Sunday, 27 December 2009

AT LONG LAST !!!!! ( another highlight of 2009 )

Black Winged Pratincole.

Having been lucky enough to have seen both Collared and Oriental Pratincoles in Kent there was a gaping hole missing Black-winged and finally news came through of a Black-Winged in Reculver in Kent , great a mega that has eluded me for a long time and that would complete the set in Kent and on my door step too ( well nearly ) only 15 Min's from my house, the only problem was i was about 200 miles away visiting family Aaaaaaagh . I had all the signs of a nervous breakdown , you know how it goes how many people are going to grip me off , not being able to sit still , will it be a long stayer ( or at least until i see it ! ) it was awful and so close to my house just made matters worse .

Well luckily enough for me the Black-Winged had decided to move to Grove Ferry which is a truly great reserve and is the site i spent most of my birding life along with Pegwell bay, anyhow back to the BWP i just had to get it and the following Saturday i was there early and made my way to the " ramp " which gives you a goodish view of the reserve, on the approach to the ramp the signs were not good, birders looking in all directions and a couple just chatting did nt feel me with confidence , then on arrival i was given the news we all love to hear " oh it was here 10 Min's ago " someone shot me now come to mind !!!!!

i spent most of the day there and it was not seen , that's it i thought i am either never going to visit my family again or i am giving up birding ...lol then reports of the BWP being seen mostly from the marsh hide during the following week filled me with hope and the very next chance i had to get to Grove ferry i took and made my way to the marsh hide where it was on view and would you believe it a bloody Shelduck had just walked in front of it and blocked it out of view , my frustration lasted about 5 Min's until the shelduck got the message and flew off and finally i connected with this wonderful Pratincole and although i only saw it in flight a couple of times i saw the black under-wing which had no white trailing edge and its overall darker appearance compared to collared, its white rump was very evident and i even managed to glimpse the smallish amount of red on its bill, having watched it for over an hour getting most of the key features i went home very happy , other birds of note were : 2 Hobby , heard bearded tit and Cettis warbler, and from the ramp i saw marsh harrier , 5 ruff and 2 Garganey .

Big thanks to Marc Heath who took this great photo ( above ) and has allowed me to use it.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Just one of the Highlights of 2009





News of a Brown Shrike at staines set my pulse racing , shrikes being one of my favourite species of birds ( i know i have many favourites ...lol ) , anyhow after the panic and headless chicken routine had calmed down i made plans to get there an add this great bird to my list , i arrived on site the following Saturday at about 7.45am and bumped in to a birder from the midlands called max and we teamed up and set of through the kissing gate onto the moor in a kind of controlled panic mixed with excitement , already there were birders heading back and the news was positive , YIPPEE my heart was pounding and i picked up the pace to get there , i did see long-tailed tit and g s woodpecker along the path and i briefly heard a cettis call , ( not sure of the satus of cettis on this site ) on reaching the site the masses had already gathered and the bird was showing on and off eventually i managed to pin it down ( not literally ) on a small bush and it was truly a great bird , it was very active , typical shrike feeding and flighty but showing well and giving tremendous views , there was also constant flocks of wigeon flying over head and several ring necked parakeets also showing fairly well either perched or overhead in flight , so all in all it was a great mornings birding and good company to boot .


The  top photo of the brown shrike was taken by Phil Wallace  and the bottom photo was taken by a very good young  birder called Devil Birder  who have both very kindly let me use them on my blog, so a big thank you to both Phil Wallace and Devil Birder.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

MY GARDEN




These butterflies were seen in my garden in August the first one is a Painted Lady and i had up to 7 at one time on the budlia bush during the invasion this year, the second one is a Peacock and i saw several of these during the summer , i have been lucky enough to see a few birds in my garden such as , Dunnock , Robin, Long-tailed tit and a few fly overs such as cormorant, kestrel , Grey Heron and Sparrowhawk but the star bird to date has to be a female Black Redstart sitting on the fence post , only for about 20 seconds but it was a great bird to see .

UP AND RUNNING

Hi , at last i am about to post on this blog for the first time , i hope to add new posts as and when i am lucky enough to get out and do some birding , i will try to add some photos and drawings but i am not really into photography and my drawings are not what you would call " very good " lol , but i don't really want an endless blog filled up with just text so i will apologise in advance for my poor quality photos and drawings , so if you stick around and can put up with what i have to offer i would be truly happy and thankful .

of course any comments good or bad will always be answered and welcome