26/02/2015 Pensarn, Conwy

Iceland Gull: This is by far the best view of a large white winged Larus I have ever had, I have seen many down at Moore NR and Richmond Bank but always at a distance.

This bird however was not camera shy!
As soon as Dawn and I arrived at the car park the bird was sitting on the beach within a few feet of us both.

This was before a very inconsiderate dog walker came right past the bird and moved it a bit further up the beach.
We followed it and watched it for a good ten minutes before another dog walker came crashing past us.

I mean it's obvious I am watching this bird, I have my camera at the ready and binoculars strapped around my neck - you don't have to be a brain surgeon to know what we are doing and to have the common sense to stay at a distance and not disturb the bird.

I guess this bird was less bothered than I was as it kept coming back to the same car park and even landed right beside my car!

This image shows it happily loitering around the car park. I guess it was hoping for a free hand out and to stay close to the resident gulls.

We tried for the Surf Scoter from the top of Old Colwyn but could only see a large flock of Common Scoter riding the waves.

 What a cracker!

25/02/2015 Loscoe Lake, Normanton

American Wigeon: A bird I have dipped many times last year and a bird I really enjoyed seeing. 

I feel like I am getting a little closer to 300 now!

I would like to give a huge shout out, firstly to the Doc who was kind enough to pass on some info regarding the directions to the bird.

And to Pat Hograth and Helen Keough who I bumped in to at the lake and who soon become life savers as my camera battery died on me and Pat was happy for me to use her lovely images on my Blog!

Excellent, thanks again.

(images courtesy of Pat Hograth)

22/02/2015 Parkgate

Short-eared Owl: Some days you win - last Friday I spent all afternoon watching and hoping for a good shot of a shortie with no luck, however today my luck changed!

Today Garry and I headed past all the Sunday birders and crowds of twitchers who were gathering around the old baths car park and donkey stands flash and headed up towards the golf course.
I had been told that this area is the best place for the SEOs as they have been roosting on the ground near here.

This tip paid off as in the end I think we had at least four maybe five individual birds, and three at the same time, looking at when we saw them and comparing the distances.

20/02/1015 Shotwick Fields & Parkgate

Bewick's Swan: A last minute change of mind saw me going down to the Wirral instead of Moore Nature Reserve for the day.

After dropping Dawn off at work I picked Jon up and headed down to bag some Bewick's.
Jon and I counted at least 30 birds, however there must have been another hundred further out across the fields that we couldn't get a positive ID on so there could be many more out there.
The Bewick's are the Swans with the darker bill and the Whoopers have more of a yellow wedge on their bill and have less black on the tip.
Jack Snipe: Jon and I then headed up to BMW for Jon's first LEO and then to Parkgate for the high tide.

The highlights being this Jack Snipe who was hunkered down and trying not to attract any attention to itself while it floated on some vegetation.

Southern Spain September 2014

Griffon Vulture: Please see my newly added trip report from my holiday to Southern Spain last year.
Greater Flamingos: It will cover trips to Malaga, Rio Guadalhorce Nature Reserve, Benalmádena, El Hondo Nature Reserve, El Chorro Gorge and Tarifa.
Bottlenoise Dolphin: The highlights from the trip included Wryneck, Bee Eaters, Audouin's Gull, Booted and Short-toes eagles and obviously Bottlenoise Dolphin!
Audouin's Gull: Here is the link


18/02/2015 Fairhaven Lake

Red-throated Diver:  This was by far the best views of a RTD that I have ever had.

Usually I only get to see this cracking bird through my scope looking far out at sea or sitting in the middle of a large reservoir.
I arrived early morning and the bird was a little distant in the middle of the lake before a boat came whizzing past it and pushed it off to the opposite end.
Here the bird was happily diving and coming right up to me.


17/02/2015 Filey, North Yorkshire

Purple Sandpiper: Another good bird missed, as Alan and I went up to Filey Brigg to try and see the Surf Scoter that had been knocking about up there for a couple of days.

However, and as it often is, the day I arrive the bird disappears!


We arrived around midday and waited a couple of hours while the tide came in and still there was no sign.

These purps were very entertaining as they skipped around on the rocks.

We left the Brigg around 3ish and headed over to Grindale for the resident Rough Legged buzzard.

Common Seal: It didn't take long to locate the bird as it flew low over a farm field opposite the Skydive centre.  I was about to settle in and wait for some better images when Birdguides buzzed and the Surf Scoter came through.
So we dashed back over to the Brigg and scrambled down the cliff only to be told the guy who posted the report yesterday did the same just now by mistake!

Nevermind, this brilliant Common Seal was a bonus as it bathed in the lemon light of the fading sun.

16/02/2015 Cote Stones Farm, Warton

Black Redstart: What's better than seeing a lovely black red up the road from Dawn's gran? Well throw in a scrumptious meal in a local cafe in Carnforth and finally finding a new car!

Can't be bad.
Almost as soon as I stepped out of the car the bird was spotted on top of the farm house, before flying down on the the ground in front of me.
The bird was very confiding and was happy foraging in the field adjacent to the top of the farm house and occasionally perching up on the stone wall.
Another really easy twitch and another little beauty!