Sunday, 8 December 2013


Winter is coming and the weather is getting colder an whilst we seek the warmth of a fire, birds seek each other. Through this we have dramatic winter roosts of raptors of of Starlings. I only found out recently (a few weeks ago) that there is a Starling roost at Startop's End Reservoir in Tring. I came upon it completely by accident after a photography trip to Tring. I was just photographing a swan in the evening light when suddenly a small flock of Starling flew over my head and began to circle the reed bed. Over time the flock increased in number until it was at least a few thousand strong. By the end they were covering the sky. I watched until they plunged into the reed bed leaving the sky completely empty. Since than I have been going every weekend and this week was the first time I managed to take any pictures with my DSLR rather than my SLR. It's hard to capture the true spectacle of a starling murmuration on camera, so these pictures are mostly experiments. The flock was nothing like the breathtaking murmurations you experience in somerset but it was still a spectacular view. Enjoy the pictures.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

What's going on?

If any of you are regular blog readers than you will know that I haven't written a post in quite a while. This is mostly due to not very much interesting birding activity going on. In the last few weeks I have mostly been focusing on my GCSE photography project. But I have been taking a lot of trips to Tring and other interesting places. In hope of getting some pictures but so far nothing out of the ordinary.
Apart from the Tufted Ducks all the pictures were taken on the Isle of Sheppey were I visited in the half term for a few days with my parents. Brief summary: Possible Red-rumped Swallow and possible Yellow-browed Warbler.

Brent Goose




Golden Plover

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Swift, Swift, Swift

What a days birding, Norfolk never lets you down. Yesterday I set out again with Chris, Brendan and Paul to go birding. My spirits were high after last weeks success seeing a SEMIPALMATED PLOVER. We set of at the ungodly hour of 5:50 and arrived in Norfolk around 9 o'clock ready to start birding. We began at Cromer to see if we could connect with the Pallid Swift which had been there the day before, but news of a possible Blyth's Pipit set us running to Clye were we found out it was actually a Richard's Pipit and it hadn't been seen in a while. After giving a look around we only found some Brent Geese, Golden Plover and flocks of both Pintail and Wigeon. We than did a quick sea watch to pass the time whilst waiting for the Richard's Pipit to be relocated the highlights of which were Red-throated Diver and Common Scoter. When the rain started we gave up and headed back towards Cromer to Trimingham where the Swift had been relocated. We arrived at the layby just to be told that the bird was somewhere else further down the road so we immediately headed over there and quickly after arriving we were on the SWIFT sp.. The light was terrible and all I could make out was that it was a swift but some other people seemed confident that it was the Pallid Swift. When the bird left so did we and on to the Lapland Buntings just a few minutes down the coast. On the way I kept my eye on the sky and it payed off, half way to the Buntings suddenly a SWIFT sp. flew next to the car and over the buildings, it's the end of October so Swifts are just as likely to be Pallid as Common. I shouted out "Swift, Swift, Swift. Over the car, over the car, OVER THE CAR" Chris did an emergency break and we got out as the car was moving just to see the swift, it flew over us for a few seconds and than flew on. After a minute it came back round and than left not to return. I am still unsure if it was a Common or a Pallid but it was very near where we later saw the Pallid for definite. Soon we were back in the car and back on our way to the Buntings, we parked about 20 minutes walk away from the Buntings and quickly set off. I spotted a Clouded Yellow on the way and when we got onto the scene we were the only ones there. A Snow Bunting was he first bird we saw but Chris and Paul also found a Lapland Bunting.

Snow Bunting

It hide very well in the crops but showed up to about 6-8 feet from us! The bird must have been injured. After this success we headed back to the Trimingham and stopped at the layby were I instantly spotted the Swift flying low over the hedges. We watched it for a good hour and by the end we were certain it was a Pallid Swift.

Pallid Swift

We than finished the day with Stubb Mills were we saw Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Great White Egret, Red-legged Partridge, Merlin and Common Crane.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Richmond deer

It's been a fair few weeks since I last posted anything, that's mostly due to me trying 4-5 weeks in a row to photograph the Corn Buntings at Pitstone Hill. It's funny how as soon as you bring a camera no bird wants to show itself, I didn't even see one in the weeks let alone get the opportunity to photograph one. Last week I decided to scrap that idea and have a day of photographing the deer at Richmond Park. October is the perfect time to go, the leaves are turning an orangy, brown and falling to the floor whilst the morning become more blue, misty. This is also the rutting season were you can watch the bucks or stags claim different  does and defend their territory by locking their antlers and fighting till one submits or is injured. I enjoy watching this and capturing it but unfortunately today no fights occurred whilst I was watching. But they did seem to be active. Most of the day was spent walking around following the deer but I obtained a few shots but nothing special.

