Sunday, 21 December 2014

still poor on the gull front; down the cuckmere today there were 5 yellow-legs (4 1st-winters which is a good count) and what was surely a herring x lbbg hybrid. the highlight of the day was seeing a delightful group of 6 razorbills at sovereign harbour - i saw a report of these birds yesterday but wasn't expecting them to be inside the marina, i actually heard them before i saw them which was funny (calling to each other lots when the group split up amongst the yachts). there was also a kingfisher in the marina and a common seal in the outer harbour as well as a black redstart on the rooftops

the gull below looked like an argie but had way too much black in the primaries (head/bill not right either), in flight there was also a touch of lbbg jizz. the ringed gbbg also in these pics is from normandy, note also the 1st-winter ylg in the background


Friday, 19 December 2014

a comparison of upper primary pattern between caspian and yellow-legged

an adult yellow-legged gull at west rise. recent days have seen the flood gates open for gull passage but the caspos seem not to be coming through in the numbers seen in recent years. forecasters say we're in for a cold spell after xmas so let's hope that livens the birding up a bit.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

i'm into argies nearly as much as caspo's. lade sands has gotta be the best place on the channel coast to see em and there were a load there yesterday which included a colour ringed bird that was trapped at pitsea landfill site, essex, on 6th December. check out the p10 pattern on the left hand bird below!

Monday, 8 December 2014

my first chance to get over to horse eye today. soon after arriving the richard's pipit flew high overhead calling - it went strongly in an east southeast direction until lost from view which may give a clue as to its whereabouts when it goes awol. a circular walk over the levels produced a ringtail being mobbed by a raven, frequent marsh harriers including a male, a short-eared owl and a merlin. on returning to the road the richard's had reappeared and was showing well next to the model aircraft field. after dropping in on west rise and seeing that there was a decent gull passage on including lesser black-backs at last, i carried on to the cuckmere which proved to be disappointing with just 3 caspian (2 ad + 3rd-w), a ylg and a few argies.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

3 water pipits and a lovely flock of around a dozen bearded tits at west rise

Friday, 5 December 2014

3 water pipits, 1 jack snipe and 1 marsh harrier at west rise. saw an angler pull a 16lb pike out of the lake - amazing there are any dabchicks at all with mouths like that in the water

Sunday, 30 November 2014

water pipit and jack snipe at west rise. finally was able to get to jevington and since my only previous experience of rough-legged buzzard was distant perched views on sheppey this was still a good bird for me. had decent views until the fog rolled in.... hope it hangs around a bit longer. while i was there i pulled into butchershole carpark and had bramblings feeding on the road in front of the car. just needs someone to put some seed out and you'd have a great opportunity for photos here.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

an adult caspian gull at west rise. yesterday an adult yellow-legged gull. gull passage should now be shifting gear as we head towards the caspo run....

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The first argies through west rise and 1 marsh harrier still

Monday, 24 November 2014

Sunday, 23 November 2014

back in the summer i went to wales on a long weekend trip, it was pretty hectic with most of the time spent driving but i made sure a visit to gigrin farm was first on the itinerary. it was actually better than i was expecting and even the missus enjoyed herself - wont get a better stamp of approval than that

Friday, 21 November 2014

Thursday, 20 November 2014

a marsh harrier hunting the reedbeds at west rise and a 1st-w yellow-legged gull through

Saturday, 15 November 2014

went to dunge a few days back hoping to get in on these poms. surprisingly in a s/se wind there was nothing moving, the highlight being a red-necked grebe flying with a great crested. saw 5 great egrets on the reserve which doubled my uk total of this species, been out of the loop with these since they became common. argies are in!

fat white tips
what a beast. a near adult with a pink bill and thick black subterminal band
1st-w yellow-legged

Thursday, 23 October 2014

a proper red-breasted flycatcher, never seen a male in the uk before. also on the top of beachy this morning 10 ring ouzels and a dozen bramblings. yesterday a marsh harrier passed southwest through west rise.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

short seawatch off holywell in the rain - first scan produced arctic skua, bonxie and then an osprey which looked funny powering through the wave troughs (it gained height as it came in towards cow gap). not much happening after that but an arctic skua came ashore and flew up and down the cliff edge amongst the gulls and another distant small skua was seen briefly. an adult shag was on the sea.

during the week i had a singing firecrest in my local park.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

lunchtime quickie at west rise produced caspian and yellow-legged gulls and lots of lessers on the move

Saturday, 11 October 2014

first on deck views of tawny pipit in uk and my latest honey buzzard at tide mills.

Monday, 6 October 2014

portsmouth's metal recycling depot creating its own 'cloud', seen yesterday from beachy hotel

venturing into plodland