Friday, 7 February 2020

Black Throated Thrush ..... at Whipsnade Zoo

Black Throated Thrush.


After giving it some thought and having received lot's of positive comments from regular readers of my blog i have decided to restart posting some of my trips, i am still struggling with the enthusiasm i once had, however i will try to at least post one blog post a month.

Many thanks for the kind comments i have received both on here and twitter.



Feeding very well.


As you can see i paid a visit to Whipsnade Zoo (in early January) and had some great views of the wintering Adult Black Throated Thrush (i had only ever seen 1st winter birds before).



Looking good in a Pig pen !!!


The Black Throated Thrush spent most of it's time feeding on Berries in the nearby tree but on one occasion it landed in the Pig Pen and gave some excellent views.




Superb plumage detail on this bird.

Really enjoyed watching this rare Thrush go about it's business , it's still present at Whipsnade Zoo as i write this (07-02-2020) and well worth a visit if you get the chance.


Black Throated Thrush






Thursday, 2 January 2020

Taking a Break.....From Blogging

Long eared Owl.

I have decided after 10 years of doing this blog to take a break from it, i have really enjoyed doing the blog from running quizzes which proved popular at the time to just my general ramblings about my birding adventures around the country and abroad.

However i have struggled over the last year to find the enthusiasm i once had writing about my trips, hopefully in the future i might refind that same enthusiasm and restart my blog but for now i will just leave it up for anyone who wishes to re visit my past trips.

Many thanks to all those who have  visited my blog over the years, very much appreciated

Kind Regards
Rob

Friday, 20 December 2019

MERRY CHRISTMAS



Just like to wish everyone who has visited my blog this year a


MERRY CHRISTMAS 


&

GREAT BIRDING

FOR

2020


Thursday, 19 December 2019

A Great Day Birding on..........Isle of Sheppy

                                        7th December  : Isle of  Sheppy

                                                    

Ringtail Hen Harrier

On Saturday the 7th December a birdwatching trip to the Isle of Sheppy proved to be a very successful one , starting off walking from the car park at Shellness which was busy with many Meadow Pipits & Reed Buntings in the nearby bushes (which used to be very good for Twite in years gone by).

We walked out onto the Swale NNR , plenty of Little Egrets in the pools plus good numbers of  Brent Geese flying overhead and landing in the adjacent fields.


4 of the 5 Pink Footed Geese.

As we were approaching the hide a scan across the fields produced 5 Pink Footed Geese which were hunkered down and we saw them later in flight on the way back, there was also a Peregrine Falcon sat in a nearby field keeping an eye on proceedings.

As we went past the hide we were treated to a really great view of a Ringtail Hen Harrier which was amazing to see.

We carried on and eventually found the Tundra Bean Goose which was feeding among the Greylag Geese.

Tundra Bean Goose with Greylag Geese.

Tundra Bean Goose.

Lots of  Marsh Harrier, Kestrel & Common Buzzard were seen with constant calling Curlew was really wonderful to see and hear.

A Corn Bunting heard but remained unseen on the way back plus a good size winter flock of Skylark was seen, we decided to head to Elmley NNR for the afternoon which proved to be a very good choice.


Long eared Owl

We parked up in the reserve car park and were soon looking for the roosting Long eared Owls , they took some finding but eventually i managed to find them with one bird showing well.

Thankfully they are well out of reach for shall we say over enthusiastic photographers & birdwatchers (so hopefully no disturbance).

Long eared Owl

Overlooking the fields from the car park we were treated to 5 Short eared Owls, which showed very well, plus a Little Owl was heard and also a Barn Owl was heard to.


Short eared Owl

In flight

Digi scoped Short eared Owl

The drive along the track can be very productive with lots of Marsh Harriers , Kestrel & Common Buzzard seen plus a further 3 Short eared Owls.

We also saw plenty of Lapwing close to the track and a superb Brown Hare was seen very well, a really great day on Sheppy indeed !!!







Tuesday, 19 November 2019

One Pending.........One Lifer !!!

                                     
                                      4th November :  Sennen Cornwall

                                                                   
Paddyfield Pipit

On 4th November i joined up with RR and headed to Sennen in Cornwall in the hope of seeing the 'Pipit Species' that has or had everyone guessing on what it was ???


Large bellied & long legged.

It had a really upright stance (similar to a Wheatear) , long legged and a pot bellied appearance which reminded me of Richard's Pipit, it was in heavy moult so no real plumage details helped with the id, a heavy large billed bird.


Often run rather quite fast.


It was heard to call several times and expert analyst has come back with evidence of it being Paddyfield Pipit !!!! i also believe some droppings have been gathered and sent of for DNA testing, 

Paddyfield Pipit.


It will be very interesting to see what the final outcome of this bird will be , even if it comes back as Paddyfield Pipit (which would be the first record for UK) there is still the small matter of how did it get to the UK in the first place !!!!

So for now it goes on the Pending list.



12th November : Corporation Marshes Suffolk



Eastern Yellow Wagtail.


A trip to Walberswick in Suffolk on the 12th was very successful with great views of the Eastern Yellow Wagtail on Corporation marshes .



Having a preen.

The EYW was very vocal which is a key id feature of this species, the hind claw was also noticeably longer.

Eastern Yellow Wagtail

The Eastern Yellow Wagtail was a new bird for me , i was also pleased to see several Snow Buntings nearby.



Snow Buntings













Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Recent Dungeness Highlights .....


Juv Sabine's Gull

After my recent trip to Shetland most of my birding has taken place at Dungeness, starting off on the 19th October with a absolutely superb Juv Sabine's Gull that showed really well along the beach between the Fishing boats towards the Boardwalk.


Sabine's Gull.

2 Med Gulls, several Little Gull's & 100+ Kittiwakes were also seen flying past among all the Gannets.

3 Cattle Egrets & 1 Great white Egret were seen on the Rspb reserve plus single Little Stint & Garganey were seen from Hanson hide.


1st winter Caspian Gull

Back down to Dungeness on the 24th October and great views of the German ringed 1st winter Caspian Gull near the fishing boats were had, the weather was awful, driving rain & very windy.


1st winter Caspian Gull

Onto the Rspb reserve for some shelter and our reward was a distant Red throated Diver plus a smart Juv Long tailed Duck both seen from Scott hide.


Juv Long Tailed Duck.


My final visit to Dungeness this month was on the 31st October and absolutely great views of a delightful Shorelark by the fishing boats became my 245th bird species for the Dungeness area.




Shorelark

We also had great views of both Black Redstart & Firecrest at Kerton road.


Stunning male Black Redstart


Black Redstart Aggro.




Firecrest.