Thursday, 30 August 2007

Moustached Antpitta

Moustached Antpitta Grallaria alleni, Paz de Aves, Ecuador, March 2006

Giant Antpitta

Giant Antpitta Grallaria gigantea, Paz de Aves, Ecuador, March 2006

Yellow-breasted Antpitta

Yellow-breasted Antpitta Grallaria flavotincta, Paz de Aves, Ecuador, March 2006

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Sword-billed Hummingbird

Sword-billed Hummingbird Ensifera ensifera, Yanacocha, Ecuador, March 2006

Purple-throated Woodstar

Purple-throated Woodstar Calliphlox mitchellii, Tandayapa Bird Lodge, December 2005

Green-crowned Woodnymph

Green-Crowned Woodnymph Thalurania fannyi, Mindo, Ecuador, January 2005

Booted Racket-tail

Booted Racket-tail Ocreatus underwoodii, Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Ecuador, January 2006

Monday, 27 August 2007

A Bank holiday monday

Spent the bank holiday doing a bit of local botany...

Chiltern Gentian Gentianella germanica

Common Green Grasshopper Omocestus viridulus (yes, I know its not a plant!)

Autumn Ladies Tresses Spiranthes spiralis

Moon Carrot Seseli libanotis

Sunday, 26 August 2007


Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides, Walsey Hills, Cley, Norfolk, 26th August 2007

Dune Tiger

Although the birding was crap on the Norfolk coast Sunday, this Dune Tiger Beetle Cicindela hybrida, almost made up for it. Thornham Point, 26th August 2007.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

The great fall of 25th August

Spent a grueling six hours walking Pegsdon Hills first thing on Saturday morning. However it was well worth it, as I had some fantastic birds just after the fog had lifted. The star was another juvenile Pied Flycatcher (my second one in two weeks) that popped up in front of me in the bushes around the trig poing on Deacon Hill. This area in particular is usually devoid of birds, so the four that were there early on the Saturday (Pied Fly, Whitethroat, Blackcap and Greenfinch) made it a red-letter day in itself!

Other stuff that had made land fall included three Tree Pipits, three Whinchats, three Redstarts, one Spotted Flycatcher with a scattering of commer migrants too. There was also three Ravens flying around most of the morning too. It was a good day to be on the hill.

Two of the four Redstarts (Paul Wright found another on Knocking Hoe after I'd left)

One of the three Ravens

One of the three Whinchats.

A very enjoyable mornings birding in Beds.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007


Firecrest, Bedfordshire, May 2007

A black (tern) day

A pretty damp and miserable day today. Unfortuantely I was beaten to finding a juvenile Black Tern on my local patch at Broom GP (see pic below) so I went over to the brick pits near Stewartby to see what I could find.

Juv Black and juv Common Terns at Broom

A quick stop at Coronation ClP produced two adult Little Egrets amongst the gulls. Highlights in the gulls were two Great Black-backs and an adult Yellow-leg. Naff-all else. I then did the Stewartby Lake roost. As I scanned through the building gulls a moulting adult Black Tern flew through my field of view - nice! Before the gloom really set in I had a look at the nearby brick chimneys and found an adult Peregrine sat roosting in the lea of the wind. The gulls were quite uninspiring with plenty of Yellow-legs and Herrings building up now. The pick of the rest were three Common Gulls. Not quite the Sabs Gull or Skua I was hoping for! There's always tomorrow...

Monday, 20 August 2007

A view over Quito

A view from my bedroom window across to volcano Cayambe when I lived in Quito, Ecuador. June 2005

Vermillion Flycatcher

Vermillion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus, Lago San Pablo, Ecuador, December 2005

Western Emerald

Western Emerald Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus, Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Ecuador, February 2005

Rufous-tailed Jacamar

Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda, Canande, Ecuador, March 2006

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Ecuador, September 2004

Taken digiscoping using a mirror!

