Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Well I was on the way home from Derby when i thought i may as well stop off at Leighton Moss for the Glossy Ibis as it was just off the motorway and could be viewed from the road at Leighton moss and was the easiest twitch Ive ever been on. The wind was howling and the light poor but still nice views all the same.. The pics really don't do it justice.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Well thankfully my last blog post wasnt my last of the year as i got the opportunity to nip over to Norfolk from Derby where i was visiting my Parents. The Original plan was last week i had a trip over to brugge on the PnO ferry, we were to get back to port early Friday morning then wizz down to Norfolk from Hull. This didnt work as the port locks broke and a delay of about 3 hours made us get back to the car by half twelve which made day tripping Norfolk impossible. I thought that was it no Birding in Norfolk.
Well come today Rach and mother decided they would like a trip to Norfolk for the day......Bingo
So by 7-30 we were on our way stopping off at Fakenham for an elusive Great Grey Shrike, it did finally show albeit distant. This put us back a bit, i then had to stop on the B1355 to check about 300 Geese mainly Pinks but nicely 5 Bean Geese.

Finally we Got to Cley, Rach and Mother dropped me off and they went to sherringham. Now i new the Western Sandpiper had been Flushed at about 10-30 but i just had to live in hope that it would return today!!!!!.
About 2oclock it did finally return but was always distant so after watching it at distant i decided to go to another hide for closer views. I took some shots of a few of the Ruff that were present and just befor i left a Water Pipit flew over and landed infront of another hide but when i got to the other hide it was no where to be seen.

I finally got to the hide Bishop i think but the light had faded and i managed good views of the Western Sandpiper but photograpghy was impossible. Video footage here.
If im gonna be honest i would never have id this in a month of Sundays, i would have said No thats not a Little Stint and No its not a Semi p but what it is F*ck knows???? So im glad i never found it.

So an Awsome finish to the year and back to sunny Cumbria tomorrow. Booooo

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Well, there will probably be no more proper birding until the new year now, so this may be my last post until the New year, so ill wish you all a Merry Christmas. I may try to find time to write a 12 month birding experience from this year but dont hold ya breath.
Looks like im going to finish on 264 Species for the Year Bou, or 270 if i include Ireland. The last couple of months have been my best in Cumbria since ive moved up here, but then i had more time to cover the local area.
Im not sure how many lifers this year ill have to tally up but 367 life list is very slowly on the up.
A trip to Spain meant the Western pal list increased a little although ive only had that for 2 years and its not very important to me anyhow.
My new birding buddy Keith has made birding in Cumbria much easier too.. thanks Keith ;-)
Anyway Hope everyone has a family filled Chirstmas and ill blog to you all Soon....
ps i may try to get for the Western Sandpiper at Cley Norfolk heres hoping...

Saturday, 17 December 2011

17th Dec Desert Wheatear

Well finally another year tick and probably my last if i don't manage to get to Norfolk over Christmas.
house/dog/farm sitting for a friend this weekend so this gave me a small window to go and have a look at the long staying Desert Wheatear at Newbiggin in Northumberland. So after my chores i left for Newbiggin arriving 10ish. I started the walk along the beach after parking at church point. My first search nothing, now this bird hadn't been reported lately so i was hoping it was still about. A walk back proved fruitless too. So i gave it a second attempt, and bingo found it fairly easy to spot so not sure why i missed it first time around. It did show well but it didn't stay in one place long enough which made digiscoping difficult but i managed a few shots. I then took the advice of Cain, his blog here...and sat quietly and let the bird finally come to me.

Now id seen and photographed the bird i just had a few minutes to photograph a few more birds on the way back to the car. Golden Plover, Sanderlings and Bar-tailed Godwits showed well on the shore.

Golden Plover


Bar-tailed Godwit

As i was driving out the car park 2 Adult Med gulls were sat on lamp posts and a 1st Winter Med Gull flew over the Village. Time for home!

A quick update from Wednesday 14th Dec a Short Seawatch from Workington produced a Great Northern Diver...

Sunday, 11 December 2011

11th Dec Red Squirrel

Well just me n the wife for a walk through nob-a-gob today (Cockermouth to outsiders) and a wander around the cemetery photographing Red Squirrels. Birds though Bullfinch and Siskin the Highlights.
Don't forget to click on the pics to view the full size Pictures.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

10th Dec 2011 Bewicks topped the Bill.

