Thursday 29 October 2020

From the archives No. 8

Forgot about this American Tree Sparrow V Dark-eyed Junco shot from Canada 2012. Check out the outer tail feathers on the Junco!

Friday 23 October 2020

Giving it the Beans

The juvenile Tundra Bean Goose continued to perform well on my patch, Deeping Lakes, and Newborough Fen, all week. Two adults also turned up at Baston & Langtoft GP; seems very early but perhaps the start of a national influx? 

Sunday 18 October 2020

Patch Gold!


Missed the Bearded Vulture which Dad managed to see from my patch, Deeping Lakes, last week- he had an Osprey catch a fish on the same visit! Gutted? Of course! But with Radde's Warbler and Bearded Vulture both seen locally that week, I could hardly complain! After two mega rares for an inland area, close to home, this week was always going to be an anticlimax but yesterday's Bush Chat was a great excuse to get out the area. 

On Friday Bob Titman reported a pair of Bean Geese at Deeping Lakes but sent a photograph of Pink-foot and that was that! However, today Mike Weedon warned everyone that one of the Geese at DL had orange feet! Now, there was a orange footed Pink-foot at Ferry Meadows last year, so they do happen but on seeing the photos, I was quickly down the patch just in time to watch an adult Pink-footed Goose and juvenile Tundra Bean Goose fly off over the river!

I relocated them on Newborough Fen and watched them fly back to DL. Whizzed round to DL, where I got the above photos (Bean Goose always on the right) only this time a third Goose flew off with them- a juvenile Pink-foot! The juvenile didn't associate with the adult Pink-foot or juvenile Tundra Bean at all, when I once again relocated them at Newborough Fen and Bob's photo he sent was of the adult Pink-foot so presumably he saw the orange legs of the Tundra Bean and jumped to conclusions. 

Whatever, a long over due patch tick and a first for the reserve! 

Saturday 17 October 2020

Rufous Bush Chat

Birding throws up weird and unpredictable coincidences and circumstances at times. Today I was heading towards Skegness, to try and be pioneering, trying to find my own rare birds. I over slept and stopped for fuel at Spalding. When I checked my phone, I saw Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin at Stiffkey in Norfolk. The last record of Rufous Bush Chat, as it was known then, was nearly 50 years ago, at Skegness. Naturally I headed to Stiffkey and for once enjoyed the views of this firsr twitchable for Britain, rather than going for photos. What an incredible autumn this shaping up to be. Note this is only a record shot and there are plenty of better photos of it out there!

Thursday 15 October 2020

A few more of the Tennessee Warbler

It's always good to go back and check a memory card before you delete all, to make sure that in the excitement of editing your rare bird photos, you haven't missed any... Been a crazy autumn and I've really enjoyed it and it's hard to top being on the scene shortly after this gem was found by Dougie Preston. Best of all the autumn isn't over yet! 

Monday 12 October 2020

A few more Bearded Vulture shots

The Vulture took full opportunity to move on yesterday during the good weather, heading south to Bedfordshire. We were lucky to enjoy such prolonged and close views of these remarkable bone-eating beast. Never to be repeated. What a privilege. 

Saturday 10 October 2020

Even more Beardie!

Sorry! I've become a bit of a Bearded Vulture bore! It's not everyday such a bird arrives less than 10 miles from you house! More from this morning!

More Bearded Vulture

Just amazing views of the Bearded Vulture near Nene Terrace, Cambs this morning. Watched it feed on two items, one being a hare. A Magpie kept landing on it's back which it wasn't a fan of much...

Thursday 8 October 2020

Bearded Vulture again!

Today was a little bit mental. Yesterday Josh Jones worked hard at piecing together the various sightings from non-birders of the Bearded Vulture around Spalding. At dawn five of us were standing in the dark near Moulton Chapel when Hugh Wright found the bird roosting in a tree by the road. We had fantastic views of it at it's roost then sat in a field. After work, I visited the bird at Cowbit where it showed really well to the crowd. It appeared to roost on a Rooks nest in the village. After all the effort to go and see this bird in the Peak District in July, it's amazing to see it less than 10 miles from my house! What a mad week locally!

Wednesday 7 October 2020

Radde's Warbler in Cambs!

On Sunday received a call from Mike Weedon that Jonathan Taylor had found a Radde's Warbler near Peakirk, just shy of three miles away from my house! The weather was miserable and we couldn't relocate it.. With backup, Weedon and JT were back on the scene at dawn and the bird was thankfully still present! It showed briefly four or five times during the whole day and I managed to see it at dusk but the views were unsatisfactory...

Yesterday dawned bright and was my birthday. I made an appearance at the site just in time for the bird to show for a minute- clearly it knew it was my birthday! Once again the bird was seen only a couple of times during the day and was much more mobile than the previous days. With clear conditions at dusk and no sign today, it would appear this first for Cambridgeshire has moved on... 

Sunday 4 October 2020

Lancy tick


Lanceolated Warbler is a dream bird for someone who mainly birds down south. One turned up at Sumburgh Head just before we had to catch the ferry on Friday. Every visit to Shetland has the threat of one being achievable. This autumn there has now been a few but this individual is my first ever. Gave absolutely amazing views but didn't get like the photos others have had. But I'm very happy to have seen yet another Shetland specialty!

Thursday 1 October 2020

Obliging OBP

We have visited this Olive-backed Pipit several times during it's four day stay. It's always proven to be most obliging. Unfortunately the weather wasn't always. However, still managed some photos of this completely fearless individual near Loch Asta on Shetland.