Female Red Deer

Male Red Deer

Male Red Deer

Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Patch

Yesterday was my first day back on patch after a nice trip to Portland (you can find the post by clicking on "Portland"). We walked down to Balls Pond Farm to see if we could find any passing Wrynecks as there had been some turning up all around the place. We had no luck but instead we managed to encounter 3 WHINCHAT a patch mega. These were the first I ha ever seen in Kings Langley so me and my brother were thrilled. Today I went back again in search of Wryneck and amazingly the 3 Whinchat were still present! This time along with a Clouded Yellow. The patch has definately livened up, I wonder what will be next?

Friday, 30 August 2013

Portland Bird Observatory (25-29/08/13)

It was nearing the end of my very long and interesting summer holidays and like last year I headed down to Portland for a few days to see if I would have the luck of finding myself something interesting. My brother accompanied me down and we stayed together in a room in the bird observatory. This meant it wasn't a relaxed holiday destination but thorough birding from 6 in the morning to 8 in the evening. Well that was what Samuel did I would usually role out of bed a bit later. The trip did not only consist of birding but also photography. On the first day we arrived on the bus around 1 o'clock in the afternoon and headed straight down to the bill for a seawatch with all our luggage, after a few minutes of looking through the Gannets, Common Scoters and Fulmars we had our first Shearwater which was quickly lost but soon after we had one very close in Samuel put me on it and I instantly recognized it as a BALEARIC SHEARWATER it flew sporadically up and down making its way east after this we didn't linger for much longer and headed off to the Obs with about three Balearic Shearwaters under our belt. Dropping our luggage off and saying hello didn't take long and we were out looking for migrants again very quickly. The walk around the East Cliff which turned up over 22 Wheatears. Along with the Wheatears we had Rock Pipits, Meadow Pipits, Yellow Wagtials and a good variety of butterflies including some Clouded Yellows and my first Chalkhill Blue.

Female Wheatear

The second day came quickly and Portland had already had its first scarce bird of the autumn so we had high hopes. I walked around separate to my brother because I was interested in photographing the Wheatears and Yellow Wagtails. This proved to be more of a challenge than I had expected but my new camo gear came in very handy and I had all the shots I needed. Although I saw over 20+ Wheatears I only managed to spot one male which was not very obliging when it came to photography.

Male Wheatear

As well as the Wheatears I had Yellow Wagtails and the occasional Tree Pipits flying over throughout the day. I arrived back happy with the photos I had got, ready to sit down and have a proper look at them. However, when I arrived at the Obs I saw a man running towards me who thought I was a local and began to ask about different places on the Island I asked him why he wanted to know and exclaimed that there was an Ortolan Bunting. I tried to give him the best directions I could and we headed straight off. We arrived at the place to find that the finder had left and we were left with no idea where it could be. Over the next few days, it was seen a few more times flying around with the Linnets and I tried my best to look for it but I had no luck. I was searching around the fields for the Ortolan and decided to check for more info on the bunting and after the information eventually loaded, I saw "Wryneck, Isle of Portland"! I quickly checked the news and found out it was at the Obs Quarry, where I was about to check before I ran off after the bunting. By this time, Samuel had arrived and we ran off together to the Wryneck. However, there was no need because we stayed around waiting for it for over three hours. We left the place to go and have dinner, which after all the running was a good idea. We finished our meals quickly and tried for the Wryneck again. This time we were a lot more lucky we and had great scope views of the WRYNECK!


we stayed around and observed its habits, which was good fun and watched it until some young children ran into the quarry and flushed it.

Tuesday was a lot less stressful and we made a walk around top fields. It rewarded us with only 5+ Wheatears but instead Yellow Wagtail numbers a lot higher than before with one flock being at least 18 strong. We also had Tree Pipits over head and a good number of Clouded Yellows. But the best didn't come until Samuel found a Pied Flycatcher in one of the fields we set the scope up to have a look at it and I quickly found another 2 female Redstarts to join and a Spotted Flycatcher. I also saw what I expect was a second Pied Fly but Samuel was doubtful. So far so good, we carried on and arrived at the east side of Portland where we went inside one of the quarries to see if anything interesting was about. A Little Owl and another Redstart were the highlights along with some sort of Acro warbler which I never got a look at. Also a 1cy Yellow-legged Gull was a nice surprise on the way back to the Obs and 3 more Balearics from the Obs. We then met up with Alex Berryman whose photographic work I have always admired and looked around the top fields again but only had a Redstart and a very showy Linnet.


The next day I headed back to photograph the Linnet and found it to be a lot more flighty than the day before but performed well enough to get some decent shots.


I then headed on and found 3 juv. Stonechats along with some adults. A Whinchat was also a nice photographic subject but flew away before I had any proper pictures.

Male Wheatear


Back at the Obs I was lucky to see a Pied Flycatcher in the hand which was very nice.

Pied Flycatcher

Then another report of the Ortolan pushed me out to the top fields with no reward so headed back quite quickly to the obs where I again met up with Alex to go and look see some Hummingbird Hawkmoths a moth I have wanted to catch up with for a while. I had very short views of what I expect was more than one flying around the place but headed back when the light was beginning to fade. On the way back we stopped quickly off at the Obs Quarry and had a very loud Nightingale appear twice. That night we had a nice selection of waders fly over including Dunlin amongst a Starling flock, Green Sandpiper and a Ringed Plover.

