Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pied-billed Grebe

Silly o'clock and a drive to Summerset + a 2 1/2 hour watch at Ham Wall RSPB Reserve produced good looks at my first British Pied-billed Grebe. We turned up just after eight and just in time to miss this North American mega by minutes! Little Grebes kept us on our toes but we had to wait it out until about 10:40 am when it appeared from the corner where it had disappeared. There was a nice crowd here, all remaining hopeful and humorous during this very cold vigil. This little beauty made a b-line to open water, affording all great views. Bonus bird at this site was a Great White Egret.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Penduline Tit

Caught up with this Penduline Tit at Stodmarsh Nature Reserve in Kent this morning. Though I was lucky enough to see it close up in the reedmace, it did spend a lot of time high in the canopy feeding on Alder seeds. Other birds of interest included Water Rail, Siskin, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Cetti's Warbler. 

What made it extra special was that my daughter Emily, who is on Vancouver Island, twitched it with me online! Emily kept me company from when I was cleaning my teeth to seeing the bird via facebook texts....thanks Emily for birding with me today:)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull (background) and Black-headed Gull

Twitched an adult Bonaparte's Gull in Eastbourne yesterday. This individual has been frequenting Crumbles Pond at Princes Park and is associating with wintering Black-headed Gulls. I arrived about 09:00 am after a 1 hour 40 minute drive. There were a few birders on site already but the bird had not been seen.

The bird showed finally at just after 10:30 am, to the relief of more traveling birders. It really put on a good show, doing slow fly-by and sitting pretty on a very calm lake. Most of the photographers there filled their data cards to the brim. I got a few record shots but that's about it. Nice crowd today and very cool and rare bird. 

Black-headed Gulls

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Old ringing photos - 1995-2002

Ringing Sparrowhawk - Salisbury Plain 1999

Just realized that I don't have many photos on this blog from my ringing days in England. Here are a few from 1995-2002. Many are from Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire and Ickelsham in Sussex where I volunteered for seven years. all scanned from prints

Barn Owl - Salisbury Plain 1999

Tawny  Owl-  Salisbury Plain 1998

Long-eared Owl - Salisbury Plain 1996

Little Owl - Surrey 2000

Little Owl - Surrey 2000

Nightjar - Ockham 1997

Nightjar Ockham - 1997

Kestrel - Salisbury Plain 1999

Kestrel nest - natural cavity in tree - Salisbury Plain 1998

Kestrel young - nest box - Salisbury Plain 1998

Sparrowhawk eggs - Salisbury Plain 1999

Sparrowhawk young - Salisbury Plain 1999
Common Buzzard - Salisbury Plain 1998

Common Buzzard - Salisbury Plain 1998

Bearded Tit - Icklesham 1997

Bearded Tit - Icklesham 1997

Aquatic Warbler - Icklesham 1998

Jay - Icklesham 1996

Kingfisher - Icklesham 1996

Ortolan Bunting - Icklesham 1998

Lesser Whitethroat - Icklesham 1997

Brent Goose - Farlington Marshes 1999

Snipe - Icklesham 1998

Reed Bunting - Icklesham 1996

Tree Pipit - Icklesham 1996

Wryneck - Icklesham 1998

Water Rail - Icklesham 1996
Chiffchaff - Keysworth 1995

Conor with Tawny Owl - Ockham 2000

Little Owl and little Em - Send - 2000

Sedge Warbler - Beddington Sewage Farm - 1996

Siskin - Windlesham 1998

Turnstone - Canvey Island 1996

Sunday, February 3, 2013


A five hour round trip to Poole in Dorset this morning was worth the effort with my first look a Hoopoe on British soil. I first connected with this exotic looking bird 33 years ago, on my first trip to Spain with my parents. I am as happy today seeing this bird as I was then! Everything about this bird adds to its unique character; from its onomatopoeic call, its punked out 'hair do' and butterfly like flight! Rare Bird Alert...