Sunday, 31 March 2013


Well Keith and i decided to go Twitching today so he picked me up at 6-30, really 5-30 but the clocks went forward. Firstly we stopped at Threave to try to see this long staying Bloody Blue-winged teal but once again we failed, not a good start, did manage a couple of Shots of a Red Fox.

But onwards and upwards. We saw a few kites on the way to Stranraer and stopped just before Newton Stewart to check a lot of Pink footed geese with a small number of Barnacles. i picked up an Orange legged Pink Footed goose first then bingo a Tundra Bean Goose. So i went for my scope out the back and as i was setting up my camera they all flushed, could have been me but i was trying to be extremely careful so managed these take off shots.

Now we moved onto Stranraer for a Drake Surf Scoter, luckily we had good directions of where to view the sea from and so found the bird pretty much straight away although miles and miles away. 2 Summer plumage Slav Grebes were nice and the Surf Scoter was with 3 Velvets.
Could only manage these crappy record shots as i say literally miles away. (Remember click pics to Enlarge)

So onwards to Ayr, i needed Iceland Gull for a year tick and the 12-15 year old Iceland Gull had returned again to the city centre, this was gonna be my best bet but on arriving there was no sign, oh bugger!!! so we walked up the river and on the return the bird was back... Brilliant, a cracking bird too.

So now it was the long drive to Clyde and Auchendores Reservoir for a Drake Lesser Scaup, again we weren't to be disappointed with the bird showing nicely through the scope although distant. What a great day this had been.

Now we were feeling so lucky we decided to make the detour back to Threave for a second attempt of the Blue winged teal, we added more Red Kites to our day making double figures. On our return to the hide at Threave some one had set up a fishing rod in its favorite spot, so that was that, no birds left. So time for home, a great day and thanks to Keith for driving all those miles..

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Soddy Gap MEGA!!!

Well didn't get out that early, before 8 i think today, met Keith on site and checked the ponds and surrounds, nothing much new in today. Keith left for better climbs but i stopped on. Half hour later i heard what i thought was the brief call of the Green Woodpecker... naaaaaaa cant be, so carried on scanning. The Water Rail made a very brief appearance today and i quickly went for the camera and got these long range shots.

Half hour later i was still looking and waiting for something to drop in but then i heard the Call of a Green Woodpecker again... Naaaa must be a dog surely, then again and again and eventually the full yaffle of the Green Woodpecker, Amazing really for a site like Soddy. So i went looking in the direction the call was coming from it was the Cricket pitch near the house. I heard it yaffling a couple more times but before i could get to the cricket pitch someone was walking there dog on there so it had probably gone.. TYPICAL, you will probably guess i was cursing under my breath!!! grrrr..
i came back picked Rach up and headed for Bassenthwaite lake. An Osprey had been reported yesterday but no sign whilst we were there today. 2 Grey Wagtail and the usual ducks. On leaving we could just make out the song of the Chiffchaff in Powter Howe Wood, but the road noise was a real pain.
Anyway great stuff.. 

Friday, 29 March 2013

Soddy Gap

An early start at Soddy this morning 6 am well earlish ;-) Produced pretty much everything from yesterday plus an extra 2 Coot, a Water Rail calling which is rare for Soddy, Raven, 2 Song Thrush and a couple of small groups of Pinks over.

Song Thrush


Then later on I had a trip out to Workington but nothing of note to mention. On the way home stopped at a flooded field and checked the 50 or so gulls on the pool, 2 Med Gulls present, 2nd Winter and an Adult. Oh and it looks like Stumpy's gone, Hopefully she will return again next year.

Couple of HD videos.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Soddy Gap 27th/28th March

On soddy last night and this morning.

1 Crossbill calling over.


4 Great BB Gull

1 Lesser BB Gull

4 Goldeneye 1 Drake

1 Pochard Drake

40 Teal

10 Tufties

16 Wigeon

Grey Heron.

1 Pink footed Goose with a 12 Greylags, 6 Canadas.

Skylark, Tree Sparrow and Yellow Hammer.


3 Shelduck.

2 Coot.

Great Black Backed Gull.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

St bees

Keith and I had the morning checking the headland at St Bees, not much really going on. First birds were Linnets, then a flock of around 15 Tree Sparrow, most ive seen here for a good while. 7 Whooper Swans flew North, a Fieldfare, Song Thrush and a male Stonechat near the Lighthouse, loads of Meadow Pipits all along the walk. A Couple of Rock Pipits were near the cliffs and then on the water a Guillemot a flock of 12 Razorbills, 20+ Kittiwakes and the usual gulls. A Porpoise showed close a few times.
In Fleswick bay the Primroses were out, a Grey Wagtail showed nicely as did 3 more Rock Pipits another Song Thrush and a couple more Stonechats.
Fleswick Bay


Finally the walk back produced, a flock of Jackdaw with 1 Eastern type, 5 Stock Doves, 3 Goldcrest, and a few Blackbirds so there was a mini fall of birds. Final bird a nice spot by Keith was a Common Snipe really close and keeping as still as possible. So no great birds just a nice mixture.

Lastly tried for the Yellow Legged Gull again but it wasnt there...

Monday, 18 March 2013

Work and Yellow Legged Gull

Well still working 7 days a week at Middleton in Teesdale but i love the place, More Views of Male Goshawk Displaying, 3 Dipper, Great views of Black Grouse and Red Grouse and to top the week off a Water Vole 5 meters from me and my noisy power barrow not bothered at all. Superb....

So trouble is today Middleton is covered in thick snow, both roads into the area shut Brough-Middleton and the A66 so a well deserved day off really having just worked the whole weekend.
So it was raining but i decided to nip to Whitehaven for the long staying Adult Yellow Legged Gull, it was here but decided to spend most of the time on the roofs making photos difficult.

So i went to Tescos for home branded loaf of bread, and headed back to try coax the bird to the ground, it worked but always far too brief so pics still weren't great as the rain got harder i gave up and went home, still managed a couple of keepers......Just!!!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Stumpy and work

Few shots of stumpy looking good. not great shots but then i just quickly reeled off half a dozen shots. She was distant on the sea.

Im Working in Durham at Middleton in Teesdale a great little site, great views of male and female Goshawk, Redkite, Red Grouse, Black Grouse, Woodcock and Dipper.

Sunday, 10 March 2013


Ill keep this short because it was a shit day. Today Keith an i nipped over to Saltholme and Hartlepool hoping for a few good birds. Today wasn't our day, missed Bean Goose, all the Gulls as the tip was shut, no BT Diver and no Red Necked Grebe. So the only things we did see were 2 Peregrine, 3 Smew (1 Drake) and a Green Winged Teal. Oh and a leucistic Herring Gull. Crap!!!


Herring Gull

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Sizergh Castle

Well a well earned free day so i nipped down to Sizergh to try to see and photograph the Hawfinch's at Sizergh Castle. I arrive just after 8 and the car park was empty bingo. Unfortunately it was empty of Hawfinch too. I set up camp and waited for the birds to turn up. After an hour a Hawfinch landed in tree opposite me but of coarse as soon as this happened the car park started to fill up with people and noisey dogs. I look around to tut! when i looked back a female Hawfinch was sat only yards away, 1 Bark of a dog and it was away never to be seen again Grrrrrr. So i waited till 12 and gave in. I did have some digiscoping practice on the common stuff.