Monday 22 April 2019

Little Gull fest

Josh Jones found a superb flock of Little Gulls at Baston & Langtoft GP this morning. The birds were hard to count but we got to 24 but it appeared others appeared so perhaps closer to 30 in reality. Josh also found 6 Black Terns on the same pit, two of which can be found far right on the first photo. A classic April day!

Cattle Egret still at Deeping Lakes

The Cattle Egret was still present at Deeping Lakes today and did a short fly past this morning, shooting into the sun.

Red-necked Grebe at Deeping Lakes

This sensational looking Red-necked Grebe was found by Hugh Wright on a pre-dawn visit to Deeping Lakes this morning. What an absolute beauty! The bird remained all day on the East Pit and attracted a steady stream of admirers all day. This is my fourth Red-necked Grebe at Deeping Lakes and my second in summer plumage.

Sunday 21 April 2019

Ring Ouzel

A couple of male Ring Ouzels were found this evening by Josh Jones between Marholm and Etton in north Cambs this evening. They showed pretty well, preferring to run off rather than fly for a change.


Still present on Deeping Highbank in good numbers and starting to look pretty smart!


Female that was with the male Whinchat at Thurlby Fen on 20th April.

Drake Whinchat

I look for Whinchats every spring in the Deeping's area. They are one of my favourite spring migrants and scarce around here. This year, Vin Flemming pulled this obliging, but still challenging, male out of Thurlby Fen, south of Bourne in Lincs yesterday (20th April).

Cattle Egret find

I found this Cattle Egret on Good Friday at Deeping Lakes, south Lincs. Only the second reserve record and still a good find for a round here.

Fulmar, Sumburgh Head, Shetland

Tengmalm's Owl, Shetland

On the 19th February, a Tengmalm's Owl was found in Shetland. I have to admit I was tempted. The photos alone were amazing and the fact I needed it for planet Earth and it was at my favourite set of Islands in the world, were all big draws for me. However, circumstances meant I bottled it and didn't go. Sadly, it disappeared on the night of the 2nd March, never to be seen again.... until...

I was browsing the web on Tuesday 9th April and came across Josh Jones' blog post about his Tengmalm's twitch. I hadn't looked at it previously because it was, I admit, too painful. Thoughts went through my head like 'I wish I had gone' and 'I would definitely go if it reappeared'. To my surprise the following day- it did!

What to do? Well it's clearly been in the same garden for over a month, so the risk of it leaving seemed low so I had not choice... flights and car hire were booked and it was with excitement and nerves I waited in Aberdeen airport on Saturday 13th. News broke just before I boarded, it was still there- I couldn't have been more delighted! Nor more exhausted having driven up to Aberdeen overnight on one and a half hours sleep.

Arriving in Shetland, the views were amazing in the incredible spring sunshine. I quickly arrived on site. The views of the bird were poor to say the least, but at least I had seen it! I decided to go and get food and accommodation which turned into a wee afternoon nap.

I arrived back on site late afternoon and the bird was still in the same tree, however it preened a bit more and at times you could see a bit more. It wasn't until after 8pm that the bird woke up properly but the light had gone for photography but the views were exceptional.

The next day the bird had moved to Unst, clearly migrating back north and east and the following day had gone entirely- my thoughts that the risk was low were wrong. I was lucky but I am exceedingly glad to have gone and seen yet another mega Owl on Shetland.