11th May 2016 in Cornwall
Dalmatian Pelican at Skewjack Farm
I fancied a trip to Cornwall as there were some decent birds around plus the lure of the Dalmatian Pelican was also pretty tempting , so i set of early on the 11th and was down in Cornwall by about 8am , the weather was awful on route with heavy rain and thick fog on different parts of the journey .
I started off at Marazion marsh in the hope of seeing the Woodchat Shrike which would have been a welcome year tick but sadly it had moved on and i dipped , then news broke that the Dalmatian Pelican was being seen from the coastal path at Porthgwarra.
So i followed two other cars of birders on route to the site , one car turned off and the other had stopped & informed me that the Pelican had flown inland towards Sennan so i then headed off in that direction , i saw some other birders parked up near Skewjack farm (some of whom i knew) so i joined them and got the latest info , they had seen it !! but it had dropped down into the valley below , best idea was to wait to see if it would reappear !!
Whilst i was chatting to Nick & Russell (great to see you) Russell picked out the Dalmatian Pelican flying up from the valley below and eventually flew more or less straight over where we were standing.
No doubt the debate will rumble on about it being a genuine vagrant or plastic fantastic , either way it was a very impressive bird to see in great company , for now it goes on my Pending list until the Bourc make their final decision.
From here we said our goodbyes and headed to Lands end and had cracking views of a male Serin.
Digi scoped pic of the Serin.
13th May 2016 in Essex
Record shot of the Franklin's Gull
On Friday the 13th May i headed to Abberton Reservoir in Essex in the hope of seeing the Franklin's Gull , however on arrival i was informed it hadn't been seen since earlier that morning , we were looking from the Layer-de-la-Haye causeway when another birder thought he had got it but very distantly on the water , it took some finding but we all managed to get onto the bird in question and in fact it was the Franklin's Gull, this was a welcome year tick for me.
It was never close at anytime i was there but decent scope views were good enough , i could only manage a record shot of this bird (probably my record shot of the year tbh), i did go around to the hide to see if i could get closer but without success , a cracking Black Tern was great to see here though.
14th May in Dorset
Great Spotted Cuckoo.
Today i headed of to Dorset to see the Great Spotted Cuckoo , the news was positive when i was on route but ie become a bit concerned via news on twitter that photographers were getting to close and flushing/harassing the bird , now i take photo's of birds & wildlife but can honestly say i have never flushed or harassed a bird to get that shot !!!!
But more importantly we must always put the birds welfare first , migrants have often flown hundreds of miles to reach our shores and all they want to do is feed & rest.
Ok rant over sorry about that , the Great Spotted Cuckoo is the first record for Portland i believe and was showing really well the time i was there , here are a few photo's i took.
Love that tail.
Great Spotted Cuckoo.