29/11/2015 Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay, Conwy

Scaup: I braved the weather and the roads and took a trip to North Wales. I had a few errands to run down that way and I ended up at Eirias Park hoping for a few shots of the female Scaup.

And I wasn't disappointed.

Although I have seen plenty of female scaup on sea watches this was my first up close and personal views of a female Scaup.

I haven't really noticed how distinct they are, with their mainly brown plumage, palest and grayest on flanks and back with a white belly is seen only in flight and their striking white patch at base of bill.

The Yankee Duck has been at the park for a couple of weeks now and looks fairly settled buddying up with the local Mallards.

The bird spent plenty of time diving, presumably foraging for food.

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.