Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Tuesday 30 October 2012

Hume's at Beachy 30/10/12

After a short spell at work, I took Dad over to Beachy and soon we had good views of the HUME'S LEAF WARBLER in Belle Tout Wood, the exact location of the one I and many saw in 2007/08.

It only called once when I was there but was an obvious Hume's call. The plumage was very dull with a greyish green upperparts, dark legs, pale underparts, pale wingbar with a hint of a front wingbar, pale supercilium and grey ear coverts.

This bird represents my 3rd in the UK and my 2nd this year. This was my 2nd in Sussex, both at this location.

some very poor pictures in very poor light of the
Hume's Warbler. 

Friday 26 October 2012

Thursday 25 October 2012

Seaford Head & Worthing Beach 25/10/12

A very brief visit to the Head this morning before twitching the Desert Wheatear on Worthing Beach. Totals are:
Woodpigeon - 1100 (in half hour)
Brambling - 2
Redwing - 9
Worthing Beach

Desert Wheatear on Worthing Beach

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Seaford Head 24/10/12

No birthday surprise today, but the whole of the area got covered so I feel pretty confident in there not being much on the Head. There were however a lot of birds moving overhead during the first few hours. Totals are:

Woodlark - 1
Skylark - 42
Woodpigeon - 1900
Fieldfare - 6
Redwing - 26
Song Thrush - 21
Redpoll - 56
Snipe - 1
Chiffchaff - 2
Blackcap - 1
Goldcrest - 4
Reed Bunting - 4

Woodpigeons moving east

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Seaford Head 23/10/12

A very gloomy afternoon on the Head from 2pm onwards. I arrived at the car park and Bob came running up to me saying he had just found a Yellow-browed Warbler amongst some Crests. A further search unfortunately produced no YBW, however the Crest flocks were moving around alot. Totals for the Head are:

Yellow-browed Warbler - 1 (Bob Self)
Short-eared Owl - 1 (flew out from Hope Gap and landed in sheep field)
Merlin - 1
Black Redstart - 2
Brambling - 1
Mediterranean Gull - 2 (1 2nd + 1 Adult winter)
Razorbill - 4 (off Hope Gap)
Red-throated Diver - 1 (w/p off Hope Gap)
Firecrest - 1
Siskin - 25
Redpoll - 1
Blackbird - lots around especially in Hope Gap
Redwing - 3

 Short-eared Owl
regurgitated Rabbit - note the yummy eye

Monday 22 October 2012

Seaford Head 22/10/12

A very gloomy morning on the Head, but there was a good arrival of winter Thrushes and still a couple of summer migrants kicking around. No photos again due to the fog.Totals are:

Black Redstart - 6 (incl. 4 in one group)
Merlin - 1
Fieldfare - 1 (first of the autumn)
Redwing - 15
Song Thrush - 40 (some flocks observed flying in off the sea)
Robin - 50+
Chiffchaff - 7
Blackcap - 2
Redpoll - 5
Siskin - 25

Sunday 21 October 2012

Sussex Tick 21/10/12

Birling Gap, Beachy Head

Whinchat - 1
Stonechat - 4

Lancs & Fife 20/10/12

I left mine at 1.15am and picked up Neil then Mick and headed north. We arrived in Lancashire at 6.30am and waited for some daylight to arrive. Very soon though we were admiring the stonking Pallas's Warbler in a small garden at Knott End-on Sea.
However we were quickly back on the road and heading to Fife. 4.5 hours later we arrived and thankfully saw the Eastern Olivaceous Warbler at Kilminning Castle. Only brief views were had, but good enough so we quickly moved just around the corner where eventually, a very skulky Radde's Warbler showed.
A further 1.5 hours in the area produced brilliant views of both the Olly & Radde's, and also a Red-breasted Flycatcher. A great day with some great birds. I arrived home at 11.30pm having driven 1120 miles.
I have now reached the target of seeing 300 species in a year, but I won't stop until the end!

