Hooded Grebes - Patagonia - November 2016

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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Green Woodpeckers




adult and juv. in the garden today.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Bernwood Forest, Oxon/Bucks 24/6/14

A slightly disappointing day looking for Black Hairstreak with Ewan. Although I had clear and prolonged views of a fresh looking individual, it never came down to eye level for a photo. At one point it was walking about on a bit of privet only a metre above us, though it soon took flight back up to the treetops.

And that was it, just the one was seen, whereas ten days ago up to 30 were seen. Although this Hairstreak has a short flight period (around 2 weeks), I was still hoping for a couple more sightings. There is always next year I guess.

Black Hairstreak - 1
Purple Emperor - 2 (including 1 chasing off a Common Darter)

Red Kite - 40+ throughout the day


Monday, 23 June 2014

Cuckmere Haven 23/6/14

It was great to get out this evening after spending all weekend either laying in bed or on the couch due to suffering from some man-flu type disease. I did manage to catch up on all the football though. Not much to see this evening, except from the stunning scenery.

Totals are:

Mediterranean Gull - 6 (groups of 4 and 2)
Sand Martin - 1 flew south

 Little Egret on AGP pool
 3 out of the 4 Meds over the scrape

Meadow Pipit


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Ashdown Forest 19/6/14

As I was on standby today, I thought I would half my journey to Gatwick by positioning myself at Gills Lap. The Short-toed Eagle appeared at 3.35 and was still hunting the valley at 5.30. Yet again really good views of this majestic raptor. Can't beat watching quality birds whilst getting paid.


Totals are:
Short-toed Eagle - 1
Hobby - 2
Red Kite - 3
Buzzard - 2
Sand Martin - 2!! (early returners??)
Crossbill - 2

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Ashdown Forest 18/6/14

Yet another day up in Ashdown, but it wasn't as good as yesterday. The Short-toed Eagle's routine was slightly different today, mainly due to the weather, but continued its hunting regime in Gills Lap area during the afternoon. A fantastic display of hunting was witnessed, and finally resulted in a hefty catch, I'm assuming a Grass Snake due to the size.

When  I arrived on the SW side of the valley, I saw the bird perched in a pine with help from others directly opposite me. I then just sat myself on the path and for the next 1.5 hrs, I just sat and admired this beauty.



The bird flew very close affording terrific scope views, and even better I was on my own with the nearest birder being over half a mile away. Unfortunately a photographer decided to clamber over the heather and get closer to the perched bird, but I shouted at him from a distance and he thankfully returned back to the path. 

full crop!! After having its snack, the Eagle flew around for 5 minutes before drifting down the valley, and as I write this, it has not returned to Gills Lap or Long CP.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ashdown Forest 17/6/14

Another venture up to firstly Long Car Park, and then over to Gills Lap where the Short-toed Eagle was showing brilliantly. At times it was flying no more than 50ft above me and hunting for over 2 hours. Some other very good bits and pieces (Brilliant Emeralds and Golden-ringed Dragonflies) were also seen, but the Eagle took the prize today.

Click on images to enlarge.





Short-toed Eagle at Gills Lap
Nightjar at Gills Lap
Golden-ringed Dragonfly at Gills Lap
Fallow Deer

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Ashdown Forest 15/6/14

SHORT-TOED EAGLE - 1

The discovery of this bird could not have been better timed today. Half hour later, and I could well have dipped, but luck was on my side as around midday the mega alert sounded, and then it was all systems go. Quick shower, work clothes on and a mad dash up to Gills Lap, Ashdown Forest, for this superb first for Sussex.

Having only seen this bird perched in Dorset, it was great to see the Eagle gliding around today, as well as the odd hover here and there. I stayed for about 40 minutes before having to catch my plane to Rhodes.

A big well done to whoever found it, and a big thanks for releasing the news straight away!!



Short-toed Eagle on Ashdown

Faro, Portugal 14/6/14

Pallid Swift - 10

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Pete Neatherway - RIP

I have just learnt the horrific and very sad news that my very good birding friend, Pete Neatherway has passed away.


Please see http://beachyheadbirding.blogspot.com to understand what a kind hearted, welcoming and fantastic person Pete was. I've had the pleasure of knowing Pete for 8 years, the first time when I saw my first ever Honey Buzzard at Beachy Head, and from then on we have watched some amazing birds together, including the River Warbler where he all too quickly came up and congratulated me.


He will be missed by myself, and many others so much. I can't quite believe it, and even writing this I've got a bit teary eyed, but I will always remember Pete, as he was a top, top bloke!! Such a loss, and no doubt Beachy Head won't be the same without him.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Ouse Washes RSPB 10/6/14

It was about time I added this superb looking Heron to my UK list, so I headed up with Mick to the Washes. Just a shame it was a 50 minute walk to see the bird, but it was worth it. 

SQAUCCO HERON - 1 adult in s/p
Bittern - 1 heard
Cuckoo - 2
Ring-necked Parakeet - 1

It looked a bit like this one
.......and this one
(Squacco Heron in Mallorca)

but actually like this one.
(Sqaucco Heron at Ouse Washes RSPB - phone scoped)

Rome 8/6/14

Hooded Crow - 2

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Black Kite - Mt. Caburn 3/6/14

Just as I sat down ready to demolish a pizza, a text came through from David Cooper saying he had a Black Kite drop down in a field near Beddingham. As DC was at Rodmell, he couldn't see it in the field, but it sounded like it was still there.

So 15 minutes later I arrived, started scanning, then out of nowhere the BLACK KITE flew out right in front of me and for the next half hour, myself, John & Doreen Cooper watched this beauty circling in front of Caburn, where eventually it drifted off west and (according to RBA) landed in trees near the dog kennels. What a result, another great find by DC at Rodmell!!




Black Kite at Beddingham - light was poor!!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Burnham Overy Dunes, Norfolk 2/6/14

SPECTACLED WARBLER - 1 male in song

Whilst out in search for Dragonflies near Warnham with Chris Glanfield, the mega alert sounded, and after a brief look at the phone, we were in no doubt that the dragons would have to wait for another day. We left straight away (picking up Jake on route) and arrived in north Norfolk just under 4 hours later.

After the lengthy walk out to the dunes, the bird showed straight away. It was simply a stunner (for a Sylvia), and was easy to track due to its really distinctive song. It was watched either singing on top of the bushes, or feeding on the sand.  A brilliant looking bird and a very straight forward twitch........!!

That was until when we arrived back at the car to find the back left tyre was flat as a pancake. To cut a long story short, it took three tow vehicles to finally get us back in touch with our own vehicles, and only SEVEN hours later after we were intending to leave the 'car park'. Still, a memorable experience I guess.



 male Spectacled Warbler - check out those legs!!