Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Indian Roller

Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis, Baga Fields, Goa, India, December 2007.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Just a Med?

An unusual looking second-winter Med Gull? Or a Med X Black-headed hybrid? Comments welcome. Great Yarmouth, 25th November 2007.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Desert Wheatear at Horsey

Male Desert Wheatear at Horsey, Norfolk, 25th November 2007. An exceptionally tame bird.

Lap Bunt

Salthouse currently has a flock of rather dapper Lapland Buntings feeding at the end of the coast road.

Med Gulls galore!

A day in Norfolk and what better end to the day than chips and a Med Gull fest at Great Yarmouth? As an added bonus there was a Rough-legged Buzzard the other side of town too, but he was too distant for photos.

Friday, 23 November 2007


Sanderling, Titchwell Beach, Norfolk, 2005

Sedge Warbler

Sedge Warbler, Brogborough Lake, 2005

Fudge Duck

Female Ferruginous Duck, Elstow clay pits, Beds, 2005

Penduline Tits

Penduline Tit at Dingle Marshes, Suffolk, 22nd Nov. Smart little bird, don't you think?

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Bouncy, bouncy!

A Verreaux's Sifaka moving along a trail at Berenty, Madagascar.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Wilsons Snipe...apparently

It's the bird on the right. Unusually for an American, it's duller than the European version. Wilsons Snipe, Lower Moors, Isles of Scilly, late October 2007.

Song Thrush against a sea of orange

...well, not quite, but it's not often you see a Song Thrush against the orange of a life boat! This was taken on St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, October 2007.

Tree Sprogs

If you want to see wintering Tree Sparrows in Bedfordshire you have to look at game strips. It seems that almost all of the most recent records of wintering birds in Beds have come from people looking at finch flocks around game strips.

This is again true for this winter. I was told there was one Tree Sparrow back at the Castle Farm game strips near Tingrith over a month ago. I finally got along there last weekend, and after a little bit of searching found at least fifteen of these great little birds sheltering in the hedges.

Tingrith is about half an hour away from where I live, so was pretty chuffed to hear that someone had also seen some about a mile from my house! Armed with good directions, I pottered along there at lunchtime today and found one of these hansom Sparrows cavorting with the commoner House Sparrows. I even managed a shot (see above).

The challenge now, is to make them stay the winter and work out where they breed...

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Bonfire night

We had a few fireworks and a bonfire at the weekend. Here are a few photos...

Catherine wheel - they always seemed so much better when you were little!



Ed and Katie

Katie, Vicki and Carrie. Whatever they were talking about, it looks good!

The girls looking bored. What do you mean "seen one firework, seen 'em all"?

Ah, that's better - give 'em sparklers and they're happy for hours.....or as long as it takes the sparkler to go out.

I think they were trying to spell something here...

My effort at an arty-farty shot - this is Tom, a big torch and lots of smoke!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Sword-billed Hummer

One of my most favourite shots from my time in Ecuador - this is a Sword-billed Hummingbird Ensifera ensifera, at Yanacocha, just outside Quito, June 2005.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak mk2

This is how you should really see Rose-breasted Grosbeak! This one wintered at Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Ecuador in 2005. Stunning, isn't he?

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly, 29th October 2007. This little bugger gave us the run-around....then we realised that we should have been looking under our noses for it!

Sunday, 4 November 2007


Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe , St Agnes, Isles of Scilly, 28th October 2007

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis, The Golf Course, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, 30th October 2007

Black Redstarts

Black Redstarts Phoenicurus ochruros, Porthloo, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, 2nd November 2007


Siskin Carduelis spinus, Giants Castle, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, 2nd November 2007

Monday, 22 October 2007

Red sky in the morning, shepherds warning...

A pretty stunning sun rise this morning in Broom.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Vismig from the Pinnacle

This is the Metcheck jet stream chart for today. I guess the good movement of today was mainly due to the south-westerly winds pushing stuff lower in altitude so we could see it?

Low cloud and fog slowly cleared to reveal a patchy blue sky. Movement was west unless otherwise stated.

A good morning, unfortunately I was slow getting up as a cold has hit! 2305 individuals counted migrating (not including the GP's). Virtually all of the Fieldfares were passing over very high, which made picking them up very difficult, the count is of only 10 groups, with the largest being 90 birds. Wood Pigeons have also just started to move here, with virtually none seen moving before today from the Pinnacle. Lots of Chaffinches, with most just singles and pairs, with the odd larger flock. Starlings were also prominent today too, with the largest flock being 80.

Redwing - 998
Chaffinch - 407
Fieldfare - 222
Starling - 261
Wood Pigeon - 260
Redpoll - 3
Reed Bunting - 3
Brambling - 5
Snipe - 1 NE
Meadow Pipit - 24 S
Greenfinch - 26
Yellowhammer - 2 S
Grey Wagtail - 1 S
Siskin - 5 S
Goldfinch - 6 NE
Bullfinch - 5
Skylark - 24 S
Blackbird - 3
Pied Wagtail 3 S
Stock Dove - 1 S
Linnet - 12 S
Song Thrush - 7
Lapwing - 16
Dunnock - 2
Herring Gull - 3 S
Lbb Gull - 5 S

Also c.700 Golden Plovers which were milling around, flying up and down the valley and a Raven over north-west.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Vismig from the Pinnacle

07:35 - 08:35
Fog, with the viewpoint in the top quarter. Blue sky and high cloud above. Still.

Birds were obviously going over us but relatively few were seen because of the fog. A frustrating morning!

Chaffinch - 99 NW
Meadow Pipit - 7 S
Goldfinch - 1 NE
Redwing - 8 W
Greenfinch - 7 W
Fieldfare - 35 (inc one party of 33) NW
Collared Dove - 2 E
Cormorant - 2 S
Golden Plover - 1 N
Song Thrush - 4 W
Reed Bunting - 4 NE
Lapwing - 26 W
Siskin - 2 S
Yellowhammer - 4 NW
Dunnock - 3 E
Brambling - 1 W
Duck sp. - 1 N
Redpoll - 1 S
Skylark - 1 E
Swallow - 1 S

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Vismig from the Pinnacle

Wind: light, north-east
Cloud: 8/8 with a period of roughly 5/8 in the middle of the watch.

Possibly the strongest passage of Chaffinches we've had so far watching from the Pinnacle. One of the highlights was the Merlin which shot after the first three Redwings of the morning right over the Ivel valley!

Chaffinch - 169 S/W
Redwing - 90 W
Fieldfare - 17 W
Greenfinch - 15 NE
Meadow Pipit - 8 S
Siskin - 6 S/W
Redpoll - 1 S
Linnet - 4 S
Goldfinch - 2 (1 N, 1 S)
Alba Wagtail - 4 (3 N, 1 S)
Yellowhammer - 2 S
Reed Bunting - 4 NE
Song Thrush - 2 W
Starling - 2 S
Golden Plover - 50 N
Skylark - 4 E
Blackbird - 2 W
Cormorant - 5 (2 N, 3 S)
Merlin - 1 W

More on The Pinnacle

Here is a Google Maps interactive image of The Pinnacle at Sandy, Bedfordshire. There is a bench just about under the pointer where we stand and watch 'vismig'.

View Larger Map

Monday, 8 October 2007

Nazca Booby

Nazca Booby Sula granti, Isla de la Plata, Ecuador, January 2006

Beryl-spangled Tanager

Beryl-spangled Tanager Tangara nigroviridis, Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Ecuador, January 2006

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