provided an amazing photo opportunity, but because of the windows I vas forced to use the hide's remote camera and take a photo of the LCD screen. It looks alright if you don't look too closely:

Also found this scanned image of a puffin I drew, whilst sorting through my photos.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

White-Winged Black Tern at Dungeness, among other things

I'm still gonna post even if some of you don't believe me! Cranes at Dungeness were fantastic, albeit at a distance. Lifers: Cranes, Little Gull, Black Tern, most importantly White-winged Black Tern. Something to beat my rarest British bird to date; a White Stork over Canterbury 4 years ago. That's an overshoot anyway. Here's a pic of the cranes, though I can't say it's excellent...

Still, it wasn't taken through a scope... I have no scope. I probably ought to get one; it'd increase my (currently poor) seawatching no end!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Grey phalarope

A last minute trip to Bough beech for Grey phalarope this evening where it showed very well but my photos are poor due to the bad light. A great bird and Lifer, BOU 2008 list =172.