Saturday 20 May 2023

Stodmarsh & Worth Marshes

                                       Stodmarsh  :  16th  May 2023



There had been a female Red Footed Falcon seen for a few days at Stodmarsh so i thought i would try my luck on Tuesday 16th May.

I bumped into Steve.A. & Steve.R. along the Lampen Wall who informed me the RFF spent most of it's time hawking over the back of the lake near the distant trees.

Checking me out !!

Having no scope with me made the job of trying to see the RFF a lot harder, however i persisted in my pursuit, there were lots of Hobby to keep me entertained and some come quite low down giving me a chance to get a photo or 2 .

Catching a Dragonfly.


Eventually there were a few of us gathered along the Lampen wall when one of our number got onto the RFF , i managed to get a brief view before it passed into the Sun and then was lost to view.

A little while later the RFF was seen well by us all but a bit to far for a photo sadly.

We were all treated to a couple of real bonus birds , firstly a Glossy Ibis was picked out by Arnie flying over the Lampen wall heading towards the Ox Bow, then an adult Purple Heron was picked out by Chris .P. heading straight towards us, it flew right over the Lampen Wall heading towards Collards Lake.

Here are a selection of photos i took of the Purple Heron.

Adult Purple Heron.

Worth Marshes  :  18th May 2023

2 of the 4 Black Winged Stilts.

News of  4 Black Winged Stilts  & 3 Temminck's Stints at Worth Marshes had me grabbing my birding gear and heading straight there.

I instantly saw the 4 Black Winged Stilts in their majestic appearance , however the 3 Temminck's Stints were alot harder to locate, thankfully AL was on hand to give me some directions to the area they were sleeping in and eventually i managed to see at least 2 of them.

Black Winged Stilt.

The heat haze made photography pointless but i did manage some Digi scoped efforts, other birds of note were 2+ Wood Sandpipers, 2+ Little Ringed Plovers & 3 + Garganey. 



Wednesday 10 May 2023

1 Day ........ 2 Lifers !!!!!

                                   2nd May 2023 : Lower Newton-by-the-Sea



Grey-Headed Lapwing.

My twitching buddy RR & myself had already made plans to head to Lower Largo in Fife on the 2nd May when news broke on the 1st May that a GREY-HEADED LAPWING had been found by Gary Woodburn (Great find Gary) at Lower Newton-by-the-Sea in Northumberland !!!!

If accepted this would be a 1st for the UK !!!! so we both agreed a small diversion was in order on our upward journey to Scotland, we were 5 minutes out from the site when news reached us that there was no sign of the Grey-Headed Lapwing.

RR said we might as well check the site out anyway , so that is what we did, on the way around to the wetland scrape we met a few rather disgruntled disappointed birders heading back to their cars , we eventually reached the scrape and i did a very quick scan and straight away was looking at the GREY-HEADED LAPWING !!!!!!

Always quite distant.

We looked further along the track and could see other birders were onto it already, soon more & more people returned looking alot happier then when we had passed them earlier.

We stayed for about an hour watching this fantastic looking wader do it's thing, it had a great feeding action, basically drumming it's feet on the ground then stretching out with one of it's feet prodding the ground.

Grey-Headed Lapwing  with a Shelduck.

Grey-Headed Lapwing 

Grey-Headed Lapwing.

Lower Largo : Fife  Scotland

It was another 3 hours to get to Lower Largo and another new bird was our target , Stejneger's Scoter !!!

From Temple car park the scan of the large Scoter flock produced a distant drake Surf Scoter & approx 300+ Velvet Scoters .

After awhile we decided to head to Crusoe Hotel and view from there as the Scoter flock looked closer from there. The Stejneger's Scoter was seen by a lucky few about 10 mins before we got there but was playing hard to get.

Eventually i managed some really good views of a White Winged Scoter which was only the 2nd one i have ever seen and these views were much, much better then before.

Alas still no Stejneger's Scoter, we headed back to Temple car park for some lunch and another scan from there as a lot of the main Scoter flock had moved further down that end.

Eventually the shout went up, someone had picked out the Stejneger's Scoter and it didn't take me long to pick it up amongst the Velvet Scoters , we spent 4 & half hours here looking for & watching this bird, sadly no photos .

We ended up with superb scope views of the Stejneger's Scoter with all key features seen well. This was my 2nd Lifer of the day !!!!!

Other birds of note seen were : White-Winged Scoter (1) , Surf Scoter (2 ♂), 500+ Velvet Scoters , 20+ Common Scoters , Red necked Grebe (2sp) & Long tailed Duck (1)


We left Lower Largo at approx 14.45 and headed to Whinfell Tarn in Cumbria in the hope of seeing the Hooded Merganser.

Male Hooded Merganser.

It didn't take long to see the Hooded Merganser which appears to have paired up with a female Tufted Duck.

The origin of this bird is unknown however if it's accepted it would be a Lifer for my birding pal RR.

Hooded Merganser.

A very long rewarding day  ended with 2 Lifers (Both 1st for UK) and several new birds for the year.

Saturday 6 May 2023

Dip & Tick in East Sussex

                                    25th & 28th April :  Seaford Head 


Gambel's White-Crowned Sparrow.

I spent 5 & half hours at Seaford Head on Tuesday 25th April looking for the White-Crowned Sparrow without any success.

It was seen once early morning and again around Midday but unfortunately i was in the wrong place at the wrong time on both occasions !!!

The WCS was also reported on 2 further occasions after i had left the site but all sightings were very brief.

Gambel's White-Crowned Sparrow.

My next opportunity was on Friday the 28th April and by this time birders had set up a seeded bird feeding station and the WCS had become more getable !!!

We set up near the feeding station and had some great views through the scope on many occasions and i happily added this delightful White-Crowned Sparrow to my life list.

Here is a selection of photos i took :

Strikingly patterned head & yellow bill

Coming down to seed with local Robin.

Cracking plumage on upper parts.


Gambel's White-Crowned Sparrow.

Friday 5 May 2023

Penduline Tit at Oare Marshes

                                         22nd April 2023  ;  Oare Marshes


Penduline Tit .

 On Saturday the 22nd April whilst checking out the copse at Uplees at Oare Marshes a message came through that Chris Gillard had found a Penduline Tit near the gate to the West flood !!!!  (Great find Chris)

Hiding among the reed mace

We all made our way around there as quickly as possible and within minutes Andrew & Steve could here it's delicate call, the rest of us soon heard it as well, then it begun to show fantastically well in the Reed Mace further along the path.

Penduline Tit.

The Penduline Tit continued to delight all comers over the next 2 days and was also a new bird for my Oare Marsh Bird List !!!!!

I am reliably informed the Penduline Tit is only the 3rd record for Oare Marshes.

Also seen back at Uplees Copse was a stunning male Common Redstart , the 2nd one this spring .

Common Redstart.