Friday, 18 November 2011

Eastern Black Redstart

Had a great day out with Fred, Pod and Malc in Kent on Tuesday. I have managed to sort through some of the pictures of the Eastern Black Redstart, which showed very well for the entire time we were on site. Afterwards we tried to find the Rough Legged Buzzard which has been frequenting the marshes near Sittingbourne, unfortunately we didn't manage to find it. Click on any of the images to see an enlarged version.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Having been birding for about a month non-stop its time to spend a bit of time with Lucy, so we have gone away for a few days, in Norfolk! Below are a few pictures of the very showy Woodchat Shrike at Lowestoft. Had a few other nice year ticks in the form of Stone Curlew, Glossy Ibis and Golden Pheasant. Fingers crossed the Upland Sandpiper decides to wait until the weekend! Click on any of the images to see an enlarged version.

Above 4 images - Woodchat Shrike, Links Road, Lowestoft.

Shetland 2nd October, last day.

Our last day on the Island started well with 3 Yellow-browed Warblers in the garden, the species dominated every bit of cover in the south of the island throughout the day. Before our flight at 4pm we managed to catch up with the Alpine Swift which has been around a few days and a fresh in Izzy Shrike. A great trip with many good birds, highlights being - Black-headed Bunting, Olive-backed Pipit and Lesser Grey Shrike.

Alpine Swift.

Izzy Shrike

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Friday 30th - Sat 1st

Birding today was fantastic, a stark contrast to yesterday which was hard work, the Red-backed Shrike pictured below being the highlight. There was an obvious fall over night with lots of Redwings all over the place and a great start in the garden with - Pied Flycatcher (1), Redstart (1), Yellow-browed Warbler and best of all was a Wood Warbler. The rest of the day we spent birding the south with over 20 Yellow-browed Warblers (below) recorded as well as Barred Warbler (1), Common Rosefinch (1), Lesser Whitethroat (1) and a single Sedge Warbler. We fly home tomorrow evening just as things are starting to get good but with 2 Olive-backed Pipit's (below) on the mainland, who knows what tomorrow may bring! Click on any of the images to see an enlarged version.

Above 3 Images, Olive-backed Pipit, Quendale.

Above 2 images, Red-backed Shrike, Grutness.

Pallid Harrier, Quendale

Yellow-browed Warbler, Sumburgh hotel garden. (1 of 5 present)

Above 2 images, Wheatear, Sumburgh hotel garden.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th

Well the birding is hard work, what else can I say but with the wind having an element of S.E in it tonight, who knows what tomorrow might bring. On Wednesday we ventured over to Foula in an attempt to see the Yellow-breasted Bunting, we failed! We also failed to locate the elusive Buff-bellied Pipit, which un-like the Bunting, still remained on the island. The best we could do was 1 Redstart, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Short-eared Owl and 2 Tree Pipit, one of which is pictured below.

Today we started on Unst and managed to see the Black-headed Bunting that was found yesterday, we got superb views but I only managed the record shot below. We birded the island for a further hour or so and caught up with the Northwick Bluethroat as well as a Lapland Bunting and a Yellow-browed Warbler. We stopped in at Busta House between dipping an Alpine Swift and a Surf Scoter, recording 5 Blackcap and a Chiffy, like a said hard work! Tomorrow we will be taking part in an organised search for a Great Snipe, fingers crossed!

Black-headed Bunting

Tree Pipit



Tuesday, 27 September 2011

27th September

A bit of a late start today because last night we were watching the Northern Lights until 02.30! What an amazing experience, my words will never be able to describe just how superb this natural display really is, but the pictures below may help! We began the day birding at Voe where a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Blackcap were all that was present. The rest of the day was spent birding Whalsay, it was very quiet with 4 Blackcap's, 1 Grasshopper Warbler (had the heart racing for a second!), 1 Little Bunting (below) and a single Ruff being the only birds of note. Tomorrow we are going to try and charter a flight on to Foula to see the Yellow-breasted Bunting, fingers crossed!

Above 4 images - Little Bunting, Whalsay.

Above 3 images, Northern Lights.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Shetland 23rd - 26th September

A quick update from Shetland so far, me and Dan will be birding the island until the evening of Sunday 2nd of October. We wasted the first two days on the island in a windswept estate looking for a Swainson's Thrush, which needless to say we didn't see. Anyway yesterday we birded the island much more extensively mainly in the North West, best finds were 2 Yellow-browed Warblers (pic below) and a Coues's Arctic Redpoll (see below). The bird lacked any tramlines, had a very small bill, an un-streaked all white rumped, feathered tarsus, a tiny single pencil line on the undertail coverts and just an overall pale appearance. We also managed to catch up with Pierre's Lesser Grey Shrike at Laxo.

Today we again birded extensively mainly in the North East with Pierre, we visit lots of gardens and Iris beds and recorded the following of note - Pied Flycatcher (1), Yellow-browed Warbler (2), Redstart (1), Garden Warbler (6) and best of all the 1st winter Red-breasted Flycatcher pictured below. Some other general pictures below from around the island, click on any of the below images to view an enlarged version.

Above 4 images, Red-breasted Flycatcher. Eswick, North House.

Above 3 images - Coues's Arctic Redpoll. North West Mainland.

Above 2 images - Lesser Grey Shrike. Laxo.

Yellow-browed Warbler

Black Guillemot



Garden Warbler

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Scilly and more

My last post on Sunday was done in a state of shock and I have since had time to calm down, finish work that I abandoned on Saturday and sort out some more pictures. We returned from Scilly on Monday after seeing the Black and White Warbler again(below) and a crackin Red-eyed Vireo on the Garrison. On the way home me and Dan stopped at Davidstow and got some brilliant views of the White-rumped Sandpiper which had been present for a day or so.

Today I twitched the Long-toed Stint and despite dippin it, got a consolation prize in the form of a really smart juvenile Pallid Harrier at Burpham, Sussex. Myself and Dan Pointon are setting off tomorrow morning for 10 days yank/sibe hunting on Shetland so watch this space, I will try and update daily.

White-rumped Sandpiper, Davidstow Airfield, Cornwall

Black-and-White Warbler, Black and White Woods, St Mary's, Scilly

Bee-eater, St Mary's, Scilly.

Sunday, 18 September 2011


Not going to write a lot because myself, Dan Pointon, Ash Howe, Kev Hale and Dan Houghton are currently having a few beers to celebrate an amazing day on Scilly. Despite no photo's we also had cripplin views of the Northern Waterthrush today. I will do a proper blog in the next few days but for now, enjoy these pictures, i think you will like them. Good luck to anyone day trippin tomorrow - bring your wellies!!

Black-and-white Warbler

Solitary Sandpiper

Blue-winged Teal


Buff-breasted Sandpiper