Friday, 30 September 2011

More Pecs!

Hornsea is certainly getting it's share of pecs, what with the lovely pair yesterday and now this!

Note typical Hornsea soundtrack!

I'd been doing a survey all day and then a bit of paperwork at home for a couple of hours and decided to go check Hornsea, don't know why really I knew Mark and Tony had been there all day, so I didn't expect to find anything.  I did though I dropped on this whilst mark was stood next to me!  And he'd just checked the same muddy edge half an hour before!!!!  It just goes to show how you need to be in it to win it!

I've discovered that unless birds are giving views like the girl from yesterday then the video is a much better way of capturing records of birds, particularly if it's windy, or moving a lot, like feeding waders.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Never mind the Sandhill!

I'm back from Shetland and gutted!  I'll put pics of the trip up soon including some of the Sandhill Crane at Strathbeg which we just got before it left to go south.  I was hoping to be able to put up a pic of it in Yorks airspace tonight but it was not to be.
When I first heard about it this morning I didn't think it would come south as it seemed to be messing around in Northumberland and not making much progress.  Then suddenly it's over Hartlepool and then South Gare and tickable for Yorkshire before I could react!  I thought the best plan of attack was to get to Filey or nearby, maybe Hunmanby or Reighton on high ground.  I arranged to pick Tim up in Hornsea first and whilst en route got a call form the Mere Birders team with a tip off about a rather pleasing looking young lady with her kit off on the mere edge getting photographed!  So a quick check just for clarification was in order!  Well nowt wrong with their ID except almost as soon as I got there she put her clothes on!

bit distant but you get the picture!

never seen anyone else except Tony wearing white stillettos walking round the mere!

Anyway we ended up camped out a Reighton for the afternoon but it's obviously landed or gone inland.  Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Regular readers will know that at this time of year I check a few farm slurry ponds along the coast for waders.  This year they've been shit, really poor, the worst I have known them.  This is coupled with the fact that some of them have disappeared completely!  So I was delighted to find out about some more nearby.  I could have found out about them some time ago, about 4 yrs to be exact,  but my so called mate has been suppressing them from me in the hope he found something good!!!  I reckon he told me out of guilt because I paid his missus (and proprietor of Snazzy Feet, for all your footcare needs) to sort out my feet!  I now have superb plates and a spring in my step ready for all the iris beds on Foula.  

I was out mountain biking in Dalby forest last sat so missed the semi P at Beacon Ponds, turns out I was in luck though cos I refound it a Patrington Haven on Mon evening, unfortunately the wind was ridiculous and the bird was incredibly flighty so the pic below is the best I managed.  No sign of the bird on Tues night but cracking numbers of waders including 15 or so Curlew Sands. 

As can be seen in the video below the birds come ridiculously close as the tide pushes them towards the waiting Martin!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Mere Birders!

Just a bit of a plug for some mates who have set up a new blog for Hornsea Mere.  Have a look at it.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

It's that time of year again when I head north to Shetland in search of some rarities.  If you've never been to Shetland I wouldn't bother it's really hard work and the weather is shit, you'd be much better off in Norfolk or on the Scillies!!!

Once again I'll be on Foula although probably only for a week this year, but then I'm flexible I could come straight home if needed for work or stay for another week or so.

Anyway with it getting so close I remembered I hadn't got round to posting the pics from last year due to the computer trouble I had.  So here's a few shots, mostly crap, some pretty good, some educational.

Foula was pretty quiet for the first few days, we mopped up on this Pec and Bluethroat on the first day and the Buff breast in the next day or so. 

While Shetland was being swamped in rare stuff we had to settle for Barred Warblers and Rosefinches.  OK I know the Barred pic is crap but where else are you gonna see two sat together?  There were actually three but I couldn't fit them all in the shot!

These two were feeding on the same tiny puddle in an old quarry and were allowing approach down to a few feet.  
It was a great couple of weeks on FOula but Easterlies aren't a great wind as mainland Shetland filters out lots of the birds.  We had to settle for a Paddyfield (which was originally thought to be a Sykes's Warbler, not by us I add) and a Lancey that only half of us saw.

As soon as we got back onto Mainland Gav stopped me from nearly walking into this Nightjar, a scarce bird in Shetland and we had a Hawfinch at the same site.  Plus many yellow browed, at times it seems like they are the commonest Warbler!

We also managed to see the first of two Bluetails, a Sykes's Warbler which was impossible to photograph and plenty of other good birds like this RB Fly and we found a Dusky Warbler.  The morning I was flying onto Fair Isle I found this Spotted Sand which was cool.

My First day on Fair Isle was a repeat of last year as almost the first bird I saw was a Blyth's Reed that had just been found, It went missing for several days before reappearing only a few hundred yards from the first sighting.

All in all it was pretty quiet with few good birds, best I managed to find was this Red Kite!  They are pretty rare on Fair Isle with about ten records I think.

Even though nothing really rare there were plenty of decent birds around like this interesting brown Lesserthroat and Little Bunting.

Jack scored by finding this OBP and Becca Nason pulled out this Radde's

When I got really bored I started messing about trying to take flight shots of Snedge bunts.  And this rather bizarre nominate Treecreeper was well worth a look

The chiffchaffs are interesting too all three of these gave a siberian like call!  I've just about given up trying to work out what's what with these things,  I just enjoy them for what they are....eastern!

Here's a nice pic of the Blyth's when it reappeared and a Reed from Foula to compare, chalk and cheese!

The second and much duller of the two Bluetails I saw.  And below the Izzy Shrike that our Finnish mates Janne and Pottu found.

Continuing the Shrike theme I called for this Steppe Grey at the Loch of Strathbeg when I left Shetland  It was just as tame as the Lincs bird from a couple of years back and even landed on my knee whilst I was crouched down photographing it!

That's just about it then, certainly not the number of rares as the year before but still enough to make me go back this year.