Saturday 24 December 2022

Merry Christmas

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







Tuesday 29 November 2022

Great Grey Shrike at Hothfield Common

                                          26th November : Hothfield Common


Great Grey Shrike.

On Saturday 26th November a trip to Hothfield Common was very successful , i have never been to this site before so many thanks to Neil Burt for site info.

We eventually found the area that the Great Grey Shrike visits on it's quite wide ranging circuit and after a short wait we were treated to some excellent views of this superb bird.

Great Grey Shrike.

The Great Grey Shrike remained low down for some of the time before flying up high onto an Oak tree.

Great Grey Shrike.

Other birds seen & heard were Siskin , Lesser Redpoll , Yellowhammer & 2 Dartford Warblers.

Monday 14 November 2022

Sabine's Gull & Red Rumped Swallow in Kent

                                           4th November  2022  : Port Lympne  


Sabine's Gull.

News of a Sabine's Gull showing well at Port Lympne filtered through on twitter on the 3rd November (many thanks to Peter Coleman for putting the news out & info of where to park).

I had the opportunity to have a look for myself on the 4th November and wow what a view it was !!!  I have seen many Sabine's Gulls since i have been birding but never one as approachable & close as this one .

The Sabine's Gull came so close it was difficult to get a photograph of it, all my photo's are Digi-scoped .


Sabine's Gull.

8th & 10th November  2022 : Palm Bay Forness.

Red Rumped Swallow Photo by Jonathan Boyce Leigh

Great views of  2  Red Rumped Swallows & 3 House Martins flying over and around the Cliff's at Palm bay on the 8th & 10th November was a real bonus , they were seen more over the houses on the 10th but we heard the flight call of  one of the Red Rumped Swallows  on the 10th.

Red Rumped Swallow Photo by Jonathan Boyce Leigh.

Many thanks to Jonathan Boyce Leigh for the use of his great photos of the Red Rumped Swallows.

We also saw a very confiding Snow Bunting & a smart Dartford Warbler along the cliff top plus a Black Redstart showed well near the Beach cafe.

Tuesday 25 October 2022

Some Highlights from Shetland

                                                   MYRTLE WARBLER  at Bigton 


Myrtle Warbler 

One of the highlights of this years Shetland trip was the superb Myrtle Warbler at Bigton, this really smart looking bird showed well on occasion and all the above photos were Digi-scoped.


White's Thrush photos by Iain Johnson.

The White's Thrush at Lerwick gave us a little bit of a run around but eventually gave some fantastic views , it was great watching it do it's little side to side dance and is without doubt the bird of the trip for me.

Many thanks to Iain Johnson for letting me use his superb photos on my blog.

Siberian Stonechat ? (awaiting DNA results)

Siberian Stonechat (?)

We had some really good views of this smart Eastern Stonechat species, i understand DNA has ben collected so hopefully that will decide it's species, looks good for Siberian to me but what do i know.......Lol

Ring necked Duck    Loch of Spiggie

Ring necked Duck.

We saw the Ring necked Duck on the Loch of Spiggie on a couple of occasions and although not a rare  bird these days it was good to see it at close quarters. 

Having no camera hindered the amount photos i could get as i was only able to Digi scope, we had a great start to the week but the weather was pretty hard going most days (as you would expect up here).

Other highlights which i never managed photos of were : Hornemann's Redpoll x2, King Eider, Barred Warbler, Glaucous Gull, Yellow browed Warbler, Hawfinch & Twite  plus several more year ticks.

We had a couple of great seawatches , one of Eshaness where we saw a superb close in Sooty Shearwater amongst the 1000's of Gannets, Fulmars & Kittiwakes.

Plus we did a seawatch from Quendale Bay and saw a close in Leach's Petrel & a distant Sooty Shearwater.

Long tailed Duck

Whooper Swan & Long tailed Duck

Great northern Diver

Morning sky on Shetland.

Friday 30 September 2022

Staying Local......Oare Marshes

                                                     Oare Marshes Highlights

                                            10th September to 29th September 


1Ad  & 2 Juv Spoonbills

A visit to Oare Marshes on the 10th September was rewarded with 1 Adult & 2 Juv Spoonbills flying high over the East Flood (a good pick up by AE).

The Bonaparte's Gull was still present now in it's full adult winter plumage, how much longer it will stay for before it departs to who knows where for the winter is anyone's guess ?!

The latest the Bonaparte's Gull has been recorded at Oare Marshes is the 26th September by MW, my personal latest date is 18th September.

Bonaparte's Gull  snoozing before it's departure.

Wader numbers & variety is improving with a single juv Little Stint & 4 juv Curlew Sandpipers the pick of the birds amongst the 1000's of waders present.

15th September 2022

Pink Footed Goose.

The surprise bird on the 15th September was a Pink footed Goose in a stubble field below the cottages , you can never be totally certain of the origin of wildfowl especially but i have included this bird on my Oare Marsh Bird List so there !!!!

20 different species of wader were seen today including Spotted Redshank (1) , Little Stint (2) & Curlew Sandpiper (3) being the pick of the bunch.

We also saw a single Clouded Yellow butterfly.

17th September 2022

Juv Curlew Sandpiper

All the attention was on the East Flood today and the highlight was seeing 12 juv Curlew Sandpipers which were in immaculate plumage.

The supporting cast included Bar Tailed Godwit (2), Spotted Redshank (1) & Knot (3), we also saw a Juv Gannet flyover the East Flood and head inland.

It was also great to see 50+ House Martins overhead on their migration south.

