Sunday 26 May 2013

Relaxing Titchwell

We enjoyed a lazy day around Titchwell today. Two Spoonbills were present on the saltmarsh but a little to distant for the camera in the heat haze.

On the way back to the house in the evening we stopped off to enjoy a very pleasant evening with Jan and Dave Burt at their caravan in Heacham, near Hunstanton. From here we were treated to their local Little Owl showing nicely on a nearby farm building.

Grey Plover

Little Gull

Red-crested Pochard

Red-crested Pochard

Reed Bunting

Saturday 25 May 2013

Busy Lakenheath!

Having arrived at the house in Norfolk late last night, we had already decided that Lakenheath would be the site to visit this morning having seen the many images posted on the internet of the stunning male Red-footed Falcon that had been present for some time...

Red-footed Falcon

Red-footed Falcon

Red-footed Falcon

Saturday 18 May 2013

Margate Cemetery Surprise, Kent

Following the amazing late news on Friday night of a first-winter female Dusky Thrush at Margate Cemetery for three days (but only having just been positively identified), it was clear that Brenda and I would be changing our birding plans for Saturday morning!

Childcare responsibilities resulted in us being unable to get to site until 7:30 by which times hundreds had already arrived. We were onto the bird within minutes and breathed a huge sigh of relief and managed to enjoy many more relaxed moments thereafter with this first record for the county over the next two/three hours.

It was as these events always are a great opportunity to catch up with many friends and familiar faces from the birding world and in general the behaviour of the masses was considerate and respectful to the location. The finder Steve Tomlinson will no doubt be on a high now for some considerable time having 'unblocked' Dusky Thrush for the majority of the country's twitchers, the last (twitchable), record being in the late 1950's!

A couple of record shots are shown below:

Dusky Thrush

Dusky Thrush

Following the successful morning at Margate, we headed off to nearby Reculver to see the ring-tail Montagu's Harrier that has been frequenting the area for a short while.

Montagu's Harrier

Montagu's Harrier

Sunday 12 May 2013

Northward Hill, Kent

From the viewpoint at Northward Hill this morning, the bird in the photo below was observed with a Shelduck. Presumably an Australian Shelduck 'escapee' from some collection somewhere! Other birds of note included: Marsh Harrier (2), Buzzard (1), Hobby (3), Cuckoo (5), Swift (80), Nightingale (2), Blackcap (2), Lesser (1) and Common (5) Whitethroats, Reed Warbler (1) and Little Egret (5)

Australian Shelduck? with Shelduck behind

Saturday 11 May 2013

Grove Ferry, Kent

Brenda and I visted Grove Ferry after lunch in Canterbury. We were fortunate enough to get some birding in before the heavy showers arrived in the later afternoon. Swift (c400+), Sand Martin, House Martin, Swallow, Cuckoo, Marsh Harrier (2), Hobby (6), Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and a single Cattle Egret that has been frequenting the area in recent days.

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Friday 10 May 2013

Motney Hill, Medway

Managed to pop out to the Medway Estuary at Motney Hill this morning prior to starting work. Whitethroat (5), Lesser Whitethroat (1), Cuckoo (1), Whimbrel (1), Common Tern (4), Mediterranean Gull (1), Brent Goose (32), Blackcap (1), Reed Warbler (3), Cetti's Warbler (2), Chiffchaff (1) and Turtle Dove (2), one of which was 'phone-scoped' not having my camera to hand!

Turtle Dove

Monday 6 May 2013

Oare Marshes

Beautiful weather greeted us at Oare Marshes this morning; a reserve that we've not visited for a short while. We walked the circuit along the road and back along the creek seawall over a four hour period.

Nothing unexpected was seen or heard but a good selection of migrants and observations made for an interesting trip out: Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers, Common and Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcap and Chiffchaffs, Swallows, Cuckoo (1), Nightingale (1), Hobby (1), Peregrine (1), Buzzard (2), Marsh Harrier (1), Yellow Wagtail (4), Whimbrel, Sandwich and Common Terns, Greenshank (1), Wheatear (1), Little Egrets (3), Black-tailed Godwits (c140), included one colour-ringed individual which we'll try and find some history on and a couple of Mediterranean Gulls, one of which appeared to be missing a leg! (Refer to photo below). Sadly, we also heard a 'plop' as a Herring Gull dropped into the creek and appeared to drown after having probably just flown into the overhead power lines immediately above.

Mediterranean Gull

Sedge Warbler

Reed Bunting

Sunday 5 May 2013

Elmley Marshes

Arrived at Elmley Marshes around 08:00 and had no trouble acclimatising back to the UK in glorious weather following a week in Lesvos, Greece enjoying migration birding Mediterranean style!

The target bird today was without doubt the first-year Bonaparte's Gull which we soon picked out among the many hawking Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls from the Wellmarsh corner of the reserve.

Over the course of the day, we also enjoyed: Red Kite (1), Hobby (2), Buzzard (4), Marsh Harrier (7+), Greenshank (1), Spotted Redshank (1), Sparrowhawk (1), Yellow Wagtail (11+), Little Egret (5), Whimbrel (20+), Reed and Sedge Warblers, Sandwich and Common Terns, Swallows, Whitethroat and Black-tailed Godwits (31).

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull

Great Crested Grebe



Saturday 4 May 2013

Friday 3 May 2013

Lesvos: Makara, Agra, Ipsilou, Sigri Fields, Faneromeni and Kalloni Saltpans

Richard Smith & Mick Southcott practicing the olympian discipline of "Sequenced Photography"

Red-footed Falcon

Long-legged Buzzard



Black Kite

Cinereous Bunting

Eastern Orphean Warbler

Great Snipe

Spotted Crake

Purple Heron

White-winged Black Tern

Thursday 2 May 2013

Lesvos: Kalloni Saltpans & Raptor Watch Point and Kavaki

Meal time with the Bedfordshire Crew: Steve Starling, Ray Wright, Chris Keep, John Hodgkins and some oddity wearing his hat throughout lunch for protection from the sun and the good sense to have his notebook and binoculars to hand!

Working for the next sighting!

Black Storks & Common Tern

Whiskered Tern

Great White Egret

Temminck's Stint

Red-throated Pipit

Olivaceous Warbler

Short-toed Eagle

Short-toed Eagle

Stone Curlew