Saturday 30 May 2020

Wet My Lips!

I've seen very few Quail in Britain, in fact only three times before today. The first photo appears to show a female with a male behind (we didn't spot the male at the time but obviously there was one singing). It seems like the first bird was singing but perhaps not, perhaps it was a female and not a first summer. Either way, it flew off and was replaced by the obvious male behind which eventually also flew off. Not great photos- but a great experience shared with Amy!

Monday 18 May 2020


Not a big deal in the east but still scarce spring visitors in the Deepings. Several have failed to breed on the Nene Washes this year, which has led to several pairs wandering north. I found three on Sunday morning at Deeping Lakes. The pair built two nests and did several courtship displays whilst I was there and the pair were still there today. However, this afternoon they headed north to Baston & Langtoft GP then to Baston Fen and then perhaps North Drove.

Sunday 17 May 2020


This baby Long-eared Owl is part of two broods I have found this week at a site in south Lincolnshire.

Wednesday 13 May 2020

Spoonbills in colour

I found these first summer Spoonbills (one more advanced than the other) visited briefly on the 3rd May but headed south west after an hour in the early morning. This time they arrived in the afternoon and were found by my Dad and stayed until 19.45. Although more distant this time, they were much more settled; feeding well and sleeping regularly (as Spoonbills do) and in sunshine rather than early morning gloom!

Patch Gold

This afternoon my Dad found two Spoonbills and a Greenshank at Deeping Lakes LWT. With only five records or so in the last two decades, seemed a great start to the new decade with two records in two weeks of the first spring! Keen to see if these were new birds or the pair I found two weeks ago and also wanted to see a wader that wasn't a Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher or Little Ringed Plover, I hot footed it to the reserve after work.

The Spoonbills were busy feeding on my arrival but there was no sign of the Greenshank- typical! So I settled into prolonged views of the Spoons in colour this time. A small wader roosting immediately behind the Spoonbills caught my eye and at first I assumed it to be a Common Sandpiper and thought nothing of it but scanning right then saw a Common Sandpiper which seemed huge- I had a Stint!

A quick call to Josh for reassurance and he was on his way. The bird woke up a bit more and was obvious that it was indeed a Temminck's Stint as suspected.

Terrible record shots- taken at extreme range but a smart spangled spring bird! True patch gold! This is only the third record for the reserve- after one I found on, remarkably, the 13th May 2004 and one Mike Weedon and co found on the 19th May 2001 (when there was also a Great Reed Warbler present!).
The Spoonbills appear to be the same individuals as a couple of weekend's ago. Where they have been is anyone's guess- perhaps the Wash? They were seen heading east not long before dusk.

Sunday 3 May 2020

Spoonbill find

A wander around Deeping Lakes was typically quiet this morning. The large colony of Lesser black-backed and Herring Gulls seem to put off most waders, which is a shame since the habitat is great. I was heading back to the car when I these two 1st summer Spoonbills appeared on the East Pit. Must have dropped in whilst I was walking around the rest of the reserve.

Typically, they were only on the site for about an hour before heading off south-west. Only the second time I have seen Spoonbills on the reserve after Pop's and I found four better plumaged birds on the 13th May 2016. Again these were early morning and brief!