22nd September 2022

An amazing movement of House Martins dominated our visit today with 5000+ birds counted , i have struggled all year to see a House Martin so to see this many was overwhelming .

 24th  September 2022

6 of the 7 Juv Little Stints.

For a wader fan like myself i was delighted to see 7 juv Little Stints on the East flood on the 24th September, there was also 3 juv Curlew Sandpipers , Bar tailed Godwit (3) & Spotted Redshank (1).

A seawatch was rewarded with 1 light phase & 5 dark phase Arctic Skuas plus a fantastic view of 1 adult & 4 juv Little Gulls .

The 3 Spoonbills were seen again briefly on Horsesands and there were 3 Eider seen nearer to Castle Coote.

The Pink Footed Goose was present on the East Flood first thing and we saw 100+ Brent Geese in the Swale.

29th September 2022.

Leucistic Bearded Tit.

A walk around the East Flood early on the 29th September saw plenty of Bearded Tit activity including a Leucistic bird among them.

It looked completely white in flight bar a darker tail but when we managed to see it in the reeds you could see there was a little bit more colour then first thought, a stunning bird all the same.

Leucistic Bearded Tit.

There was 4 Stonechats  & a Reed Warbler near the Sluice and a further 6 Stonechats & 2 Wheatear near Uplees, on the East Flood there were still 7 Little Stints & 8 Curlew Sandpipers (AE & JBL) I only saw 6 !!

The Pink Footed Goose was back in the stubble field, 2 Sandwich Terns were lingering in The Swale.

An adult Peregrine Falcon spooked everything on the East flood with 1000's of waders all up at once.

The Spotted Redshank (ad winter), Golden Plover (151), Bar tailed Godwit (1),Knot (1) & Ruff (2) were all seen.


Monday 12 September 2022

Dungeness Seawatch & Springfield Bridge

                                             8th September 2022 :  SSW 

                                   Dungeness Seawatch at Fishing Boats

                                                 07.15am  to  12.15pm

BALEARIC SHEARWATER  :  25     (Including flocks of  4 & 5)

ARCTIC SKUA  :  5 Light Phase  17 Dark Phase  (22 in total)



COMMON TERN  :  100+

FULMAR  :  3


GANNET  :  500+

CASPIAN GULL  : 2   (2nd summer birds on beach)

                                         Springfield Bridge

                                        12.40pm  to  1.35pm




DUNLIN  :  1

RUFF  :  1

RINGED PLOVER  :  20+  (Flew overhead)



LAPWING  :  35+

HOBBY  :  2






Tuesday 6 September 2022

Out & About in East Sussex & Kent

                                                       3rd September 2022

                                                     Pett Level  East Sussex


Red-necked Phalarope.

A day out & about on Saturday starting with distant but good scope views of the Red-necked Phalarope at Pett Level in East Sussex.

The Red-necked Phalarope remained at the back of the pool the whole time we were there , it's very small size was obvious as it swam behind the much larger Gadwall  & Pochard.

Red-necked Phalarope alongside Gadwall & Pochard.

There was also 3 ♀ Pintail present and the Red-necked Phalarope spent alot of time swimming behind these feeding on the waters surface.

Red-necked Phalarope.

Dungeness :  Galloways & Springfield Bridge

A look along the track at Galloways was rewarded with at least 7 Whinchats , there was also a good number of Common Whitethroats (20+) and 3 Willow Warblers were also seen.


From Galloways we headed to Springfield Bridge and the highlights there were : 7 Curlew Sandpipers, 1 Wood Sandpiper , 3+ Hobby, Cattle , Little & Great white Egret plus a single Glossy Ibis.

Sandwich Bay

Juvenile Red-backed Shrike.

After leaving Dungeness the next destination was Sandwich Bay in the hope of seeing the recently found Red-backed Shrike .

We bumped into Bernie there who was already watching the Shrike !!

The Juv Red backed Shrike only had a very small stub of a tail but this didn't seem to hinder it at all, it was constantly catching Bee's and other than a missing tail looked in very good shape.

Stubby tail.

Red backed Shrike.


Pied Flycatcher.

There have been lot's & lot's of Pied Flycatchers seen so far this autumn and i have managed to miss them all, however  Andy .T.  found a  Pied Flycatcher in the Church yard at Swalecliffe so on the way home i finally connected with a really smart Pied Flycatcher !! 

4th September 

Nethercourt Park

A Sunday morning visit to Nethercourt Park produced 2 Pied Flycatchers which were great to see, however i had no luck with Scott .H. Wood Warbler (thanks for the info Scott)  although it was seen again in the afternoon, can't get them all ..... 

Friday 12 August 2022

Cape Gull (Larus dominicanus vetula) Grafham Water

                                           8th August 2022  :  Grafham Water


Cape Gull feeding with Gull's.

On Sunday 7th August bird news broke that there was a Cape Gull showing well at Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire !!!!

The Cape Gull (Larus dominicanus Vetula) has never been seen in Britain before and therefore unsurprisingly would be a 1st for Britain.

Arrangements were quickly put into place to head up to Grafham Water on Monday morning , we arrived at 8am and quickly made our way around to the Dam and thankfully had great views of the Cape Gull.

Here are a selection of many photos taken of the superb Cape Gull.

Cape Gull.

Really enjoyed watching the Cape Gull which was somewhere in between LBBG & GBBG in size, it had no 'mirrors' on the primaries , quite long legged (similar to Caspian Gull) which were a blue /  greyish colour , it had a really huge bill and small black eyes.

This bird has been aged as a 2nd summer.

Cape Gull.

Other birds of note were several Yellow-legged Gulls and lots of Yellow Wagtails including a Channel Wagtail.