Thursday, 30 August 2012

Wryneck a one day bird

I didn't even go today, but no sign by 09:30 was what I expected. Shame for those who travelled far, but that is how twitching can be isn't it!? Oh well I am borrowing Steve Days shot for my own enjoyment. Thanks Steve.

Wryneck at very long last

A momentous and unexpected birding day for me, arriving Lavell's at around 10:30 I brought loppers and a bow saw down and at the very bottom of the car park field I removed a few overhanging branches - enabling much better viewing over Lea Farm G.P., Lodge Wood and the landfill. This task completed in a few moments I headed back up the East side of the field scope in one hand, tools in other, then about half way back I noticed a small pale brown bird fly up from the grass 10-15m from the nearest corner post and all I could see with naked eyes was like it was dragging a longish tail, I didn't really know but something about how it flew got my radar up.
I had already texted Trev about the 2 Swift I had going SE at 10:46 and would join him to look for Mandarin for his yearlist, but immediately called to tell him I might have something, when a bird fluttered out shot left 40ft but landed in view, grappling with mobile I couldn't hold my bins steady and was saying as I swapped to scope "I have probably screwed up on a Greenfinch, but I was hoping for a Wryneck......" in that next second, I got the scope focused, saw nothing, panned right, adjusted focus again...... and there it was, head held up high, so just as I was finishing saying "Wryneck" to Trev, other words suddenly came out ending in "it is a ****** Wryneck"
Needless to say Trevor joined me in moments and got flight views around 11:05, Richard arrived shortly and I believe it flew to the NW corner, yet Trev got on it in flight 12:10 in the middle vegetation and it went to the middle back dead thorns, where it perched for 20-25 seconds, enough for Richard to see it through my scope.
I know many came and saw it, great to see so many friends at my 191st patch tick, 130th for 2012 and my 175th self found here.

To have missed both 1986 and 1997 birds was terrible, but to find your own Wryneck, on your own patch, how good does it get...... Even better when you get a really terrible record shot to laugh at. I also got real satisfaction changing the 23 to a 22 off my unblock list at the bottom.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


I didn't mention yesterdays bird over the car park, diving and flying horizontally to right by the wooden footbridge, up and over the wires. And today it did the exact same thing, just over not under the wires, this time catching a dragonfly. Can never get too much of seeing Hobby, just 1's and 2's of other raptors.
Little else to say, Gaganey still LFGP, Steve had the female Mandarin on Lavell's old tern island.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Another Garganey

Marek found a Garganey LFGP yesterday evening, I saw it this morning and now feel the 1 Teal I reported on the 12th far in the NE corner was this bird. At the time I saw a very small loral spot, quite marked along the flanks and bigger bill, but looking into the morning hazy light, back on most of the time, plus the distance, I eventually gave up when it wondered into vegetation. Also today, 1 Green & 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Hobby low South, a trickle of hirundines, 11+ Shoveler, 10+ Teal and a female Mandarin reported after we had left, which then flew towards Lavell's.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Back after a week away

Highlights of a few things I missed were another Marsh Harrier 21st @ 17:30 over LFGP (Richard Price), the fifth report this year and only the fifth ever August Pintail. a female/juv @ 17:30-40 only LFGP on the 20th TAG). I did a dash around finding Nuthatches at Lavell's car park, fishermen's car park and 2 more at the yellow gate by High Chimmneys. Just 1 Hobby at Lavell's car park, but didn't go to see the Garganey MFW found at LFGP. About to leave 3 Wagtails, almost certainly Yellow flew SSE 13:25.
In the garden I photo'd a large caterpillar, an Elephant Hawk moth I think

Friday, 17 August 2012

Another Ringed Plover

I missed the earlier passage of 4 Greenshank, but arrived around 12:15 with Geoff and Richard on the original Greenshank, plus an eclipse Wigeon asleep on the shingle island. Suddenly the familiar call of Ringed Plover call hit my ears and we watched it fly in from the North, circle and land on the shingle island, this time an adult and this time allowing a record shot.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Black Tern

Driving along the road East of the landfill, I noticed the corvids up and immediately saw a Peregrine swooping low over the fields. I continued to BSL and found 4 Swift overhead and then got onto a lone tern moving quickly North, but dissappearing behind the tall poplars. Doubling back over the footbridge, I got onto it again briefly as it headed off NE over the East end of the landfill, but well enough to identify it as a juvenile Black Tern, my 129th species for the year. Alan texted to say another Greenshank was at LFGP, so I headed off there with Richard and Tony, as we came thru the outer gate, we just caught sight of the Peregrine again, heading SW. The Greenshank was in the NE corner. Not a bad visit for just 45 minutes.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Very brief car park area visit

As many know, I love to check the car park field and skywatch during migration, today I only had a few minutes. As usual nothing on BSL, just 3 Pied Wagtail on the beach.
Nothing of note in the field hedgerows, a distant Nuthatch called to the East, a female Kestrel, then around 09:35 25-30 House Martin came over SE with 7 Swift.

Monday, 13 August 2012

More Peregrine views

For me a rare chance to see and photo a Peregrine on the deck, when what appeared to be a juvenile chased the Lapwings around, before being heavily mobbed by Common Terns. It landed quite high in the South face of Lodge Wood, staying 10 minutes, providing the chance for some record shots. Also present and new in today were 2 Common Sandpiper, the Little Ringed Plover (heard ony) and a nice little flock of 10 Teal.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Skywatching etc

Belated updates with the 10th producing not 1, but 2 Peregrines. The first a.m. at LFGP overhead for 10 mins, then off North, then a heavily moulting bird over S.W. at 15:00, with daily Hobby, 5 raptors in a day was nice. Nuthatch at both ends of Lavell's continue daily, Willow Warblers are passing thru too.
This morning (12th) 3 Swift over and a very brief Ringed Plover, which I heard first over Sandford Farm, but found on the shingle island - a juvenile which only decided to stay for 1 minute before heading off East. This takes my yearlist to 128, 1 off my 3rd highest yearlist of 129 in 2009.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Green Sandpiper at last

Yes, finally one stayed long enough for me to see it, as usual LFGP. Over in the far NE corner. 127 now, being my 4th highest year list total with a lot of year left to hopefully add a Black Tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Spotted Flycatcher and maybe a Whinchat, Stonechat, Marsh Harrier, or something extra special???
The 6th produced 2 very flighty Green Sandpiper and allowed a very poor record shot.