Friday, 27 November 2009

Viz Migging - 26th November '09

A distant row of waders dropped frustratingly out of sight before i could get the bins on them. Threy could've been Oycs, but will remain un-identified. Otherwise a quiet hour, the Great-spotted Woodpecker landed in a tree in the boat yard before flying west.

Other species were:
Goldfinch 5
Chaffinch 22
Redwing 3
Blackbird 3
Starling 28

Viz Migging on 20th November '09

Missed out a Viz Miggin' session in my haste to post a photo of the Diver. A clear sunny morning with slight Westerlies after very strong Westerlies during the night. Highlight was a prey carrying Peregrine, which didnt quite make it over the top of the house due to a helicopter disturbing its flightpath. Lots of Starlings moving west this morning too including flocks of 500+.

Other species were:
Skylark 4
Chaffinch 25
Redwing 3
Pied Wagtail 2
Goldfinch 6
Curlew 12 (south)
Herring Gull 4
Mipit 4
Greenfinch 2
Linnet 4
Woodpigeon 23
Fieldfare 13

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Nothing but record shots.

Spent an hour with the Diver again this morning (and Mark) but it managed to stay far enough away from us to get nothing but a record shot. There were four Med Gulls and three RB Mergs also on the pool. Back at home and the garden produced two Common Buzzards, Great-spotted Woodpecker again and a Cormorant, that didnt seem to know where it wanted to go, circling for long enough for me to grab the camera for a record shot!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

PACIFIC DIVER - Carnsew Pool

Managed to sneak out for a view of the Pacific Diver at Carnsew over the last few days. It showed relatively well but spent a lot of time under water, feeding. Today i arrived at about 08.20hrs and the only other birder there, nice to meet you Mr Gibb, hadn't seen it. A few minutes of explaining that it usually arrives as the tide comes in etc, etc and low and behold, right on cue, Diver arrives. I wondered if the bird was swimming up the channel and then hopping over into the basin or was it actually flying in straight from the bay? I have a few hours free in the morning so i may be able to enlighten you tomorrow. There was also a Red-breasted Merg on the pool.
A drive up to Porthgwidden car-park, St Ives produced a very close GN Diver offshore and six Purple Sandpipers on the rocks. Two other GN Divers were off Porthmeor, as was local and internationally known surfchick, Sassy Swallow. What a great name!
The Black Redstarts are still around the police station car park too.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Viz.Migging - 18th November 2009

What a difference a change in wind direction makes! A much more southerly strong wind this morning and very little on the move. Bird of the morning so far was a Merlin that flew right between the houses. Other species were:

Redwing 2
Starling 29
Herring Gull 28
Grey Wagtail 1
Chaffinch 10
Woodpigeon 12

Viz.Migging - 17th November 2009

Another morning watch today 09.15-12.00 (on and off). Blue skies, slight westerly wind and the occasional squally shower. Thrushes have been fairly scarce with only four Redwing noted. Bird of the morning went to the Great-spotted Woodpecker that flew north over the house and landed in trees at the small reservoir at the back of the cottage. Other birds were:

Mipit 3
BH Gull 1
Greenfinch 2
Chaffinch 11
Goldcrest 1
Woodpigeon 3 (seems like most have now past through)
Starling 9
Herring Gull 93
Skylark 4
Curlew 11 flew east
Great Tit 2
Blue Tit 3
Magpie 1
Pied Wagtail 2
Carrion Crow 15 flew north

Sunday, 15 November 2009

15th November - Viz. Miggin' again

I think this could be contagious! At 0745hrs with brew in hand i was again stood at the back door viz.migging. Not as many birds as on the 9th, but still, 25 Lapwings was a good start. I finished my first watch at 09.30hrs with the following totals:
Woodpigeon 502
Redwing 39
Meadow Pipit 5
Curlew 3
Lapwing 25
Black-headed Gull 1
Herring Gull 31
Chaffinch 40
Goldfinch 5
Bullfinch 2
Song Thrush 2
Pied Wag 2
Grey Wag 2
Blackcap 1 fem
Chiffchaff 2
Long-tailed Tit 13
Buzzard 1
Skylark 11

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Firecrest, Isles of Scilly

Took these shots of a Firecrest in Holy Vale, St Mary's on 29th October. The light was very poor so i decided to try a few shots with the flash on. I was quite pleased with the results!

Monday, 9 November 2009

The BIG Garden birdwatch!

Having a new baby and now with the wife back at work I was considering my birding options this morning. With the little 'un down for a nap i stepped outside into the glorious sunshine, camera and bins at the ready and a cuppa in hand. I immediately noticed the amount of birds flying over. Skylarks, Chaffinches, Goldfinch, Woodpigeon and a Snipe, all within a couple of minutes. I decided to stick it out until the baby woke up (two hours she slept fortunately!) Four Golden Plover flew north, Meadow Pipit, more Skylark (flock of 22 was highest count), two Bullfinch and quite a few Blackbirds, one flock totalled eight birds! At about 1030hrs a 'honking' noise caught my attention and i raised my bins to see a juv WHOOPER SWAN flying west across the fields, my first garden tick of the day. By the time the baby had woken up i had totalled over 30 species seen!

Whooper Swan (juv) flying west. Two adults were at Gwithian the same morning.

Not long after, my neighbour, Mike popped round to tell me he had a Woodcock on his lawn. The photos shown here were taken by me through his front double glazed window! Amazing bird!
Woodcock on my neighbours' lawn.

At about 1330hrs, the missus came home and i tended to the washing up. I'd been at the sink for about 5 mins when a pale looking bird flew up the garden towards me. My expletives made the wife jump and i grabbed wildly for my camera shouting, "ROSE-COLOURED STARLING, Bloody Hell!" The juvenile bird then alighted briefly on wires next door before dropping down out of sight. I phoned Mark Halliday and text a few others to alert them of my good fortune. Before long Mark was waiting with compulsary 'fag and a brew' in my back yard waiting for another Rosy appearance.
Rose-coloured Starling, a surprise Garden Tick!

After about 30mins Mark picked up on a ring-tailed Harrier flying south being mobbed by a crow. HEN HARRIER was now my 3rd garden tick of the day!!Mark finally located the Rosy Starling on wires at the front of the cottage as he left.

Hen Harrier being mobbed by a Carrion Crow

What an amazing day! Three garden ticks (not sure what my list stands at at the moment?) and a total of 40 species altogether. Thank god i had my camera with me!

Sparrowhawk (below) and Raven (above)

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Week on the Scillies

Had another thoroughly enjoyable week with the gang on Scilly in the final week of October. The company and laughs made up for the lack of major rarities. There was still plenty to keep us amused including an unusually plumaged Citrine Wagatil on Tresco which i admit to 'twitching' as i needed it for Scilly! The four Spoonbills were obliging off Tresco as were the Whoopers on Big Pool, St Agnes. I didnt bother going for the Raddes or Pallas's Warblers on Aggie late in the week. The Bluethroat at Lower Moors was probably the highlight of the week for most and although it was very elusive, it showed well very briefly on occasion, allowing for three (!) photos in poor light to be snapped. Happy with one of them though! There were unusually low numbers of Goldcrests this year but Firecrests were fairly abundant. Tweo were regulary outside our digs at Holy Vale. A YB Warbler was also there all week. The end of the week saw more winter thrushes and Black Redstarts but the 'biggie' was never found. Thanks to 'The Team' for another great week, looking forward to next year already!