Thursday, October 14, 2021

Long-toed Stint dots

 distant for the camera -- herewith also my amazing artwork on the juvenile at Saltholme in August 1982 - 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

juvenile Hobby

one of two juveniles taking advantage of the warm day and the dragonfly bonanza yesterday - 

Bearded Tit / Reedling action

 a successful breeding season means there are a lot of Bearded Tits about this autumn and yesterday a lot of gritting was taking place - tricky getting the flock in focus but at least 30 birds in this one group and at least 150 seen yesterday in total 

a very elusive Green Warbler and some Albatross in landscapes

 when a Green warbler turned up at Buckton I followed the crowds having never seen the species and being a real fan of the genus phylloscopus but the bird was to say the least elusive and in 17 hours over 3 days I managed to see it for perhaps two minutes - not the greatest introduction to a new bird but the adjacent Albatross added a little by way of compensation and it was great to watch it drifting about over the sea for a change in its own environment; 

Monday, September 06, 2021

September Grasshopper Warbler

 Seldom see Grasshopper Warblers at this time of year though I have found them still feeding young in September and have seen local birds in early October so some are clearly still around; this bird was in a hedge with a party of Whitethroats and a Willow Warbler; it was very tame and seemed to be unmoved by my presence so presumably a juvenile 

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Thursday, September 02, 2021

juvenile Long-tailed Skuas

 another less than exciting day on the Lincs coast with 4 Pied Flycatchers the best of the dire bushes while the sea was typically very quiet but at one point three skuas came north well out then suddenly turned and flew inland and over the beach where they all landed but at least 600m away; one got up and one of the remaining two mobbed it briefly clearly showing the size difference of Artic and Long-tailed Skuas; the adult Arctic headed off out to sea but the two juvenile Long-tails sat down again then as I got a bit nearer they flew down the beach but landed again picking at debris on the beach; before I could get any reasonable distance they then picked up and headed out to sea briefly being mobbed by a Sandwich Tern; both dark morph birds but one clearly better patterned than the other darker bird -- poor distant shots but nice bird ion what seems to have been a good breeding season for Long-tails

Saturday, August 28, 2021

White-tailed Lapwing

 The weather forecast for Thursday 26th was a stronger north to North-easterly blowing right down the North Sea with cloud in the morning; interesting seabirds occur off the Yorkshire coast with regularity but Lincolnshire's gently sloping beaches need some more weather to produce any chance of a notable seabird; maybe this was worth a look? by 08:00 I was in position with Roger and John already there; it rained all the way down through the Wolds and by the time I hit the coast at Huttoft it was distinctly windy and must surely be bringing down some goodies? an hour later and with only a handful of Arctic Skuas, several 100 Sandwich Terns and two Purple Sandpipers to show it seemed like we needed to punish ourselves and look at Birdguides to see what we weer missing in Yorkshire and Norfolk but No Signal was the response so we continued the agony - about 30 minutes later John's phone suddenly located some 4G and a check of Birdguides mentioned a White-tailed Lapwing at Blacktoft!!!! -- I double checked that this was not a wind up - just across the Trent from Alkborough where wader numbers had been building all week and the site looked really good - surely this mega would only stop at Blacktoft for a short spell before seeing the error of its ways and relocate to Alkborough? Abandoning the seawatch was not a problem but where to go? although separated by less than 300m of water driving from one site to the other involves a 21 mile journey via Keadby Bridge, the nearest Trent crossing. If I drove to Blacktoft and it flew to Alkborough, Lincolnshire of course and a prospective new county bird, I would have to do a quick return which could potentially see me missing it at both spots! News from Blacktoft was that it looked settled so the decision was made to head there then having passed sunny Scunny news that it had flown off - Oh No which way now? Then it was back but distant from Marshland hide. OK so carry on toe Blacktoft and mop it up at Alkborough later. Arrived and located a parking space and after a few minutes was in Marshland hide and having good scope views but too distant for any decent photos. By lunch time I was just about to leave when it flew and was relocated from Townend hide - a quick jog and it was amazingly the closest bird - fired up the R6 and just as I got in the hide if flew, fired off a few shots while avoiding people's heads and trying to stop falling over  and it thankfully landed again. Panic over and static shots obtained but the killer shots are the flight ones and the chances were that all the ones I took were going to be rubbish - eventually dared to look and found that not only were most sharp but the bird's pose was also good with a visible eye; job done now for Alkborough. Three days later it remains at Blacktoft so a tame Peregrine probably needed to usher it eastwards --- 

My previous encounters with this long legged wader are distinctly few; one at Eilat on March 21st 1980 was followed by a different bird on March 31st 1980 then one at Eilat on March 31st and April 1st and 3rd 1984 while my only British encounter was long range pretty unacceptable views of a bird at Leighton Moss on June 16th 2007 

White-tailed Lapwing, formerly White-tailed Plover is a truly rare bird in Britain with just five previous birds prior to 2021 when one occurred in Kent on June 2nd - the first was in 1975 with subsequent birds in 1979, 1984, 2007 and 2010 

First views from Marshland were good but photographically it was far too distant for my set up; 

When it moved back to Townend it was much closer but you were of course looking down on the bird somewhat but hey, beggars etc


It is when it opens its wings though that this bird becomes a bit special