Sunday, 30 January 2011

The day before Mikes stag do I was shocked by the discovery of what appears to be Britains first Slaty backed Gull.  Those who know me well know I'm a bit of a Gull bore so this really fired me up to get out to the tip and find something of my own.

I wasn't expecting this though!

This thing I found really interesting but unfortunately as soon as I clapped eyes on it it promptly sat down and stayed there for 40 mins.  I couldn't move the car to a better position due to the layout of the road, i.e. a fuckin big roundabout next to where I was!  So I took a couple of phonescoped shots and started sketching it.  As I was filling in the scap pattern the whole flock flew and I couldn't relocate it.  I showed the pics to a few people and they thought the same as me that although a bit on the dark side it showed features of a Juv Thayer's Gull!!!!  I went back to the tip 5 out of the next 6 days before I had to go north for work but it didn't show up again.  Obviously I can't claim this bird but it certainly looked interesting.

So trying to banish thought of Gulls from my head I ventured north for a get together of ACE Surveyors in Pitlochry, it was a bit messy with a couple of very late finishes in the bar, but it was good to catch up and meet a few new faces.

I called in at Rainton meadows on the way up and bagged a single Arctic Redpoll it was a bit distant for the DSLR though

Still a bit worse for wear on the sat morn I ventured to Slammananaman, or at least that's how it looked to my eyes, I'd still been in the bar at 5am!  I'm too old for this shit!!!  After a bit of searching I got onto a flock of about 80 Taiga Beans, good to get a bit more experience with these as they are often claimed in the county but very seldom do they make the grade, most being Tundras.  I would upload a pic but my stupid phone has decided to start saving pics to a folder on the main memory and the computer can't access it for some reason.

Which also means I can't upload a pic of Dan blindfolded and trying to pin a wig on a Haggis!  And he wasn't even drunk.....

Got to do a couple of days birding during the week as the boat survey I was on was interrupted due to bad weather which was good as we saw 3 Otters and some of these bad boys.

Plus loads of Great northens and a few Slavs.  Bird of the trip though was this fella, fortunately seen about 5 minutes from the end of the survey so we could finish off and turn back and have a good look and get some pics.  We've been hoping for this all winter so it's good to finally get one, should be a good chance of getting summer plumage birds in the coming months too.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Apologies to anyone bothered about the long gaps between posts, truth is I just can't be arsed, winter is shit I've seen fuck all for months!

Actually tha'ts not quite true I have seen the Rough leg at South Ferriby and the Ring billed at Mirfield plus on my travels had some ace views of Common Dolphin riding the bow wave of the boat.  I also went to Morocco at Xmas for 6 days which I'll post about later with plenty of pics.

This last weekend saw Mr Pilsworth have his stag do in Scarboro, a decent night was had by all, except John Hewitt who was sidetracked by the Slaty-backed Gull at Rainham.  For those that aren't sure about how to do them this guide is indispensable If I said I agreed with this nobody would believe me but I reckon it's probably how John is feeling!

Anyway back to the stag do nothing too untoward happened, PC got lost on the way back to the hotel and by the look of his jeans managed to slide about on his arse in lots of mud and GS got lost between ale establishments and wandered round every pub in Scarboro for 2 hours 'til he found us.  We must be getting old ten years ago every stag do I went on was complete carnage!

Here's a couple of pics of the groom




At least it gave the dirty bastard Turnstones something to scoff! 

I've managed to get my Shetland stuff from last autumn off the old deed laptop so at some point before spring will upload a few bits about that with a few nice pics of some rare(ities)!