Sunday, 21 October 2018

The Cat that got the Cornish Cream....

Today was mostly spent driving the 800 mile round trip to Land's End in my favourite English county, Kernow. This Catbird is only the 2nd of Britain after one in Wales in October 2001 and having been present since Monday and a clear night Saturday night/Sunday morning, Kev DuRose and I were not hopeful as we sat in Exeter services car park awaiting news. But such is the power of social media that at about 8.45 I saw a message on twitter saying 'Catbird still here'... 29 seconds ago!

The bird showed well at times, alerting us to it's presence by calling it's cat like calls but generally was elusive and was invisible most of the time we were there hence the reason for the above 'samey' shots.

On the way home we called into Croft Pascoe Pool on the Lizard for Vagrant Emperor dragonflies which were no doubt dragged up from Africa last weekend during those very warm hurricane winds. There were 10-15 individuals present with amazing a few pairs ovipositing! Below is a terrible, terrible record shot of a pair.....

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

More Otters... this time time Shetland!

We arrived at Toft and as per usual an Otter was showing well.... Fishing well but unfortunately the time pressure of the Ferry to Yell was too much and I never nailed it. However, it's the third Otter we have seen this trip and as ever a pleasure to see!

Swainson's Thrush on Shetland

We spent a fair bit of time tolerating twitchers flushing this American vagrant at North Aywick on Yell this morning before going back after lunch to find no one there. Through team work and learning about the bird for four hours previous, we got excellent views before the next lot of birders got onto to it. Yet another lifer Dan Pointon's crew (of just two this year) has got me on Shetland, after Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler last year.

Monday, 8 October 2018


Shetland has been quiet so far. Don't let the list of birds we have seen so far; Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Melodious Warbler, Barred Warblers, Citrine Wagtail and American Golden Plover fool you. It's been hard work. Today we have finally had Yellow-browed Warblers- two on Yell and seven on Fetlar- the Lemmings are here!

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Tooth and Claw....

More Otters

Otters again

Happened to be up early enough today and two Otters showed pretty well in the 'usual place'. We watched them fishing and they seemed to be catching Loach sp (not sure what the prey item is in the last photo though- in front of the Otter's nose). As ever a great experience and truly addictive.

Pectoral Sandpiper at Deeping Lakes- first for the reserve

Great find by Mike Weedon on my old patch yesterday lunchtime. Went after work and was afforded excellent views of this typically fearless juvenile.

Sunday, 2 September 2018


This morning I have mostly been taking photos of Otter's heads.... Not long after dawn I watched and listened to a mother and her two young playing, fighting and fishing. Eventually I was left with just one which was very confiding and super experience until after two hours it decided to power off upstream, never to be seen again (well..until tomorrow morning!?).

Otters at sunrise