Knott End-on Sea, Lancashire:
Pink-footed Geese - 100

Kilminning Castle, Fife:
Red-breasted Flycatcher - 1

 Eastern Olivaceous Warbler in Fife
Isle of May - Fife

Friday 19 October 2012

Seaford Head 19/10/12

Despite the constant rain, a late morning walk produced some good birds. Most of the route was covered. No photos due to the rain, but the Firecrests showed very well.Totals are:

Firecrest - 4
Chiffchaff - 10
Goldcrest - 50+ - large numbers in the wood.
Brambling - 1
Siskin - 15
Chaffinch - 200+ moving west

Monday 15 October 2012

Seaford Head & South Swale NR 15/10/12

The morning started off with light rain but the sun soon came out, but still there wasn't much overhead. After the Head I went to Kent to get my UK yearlist on 299 BOU.

Totals are:
Tree Sparrow - 1 over
Snipe - 3
Firecrest - 1
Chiffchaff - 5
Goldcrest - 5
Reed Bunting - 2
Woodpigeon - 647
Jackdaw - 272
Goldfinch - 105
Siskin - 10
Pied Wagtail - 6

South Swale NR, Kent:
Brent Geese - 300+
Common Scoter - 1

Red-breasted Goose among Brent Geese at South Swale NR.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Seaford Head 10/10/12

A lot of overhead migration this morning and the first large movement of Woodpigeons as well. The bushes were all pretty quiet. Totals are:

Tree Pipit - 1
Black Redstart - 1
Brambling - 1
Redpoll - 9
Siskin - 58
Woodpigeon - 914
Jay - 15
Goldfinch - 381
Pied Wagtail - 27
Blue Tit - 14
Skylark - 7
Linnet - 28
Reed Bunting - 3
Chiffchaff - 16
Goldcrest - 2
Collared Dove - 1
Blackcap - 2

Woodpigeons starting to move.

Monday 8 October 2012

Great Reed Warbler - Scousburgh, Mainland, Shetland - 5/10/12

Friday 5th October 2012 - Calm and Sunny with little wind - Finders account by Matt Eade

Having already seen the Buff-bellied Pipit on the beach at Scousburgh earlier in the week, betters views were wanted by most so we got there very early on the Friday. Arriving at the car park in great birding conditions, I glanced down at the valley below and noticed some  movement in one of the many iris beds about 80 metres away.

Getting brief views through the bins, the bird was obviously a 'Reed Warbler' type bird. Mentioning this to PH, JL & SB, we walked down to the beds and walked through them, unfortunately flushing just rabbits. PH, JL & SB walked off but I stayed put and instantly saw a lot of movement in an iris bed. A Warbler straight away came into view, and through the bins, I instantly identified the bird as a GREAT REED WARBLER. In only a 3 second glance, features noted were strong supercilium, heavy and slightly downcurved bill, tawny coloured flanks, general dark upperparts and very long dark primaries, the latter ruling out Thick-billed Warbler straight away.

The bird disapeared into the iris bed and I called the others down. Unfortunately a thorough search soon after revealed no GRW, and with the arrival of MB & VHF, we started searching all other iris beds and the large reedbed slightly further down the valley.

1.5 hours passed with nothing, and I was starting to get tense. PH, SB & MB went to search for the Pipit, but magically and thankfully PH spotted the GRW in one of the lower iris beds nearly 250 metres away. Our crew rushed down, and with news now out, other parties started to arrive, and the bird was seen several more times in flight, enabling myself and others to get record shots.

The Great Reed Warbler was last seen early that afternoon and was not seen the next day. The majority of the time the bird stayed in the extensive reedbed between the patch of iris beds.

At the time I had no idea how mega a Great Reed was on Shetland, until pointed out that Pechora Pipit is a more commoner species.

It was great to find another rare bird, and for 20-30 people to see it was even better. Hopefully next year I can find a true mega species.

