A chance for a day up North & picking good mate up Rich Dawkins from Barton,Lincs on route had us for the 2nd time in 6wks heading for Bempton Cliffs RSPB,E.Yorks for the Desert Wheatear on arrival the breezy weather forecast had turned into a near gale & with no sign we decided to head for Tophill low for the Cattle Egret which was reported as showing well in the compound (It was but what they don't tell you is that its only viewable thru a 7ft metal fence,hence no pics) then a msg from Birdguides had us doubling back to Bempton for the Wheatear which was now showing well on the footpath!!! After finding the bird at Staple Newk we decided to seed (Robin insect food) a favourable place nearer to the RSPB centre & sat & waited with a few other birders where we were rewarded with great views (just a pity the light & weather were against us for most parts) after having our fill of the bird we headed down to Worlaby for the S E Owls but no luck with the only bird seen being a ring tail Hen Harrier (not a bad end to the day!!!)
Monday 23 January 2012
With news of a Night Heron on the canal at Atherstone reaching me during the week (which was being kept quiet due to access restrictions),but being on nights decided that Sat morning i would head over for a look! Sat morning & a cpl of msgs from John Judge & Tom Perrins saying that the news was out in the public domain & was showing!! had me getting my gear together & heading over after about 1/2hr the bird was located roosting in a tree on the opposite bank & showing well,i set about getting some photos when the bird put its righr foot down revealing a ring (always bad news!!) a cpl of shots using a converter & we were able to read the details (Burgers' Zoo,Arnhem,Holland 12730) a quick phone call by Mark Maddox revealed it had been sold to an British Zoo (Prob Twycross hopefully we will find out with the ring number!!) a nice bird all the same!!!
Monday 16 January 2012
A cold start this morning with good friend Andy Jones,destination Calshot,Hants for the Spanish Sparrow (A British tick for both of us) a good journey down with 2 Woodcock over the car just before dawn & a probable Long-eared Owl over (that or a S E Owl but habitat suggesting LE Owl) on arrival at Calshot we had about an hour wait before the bird showed with brief flight views before it showed well in the garden hedge (No photos but a cracking bird) the large crowd started to disperse & Andy took the chance to have better views from inside the house as the home owner was allowing access (I really should have gone in judging by some of the pics on the web) after about 2 hours we decided to head for the Dark-eyed Junco which was only 15mins away in the New Forest!!! the bird showed a few times but was distant so only a cpl of record shots taken with a few Crossbills being an added bonus!! 3rd stop of the day was to Gosport for the ad winter Ring-billed Gull at Walpole Park which showed very well with an ad winter Mediterranean Gull & made for a great end to the day............
Finally decided to head out for a cpl of hours today having not really done any birding for the last month & no photography at all!! I was meant to be heading to the east coast but just couldn't be bothered with the drive so a quick trip out to Staffs for the Great Grey Shrike at Upper Longdon a good start to the proper year listing! the bird showed well but always distant for any decent shots!!