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Monday, 31 December 2012

Local Sunset

Well I've rather neglected the local patch this last month or so, mind you the fact its been flooded for most of the time hasn't helped but even the few times I've managed to get down its been relatively quiet, anyway I thought this picture of a sunset over the flooded Ings from earlier in the month was a fitting picture for the end of the year, here's to a bird filled 2013.

Another year comes to a close

Last birdwatch of the year for me and I headed up to Teesside with Mark, we started at the Headland with a look around the Fish Quay, a single Red Throated Diver and a couple of Guillemots being the best of it, then took a look off Parton Rocks but just a few common Sea Ducks and Waders here, so we headed off to Jackson’s Landing hoping the recent Black Throated Diver would still be there, it was and after a bit of chasing around we managed to get some photos although the light was challenging to say the least, there were also 10 or more Red Breasted Mergansers in the Marina, eventually around midday a few boats started moving around and the Diver flew off out to sea. We headed for Saltholme calling at Newburn Bridge on the way where the usual Med Gull was on the beach and a few more Mergansers were on the sea, Saltholme was very quiet and there was no sign of yesterdays Long Tailed Duck so when news came over that there was a flock of Snow Buntings and Twite at Seaton Snook we went to see if we could find them, well we found the Snow Buntings but the Twite must have moved on, a quick look over Greenabella Marsh found a Marsh Harrier hunting there then we finished off at Dorman’s Pool but no Owls were showing this evening. Oh well it all starts again in a couple of days.
drake Merganser

on his way

with increasing boat activity the Diver decided to leave


Snow Buntings at Seaton Snook

Monday, 24 December 2012

Yankee Pipit

With Mark being available this weekend and the American Buff Bellied Pipit hanging on for another week at Queen Mother’s Reservoir near Slough, a new bird for us both, the twitch was on. It was another early start picking up Darren and Richard, a couple of mates from Leeds en route and we were on site by 8am, we got our permits and headed straight off to the South-east corner of the Reservoir which the bird had been favouring but there was no sign of it first thing, we hung around for a while being entertained by a couple of Red Kites and several noisy Ring Necked Parakeets flying past, then news came over mid morning that the bird had been seen briefly back towards the Yacht Club, we started heading back and were soon alerted to the bird by a couple of birders just up ahead, we joined them and it wasn’t long before more birders started to arrive with numbers soon swelling to more than 40, including a few familiar faces, everybody enjoying fantastic views of this superb and very confiding little bird, it never ceases to amaze me how these northern species show so little fear of humans. Next port of call was the little village of Chenies in the adjacent county of Bucks, it was a really lovely area of countryside, hard to believe its so close to London, there were several Little Egrets kicking around and it wasn't long before we located the Great White Egret found there in the week although camera shy as usual, there being nothing much else in the area we headed for home paying a quick visit to Stewartby Lakes near Luton as we passed though nothing of note was seen apart from several Kites and Buzzards along the way. 
first views as it made its way along the waters edge

then it just kept getting closer

having a preen

amazing how different it looks in changing light

Windsor Castle across the way

didn't get a clear shot

Monday, 17 December 2012


Dave Ousey a mate from Rochdale and Steve K a mate of his,  were offering a place to go down for the Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll at Aldeburgh, I took the offer and early this morning I met them at Ferrybridge Services and we headed off down there, when we arrived we were met by a lot of long faces as the bird hadn’t been seen however we set off searching and fortunately within ten mins we came across a group of birders who had just found it, a superb little snowball it then proceeded to show really well for the next hour or two. After our fill of the bird and a little lunch we went round to Dunwich Heath where up to six Dartford Warblers flitted around but never posed for more than a couple of seconds, also a pair of Stonechats in the area, then after a brief look out to sea we decided to head back to Thorpeness and check out the North Warren RSPB Reserve where a couple of Taiga Bean Geese had been seen this morning, half a dozen Waxwings were seen in a roadside hedge en route, we found the large flock of mainly Barnacle Geese with a few Dark Bellied Brents, Whitefronts, Greylags and Canada's with them but no sign of the Bean Geese although intriguingly three Red Breasted Geese accompanied them but with no mention of them anywhere I assume they must be regarded as escapes, there was also a good selection of Wildfowl present, as well as several Little Egrets, plus male Marsh Harrier and Peregrine hunting over the reserve. 
not the best of perches or backdrops at first

it eventually chose some better ones

Deer on Dunwich Heath

The Dunwich coastline