Friday 24 September 2021

Sunday 5 September 2021

Local goods

Last weekend, had a great day at Deeping Lakes. Had a patch tick- Tree Pipit, over south then Spotted Flycatcher and female Redstart as other passerine migrants. A Curlew flew over and there were migrant Dunlin and other waders on East Pit. Was simply patch gold. 

During the week, a visit to a private site near Peterborough, produced various local scarcities but a family party of Bearded Tits was the highlight. Back on the patch, another Redstart, this time a first winter drake found by baby Charles and the Ruddy Shelducks have been regular visitors for the last month.

This morning arrived much later at Deeping Lakes than usual, to find a Spotted Redshank arrive. Was present for an hour and was a superb year tick for me on the site. 

Monday 30 August 2021

White-tailed Lapwing in East Yorkshire

Back in June 2007 a White-tailed Lapwing turned up in Caerlaverock WWT in Dumfriesshire. It was only there a few days before moving to Lancashire for another seven days but I caught up with it in Scotland with a couple of mates. At the time it was the first since 1984 and only the fourth for Britain- a once in a generation mega so it seemed.

However, there have been a few records since then, most notably a wide ranging individual in 2010 and then earlier this year one appeared briefly in Kent. Presumably this bird has now found itself in East Yorkshire at Blacktoft Sands RSPB. Today Dad and I visited as my view from 2007 was hardly memorable, being a mile range, and Dad hadn't seen one before. 

Elusive to begin with, it put on a real show. Perhaps just out of proper range for my set up but nevertheless I can not complain after the views I had in 2007. Another great bird of 2021. 


Sunday 15 August 2021

Gothic Peregrines

More of the Stamford Peregrines from the past few days. The juveniles are ranging widely now and getting better at silent hunting but often drop their prey when they make a kill and end up losing it. This leads to lots of screaming but at least they are hunting for themselves now. Plenty of pretty buildings for them to sit on. The ledge the juvenile was on also had five Pigeons on- it chased them on foot, flushing them, for them to only fly back on the same ledge!

Thursday 5 August 2021

Family of Peregrines


Lovely evening with Amy and Mike Weedon in Stamford, yesterday. The family of Peregrines continue to show well around the many churches of the town. Definitely late to the party this year but next year hopefully they will return for more enchanting encounters! 

Sunday 18 July 2021

Elegant Tern in Wales

Had a bit of bad luck dipping on the Oriental Turtle Dove at Spurn a few weekends ago. This dip was made worse by an Elegant Tern appearing on Anglesey on the same day. I wasn't that worried about missing the Dove but a the Tern...

Last weekend we had family commitments so I was unable to make the dash to Wales but this big and beautiful Tern hung on for another weekend so yesterday Dad, Mike Weedon and I made the long drive to Cemlyn. 

With a heat wave hitting Britain, I decided we should leave as late as we dare in the day to enjoy the afternoon sun and avoid heat haze. However, the heat was pretty immense and the haze never really let up but the views were great; especially when it flew around our heads.

Thursday 15 July 2021

Bedstraw Hawkmoth


Superb find in Hugh Wright's moth trap in Helpston, Cambs. 

Wednesday 30 June 2021

Black-browed Albatross at last

Black-browed Albatross is just about the dream for all birders. I remember growing up in the 1990's and seeing the photos of the Hermaness in Shetland, which had been present since the 1970's. The idea of seeing such an epic bird among our epic seabirds just seemed like a dream to me. But as a youth Shetland seemed an impossibility to get to and once this individual disappeared, this southern hemisphere species became sort after by a new generation of birders. 

But history can repeat itself and a new individual has been hanging around the North Sea since it first appeared on German island, Heligoland in 2014. It's made several visits to Britain during it's stay but all have been brief and last year I missed it by a day when it visited Bempton Cliffs for the second brief time. 

News earlier in the year of it's apparent demise at the claws of a gang of White-tailed Eagles obviously was shocking news and indeed it appeared to be true. That was until Monday, when it was sighted heading towards Bempton Cliffs! Tuesday it spent all day hanging around the area and came back into the cliffs to roost. 

A 2.45am start this morning with Dad saw us in situ by 5.30am but there was no sign. The crowd became increasingly restless until 7.30 when finally the shouts went up! For the rest of the morning we enjoyed some terrific and very special views, often at point blank range of this amazing, dream seabird. 

Frustrating to photograph, I never really got 'the' shots but the views were frankly epic and ones neither Dad or I will ever forget. 

A Black-browed Albatross in Britain, England no-less! A school boy dream realised. 

Absolute privilege to watch this bird for most of the morning. 

Black-browed Albatross fly by


We were blessed with some fantastic fly pasts, as it made several failed attempted to land among the Gannets. Unfortunately it wasn't very welcome at times in the air either, with the Herring Gulls often grabbing the Albatross' tail!