Sunday, 27 July 2014


Yesterday I only managed a walk around the car park field, where I saw nothing, then briefly at Bittern Hide, 3, then 4 Little Egret, was an increase on the 2 present for some time now, 1 was very aggressive to the others, hogging the scrape to itself.

An 06:30 start at LFGP produced 3 Teal, 2 LRP, 2 Green Sandpiper, 102 Lapwing and just 3 Swift over, no sign of any Oystercatcher, but I did not go to Sandford, Lavell's or BSL.

I am hoping for Ringed Plover any day now and my visits to the car park field are of course for an early Redstart, or Yellow Wagtail over.

The year list total of 123 looks behind, but not so much when you compare recent year totals up to end July

127 in 2013
136 in 2012
125 in 2011
123 in 2010
119 in 2009
128 in 2008
121 in 2007
127 in 2006
119 in 2005
126 in 2004
133 in 2003

The stand out years are 2012, which ended on 142 and 2003, which ended on 133, failing to add anything after July.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Ruff records

After yesterdays surprise July Ruff, I thought I'd post all 18 previous records

* Italics is Observer Unknown (including LB) = 6 unconfirmed records

Aug 12th 1986 : 1 Teal scrape (AMc et al)
June 21st & 22nd 1989 : 1 (LB)*
Feb 19th 1990 : 1 (LB) *
May 26th & 27th 1991 : 1 Tern Scrape (ADB et al)
Aug 21st, 22nd & 31st 1992 : 1 (OU)*
Sept 14th 1993 : 1 (OU)*
Sept 9th 1996 : 1 (OU)*
Jan 14th 1997 : 1 Tern Scrape (BU)
Oct 24th 1997 : 3 Tern Scrape (OU)*
Sept 11th 2005 : 3 Over BSL (PMC, MBa et al)
May 11th 2009 : 1 LFGP (ARy et al)
Aug 31st 2010 : 1 LFGP (FJC et al)
Aug 20th 2011 : 1 LFGP (BTB)
Aug 30th 2011 : 3 Over LFGP (FJC & GSE)
Feb 2nd 2012 : 1 Over LFGP landfill (FJC)
May 22nd to 24th 2012 : 1 LFGP (GSE et al)
Jan 24th to 26th 2013 : 1 LFGP (BTB et al), 2/24th (FJC et al) & 2/25th (AJ et al)
July 23rd 2014 : 1 LFGP (GSE, B May et al)

Since 2009 LFGP has obviously become the magnet for records, be they summer or winter

If anyone knows who (LB) is do let me know, as the Feb record may be good, but June is a very odd month to get a record and similarly it does stand out that we have had no Sept records in the last 5 years.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Afternoon delight

The text came in as my son was falling asleep that the park's first July Ruff was at LFGP, I couldn't go, so kept in touch by text and around 15:00 without too much persuasion. was able to take my son with me.

On arrival several of the regulars were still there, the bird was circumventing the shingle island and in view on and off. I managed one record shot that was in focus.

The Icelandica Black-tailed Godwit was still asleep on the island, perhaps tired from a direct flight from Iceland?

Dawn rewards

I woke early and headed out before sun up, arriving at LFGP by 05:00, the mist was hanging over the NE corner and landfill, making a nice first shot for the day.

I noticed that there was a good number of Mallard on the lake in front and to the left, I took a distance shot, but before I could count them they all departed East, I estimate there was at least 70.

Then a male Kingfisher kept landing on the cross bars in front of the hide, so managed a few okay shots.

It left and came back and I decided to try and grab a few video clips.

I was scanning with my bins and picked up a Black-tailed Godwit (Islandica) circling in at 05:47, it landed on the shingle island and promptly went to sleep. I nice year tick to get back after missing Linda's on the 2nd. I also got my next year tick prediction bang on, albeit 5 days later than hoped!

Finally, a Roe Deer crept up in front of the hide for a few moments, before being chased off by a male.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Escaped Ringed Teal

In an attempt to see the odd ducks of a couple of days ago, I went to Lea Farm GP around 09:30, I did see the thin necked Mallard and now assume it to be the bird we thought was Pintail the other day.

But I am not completely convinced as on the day, I could not see face markings that appeared to show in the photos I took and today's bird was fairly classic Mallard features, but a with a neck on the thin side.

Anyway, not a whole lot going on, 6 Gadwall, 2 Oycs over North, then 2 distant Raven high up, drifting East, one heavily moulting. Then a group of 25 House Martins fed over the water nearby.

About to leave and I heard the wing beats of a duck, similar to Goldeneye and noticed a small duck alighting the nearby small raft to the front left. I got the scope focused and thought " idea what that is"

I've looked again at the rather dated Helm 'Wildfowl' and can now see it is a female Ringed Teal

Here are some pics

Popping back later, the Ringed Teal was asleep on the left hand small raft and looked tiny next to Mallard, in the SW corner 2 Green Sandpiper fed quietly.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Purple Emperor Butterfly

I forgot to post the photographs from Alan Rymer and Geoff Emmett, of the female Purple Emperor seen laying eggs on Lavell's 12th July. We believe this the first DP record, but will check on this soon, enjoy.....

July rare ducks

Brian texted to say there was an eclipse Pintail on LGGP, I was at Sandford and headed over immediately, knowing it was very unusual for July....the first in fact, now I have read up.

Whilst panning around afterwards, I checked the small duck off the North spit, thinking it was probably the Teal still around, but as soon as it lifted it's head, I saw a pale loral spot and bigger bill....a July Garganey...the second ever.

How remarkable to find two rare July duck species on the same day.

The Pintail

The Garganey

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Juvenile Cuckoo

I have managed to miss seeing a juvenile Cuckoo all my life, so when Ruth Angus told me she'd seen one yesterday and Richard re-found it in the same spot today - on the edge of BSL as you walk up from Sandford, near the hide, I had to go and see it.

As one shot captures, it was being fed constantly by a pair of Reed Warbler

And a little video clip of one the parents feeding it

Friday, 4 July 2014

Passage begins

I did a quick hour around Lavell's from 08:30, on arrival at Bittern Hide, the same adult Little-ringed Plover was around, plus a Lapwing occasionally chasing it.

Then all of a sudden the first autumn Green Sandpiper, an adult, appeared on the bund too, came quite close, then over to the right hand back mud.

I took a bit of video, but so far have not been successful in getting it posted here.

There were two Little Egrets, 1 juvenile on the scrape, the adult on the old tern island.

Finally as Geoff has been seeing Silver-Washed Fritillary on brambles half way between the hides, I have started looking and took my first Butterfly photo ever - a male Gatekeeper.

Later on further reports of Silver-washed Fritillary brought me back at lunchtime and despite not seeing one, I got shots of Speckled Wood and Large Skipper?, the latter being rather tricky as it kept moving when I went close, so I scoped it from 25 feet to get the shot.

The Green Sandpiper and LRP still present on Tern Scrape.