Hooded Grebes - Patagonia - November 2016

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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Cairngorms NP 27/9/14

Glenlivet Estate
Golden Eagle - 1 mobbed by Common Buzzard
Red Grouse - 50+
Raven - 10

Loch Garten RSPB
Crested Tit - 1
Crossbill - 2

Loch Ness Marathon tomorrow!!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Seaford Head 23/9/14

Much quieter today and with the high hopes of plenty of birds passing overhead that didn't materialize, there wasn't much to get too excited about. It felt more like late October this morning. Totals are:

Grey Wagtail - 3
Tree Pipit - 1
Redstart - 1 male
Wheatear - 5
Whitethroat - 3
Blackcap - 136
Chiffchaff - 52
Goldcrest - 3
Yellow Wagtail - 10
Swallow - 200
Meadow Pipit - 200

 Robin in Hope Gap

Grasshopper Warbler at Belle Tout yesterday

Monday, 22 September 2014

Seaford Head 22/9/14

A cold, crisp and slightly hazy morning, which are the ones that I really enjoy birding in, especially when there are some scarcities flying over. I started at 8am which meant I had missed a wave of activity, this being mainly Blackcaps, but also 4 Ring Ouzels seen by Bob. However there was still enough to keep me interested. The highlight was a Honey Buzzard that flew east near the car park, and was a welcome yeartick, and even better a patch tick. Totals are:

Honey Buzzard - 1 juv dark morph east at 11.15am
Jay - 2 (both 'high flyers')
Golden Plover - 2 NW accompanying a Feral Pigeon
Mistle Thrush - 1
Tree Pipit - 2
Yellow Wagtail - 6
Wheatear - 8
Whinchat - 3
Goldcrest - 3
Whitethroat - 1
Chiffchaff - 70
Blackcap - 100
Reed Warbler - 1
Reed Bunting - 1
Woodlark - 1 seen twice in 3 mins before flying north



 juv. Honey Buzzard over Seaford Head - Patch tick!!!
 Woodlark over
 Whinchat by South Hill Barn








Saturday, 20 September 2014

Kilnsea/Spurn, East Yorkshire 20/9/14

After a somewhat disappointing start to the day on Seaford Head where dense fog and a stiff breeze put a dampener on finding anything right from the start, it was a huge relief when the mega alert sounded with news of a Masked Shrike at Spurn. Still only mid morning, I knew I had time and I left home at 9.45am.

The traffic up was rubbish, and after six hours, I finally arrived. Fortunately the MASKED SHRIKE was on view straight away. It was generally distant, but at times it came within 60 metres, though it was great to see it so active, regularly flying down into the field and along its favoured hedgeline. Also on site was a Great Grey Shrike, and along the lane a stunning Red-breasted Flycatcher.

This Masked Shrike was the 3rd UK record, and inevitably my 1st in the UK (including Scotland!!!), though I have seen adults in Greece and Ethiopia.

The journey home was much easier, this time a shade under five hours, arriving home at 11pm. A good start to my first of eleven days off.

juvenile Masked Shrike at Kilnsea - no prizes for this attempt!!

Great Grey Shrike at Kilnsea

Monday, 15 September 2014

Cuckmere Haven 15/9/14

Very little to report from this evening, with totals of:

Bar-tailed Godwit - 1 on scrape
Greenshank - 1
Dunlin - 8
Ringed Plover - 1
Wheatear - 10


Bar-tailed Godwit

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Seaford Head 10/9/14

Another semi-productive morning with little in the way of change on the grounded migrants front, however birds moving overhead was very good. House Martins in their thousands stormed east, but by far the highlight was a juvenile Dotterel that flew west. It was first heard calling at some distance away when I was in Hope Gap, and when the bird appeared it was surprisingly very low down enabling all the obvious features to be seen, and for a change in perfect light. Totals for the morning are:

