22/01/2016 Filey Brigg, North Yorkshire

Great Northern Diver: I was really hoping to see the three Richards Pipit that have been hanging around Flamborough Head's north landing for a week or so now, but yet again this pain in the backside bogey bird still eludes me.
I searched for hours in the first grassy field and the surrounding area of north landing and got very wet and very cold so made the decision to move on knowing that they would turn up in the afternoon.
I decided to go to Filey Brigg to catch up with the Surf Scoter, this bird too had gone, or at least I couldn't find it.

Still it was great to see this GND so close up riding the waves that were surging up against the Brigg.
White-beaked Dolphin: I also stumbled across this magnificent animal washed up dead, I had seen pictures on Social Media of a Glaucous Gull feasting on it, all I saw were Greater Black-backed and Herring Gull.
Ultimately it is really sad to see such a brilliant thing washed up like this however it is also incredible to see such a rare and elusive dolphin so close up.

19/01/2016 Hinksford, Staffordshire

Hoopoe: From Gloucester I headed up to Staffordshire to see the long staying Hoopoe which has surprisingly been present on the site since early December.
Despite getting lost and taking the wrong turn up the M5 I made relatively good time and thanks to a lovely local lady called Rita I managed to find the place.
I parked up beside the bus stop parking area next to the old quarry when Rita was heading back to her car to get some gear. I asked if she knew where the Hoopoe was and she kindly walked me to the site. I would have struggled if it wasn't for her, so if you read this Rita -

**a big thank your for your help**
When Rita and I arrived the bird had been disturbed by a dog walker who spooked it off and we had to wait around an hour for it to return. However the bird seems pretty faithful to the site and the feeding location.
I've seen three Hoopoe in the UK now, but never this close and never this confiding! These birds never get boring, they are great looking birds with their down-turned bill and red-indian like crest.
The whole site was very muddy and wet with lots of rough ground all of which is ideal for Hoopoe who like to spend their time using that incredible bill to dig and find food.
The bird must keep it's whits about it as I saw at least three Fox's all over the site, two were furiously mating so lets hope its moves on long before it becomes dinner for a hungry Mr Fox.

19/01/2016 Horsebere Pool, Gloucestershire

Penduline Tit: What an absolute beauty, made even more beautiful with the frosted topped reeds and bullrush's of Horsebere.

They are such striking bird and surpassingly small just like real masked bandits.
I left in the early hours to beat the traffic and once I parked up and after waiting for the sun to rise I headed out in to the freezing fog and frosty air to wait with the growing crowd.
Luckily I didn't have to wait too long before I caught my first sighting of my first Penduline, typically it was a fleeting glimpse as the pair flew over the reeds.

The crowds soon relocated the birds and they put on a real good show.
Originally I was hoping to tick these birds on Sunday but fate delivered snow, thick, white, icy snow - I just hate the stuff!

13/01/2016 Ontario Basin, Salford Quays

Great Northern Diver: It's been almost an entire month since this GND has graced Salford Quays and it looks like it's moved from Central Bay in to the more enclosed Ontario Basin which is located opposite the Premier Inn Manchester Salford Quays Media City Hotel.

Good to catch up with Mr Jonathan Doherty who joined me on his lunch break and Roy who it's always great to bump in to.

12/01/2016 Sizergh Castle, Cumbria

Hawfinch: I have spent countless hours and what seems like many days standing like a lost soul in Sizergh Castle's car park looking for Hawfinch without any luck, I have never seen on here before.

Until today...
I had a work meeting in Kendal and decided to try my luck again, and after a relatively short 2 hour wait I caught a glimpse of my first Sizergh Hawfinch as a female flew in, with its woodpecker'ish flight pattern and landed in a tree only for a second.
Within 20 minuets a male appeared on the ground next to the children's play area, it came back a couple of times, feeding with the Chaffinches.