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.

12/10/2015 Conwy RSPB

Spoonbill: Today I found myself back in North Wales after last week's Alpine Swift, but this time for three spectacular Spoonbill.
I arrived early afternoon where the trio were happily roosting on a scrape in front of Benrath Hide. I waited around 20 minutes before they decided to feed and put on a good spooning show!

One of the three birds had coloured rings attached to both legs and I have been informed that this bird was rung in Holland.

The folks on the other side of the country who regularly get Spoonbill are very lucky, as these birds are great and a welcomed addition in the North West.

I haven't seen many in the UK and even fewer in the North West, mainly Parkgate and Leighton Moss but I have never had them come this close and put on such a good show.

I watched them until they spooned their way out of view, by which time I was getting cold from the prevailing winds coming straight in to the hide so headed back to the warmth of my car.

Just take a look at that brilliant bill.