Dotterel - 1 juv. flew west over Hope Gap at 8.22am
Golden Plover - 1 west (heard only)
Yellow Wagtail - 23
Grey Wagtail - 8
Tree Pipit - 4
Spotted Flycatcher - 7
Redstart - 1
Wheatear - 7
Whinchat - 3
Whitethroat - 25
Lesser Whitethroat - 6
Blackcap - 47
Garden Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 40
Willow Warbler - 5
Reed Warbler - 1
House Martin - certainly a few thousand
Swallow - 300

 Chiffchaff in Hope Gap

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Seaford Head & Cuckmere Haven 9/9/14

Another lovely sunny morning with the addition of a gentle easterly breeze. A reasonable number of birds but nothing to get the pulses racing. A fair scatter of Chiffchaffs were the most evident species, but the highlight (which unfortunately I missed) was a Nuthatch seen by Bob near Harry's Bush. Totals are:

Spotted Flycatcher - 4
Wheatear - 7
Grey Wagtail - 5
Tree Pipit - 2
Meadow Pipit - 50
Yellow Wagtail - 44
Whitethroat - 35
Lesser Whitethroat - 5
Blackcap - 40
Chiffchaff - 55
Willow Warbler - 15
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 4
Goldcrest - 3
Both Swallows and Sand Martins moving east in good numbers

An evening down the Cuckmere this evening produced the following:

Short-eared Owl - 1 inadvertently flushed on the west facing slope by the scrape
Dunlin - 14
Knot - 1
Whinchat - 3
Whimbrel - 1
Common Sandpiper - 2


Short-eared Owl in the Cuckmere this evening
 Chiffchaff in Hope Gap


 Willow Warblers in Hope Gap
 Wheatear by South Hill Barn
Yellow Wagtails on the golf course

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Seaford Head 6/9/14

Despite the promising conditions, this morning was very disappointing with low numbers of everything. The only highlight was the vast number of Swallows moving east at first light. However all areas were covered and totals are:

Grey Wagtail - 8
Yellow Wagtail - 14
Spotted Flycatcher - 1
Redstart - 1
Wheatear - 2
Whinchat - 5
Whitethroat - 14
Blackcap - 47
Garden Warbler - 1
Willow Warbler - 13
Chiffchaff - 4
Goldcrest - 1 at cottages
Swallow - approx 1500 east


Garden Warbler by the cottages

Friday, 5 September 2014

Cuckmere Haven 5/9/14

A brilliant evening walk down the Cuckmere and into Foxhole Farm. Having to work this morning was a bit gutting after hearing about a Pied Fly. influx, however I manged to catch up on these tonight. The highlight however was an Osprey which I first picked up as I drove into the car park. Anyway, totals are:

Osprey - 1 for 10 minutes before catching a fish and heading off NE.
Pied Flycatcher - 5
Firecrest - 1 at Foxhole and is my first of the autumn
Spotted Flycatcher - 3
Willow Warbler - 10
Redstart - 1 male
Whinchat - 5
Yellow Wagtail - 50
Greenshank - 2
Common Sandpiper - 2


 Osprey over the Cuckmere
Firecrest at Foxhole - taken in poor light

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Seaford Head 2/9/14

The morning started off much breezier then I thought which was a bit annoying as the forecast was for calm conditions. Also there was heavy cloud for the first few hours but fortunately there were plenty of birds about. The Wryneck was still present and the first Goldcrest of the autumn put in a brief appearance. Totals are:

Wryneck - 1
Merlin - 1 flew north and was a belated year tick.
Spotted Flycatcher - 6
Whinchat - 1
Tree Pipit - 2
Yellow Wagtail - 14
Redstart - 3
Whitethroat - 21
Lesser Whitethroat - 5
Blackcap - 129
Willow Warbler - 41
Chiffchaff - 5
Reed Warbler - 9
Goldcrest - 1
House Martin - 500



Wryneck showing much better today