Saturday, 5 June 2010

Viping The Floor With Gary

There's a small and very friendly 'battle' between me and my mentor and birding chummy Gary 'Vipers' Smith.  Mine's longer than his (year list, that is!).

Early start today - 08:00 at Long Nanny for the terns. Twenty pairs of Little'uns (Little Tern - 179), 700 pairs of Arctics (one posed for me as below).  Bonser!!

Then off to Stag Rock, sea like a mill pond, covered in auks, and added Puffin and Razorbill (watch it, Gary, now over 180!).

Spent a little time at Budle Bay, met by Steve Holliday, and we scanned for the Kite but alas no joy.

Then off south, and more local to home, Reed Warbler showing exceptionally well.

Come on Vipers, get your optics out!

And remembered to capture an image of my favourite road signs.  I snigger each time I see it!!  My other juvenile sign-related smiles are generated by adulterations to Shilbottle and Lunt (a small 'hamlet' a mile away from my Liverpool home) and best of all, on entering Powburn on the 697 pre-General Election, a Conservative Vote For Change banner read Vote For Minge!  Here. here!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


Along with a Ringed Plover, four Shelduck and many Hirundines esp. House Martins, a Little Ringed Plover was on the main Flash at WHBP mid-afternoon yesterday.  It was along side its larger 'cousin' several times and so was slightly easier to separate the two (eye ring was visible too). 

Sunday, 30 May 2010


Dear Reader - once again, my patch has come up trumps.

After what by my standards was a lie-in (07:10), me 'n' Lils were off for a trot around West Hartford.  Nearing the end of the access road, it was clear there was a lot of corvid activity over and around the water.  My initial thought was that the nest in the area had produced fledged young.  But as we neared the water's edge, voila, Marsh Harrier in aerial combat with three Crows.  The bird was deep chocolate brown above (wings/torso), the head was not as boldy cream as others I have seen, and the tail was also lighter in colour.

What followed was the world's worst attempt at:
  • Keeping the dog still
  • Watching the bird either via bins or naked eye
  • Texting some local birders
The result included forwarding a reply from one birder (SH) to another (sorry, Crammy).  But I did manage to follow the bird until it landed in the centre of 'brick hut' field.  And then a call from Sometimes allowed me to direct him to where it was, and seconds later up it went.

He may have got a snap or two and I am sure can tell us what gender/age the bird was.

And then it flew north and out of my view.


There is a row of trees running east to west starting in the gap between the NE corner of the larger Flash and the south shore of the smaller one.  It looks like someone has cut a branch off that tree.  Why?