Features noted:                                            
long dark primaries,                                      
tawny coloured flanks                                  
white supercilium                                         
size of slim Song Thrush                              
heavy downcurved bill

In flight:
longish tail
pale underparts excluding flanks
strong but shakey flight
in better light dull reddish brown upperparts

 Great Reed Warbler at Scousburgh
The reedbed below Scousburgh

Sunday 7 October 2012

Y-br Warbler, Seaford Head 7/10/12

A call from Nick Pope sent me to Harry's Bush for a patch tick. This Yellow-browed Warbler proved to be quite elusive but on a couple of occasions it showed relatively well. Great find Nick.

Yelloe-browed Warbler on Seaford Head. The poor bottom photo shows the wingbar.

If you turn the volume to maximum you can just about hear the Warbler.

Shetland - Day 1 - 29/9/12

Loch of Strathbeg RSPB
Whooper Swan - 20
Pink-footed Geese - thousands
Barnacle Geese - 30
Tree Sparrow - 5

Rattray Head, Aberdeens
Goldcrest - 2

Toab, Shetland
Merlin - 1

Sumburgh Farm, South Mainland
Little Bunting - 1
Mealy Redpoll - 2

 Common (Greenland) Redpoll
Little Bunting

Shetland - Day 2 - 30/9/12

Veensgarth, Mainland
American Golden Plover - 1

Voe, West Mainland
Spotted Sandpiper - 1
Pied Flycatcher - 1
Blackcap - 1

Busta House, Brae, West Mainland
Yellow-browed Warbler - 1

Hoswick, East Mainland

Clabberswick, East Mainland
Tree Pipit - 2

Scousburgh, West Mainland

Quendale, Southeast Mainland
Yellow-browed Warbler - 1

 Buff-bellied Pipit
Yellow-browed Warbler

Shetland - Day 3 - 1/10/12

Unst Sound
Long-tailed Duck - 8

Norwick, Unst
hornemanni ARCTIC REDPOLL - 1
Mealy Redpoll - 20
Merlin - 1

Haroldswick, Unst
Yellow-browed Warbler - 1

Toft, North Mainland
Barred Warbler - 1

Voe, West Mainland
Spotted Sandpiper - 1
Surf Scoter - 1

Arctic Redpoll

Shetland - Day 4 - 2/10/12

Quendale, Southwest Mainland
Whinchat - 1
Jack Snipe - 1
Spotted Flycatcher - 2
Tree Pipit - 1
Twite - 20

Toab, South Mainland
Isabelline Shrike - 1
Yellow-browed Warbler - 1 S/F

Sumburgh, South Mainland
Fieldfare - 1
Sanderling - 2

Channerwick, East Mainland
Yellow-browed Warbler - 2

Sandwick, East Mainland
Red-backed Shrike - 1
Pied Flycatcher - 2

Isabelline Shrike

Shetland - Day 5 - 3/10/12

Fladdabister, East Mainland
Yellow-browed Warbler - 1
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Pied Flycatcher - 1

Levenwick, East Mainland
Yellow-browed Warbler - 1

Toab, South Mainland
Isabelline Shrike - 1

Western Quarff, Mainland
Red-breasted Flycatcher - 1
Blackcap - 1

Scalloway Harbour, West Mainland
no sign of Little Auk!!

 Isabelline Shrike
Black Guillemot

Shetland - Day 6 - 4/10/12

Veensgarth, Shetland
American Golden Plover - 1
Golden Plover - 30

Kerdgord Plantations
Yellow-browed Warbler - 1
Brambling - 1

A quiet day with few migrants. Several harbours were looked at for the hope of a white-winged Gull.

 American Golden Plover
Grey Seal

Shetland - Day 7 - 5/10/12

Scousburgh, West Mainland
GREAT REED WARBLER - 1 Self Found around large reedbed and iris beds.

Hoswick, East Mainland
Siberian Stonechat - 1
Wood Warbler - 1

Rest of the day was spent visiting several locations with very little seen. There was a Pallid Harrier around but no sign.

Great Reed Warbler

 Siberian Stonechat
 Wood Warbler