Monday, 2 November 2009
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Monday, 19 October 2009
I've just started a BA(hons) Wildlife and Media degree at the University of Cumbria's Newton Rigg Campus in Penrith, so the normal patch area of Holywell Pond in SE Northumberland has been left for the mean time, although I do stop in now and again, but it has been replaced well, with nothing yet, I'm yet to find a site in Cumbria with which I'm happy to call my patch, although my Birding and other adventures will continue.
I'm at the beginning of an adventure and will be pleased to share it through this blog.
Check out my blog. holywellbirding.blogspot.com
Monday, 10 August 2009
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
The next day I had 2 Golden Orioles, a British tick, at Lakenheath Fen RSPB along with 2 or 3 Bitterns and several Bearded Tits. I narrowly missed Common Crane. After this site, we moved on to Weeting Heath NWT where there was a single Stone-curlew, a lifer. We didn't have time for the secret Montagu's Harrier site but are returning in a couple of weeks for another stab at the Cranes and to see the Montagu's Harrier.
New birds for year list competition:
New total: 202
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Monday, 8 June 2009
Other birds seen were several Redstarts, including families with juveniles, a Wood Warbler, 2 Ravens, a Peregrine, a Little Egret, a very showy and stunning Firecrest, a Goshawk and a few Common Buzzard.
On the way home we popped into Pulborough Brooks RSPB for Nightingale and Marsh Tit. We heard a Nightingale singing at very close range but failed to see it. We were also successful with Marsh Tit, getting it on the feeders outside of the visitor centre. Marsh Tit was a year tick for me.
A very enjoyable day, especially considering I hadn't been expecting much.
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Warblers have been moving through and I have had Black-throated Green-Warbler and Blackpoll Warblers show up in the yard recently. Besides that I have not gotten out much, so hopefully I will get out some in the next few days.
Sunday, 17 May 2009
Saturday, 16 May 2009
Hey guys, Chris here.
Sunday, 26 April 2009
Friday, 17 April 2009
First of all, highlights that were not ticks of any kind were: the immature Iceland Gull showing well on+off, 20+ Yellow Wagtails, 1 male Peregrine, 1 singing Lesser Whitethroat and a Green Sandpiper.
The Beddington ticks were: 8 Little Gulls north, 5, 1 and 7 Whimbrel north west plus 1 on the enclosed lagoons, 2 Arctic Terns through and a male Ring Ouzel in flight (all apart from Little Gull were British year ticks).
Probably my best day there ever.
Above: 2 different crops of the best Arctic Tern photo. I believe this is the first flight shot of one at the farm.
I was just chilling out in the garden yesterday, avoiding doing revision for just a little bit longer, when I noticed how many birds were singing. It was a really nice afternoon and a male Blackbird had made a favourite perch on top of one of our apple trees. It was singing so I got my scope out and digiscoped a few shots of it. I was really concentrating on the bird, noticing how it drew its wings out slightly when belting out its tune as if to propel the sound even further. I caught the bird ducking its head a couple of times in this video, but couldn't figure out why. I think it may have seen another male within its terrotory. It was really rewarding to get some nice shots of the bird and to get a video which picked up the birds song quite well, instead of thinking "oh, it's just a Blackbird". My point is, the bird doesn't have to be rare to be enjoyed. Take your time to appreciate all of nature...
Thursday, 16 April 2009
Many of you were young birders once or involved in young birders
events, so we thought you may be willing to help us spread the word
about a new opportunity for young birders. The Cornell Lab of
Ornithology is hosting its first Young Birders’ Event this year from
August 6-9, 2009. We’re looking for ten keen young birders to join us
in Ithaca for a long weekend of birding, workshops and networking
The Young Birder’s Event will feature:
· two days of field trips
· presentations by Cornell Lab of Ornithology staff including
professors, researchers, and students who will share various
ways to incorporate birds into a career
· eBird and field notes workshop
· specimen preparation workshop
· sound recording workshop
· tour of CLO including the Macaulay Library and Museum of
· dinner with CLO Directors and Staff
The application and more info attached, deadline 10 May 2009.
