Sunday 11 December 2022

Blast from the Past- Arctic Redpoll

 Arctic Redpoll from Varanger, Norway in June 2012. One of my all time favourite photos I have taken.

Friday 2 December 2022

Patch Fire

When news reached me and a few others, yesterday afternoon, of a convincing description of a Red-flanked Bluetail at Deepings Lakes, found on Tuesday by visiting birders (on holiday from Devon!), I was sceptical. Mostly, I confess because I didn't want to have missed out on the rarest bird ever to have been found on my patch. 

The re-finding was all a little surreal, with Paul Bolton and Mike Weedon hearing it and then John Pegdon and myself hearing it some distance from where Paul and Mike had heard it. We all convinced ourselves, we hadn't heard it. But thankfully Paul persevered and re-found it where him and Mike had heard it originally. 

Here it showed exceptionally well, completely fearless of us and at one point fed right next to me. Bonkers- I've seen plenty in the UK and none have shown as well as this one! 

It continued to be harassed by Robins and moved onto to where John and I heard it. Clearly part of a circuit, it was at this point it got harder to follow, and I needed to get back to work. It wasn't seen again after I left which seems mad, considering how well it showed once we found it.

This is my 141st species I have seen at Deeping Lakes this year, a meaningless total for everyone, but a personal best for a year on my patch. It's also my 250th species in the PBC area, ever! 

Sunday 20 November 2022

Sunday 25 September 2022

Otters again

The family of Otters showed well again this morning. At one point, one of them swam into the river bank I was on and ate a fish just six feet away. I didn't dare move so no photos, only memories. They aren't the easiest of Otters to photograph but as usual with Otters, each experience is different.

Monday 19 September 2022

White Patch

This Great White Egret has been a regular at Deeping Lakes over the weekend and today spent most of the day on East Pit. It walked around much of the south end of the pit, showing how shallow it is right now (which is great!). The same pit also hosted Bittern, Grey Heron and Little Egret today- quite the Heron show!

Monday 12 September 2022

Wryneck- Round 2

Still mostly invisible but still a great, characterful bird. Spent an enjoyable hour with the Wryneck at Ferry Meadows again this evening, after work, with Hugh Wright. It had been missing for three hours prior our arrival so we were lucky to get the few views we got of this very special bird.

Sunday 11 September 2022

Weedon's Wryneck

Mike Weedon and a few others found this wonderful Wryneck at Ferry Meadows CP this afternoon. Today is my Grandfather's birthday and so happens that 22 years ago, I found one with him in Bourne and I was visiting him, with Amy, in Bourne when Mike got in touch this afternoon!

A seemingly fearless individual but unfortunately in difficult habitat to get clear views. Nevertheless, I enjoyed some fantastic views of what has to be one of the best birds on the British list. 

Sunday 4 September 2022

Moribund Kittiwake

Less than half a week after the Gannet, this adult Kittiwake turned up at Deeping Lakes this morning, looking less than healthy. Of course could be another victim of AI but with strong winds in the south and west, the weather could also be a factor.

Wednesday 31 August 2022

Bitter Sweet Patch tick

This wasn't what I was expecting to find when I visited Deeping Lakes LWT after work, chasing a simple patch tick, Ruff. 

Having spent the past two weeks in Scotland and having seen plenty of dead Gannets around the shores of Shetland, but no live birds showing signs of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, you can imagine the surprise in finding a Gannet with HPAI on my inland patch in Lincolnshire!

At one point the Gannet was approached by an angry Mute Swan (pictured), the seabird still was alert enough to give the Swan a nasty nip. Perhaps the start of a spread of this deadly disease on my patch? We hope not but seeing what it has done on the coast has been genuinely heart wrenching.  

Nevertheless, despite the bitter sweetness of this bird; it is stunning a new species for the reserve and certainly livened up my Wednesday evening!


Scotland & Shetland bits

A fab few weeks on honeymoon, touring Scotland and Shetland. Naturally, not much birding done but we did see 7 Minke Whales, Basking Shark, Slavonian Grebe (scarce in Shetland in August), Golden Eagle (Scotland), heaps of Porpoise and of course the Northern Lights (see below). 

Sunday 21 August 2022

More Northern Lights

More Aurora from this morning, this time from our Scalloway balcony. We watched it for over an hour and even managed to capture a few 'shooting stars' in the dancing sky above Scalloway.