Well today's Challenge for the day was Bewick Swans. a couple had been found by Colin last weekend but not seen since, so as it was a lifer for Keith we decided to give the area a good grilling. We weren't really holding out much hope but you couldn't make this up.
Our first stop was Allonby where Keith had seen Geese and Whoopers all week, in fact so had i but today there were only 29 Whooper Swans normally 53, but 130 Greylag were present. So we then had a good drive around the Silloth to Newton Arlosh area. We noticed a lot of geese at Abbey Town so scanned these Geese. A nice surprise was 44 European Whitefronted geese and a Single Barnacle Goose mixed in with the 800 Pinkfooted geese, many more were hidden by hedges, couldn't find a Bean goose though. So we then moved onto some back roads and ended up spotting 20 odd Swans between Wedholme House and Broom Park Farm, The first bird i spotted was a BEWICK SWAN!!!!! Bingo, no way really. Eventually we realised there was a family of Bewicks 2 juveniles and 2 Adults, this was great as there had only been 2 reported previously. After only a few minutes of me and keith taking pics through the thick hedge a gyrocopter flew over and flushed the lot, we couldn't find them after that although there were a lot of Whooper Swans near Newton Arlosh but they were impossible to check as they were inaccessible from the road to view fully.
We then Coverd Border Marsh where more European Whitefronts were spotted with Groups of 11 and 9 along with 2000 Barnacle Geese 3 Leucistic ones and a handful of Pinks. A Peregrine was on the Marsh. A flock of Small birds flew past but they called just once they sounded like Twite but too brief. Then a Probable Short eared owl dropped into the long grass but again it was so brief it was never seen again, so some real good birds and a couple that got away. Thanks Keith for driving around all those tight lanes...

Friday, 9 December 2011

09th Dec 2011 local stuff

Well Ive been spoilt of as late so i was due a quiet birding day, and today was it.
Started by covering Bassenthwaite lake after work, very little on the very flooded lake small groups of Goldeneye with a few tufties a GC Grebe and a Little Grebe.
Moved onto Workington which seemed very quiet after yesterday, a Bonxie was the highlight, a Few Red-throated Diver, a Couple Of Mergansers and Goosanders. Few Kitts no more that 3 I think, and a few Guillemot.
Then Walked Maryport Coastal path only thing of note here were 2 Raven.
Finished at Soddy Gap 2 European White-fronted Geese with the Greylags still 4 Goldeneye, Heron flushed 60+ Snipe and 1 Jack snipe on the edge. 
The Heron Caught a mouse drowned it and ate it....

Thursday, 8 December 2011

8th December Little Auk tops the bill.

I'm still working from home and the strong winds gave me some hope of finding something, so off i went to Workington for a short seawatch before visiting the Dentist. Having stood in the cold wind and Rain I was greatly rewarded...........
1 close Little Auk went South  an Adult Little Gull lingered quite far out for a while but then a little later 2 Adult little Gulls flew South but much closer followed by 2 Fulmar Loads and Loads of Kittiwakes and 500+ Cormorant
Then after my Dentist appointment I stopped at Soddy Gap where there were 2 European Whitefronted Geese with the 250 Greylag geese. Now i had expected some rare geese here seeing as there were so many in the county, so it was only a matter of time. Also on the pond were 3 Goldeneye and a lot of Goosander 80-100 didn't count. A nice finish to a good few hours birding again.
European White-fronted Goose

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

7th December More Beans

So the snow is preventing me from the job i should be doing over at Kirbystephen so Ive been working at home the past couple of days. So i nipped out for a couple hours again today.
The 53 Whooper Swans were still at Allonby today along with 60 Greylag Geese. Checked out Blackdyke again where 10 Bean Geese had returned along with a Pinkfooted Goose and a few Greylags.
Once again the Cumbria weather was rubbish but i did manage these few shots which are much better than ones i managed the first time.

You can just see the Pinkfooted Goose in the back.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

05th December More Geese.

Keith called me Sunday night when he found some Whitefronted Geese. He said these looked like Greenland Whitefronts, there had been quite a few European Whitefronts coming into the country so finding some Greenland Whitefronts was a very good find. He checked them carefully when he also found a Juv European Whitefront too. Well done Keith.
So on the Monday i managed to finish work a little early due to the heavy Snow where i was working and managed to find the flock of 53 Whooper Swans, 11 GREENLAND Whitefronts and the very tiny Juv EUROPEAN Whitefront.
It was cold and still snowing so took a few record shots and went home to the warmth of my new fireplace. ;-)
There's now at the very minimum 185 European Whitefronted Geese in Cumbria, and incredibly high number and probably unheard of in the County.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

04th December Local

Well back to earth with a bump. Back to work and back to working away so no chance of any birding unless something flys past me at work for example Red Grouse.

So back home for the weekend, Saturday was spent finishing the Christmas shopping and today i managed to get out and do some local birding. Didn't find anything unusual but didn't have a bad day although the weather in Cumbria was against me as usual.

Started at low Meadows aka Soddy flash where there were a few hundred Herring Gulls and Jackdaws.
12 Stock dove with Woodpigeons and a Cracking Male Merlin sat on the hedge. 50 odd Greylag Geese and plenty of Starlings.
Within the Black Headed Gulls were 2 Adult Med Gulls.
Soddy itself had 130 Snipe flushed by 2 Herons. 55 Goosander and 35 Teal, 1 Pochard 2 Goldeneye and a few Tufties.
On the small pond the Long-tailed Duck still with a Tuftie which had me looking a bit closer for a while. A few tit species, Great, Blue, Coal and Long-tailed tit. Lesser Redpoll also. Lovely looking Bullfinch.1 Buzzard.
Female Long-tailed Duck

1st WinterTufted duck
At Workington just 1 Shag sat on beach before flying onto rocks south of Harbour and a Bonxie South.
Cold old Day with Snow on Criffel and the lakes..  But if you want to see North Cumbria at its best take a look at this brillaint blog here.....