Harpy Eagle - Guyana - March 2017

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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Royal Tern - Church Norton 19/6/18

I was just getting the last few items packed for tomorrows short trip to Madeira when several messages came through stating the Tern down at Pagham had been re-identified as a Royal Tern. Obviously this being the first for Sussex and a mega bird in general for the UK, I had no hesitation in removing half the stuff I had packed and bombed it down there. Thankfully it behaved and it showed relatively well for everyone present.

Earlier in the day the Tern was in a different position and supported a metal ring, which presumably means its the same Royal Tern that had been knocking about on Guernsey and northern France.

Royal Tern at Pagham Harbour




Friday, 15 June 2018

Old Lodge NNR 15/6/18

After a decent 14-mile run first thing (two Cuckoos seen on the circuit) I was keen to get to Old Lodge to photograph some Dragonflies, that today were in abundance and it was good fun trying to photograph them in flight. I also notched up a year tick, this being a male Redstart!! A pair of Hobbies were actively hunting the area and Tree Pipits were still singing. I sat up on top and had lunch but a half-hearted scan failed to produce any Honey Buzzards, although its been a long time since I've seen one at this site, which was a wing-clapping male.

Odonate list:

Banded Demoiselle - 2
Emperor Dragonfly - 13
Golden-ringed Dragonfly - 1
Brilliant Emerald - 1 male and 1 female
Broad-bodied Chaser - 8
Four-spotted Chaser - 15
Keeled Skimmer - 1
Large Red Damselfly
Azure Damselfly

Brilliant Emerald
Broad-bodied Chaser
Keeled Skimmer






Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Ditchling Common - Black Hairstreaks 13/6/18

At last a day off which gave me an opportunity to catch up with the Black Hairstreaks at Ditchling Common. Obviously in two minds about this recently found population as this species has never naturally occurred in Sussex, but having seen them in Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire (natural populations) I didn't have to be too concerned about ticking or not ticking them, and to just enjoy a superb Butterfly.

This evening in the Cuckmere I was delighted to see the nine 'Shelducklings' still going strong despite having not seen them for a few visits. Also the pair of Oystercatchers on the scrape are in the process of raising two chicks, now their fourth year running of hopefully successfully raising young. The only other bird of note was a Great Crested Grebe along the river, this being an unusual site in the valley itself. On the meanders were a few Red-eyed Damselflies.

female Black Hairstreak at Ditchling Common
Great Crested Grebe at Cuckmere Haven




Monday, 4 June 2018

Red-veined Darter 4/6/18

On standby this morning so I made the most of it and decided to stay local and again walk the cliffs between Peacehaven and Castle Hill LNR. Quiet for birds but along a narrow path at almost the same place I saw the Mole a few days ago, I flushed a Darter, and given how red the whole dragonfly appeared I felt fairly confident it was going to be a Red-veined Darter. Thankfully it landed on the path and I captured a couple of distant record shots before it took flight once more but this time completely disappearing into the strong NE wind.

Zooming in on the images taken it was quite apparent that there was a conspicuous amount of red in the first half of the wing. Further scrutiny could see a small white strip on one of the legs, both of these features ruling out the common Darters found in this region, albeit normally in July rather then early June.

Red-veined Darter along Peacehaven Cliffs




Saturday, 2 June 2018

Seaford Head & Newhaven Heights 2/6/18

I was keen to hit the headland this morning, but with foggy conditions continuing from last night into this morning it was hardly surprising that there was very little despite a thorough search of the area. Afterwards once the fog had cleared I walked the cliffs between Peacehaven and Newhaven checking every Starling as I went, but to no avail. The star of the morning was a Mole on a narrow path near the clifftop, this actually being a lifer.

It felt rare out there today but still nothing to show for the spring.




Lanzarote 28th May - 1st June 2018

A family holiday to the most northern and most volcanic Canary Island, and an island I had yet to visit. This did however mean the only new bird would be a Bulwer's Petrel, and given how few are seen from the headlands I didn't hold out much hope. Also with going to Madeira in a few weeks I wasn't desperate to see one. So basically I didn't see this Petrel, but I did notch up a few nice species whenever I was allowed to deviate off the main road and out onto the sandy tracks, or abandon the family for a short time for some much wanted seawatching.

Highlights for the few days are as follows:

Cory' Shearwater - 1000s
Houbara Bustard - 3
Berthelot's Pipit - 25
Egyptian Vulture - 1
Barbary Falcon - 1
Hoopoe - 10
Cattle Egret - 15
Spanish Sparrow - 100s
Spectacled Warbler - 1
Southern Grey Shrike - 5
Turnstone - 3

Cory's Shearwater past Los Ancones
Headland
Hoopoe at Famara Plains
Houbara Bustard at Famara Plains
Egyptian Vulture at Timanfaya NP
Berthelot's Pipit at Timanfaya NP

Atlantic Lizard at Timanfaya NP








Sunday, 27 May 2018

Cuckmere Haven 27/5/18

Finally caught up with the Temminck's Stint along the river this morning. Surprisingly my first here despite the Cuckmere being one of the top sites for this species in Sussex, especially a couple of decades ago when small groups were often seen in the spring.

Other birds of note this morning:

Grey Plover - 3
Redshank - 18
Dunlin - 3
Ringed Plover - 10
Common Sandpiper - 2
Shoveler - 2

Temminck's Stint at Cuckmere Haven