Saturday, October 29, 2005

Glossy Ibis - North Wales, 29th October 2005.

A twitch for the superb Glossy Ibis at Porth Neigwl, Gwynedd, saw the bird feeding on flood meadow inland of Hells Mouth beach upon arrival. Despite being fairly distant, perfectly adequate scope views were had, and the above videograb obtained on 200x mag.

Enroute back northwards, a stop off at the Great Orme, LLandudno, mid-pm, primarily for the Lapland Buntings, produced a bonus bird in the form of a Firecrest found by a local birder in the Churchyard bushes. I managed to obtain the poor record shots above during the short time the bird was in view. By the time I tried for the Lap Bunts the weather had turned horrendous, with gale force wind and driving rain making searching very difficult. However, i suceeded in locating one bird, which gave good bins and scope views. I was fortunate the rain did not destroy my camera in the process of obtaining the record shots above.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Lesser Scaup - Myerscough Quarry, Lancs - 23rd October 2005.

This 2nd, and long overdue, county record of this species, spent the duration of my visit mostly actively feeding in the furthest corner of the main pit. Due to the number of birds also sharing the same corner of the pit, I opted not to get too close and contented myself with videograbs from distance only. Other bird seen included a fem/imm Merlin over.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Laughing Gull - nr Featherstone, West Yorks - 21st October 2005.

A long time has passed since my first and only other Laughing Gull (the famous Newcastle General Hospital adult of the mid 1980's), so I was keen to see this 2ndw bird, present in fields adj to the B6428 on the outskirts of the splendidly named village of Purston Jaglin. The bird, loosely associating with c100 Black-headed Gulls, appeared three times between 12.30-15.00hrs in this field but was obviously mobile, field-feeding in the wider area between sightings. Unfortunately due to the distance of the bird when it appeared, only camcorder videograbs could be obtained.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bempton & Flamborough, East Yorks, and South Gare, Cleveland - 16th Oct 2005.

Starting off at Bempton, the Rustic Bunting gave distant, but satisafactory views despite the fact that the designated viewpoint meant looking directly into the sun, as the poor videograbs demonstrate. Other notables seen at Bempton included a Yellow-browed Warbler, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Whinchat, num Bramblings and Goldcrests but with much fewer Thrush numbers as seen the previous day at Spurn as a result of the clear night and morning.
Next was a visit to North Landing, Flamborough, where a walk round a 1st landfall valley produced 1 female Common Crossbill, briefly perching up before continuing inland, 1 Short-eared Owl in-off the sea at height, Blackcap, Bramblings and Goldcrests, Redwings, Song Thrushes and Blackbirds.
The lure of a Raddes Warbler at one of my favourite sites, South Gare, was impossible to resist. The Raddes, although elusive gave a few very good binocular views, but unfortunaley no pics. The River Tees side of the gare in the vicinity of the Bombhole-Coastguard station was alive with Golcrest, inc several that were amongst the most tired migrants i had encountered during my two days on the east coast, approachable to a few inches. A humbling sight. A superb Yellow-browed Warbler chose to feed on the rocks and cliff nr the Bomb-hole, a few Blackcaps were in the vicinity as well as obviously tired Redwings & Song Thrushes and several obviously continental Robins. A Woodcock came in-off the sea, but most unexpected were a flock of 5 Velvet Scoter thet flew out of the Tees, over the Gare, and onto the sea.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Spurn - 15th October 2005.

Highlights of a days birding at Spurn were 3 Yellow-browed Warbler (1 Grange Farm, 1 Warren, 1 Crown & Anchor), 1 Great Grey Shrike (in-off south of the lighthouse) and 6 Black Redstart (5 point inc. 1adm, 1adm Kilnsea). Good numbers of Thrushes were present throughout, mainly Redwing, Song Thrush & Blackbird, with much smaller numbers of Fieldfare and 1 Ring Ouzel (Sammies point). Several hundred of the ever delightful Goldcrest and a few hundred Brambling were also present. Other migrants inc. 2 Common Redstart (fem/imm Grange Farm, adm Wire Dump), 1 Woodcock (Wire Dump), and several Common and Lesser Redpoll (Point - Wire dump. Disappointment of the day was again missing on the opportunity to photograph a migrant Hawfinch, this time a bird showing down to 6ft on Beacon Lane! - A Barn Owl at Skeffling rounded off a good days birding.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Spurn - 7th October 2005.

A return to Spurn started with more views of the really interesting grey & white eastern race Flava Wagtail on the north side of kilnsea followed by 6 Yellow-browed Warbler's during the course of the morning: 1 Cliff Farm, 4 Kilnsea Churchyard and 1 in the Sycamore behind Bluebell Cottage. Late morning brought news of a Dusky Warbler between wire dump and the Lighthouse. Although calling frequently, the bird was very elusive, resulting in just one satisfactory view of the bird and no chance of any photos. A Spurn tick. The juvenile Gannet above was found at the very top of the beach under Kilnsea cliff. Clearly the bird was unhealthy to be in such a position, but it still appeared fully alert and relatively strong, so I picked it up and placed it back into the sea where it swam purposefully offshore. Hopfully it will stand a chance of recovery.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Spurn - 6th October 2005.

This Yellow-browed Warbler ( a 1stw, male on winglength) was one of 5 ringed out of a reported 8 present at the point alone. The day total for the Spurn/Kilnsea/Sammys area was a phenomenal 20 !

Interesting bird of the day was this Yellow Wagtail of one of the eastern races, present in a field by the road on the north side of Kinsea.

Over an hour was spent photographing this awesome little Jack Snipe that was feeding outside the Canal Scrape Hide, in company with a common Snipe. A second Jack Snipe was also visible.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Leaches Petrels, Leasowe, Wirral - 1st October 2005.

1.5hrs mid-pm catching the last 30mins of the outgoing tide produced 20+ Leaches Petrel west, including 2 birds well up the beach. A further single Leaches was seen during a brief 15 minute scan off New Brighton late afternoon.