Moths and a new BBQ

Carrie and I had a BBQ with Darren, Katie and the Gurn the other night. Got D&K to bring round the moth trap to annoy the neighbours. It was a great night, and we had lots of fun with moths - the shot above is a Poplar Hawkmoth that I tried to do a self-portrait on, hence the upsidedowness!

I will eventually got round to writing a proper post about the night, but it's nearly bed time and I've just come back from the Bird Fair!

Birding Meme

Birding Meme

Started by Congresha - who 'tagged' me, so I thought it best I reply...

1. What is the coolest bird you have seen from your home?

The coolest bird from my home, eh? Easy! Mediterranean Gull. To be honest I’ve only lived in my current home for a few months and Med Gulls are one of my favourite birds. However the coolest bird from one of my old homes must be either Sparkling Violetear, or Black-tailed Trainbearer. But that was when I was living in Quito, Ecuador!

2. If you compose lists of bird species seen, what is your favorite list and why?

Easy. My Bedfordshire county list. Currently on 226, with the last addition being Yellow-browed Warbler in the centre of Bedford, last October.

3. What sparked your interest in birds?

A mate at school when I was seven years old. He got bought a fab book on butterflies one week, and a bird book the next – they were great! Then he got enrolled in the YOC (Young Ornitholigists Club, now Wildlife Explorers Club!) and I had to follow suit. Soon I was absolutely hooked. It also helped that I lived in Sandy, home of the RSPB.

4. If you could only bird in one place for the rest of your life where would it be and why?

A very hard question as I haven’t been everywhere yet. Somewhere with lots of birds. South America has to be it. And probably Ecuador because I have such fold memories of it.

5. Do you have a jinx bird? What is it and why is it jinxed?

Not really. There have been plenty of birds which have caused me problems to see! It look me three months to see a bloody Tanager Finch in Ecuador when I lived just down the road from it. That was bad enough.

6. Who is your favorite birder? and why?

Josep del Hoyo – great guy, and just oozes enthusiasm. I had the good fortune to guide him in Ecuador for a couple of weeks. I’m not sure I have laughed so much ever!

7. Do you tell non-birders you are a birder? What do they say to you when they find out?

I tend to keep it reasonably quiet as others tend to tell them for me! If they ask I keep it low-key. Most tend to lump everything birdwatcher like in to twitchers – that tends to get on my goat, but I generally spare them the rantings!

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Pacific Parrotlet

Pacific Parrotlet Forpus coelestis, Ayampe, Ecuador, October 2004

Giant Conebill

Giant Conebill Oreomanes fraseri, Papallacta Pass, Ecuador, December 2005

Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet on a nest

Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet Tyrannulus elatus on a nest, Canande, Ecuador, August 2004

Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant

Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant Myiornis atricapillus, Canande, Ecuador, August 2004

This is the smallest passerine in the world!

Turquoise Jay

Turquoise Jay Cyanolyca turcosa, Guango Lodge, Ecuador, September 2004

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Red-tailed Sportive Lemur

Red-tailed Sportive Lemur Lepilemur ruficaudatus, Zombitse Forest, Madagascar, October 2005

Ring-tailed Lemurs

Ring-tailed Lemurs Lemur catta, Berenty Private Reserve, Madagascar, November 2005

Red-fronted Brown Lemur

Red-fronted Brown Lemur Eulemur fulvus rufus, Berenty Private Reserve, Madagascar, November 2005

Verreaux's Sifaka

Verreaux's Sifaka Propithecus verreauxi, Berenty Private Reserve, Madagascar, November 2005

Coquerel's Sifaka

Coquerel's Sifaka Propithecus coquereli, Ampijoroa, Madagascar, October 2005

Monday, 13 August 2007

Milne-Edwards Sportive Lemur

Milne-Edwards Sportive Lemur Lepilemur edwardsi, Ampijoroa, Madagascar, November 2005

White-footed Sportive Lemur

White-footed Sportive Lemur Lepilemur leucopus, Berenty Private Reserve, Madagascar, November 2005

Andean Emerald

Andean Emerald Amazilia franciae, Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Ecuador, November 2004

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