Saturday, 22 February 2014

Just a bit of Fun Quiz Week 30 Answer plus New " Mystery Bird "

Pied Flycatcher at Dungeness 2013.

Last weeks " Mystery Bird " was indeed a Pied Flycatcher that i saw at Dungeness in the autumn of 2013 , a very big well done to Ellis L, Mark L , Mark Lewis , Jonathan . F .  and Ben M, who all got the correct answer.

Unlucky to everyone one with the incorrect answer a very great try and many thanks to everyone who has had ago on the quiz.

Here is this weeks " Mystery Bird " its just a bit of fun so if you fancy ago just leave your answer in the comments or DM on twitter.

Week 31 " Mystery Bird " ???????

 If you want me to continue with this quiz please let me know in the comments or by DM on twitter , Thanks.


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Whale would you beleive it.......

Probable Sperm Whale on the  river Swale.

Sitting indoors rather bored when i checked twitter to find out a large unidentified Whale species had been stranded on the southern side of Sheppy and was viewable from the sea wall at Seasalter , so without haste i set of there to have a look for myself .

It didn't take me very long to locate this poor creature as it lay stranded in the river Swale , i couldn't tell if it was alive or dead from where i was standing as it was on the far side of the Swale , i have to say it looked lifeless to me , a few people on twitter have suggested this to be a Sperm Whale judging by the length and shape of the body plus its thin looking jaw , the tide was coming in so if it was / is still alive maybe this might help to save it .

Another record shot of the Whale.

I was pleasantly surprised by the huge numbers of wading birds here and i quickly added many species to my year list including : Bar Tailed Godwit , Curlew , Dunlin , Grey Plover , Knot plus approx 100 Dark Bellied Brent Geese and lesser numbers of Shelduck.

My Whale pics even made the news ;

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Just a bit of Fun Quiz Week 29 Answer plus New " Mystery Bird "

Sparrowhawk at Dungeness 2012.

Last weeks "Mystery Bird " was indeed a Sparrowhawk , which only a few people got which say's more about my poor photo than anything else lol , Well done to the correct entries and they were : Ellis L ,  Ben M ,  and Mark Lewis .

Unlucky to those with the wrong answer a really great try and many thanks for having ago .
Here is this weeks " Mystery Bird " just leave your answer in the comments or DM on twitter and i will reveal the correct answer and entries next weekend , good luck to everyone .

Week 30 " Mystery Bird " ??????



Friday, 14 February 2014

Chinese Pond Heron.... Just a normal days birding in Kent .........

Probable Chinese Pond Heron.

A very enjoyable days birding  was had yesterday , my plan was to call into Folkestone for the over wintering Pallas's Warbler however on route news that the probable Chinese Pond Heron was currently on show in Hythe which was only approx 15 mins away from my currant position , wi duly arrived on site and saw the CPH sitting / perching high up in a tree , superficially my first impressions was Squacco Heron , however there are subtle differences , i watched the bird for about 10 mins before it left its roost and flew to the nearby gardens , very dark mantle was observed which contrasted against its very white wings , if you go for this bird i would suggest you need to be there by 8am as once it flies to the gardens you have little chance of seeing it again . 

Turnstone having a paddle.


From here wi headed off to Folkstone and to keep a long story short i dipped the Pallas's . the weather was awful and not really suitable for warbler watching . I then headed to Dover Harbour and had an enjoyable birding session . There were several Turnstone running around and 7 Great Crested Grebes out in the harbour , i also saw several Guillemots and Razorbills plus  a distant Eider and 3 Shags which were gratefully added to my year list , there were plenty of Kittiwakes flying around over head .

Adult Kittiwake.

1st winter Kittiwake.

Kittiwake are such magical birds to watch as they glide over the harbour wall , i could have watched these all day however i decided i would try for the Humes Warbler in Ramsgate Cemetery . 

Great Tit just inside cemetery.

I arrived at the cemetery and the weather was quite overcast and cold , there was a smart Great Tit to greet me as i ventured through the entrance but there was no sign or sound of the Hume's in its favoured areas , after getting some info i found out that it is now favouring another area at the back of the cemetery and despite my best efforts i drew another blank , however in my defense i did get very side tracked in watching 3 quite stunning Firecrest which gave me my best ever views of this species .

Lovely orange crown on this bird.

Yellow crown stripe on this bird.

What you looking at .

Just love the head pattern on these birds.

I think i spent well over an hour watching these stunning little birds zipping about and yet again i had to drag myself away from them , i also saw several Ring Necked Parakeets here plus Green Woodpecker , Mistle Thrush and Jay. 

2 Ring Necked Parakeets.













Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Yellow Rumped Warbler Twitch... What a Bird ..........


Yellow Rumped Warbler in Durham.

Yesterday 10th February my target bird was the quite stunning Yellow Rumped Warbler which was amazingly found on the RSPB big garden watch at the end of January at Upper Shincliffe .

An uneventful journey had me arriving on site at approx 8.45am , the weather was good although very cold , i parked up and joined the already assembled birders by the bird feeders that had been set up to attract the YRW down for all us birders , the news was positive the bird had been seen already but sadly i had missed it by about 10 mins.



Large yellow rump.

