Thursday, 26 March 2020

Black Bellied Dipper........Plus Local Birding

                                       March 14th : High Wycombe

Black Bellied Dipper.

On Saturday the 14th March i travelled to High Wycombe to look for the Black Bellied Dipper which had been seen near a waterfall along the river.

However on arrival i was informed is was showing on & off near Bassetsbury Manor , so with that news we headed off to that site, on arrival there was no more then 10 other birders and sure enough the Black Bellied Dipper was performing very well .

White eye lids.

It's been a few years since i have seen a native Dipper so seeing this Scandinavian race was a real bonus.

Black bellied Dipper with a Buddha !!!!

The BBD would often go missing for awhile but with patience it always came back to this area (while we were there anyway) , and by staying still it often came very close.

Black Bellied Dipper.

March 14th : Restharrow Scrape Sandwich


Before heading off to High Wycombe we spent an hour at Restharrow Scrape at Sandwich Bay and saw a superb Raven fly quite low over the scrape, this was a new bird for my SBBO bird list.

March 21st : Bossenden Wood 

♀ Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

A trip to Bossenden Wood on Saturday the 21st March was a very good choice, our target bird was Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and after approx an hour searching we located a female LSW which eventually flew closer and gave us some very good views before flying off further into the wood.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

We decided to check the area it flew to and was delighted to hear it calling before seeing both male & female LSW together, really pleased to see these as it's not a species i see every year.

We also had some really good views of a Treecreeper.


March 23rd  :  Oare Marshes

♀ & ♂ Garganey

I spent a couple of hours at Oare Marshes on Monday afternoon the 23rd March and had great views of the pair of Garganey  on the East flood from the hide.

A walk to Dan's Dock produced distant and brief views of the Cattle Egret plus several Med Gulls were seen and heard.


As this Pandemic is reaching all corners of the World and our Governments request we all stay indoors for at least the next 3 weeks, i would like to take this opportunity to wish all followers and visitors of my blog a safe journey through these very troubled times.

Best Wishes

Robs Birding. 

Monday, 9 March 2020

White Winged Wonders ......At Dungeness NNR

                                             29th  February :  Dungeness  NNR

Iceland Gull

Winter at Dungeness is probably the best time of year  to connect with White winged Gulls in Kent and this winter proved to be spot on.

After storms Ciara & Dennis Dungeness NNR was the place to be if you wanted to see Gulls in there 1000's !!!!

With lots of bivalve molluscs washed up because of the storms the Gulls were having a large feeding frenzy .

As the title of this post said, white winged wonders were evident in the form of several Med Gulls and a superb Juv Iceland Gull, which was incredibly hard to track down (well for us anyway) , it took 2 visits to finally connect with this superb bird.

Battling the waves

Iceland Gull.

We spent quite sometime searching for this bird over the 2 visits but eventually we caught up with it as it fed along the shore line by the fishing boats.

7th  March  : Dungeness NNR

Glaucous Gull

A week after seeing the Iceland Gull we were back down to Dungeness this time in the hope of seeing the Juv Glaucous Gull.

We bumped into JB & DB & NB who were already watching the Glaucous Gull which was roosting on the shingle bank.

Eventually the Glaucous Gull was disturbed by a family making their way along the beach , however  we were treated to some close flight views of the Glaucous Gull before it headed towards the lifeboat station.

Flight views.

We managed to re-locate the Glaucous Gull near the Lifeboat station where it spent most of the time on the sea with the occasional fly around.

Glaucous Gull

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Day Trip to ..... North Norfolk

 Barn Owl

A day trip to North Norfolk on the 19th February was a very good day indeed, our first site visited was Sedgeford near Heacham and our hope was to see the superb Blue Headed Eastern Yellow Wagtail .

Well we were not disappointed , the initial views were in flight and every time it flew the Blue Headed Eastern Yellow Wagtail called.

Calling in flight

Blue Headed Eastern Yellow Wagtail

We did see it on it's favoured Dung heap and also feeding in the nearby fields.

On favoured Dung heap

Brightly coloured bird.

There was also 2 Barn Owls in the area and several Yellowhammers.

From here we headed to Thornham harbour and had superb views of 10 Twite without getting out of the car.

Colour ringed birds.


Really enjoyed watching these birds go about their business , at least half the birds had a combination of different colour rings.

We then headed to Holkham Gap in the quest to see Shorelark & Snow Bunting (Many thanks to Johnathan Farooqi for site details).

We walked through the pines hearing Goldcrest & Coal Tit and then eventually reached the roped off area where we enjoyed superb views of 49+ Snow Bunting .

Small selection of the main flock

Snow Bunting.

After watching these superb Buntings for quite sometime plus looking for the Shorelarks without success we headed to the sea and saw several Common Scoter & ♂ ♀ Red Breasted Merganser.

On the walk back i had another scan across the roped off area and manged to locate at least 4 Shorelarks with their bright yellow faces showing really well.

We made a brief stop at Wells-next-to-Sea but sadly drew a blank on the long staying Rough legged Buzzard but we did get good views of a roosting Barn Owl and several distant Pink footed Geese.


On the way home the weather had closed in with lots of rain, however we still decided to call into Lynford Arboretum .

Looking through the 'Tunnel' we saw lots of Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Great & Blue Tit plus a Nuthatch put in a brief appearance ,  we were also treated to 3 Bramblings.

We continued towards the paddocks and shown a roosting Tawny Owl high up in one of the pines before the bridge , a couple of Marsh Tits joined Coal,Great & Blue Tits on the nearby feeders and a flock of 50+ Siskin flew over.

Wow what a place to end the day , the rain was relentless now and photography was out of the question so sadly no further photos , However we did add 3 + Hawfinch, 10+ Greenfinch & 4 Mistle Thrush to our days total.

A really great trip to Norfolk today with an incredible 7 Barn Owls seen through the day.

Barn Owl  (From previous trip)

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

Friday, 20 December 2019


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