Please spread the word to high school-aged young birders who you think
would be interested. The Lab is picking up most of the tab this year,
so tuition is $100 plus travel expenses for the young birders. We’re
doing all our “advertising” via email, word of mouth and Facebook, so
we can really use your help making sure all the high school-aged
birders you know hear about it. Feel free to contact me with
Assistant Curator of Audio
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
It all happened so quickly!
I also saw quite a few Warblers. 8 species were counted; Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow, Sedge, Cetti's, Grasshopper, Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat!
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Great White Egret
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Monday, 6 April 2009
There were several birders there already, who quickly let me know there was an early Northern Parula on site. It was a remarkable third species of wood-warbler at the site, following the very common Yellow-rumpeds and less common Pines. Other small birds were also present, including Golden-crowned Kinglets, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and an Eastern Phoebe. The first swallows of the year, Trees and Barns, were coursing over the big lake. Most of the ducks had left, except for a pair of Common Merganser and some coots. The only returning heron that day was a Black-crowned Night-Heron. A group of about 17 vocal Rusty Blackbirds and two Red-wingeds wasn't new to my BIGBY list, but was very nice to see and hear.
My only other BIGBY birds today were singing Carolina Wren and Brown-headed Cowbird, which I picked up while biking to and from the park. My BIGBY year list stands at 55.
Friday, 27 March 2009
I hope you all have a good Easter Holiday, and good luck with the birdwatching for the rest of you!
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Sunday, 8 March 2009
Apart from the curiosity of the bird's day-time travel, I was just ecstatic to see one AND photograph it! This is my first semi-decent photo of one of my favourite birds, so I'm more than pleased!
Saturday, 7 March 2009
Within 5 miles of biking I had added several new birds to my Bigby 2009 list (see the details of a Big Green Big Year here: http://www.sparroworks.ca/bigby.html) including Red-bellied Woodpecker and Common Grackle. Then I arrived at the local state park, which is often THE place to be in early spring migration. True, it was only early March, but there are more attractions there than just migrants.
The first I place I was eager to check was the small pond. Just several weeks ago, a moribund Thick-billed Murre had shown up at that little wooded puddle and could be swimming among Mallards, Hooded Merganser, Green-winged Teal and an American Black Duck. Naturally the auk wasn't there, but all the ducks except some Mallards and the black duck had left. Fortunately, a few hundred yards south was a much larger lake. Way out was one of the missing suspects (Hooded Merganser) along with Ring-necked Ducks, American Coots, and a surprise pair of Common Merganser. Generally, Mergus merganser is the rarest of the trio in the area, but this winter they have been showing strongly.
Moving on to the woodland, I was disappointed not to kick up any Fox Sparrows (reliable there), but was also puzzled to hardly see any sparrows at all. Consolation: a group of 5 Rusty Blackbirds! A very localized winterer, mostly due to a ridiculous population decline of more than 90%. Also in a very small square of woods I found singles of Red-bellied, Downy, and Hairy Woodpeckers and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, as well as 3 flyover Great Black-backed Gull (which are very rare flyovers just 5 miles north!).
I was very content at that point, but had a triple surprize on the way out. Back at the smaller pond what I thought was a piece of trash, began swimming around and dabbling. Not one of styrofoam cups, but rather a drake Northern Shoveler. Still no Green-winged Teal, or were there? Two small ducks on the other side... teal? No, a pair of Wood Ducks! A very nice bonus! Then just as I was about to give a third small duck came into view. That one had a white verticle stripe on its side. Finally!
All in all, I increased by Bigby waterfowl collection exponentially (last year I only had Mallard and Canada Goose!) and nailed some tricky visitants. I think with a bit more effort than last year, and some springtime visits, perhaps I can break my pathetic record of 94 for the year. I don't really like the year listing aspect as much when greenhouse gases are emitted just to chase easy birds every year. This sits better on my conscious. :)
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Sunday, 22 February 2009