 After about an hours wait in total i heard the YRW calling then it appeared above the feeders and although i saw it well in my bins i could not pick out the rump colour , i saw the double wing bar quite easily , it then flew off over our heads and back behind into the gardens and i saw the white tail tips but still no Yellow rump .

After about another 20 mins it had not re appeared so i took the opportunity to have a look at the Waxwings which were a bit further away than i thought , however it was great to see them , there were also up to 5 Siskins nearby which was great to see also .

Yellow on flanks just about visible on this photo.

I decided to head back again to the feeders as this seemed to be the best area and on my way back there was a large gathering of birders looking into the garden just before the feeders and as i joined them there it was in full view , the Yellow Rumped Warbler gave a tremendous display and i managed to get it in my scope where i saw all the features i wanted to see including the yellow rump .

White tips to tail and yellow rump.

Double wing bar.

The YRW put on a great display in the silver birch tree before once again returning to the feeders where it quite happily fed on the coconut for several minutes , my photos don't do the bird justice at all , however there are many better ones on the net which are worth a look , i always try to get key features in my pics and hopefully you can just about make them out , i probably watched this bird on and off for nearly 2 hours when i decided to try and see the probable Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat in Tynmouth.
                                                                 
Probable Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat.



I didn't have to wait to long for this charming bird to turn up ,  it put on a show for quite some time , i am no expert about this species but everything is leaning towards it being of the helimodendri or Central Asian race , which is thought to be on the cards as being split in the future so maybe an arm chair tick to look forward to ???

Coal Tit on the feeder.

i also saw several Dunnock , Robin and Tits in and around the garden and then time had caught up with me and i set off on my long journey home . many thanks to the residents for allowing access to see the Yellow Rumped Warbler.











Saturday, 8 February 2014

Just a bit of Fun Quiz Week 28 Answer .... Plus new " Mystery Bird "

Pallas's Warbler St.Agnes 2013.

Last weeks " Mystery Bird " was in deed 1 of 2 Pallas's Warblers that i saw on St.Agnes in 2013 , once again a very big well done to all the correct entries and they were : Ellis L , Ben M ,  Martyn Wilson , Mark Lewis , Mike.H. , Marc Heath  and Matthew B .



Just like to say unlucky to those with the wrong answer this week , better luck next time and many thanks to everyone who has taken part. Here is this weeks " Mystery Bird "

Week 29 " Mystery Bird " ??????

As ever just leave your answer in the comments or DM on twitter and i will reveal all the correct entries next weekend , good luck with this one....



Monday, 3 February 2014

A Trip to Dungeness

One of 3 Great White Egret's.

My first days birding of the Year after getting the all clear from my Doctors that i am fit to drive ( obviously they have never seen me drive lol ) took me to Dungeness yesterday , i started off checking the Arc pits and was rewarded with a fairly close Great White Egret , there were hundreds of ducks on the pit mostly consisting of Shoveler , Gadwall and Teal however on closer scrutiny i came across a really smart male Goldeneye which was in the company of a further 2 females .

Another pic of the Great White Egret.

I then checked out the New Diggins pits and eventually connected with my target birds  2 Black Throated Divers , these were a bit distant to get a photo but i was really pleased to see them , as i was watching the divers another Great White Egret flew behind them and landed out of sight , there was not much else on these pits so i headed of to the RSPB  reserve to use there facilities and find out what else was in the area .

On my drive down to the reserve i saw my 3rd Great White Egret of the day near the farm buildings , then my pager bleeped to inform me the Glaucous Gull had been seen near the fishing boats , so i quickly changed direction and headed to the sea front.

I decided to head off to the fishing boats and after checking the gull roost i drew another blank , and then i drove a bit further towards the Lighthouse's and there it was , a superb 1st winter Glaucous Gull, really chuffed to see this bird .



1st winter Glaucous Gull.

I watched this bird for quite some time , there was also a Kittiwake roosting amongst the Black Headed Gulls which was great to see , i eventually left this superb bird and had a quick look out to sea and added 3 Red Throated Divers plus about 50 Guillemots and then i headed back to the RSPB reserve where i added 2 Redhead Smew and 3 more Goldeneye to my totals , time was getting on so i decided to head home after a quick look at the feeders where i added approx 10 Tree Sparrows to my year list , its great to be back ....

Tree Sparrows on the feeders.








Saturday, 1 February 2014

Just a bit of Fun Quiz Week 27 Answer .... Plus new " Mystery Bird "

Tree Pipit at Ashdown Forest in 2012.

Last weeks " Mystery Bird " proved to be quite a hard one to get for most people , however it is indeed a Tree Pipit and a very big well done to all the correct  entries who are : Ellis L , Mark L , Ben Moyes ,  Martyn Wilson , Mike .H ., Mark Lewis ,  , Stuart White and Rob @bigbobsbirdings 

 Unlucky to those with the wrong answer , a really great try , Here is this weeks " Mystery Bird " , all you need to do is leave your answer in the comments and i will reveal the answer and correct entries next weekend , good luck to everyone and don't forget you can have as many guesses as you like .


Week 28 " Mystery Bird " ???????

Hoping to do some birding tomorrow , first time this year so hopefully you will see a blog post tomorrow about birding.