Friday, 23 April 2010

Just got back from a boat survey off Wales, amazing didn't hear anyone singing all week!!

Managed a couple of hours at South Stack one day and had a smart drake Ring Ouzel, it was getting kicked about by the local Blackbirds which surprised me, I thought they'd be more aggresive. Also there were about a dozen phyloscs, mostly Willow Warblers but a couple of Chiffs and an obvious northerly passage of Swallows I wasn't counting them properly but about 300 or so went north.


Whilst out on the boat we had 40 Bottle-nosed Dolphins that followed us playing in the pressure wave from the boat they were so close you could hear them clicking at each other, absolutely amazing animals one of the best things I've ever seen, these pics don't do them justice. In fact I struggled with the camera as they were a bit too close for the 300mm lens!






The following video taken by my mate Cooky is a bit long but shows the views we were getting really well.


video

Sunday, 18 April 2010

I haven't had it confirmed yet but I believe Brian Fendley didn't see the Ring billed the other month, which means I may still be joint 9th. I can't see it lasting long though to be honest as it's looking like I'll be out of the county a lot this spring.

I'm also worried about Tim Isherwood catching me so arranged for him to come and do some surveying in Scotland last week. I figured getting him out of the county was a sure way of him missing owt that turned up.
It nearly fuckin worked too but the putative Harlequin possibly sounds like it maybe wasn't probably one............allegedly!

Saw some good stuff whilst away, Eagles and Hen Harriers every day, Crippling views of Black throats in full summer attire, lekking Black Grouse, no Crested Tits tho which Tim wouldn't shut up about! I reckon he might secretly need them.



This beaut was one of a pair that were quite close to where I found a breeding pair last year, lets hope they're back for another go cos they failed last year. I've been told Black throats desert very easily even when the young are well grown, in fact it sounds like Shannon Mathews was better cared for than the average Black throat chick! Fingers crossed for them this year.




I know this is a shite pic but it was snatched as we bumped into these having a right go at the side of the road, now I know where they lek I'll try getting a less obscured position for some more shots next time I'm passing. I'll also be trying for some nice Eagle shots, at one of the sites we surveyed the landowner puts out Deer carcasses for them, seems like you can get quite close.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Jeez I've been busy, I've not actually done any birding for about a month, well I have cos I bird for a living but not any proper birding when I do the what I want when I want sort of stuff. I have however been on a boat for a few days, been to the highlands and Slimbridge and flown a few times. I've seen Golden Eagle and a few Hen Harriers, a Med Gull, lots of plastic duck type things and not much else, my migrant total for the year is 1 Sand Martin, 4 Swallows, 1 Wheatear and 1 Chiff, oh and the Black Red which seems so long ago it feels like it was mid winter!

The obs is now back open after all the renovation work and a lot of painting so I'll be there in the next few days so should get some proper birding done then.