Morocco January 2014

Common Bulbul: My long overdue Marrakech trip report is now on the blog!

Please check it out.
Moussier's Redstart: This was a brilliant trip, Marrakech is full of warm friendly people, great sights and even better birds.
My favourite being Morocco's Moussier's with this dazzling bright red brest.
White Stork: Featuring - Moussier's Redstart, White Stork, House Bunting, Alpine Chough and Common Bulbul.

Just click this link below to view.

20/11/2015 Pennington Flash

Shag: Yesterday I got lucky and arrived in time to see the Dearest Wheatear before it disappeared, today I arrived at Pengies Hide I had just literally missed crippling views of the Shag, gutted.

When I arrived the bird was foraging in and around the Dog Wood before going out of sight behind the nearby reeds.

Little Grebe: However while the Shag was doing it own disappearing act this local Little Grebe put on a good show right in front of the hide.

Although I just missed out on crippling views of the Shag, It was still a lovely morning. Sheltering from the rain with Water Rail squealing in the nearby reeds and Kingfisher dashing about the pond.

Before I left the Shag did reappear but only to go back over to the Dog Wood, this time even more distant.

19/11/2015 Eskmeals Nature Reserve, Cumbria

Desert Wheatear: Another tart's tick in the bag!

Yeah thats right, this was one of many birds still on my tarts list alongside Crested Tit, Ptarmigan and Cit Wag I'll stop there before I embarrass myself even more.

When I arrived I could defiantly tell Winter is here, it was blowing a gale across the beach and the clouds were gathering, but the bird was still able to find something to eat as when I arrived it was actively foraging along the fence.

The bird regularly stopped foraging, if only for a few moments and happily posed for me.

I knew that Desert Wheatear are know to be confiding, but when a dog walker came past doing their normal thing of being oblivious and letting their dog run across the site that we are looking at and pointing cameras towards the bird still stuck around as if the dog didn't really bother it.

The dog walker and his dog bothered me though!

16/10/2015 Church of St Mary and All Saints, Chesterfield

Crag Martin: This was my 2nd UK Crag Martin, after the Flamborough bird in 2014.

However this time the bird gave us better views and the weather was a lot better too, which is strange to say considering how bad the weather has been recently, but today it was glorious if a little chilly.
Damion and I set off from Wigan around 9am and had to wait a couple of hours before the bird decided to show itself.

The church is a pretty awesome building with it's striking spire with many controversial theories to why it is crooked. One of which brings the virtue of the local ladies in to question, as it says that whilst resting on the spire the Devil twisted round in surprise because the bride was a virgin.

The reality to why the spire is crooked is not as cool, it is believed that the twisting of the spire was caused by the lead that covers the spire. The lead causes this twisting phenomenon, because when the sun shines during the day the south side of the tower heats up, causing the lead there to expand at a greater rate than that of the north side of the tower, resulting in unequal expansion and contraction.

This was compounded by the weight of the lead (approx. 33 tons) which the spire's bracing was not originally designed to bear.

Either way the spire looked even more impressive with a Crag Martin zooming around it!

15/10/2015 Elton Reservoir

Great Northern Diver: It took me ages to pin down this bird during my early visit to Elton res, the weather taking a turn and the winds picking up made for poor visibility and choppy water dint help!
Eventually I caught up with just as the heavens opened and I got drenched, typical. Still great bird to see relatively close in.

20/10/2015 Wells Wood, Norfolk

Red-flanked Bluetail: Great day in Norfolk with wall to wall blue skies and warm temperatures topped off with some great new company.

However with a change in the weather and winds, my major target bird the Isabelline Shrike had packed up and left the area!


Never the less the Wells Wood Bluetail put on an excellent show at the drinking pond, and the coffee shop sold me the most expensive but probably the best chocolate muffin I have had in my life!
There was a resident Robin who was making a pain of itself, periodically chasing the Bluetail away, usually just when it had settled on a nice branch in full view!

But with a bit of patience the bird continued reappear up until around 1 o'clock when it disappeared for the rest of the day!
Olive-backed Pipit: After filling my birding boots with some smashing views of the Bluetail I got a call from Jonny saying he and Danni just had the OBP so I headed straight over.

Here I bumped in to Ian Igglesden, top bloke from Liverpool.
Ian and I searched for the pipit for a little while in between some long spells of chin-wagging.

Ian and I saw Jonny dashing through the woods with intent and we thought he might have something, so we headed in that direction and started to search the area when Ian whistled me over and pointed in to the trees where the POB was sitting.

Not the views or pics I was hoping for but great to hear the bird call and see it adequately enough to tick it.  Towards the end of the day Jon Doherty and I located a Pallas's foraging among the hundreds of Goldcrests along the path between Holkham Pines and Wells Wood although I only had the briefest of views, so I'm not going to tick it, I want to see a proper Pallas's with its crown and its pale yellow wing bars so I'm going to have to wait until I see my next one.

14/10/2015 Spurn, East Yorkshire

Jack Snipe: To put it simply Spurn has been brilliant this year especially over the last few days and I've spent many an hour up there, all of which I have really enjoyed.

Today was no exception, a one tick day for me as I finally added American Golden Plover to the list.
Despite today not being as good as the last few days (typical luck for me) Spurn still has plenty of familiar faces and plenty of good birds on offer.

The amazing thing about Spurn today were the shear amount of Goldcrest, I was literally stepping over them at one point.

Yellow-browed Warbler: The YBW was showing really well in the trees next to Kew although I kept my distance.

The bird as per most YBW was really difficult to pin down with my camera it must have been on speed or something as it constantly foraged away.

Other highlights included a very showy Jack from the scrape hide a Firecrest opposite the Crown & Anchor and plenty of Redwing and Fieldfare.