Sunday, 28 March 2010

Bedfordshires latest mega

Two-barred Crossbill, The Lodge, 28th March 2010. A typical Bedfordshire record. When everywhere else gets birds in an influx, Beds misses out. When there hasn't been a bird around for months, Beds turns one up!

Saturday, 27 March 2010


Two-barred Crossbill, The Lodge, 27th March 2010.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Wishful thinking

A bit dull and drizzley, but warm this morning.  With a light south-easterly I was perhaps a little hopeful something interesting would fly through Broom this morning.  It wasn't bad, but nothing unexpected between 07:00-08:15

Redshank - 8
Snipe - 2
Oyc - 1
Ringed Plover - 1
Golden Plover - c.800 flying over
Sand Martin - 8
Swallow - 1
Whooper Swan - 1
Chiffchaff - 1
Shoveler - 3
Shelduck - 1

A walk round the Lodge at lunchtime revealed a light northerly passage of Meadow Pipits on a fairly broad front.  Passerine passage in Spring is a hard thing to work out when the peaks occur.  You just don't see the spectacular movements of pipits, finches, and thrushes like you do in Autumn.  However I have just noticed that Dungeness had a massive movement of 9000 Chaffinches on 21st!  That's more than I see from the Pinnacle all Autumn...


Spring is on its way.  I've seen my first White Wags and Wheatears locally, and warblers and hirundines are trickling in too.  It won't be long before waders, terns, and gulls are (hopefully) winging their way to Broom again.

This means I'll be updating the blog more regularly than of late.  That is, if there's something to blog about...

Thursday, 18 March 2010

A great tit

Not your average Blue Tit, this is an Ultramarine Tit! Also know as African Blue Tit. Either way, its FAR cooler than a normal Blue Tit.

Not as good as a girl

If only that pinky suffusion was a bit deeper and it might rival the female? Male Red-rumped Wheatear, Tagdilt Track.

Lady Wheatear

Almost better than the male. Female Red-rumped Wheatear, Tagdilt Track.

A cracking mournings birding

This is the male of the pair of Mourning Wheatears nesting in the 'Wheatear wall' on the Tagdilt Track. A fabolous area when we visited - loads of Cream-coloured Coursers running around, flocks of Larks bounding through, and loads of Wheatears bouncing around the boulders. Classic stony desert birding.

Desert Eagle Owls

This is the well known pair of Desert Eagle Owls near Rissani. When we visited they had three well-grown owlets hidden in various cracks and crevises on the cliff face. The Brown-necked Ravens (of which there were lots!) were giving the male some jip and he called a few times while we were there too. Hoooo!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Crimson-winged Finch

Crimson-winged Finches, Oukaimeden, Morocco, March 2010. Upto 70 of these stunning alpine finches were around the bottom of the ski lifts. They were feeding frantically on bits of walnuts left behind by the vendors of odd ski's and boots!

Levaillant's Green Woodpecker

Levaillant's Green Woodpecker, 21km from Oukaimeden. One of our target birds, and found on our first morning at virtually our first stop too! There were a pair of these lovely woodpeckers in the valley below, and we watched them for well over an hour in the drizzle. The male is in the top three photos, the female in the bottom two.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Camel dung picking Sparrows of Morocco

We saw up to four of these namadic species near Merzouga. They follow trains of Camels around the deserts and pick grains from their dung - a very weird existance! Desert Sparrow, Merzouga, March 2010.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Spunk drainer

Just come back from a week in Morocco with MG, MAW, and KB. Had a fantastic time, with some top birds. Pick of the bunch was probably this dude - Desert Sparrow. Monster. More to follow...

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