17/09/2017 Wells Wood, Norfolk

Arctic Warbler: Last week I finally caught up with this little Phylloscopus, I was hoping for a two tick day but unfortunately I dipped on the PGtips that has been in the area. 
My first thought when I saw this bird is that it would be a tricky bird to pin down on ID, but upon closer inspections with its bright olive-green above and grey-white below plumage and it's upturned white supercilium, prominent white eye-crescents interrupting dark eye-stripe, distinct white wing-bar it became more apparent.
The bird made itself more difficult to ID with its feeding behaviour as like with most typically Phylloscopus the bird hardly spotted moving while it foraged amongst the birch tree leaves.

Still I was happy with the record shots and more happy with the fact I saw the bird.

16/09/2017 New Brighton, Wirral

Leach's Petrel: There are certain days which are truly spectacular - and today is one of them!

It's been a long while since the Wirral has had such good conditions at the right time of year to produce such brilliant numbers of these little ocean swallows.
Leach’s Petrels migrate west of Ireland between their breeding sites, on remote islands off Scotland and Iceland, and wintering areas thought to include the Bay of Biscay and farther south in the Atlantic as far as the equator. And it's the gale-force south-westerly winds apparently blew some Leach’s Petrels back north from their wintering areas into the Irish Sea.

Over the last couple of days there has been up to and possibly more than 35 Leach's spotted, they have also been spotted all the way up the Lancashire coast, from Ainsdale, Blackpool Promenade and Haysham.
After watching for about an hour i moved on to New Brighton Lifeguard Station as I wanted to get closer to the shoreline.

This was a winner, as there were two LP that were dancing on the waves close to shore, one even made a dash over the sand and rested its little legs for a while.
After getting windswept myself I decided to go meet Patrick who was at the other ed of New Brighton, which had slowed down so decided to head back to the two on the beach.
Grey Phalarope: These perfect conditions don't only bring out Leach's of the Irish Sea but Grey Pahls too! There have been reports of two individuals around New Brighton.
I saw this one next to Perch Rock as it flew in just after first light and landed in front of me, but only for a few seconds before taking off and getting blown away.
I watched one getting harassed by a some gulls and later saw this bird exhausted sitting on the sea,  between fighting the Aileen's gales and the local gulls it was bound to feel knacked.
I didn't have long as i had to get back home to collect a dilivary and had some work to crcak on with and left patrick and the rabble of birders to enjoy the rare north west experiance.
Great day, great birding, great company!

Spurn Migration Festival

Wryneck: What a weekend and what a place, this was my second Spurn Migration Festival and this time I went with some of the north west lads, Patrick Damion, Iggo and Tony Broom, unfortunately Neil was unable to attend.

I arrived a little later then the others as I was working away that week carrying out autumn bird surveys in Norfolk.
Upon my arrival I headed over to Sandy Beaches caravan Park to see the Wryneck and meet up with a Iggo and Patrick.  Here we watched the bird carry out some unusual behaviour as it flew upon to the Perennial Sow Thistle and started to eat the aphids straight from the stems.
The bird was present in this area the whole weekend.

 Long-billed Dowitcher: Apart from the Wryneck and and full of migrant birds like redstarts and Pied Flycatchers there wasn't much else to be seen and we spend a few hours searching and hoping for something great to drop in.

Black Redstart: Well our preys were answered as a heavy but small shower passed over us which allowed a Long-billed Dowitcher to drop in.

This was what everyone was waiting for as as soon as news reach us we set off to see it, along with every other person at Spurn.

We had some excellent views before heading off in search of our own finds.

04/09/2017 Smithfield Market, Manchester

Yellow-legged Gull:  After reading and seeing several images of Smithfield's Fishmarkets YLG I presume by Rob Creek, I was keen to go and have a look myself.
 I've seen several YLG in my time birding, but often at some distance at places like Moore NR and Richmond Bank, so to see one a lot closer was great.
Big shout out to the contributor's and admin who run MBF, this is a great asset and full of useful sightings and information. I didn't even know there was a huge fish market in Manchester.
Almost as soon as i arrived in the car park I spotted the bird loafing up top the main building, It remained here for about 20miniutes before flying off on to a lamppost the disappearing  in to the yonder.

I was informed that I may have been the last person to see the bird before it disappeared however it looks like its come back.
So well worth a visit for anyone who would like to see it.

Just make yourself known to the guys in reception once you have parked up, they were pretty approachable and friendly.