Monday, 24 August 2009

Well I got the camera it's fantastic the difference is incredible, can't wait to see some birds now to try it out on! Funny thing is ever since I got a DSLR all the stuff I've seen would have been better digiscoped!!!

Went to the birdfair on Fri last week lots to spend money on especially the new scopes, wasn't too keen on the Kowa which surprised me I'm normally a fan of their stuff. What I was taken by tho was the new 25-50 wide angle zooms from Swarovski and Leica, I was never a fan of zooms until I got my Zeiss which is very wide for a zoom anyway but these new ones have raised the bar. I did think if I was gonna get an 80mm scope I'd rather not lose the last 10x of mag but comparing the old swaro zoom on 60x alongside the new one on 50x I'd have the new one everytime, hardly any difference in image size but so much sharper and very bright. I was very impressed by the new 65 Leica too thought it was nicer than the 82!

One thing that puzzles me about the optics stands is they have all this really great kit and put them on top of wobbly tripods with loose heads, why surely it can't be doing them any favours.

Been out birding a lot recently, been checking some farmers slurry ponds on the coast which always have a good turn over of birds at this time of year, best so far is Greenshank and 2 Green Sand. mate of mine has got upto 4 juv Hobby's hunting drags at dusk next to his house so had a look on sat night, only saw 1 or 2 and a bit distant but nice anyway. Today I had another look at the tip but could only manage 3 YLG's this time (5 were seen yesterday) and this evening did the terns at Spurn 9 Roseate and 2 Black went south of which I saw 7 and 1.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Well I was going to go to Spurn today to cut some grass in the church field and do some birding, when I found out the mower was locked away I didn't bother cos it was really windy, seems it was a bit of a mistake the passage was fantastic down there today loads of wildfowl, waders and terns see for full details and total counts for the day.

What I did instead was go and look at some Gulls on my favourite tip, normally I only really check this site in winter and spring so I was a nice surprise to fing 9 Yellow legged Gulls, this might be a record Yorks count away from the Humber.

There's at least 1 interesting bird in this pic!

Noticed on the internet Hurricane Bill is forecast to sweep accross the Atlantic in the next few days, which is nice considering I'm off to the Scillies next weekend, August=Yellow Warblers so here's hoping would be nice to find! It's mainly a trip to get away somewhere nice with the girlfriend but I'll have my bins with me everywhere and will be trying to get out on one of the shark fishing trips or evening pelagics.

Also today I booked my ferries and flights for my autumn hols I'm off to North Ron, Foula and Fair Isle with a few days on mainland Shetland thrown in for good measure, if I don't find something good I'll string myself up! Bit worried though will be away for over a month and the same period last year got me Brown Shrike, Pallas's Gropper and Amur Falcon- I may be suicidal if I miss a cast like that and don't come back with a monster to my credit!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Got a mate (Jim) over from Holland for the weekend so had a walk round North Cave earlier, he's not been since 1996 so it's changed quite a bit since then. He's just go a 50D from Canon to replace his 40D they lost whilst it was in for repair. Tried it with my lens and jesus the difference in quality is incredible, I've thought for some time that my camera was shit and probably not working right but this has made my mind up I'm getting rid and buying a better one! I might upload a couple of comparison shots a bit later.
Managed to bodge a fix for the pod so it'll last until new parts arrive from Italy, in about a month, apparently the factory shuts down for the whole of August! Parts are going to cost £55 which is much more preferable than buying a new pod which I thought likely.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Whilst birding at Swinemoor on Sunday I thought my pod legs were geting a bit stiff to slacken and needed some oil/grease to get a nice smooth action, so I got home unscrewed the collars on the first leg applied grease, result nice and silky. Repeated on the second leg no problem good as new. Started the 3rd leg and disaster 20 minutes after last being used it was stuck solid! Out comes the WD40 no chance it's not budging, in the vice (nice and gente not too tight, it is carbon and alloy) still not having it, hmmmm. Time for shock treatment so a bit of heat required off come the covers over the BBQ burners and carefully heat the offending collar in the flame, into a bucket of cold waterand still no movement. By now I need a beer so after a nice cold can of Carlsberg it goes into the heat again this time movement, FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK I've only gone and melted the bonding that holds the carbon tube into the alloy so I now have a £500 bipod what a twat. I'd just sold someone a brand new Manfrotto Carbon that afternoon as well!

Monday, 10 August 2009

It's 2am and I can't feckin sleep it's too bastard hot!! So I've got up and am judging some descriptions, still ploughing thru last years Honey Buzzards

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Arrived back on Sat aft from a 3 day offshore survey, didn't see a great deal a few Black Terns, a Balearic and a couple of Yellow legged Gulls were the only things of any note. Being on a boat for 3 nights meant I was knackered and needed sleep so didn't get down to Spurn for the annual BBQ on Sat night, therefore it was quiet, well apart from Gristi and Pilsworth falling over several times and knocking out the lights!

Managed the afternoon down there today and saw the Barred warbler along Beacon lane, shit flight only views. Failed again to see the Marsh Warblers one of which was trapped today at Kew so I guess they're moving further from the nest site now which means I'll probably dip!
Well I managed a couple of Yorkshire ticks recently, armchair ticks with the BOURC adding Pacific Diver and Brown Fly to the British list, not really helped me out though cos all the top lads in Yorks saw them what I really need is for them to get on with Amur Falcon as I've got that on most of the people above me in the rankings. To see the rankings go to

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Well I managed to get out of psychoville alive! Actually it's a really nice place just very old fashioned and maybe a touch of inbreeding in evidence!!!!

Called in at Grantown of Spey on the way home on Thurs, managed the worlds worst view of a drake caper very briefly in flight, bit of a school boy error I tried to get my bins on it and instantly lost it! Suppose it comes from birding the coast not woods.

Had a brief look at Hornsea on Sunday, was gonna go out on a boat to try and get some pics of the Little Gulls but there were'nt any! must have been out on the sea. Probably best it was pretty windy and I expect Mel would have been moaning at having to row! Did get this shot of a juv Dunlin quite like the water and it's sharp, things are looking up.