Our last day at the obs started nicely with myself being able to partake in the ringing of two Willow Warbler one which I was allowed to hold. Then when my brother arrived back I had a quick seawatch with his scope which ended nicely with a pod of about 25+ Bottlenose Dolphins which I think are my first. I then headed off with Alex to the Hummingbird Hawkmoth place where after a while we had one feeding nicely unfortunately this was to much for the auto focus of my camera and it rather took pictures of the background rather than the actual moth.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

After the disaster we headed back and packed our bags and left on the bus to go back home.


Saturday, 17 August 2013

Mega Patch (Raven, Wheatear and Clouded Yellow!!!)

This week has definitely been my best ever week on patch. 2 days ago me and my brother as usual had a walk around our local patch in Kings Langley. Well nothing out of the ordinary was seen until we came out of Scatterdell's Woods. We had decided to look around a different part of the patch and after a short look around my brother spotted a Buzzard like bird. He didn't mention it until it was almost flying over our heads and he had made sure of his ID. It glided over use only taking a few wing beats and we could tell the diamond shaped tail, the thick large shaggy neck and its giant beak which told s instantly it was a RAVEN. A patch first. Today after starting to make some new bird boxs for next years breeding season we took a break and went indoors but our break was cut short when my brother alerted me that there were 5+ Clouded Yellow butterflies down Barnes Lane, obviously we got our equipment ready as quickly as possible and ran out the door in the direction of the butterfly. On the way we stopped and had a look over the field not expecting much but in hope of a Yellow Wagtail. We looked over the Pied Wagtail flock and there right infront of us was my first self found patch female WHEATEAR. Anywhere else this bird would be over looked but on our patch it is very rare. But we were still interested in the butterfly so we headed on at a fast jogging speed. Soon we had arrived but the clouds had taken over the skies and if the were there they obviously didn't want to fly. We quickly gave up on that promising to come back tomorrow when it was sunny. On the way back we saw a spectacle of nature in the form of a Sparrowhawk catching a Juv. Green Woodpecker a very dramatic scene but we were still very interested in the butterflies and when the sun came out we headed straight over. When I entered the field I saw a orangy yellow butterfly flying around and sure enough it was another patch first but this time a CLOUDED YELLOW.

Clouded Yellow

Find the butterfly

when the sun was covered by the clouds it rested down on a piece of grass and stayed there till we left. I'm going to head back there tomorrow to see if I can get some better photos in the sun.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Last birding day in Germany

Germany is packed with birds which do not occur in Britain which is perfect for something new. We had researched into birds and the best one seemed to be Rock Bunting. We checked the best places for them and headed there the next day. We searched around the place but unfortunately we saw no Rock Bunting. But we did see lots of Black Redstarts and 2 HONEY BUZZARDS.

Honey Buzzard

But we also saw a few Wall Browns2 Brown Hairstreaks and a lot of Jersey Tigers.

Wall Brown

Photographic failure

Abroad many of the birds which are endangered in Britain are quite common especially Red-backed Shrikes. This is why me and my brother are lucky enough to have a local Red-backed Shrike colony in Germany. It took this opportunity to take some pictures of Red-backed Shrikes which I wouldn't be able to in England. Well I couldn't have had a worse idea. I headed to the sight and after a 3 minute cycle ride I was setting up my camera equipment and getting to a well hidden spot good for photographing the Shrikes. I didn't have to wait long before a Juv. Red-backed Shrike popped up on the top of the hedge and I took a few pictures.

Juv. Red-backed Shrike

Then when I was reviewing my pictures I felt a small bite on my hand I looked at it and it was some kind of ant. I immediately stood up and saw hundreds of them walking all over me. I had completely forgotten about the Shrikes and began to try and get them off but the ants began to bite me all over and it was starting to hurt so I packed my stuff away quickly and ran back to my bike. Even on the cycle ride home I was being bitten by ants the photo was definitely not worth the bites.

To Buchholz and back again

The next day we were more lucky with birds. Again my brother had got up earlier and already explored the woodland. I then tagged along on his second part of the walk which was to Buchholz. The road on which you get to Buchholz is surrounded by woodland so woodland species are not uncommon. On the way on that day we bumped into some Firecrests. We decided to stay in the place in hope of some more interesting species, and our wait payed off we saw a small group of Crested Tits which flitted around above our heads. We were proving to be quite lucky in this spot so we stayed there for a little longer and after a short wait we heard a Willow Tit call in the woods, we tried to track it down but only saw it for a few seconds before it flew off. Whilst we waited for the Willow Tit to show again we saw another two which was enough for us so we moved on. On the farmland we managed to almost instantly find the resident pair of Red-backed Shrikes. No male was to be seen but two females which was odd but they showed no sign of vermiculation which a Juvenile bird would. Whilst I was taking a look at the Shrikes my brother spotted some kind of dove on the telephone wires and asked me to have a look at it. I almost instantly recognised it as a Turtle Dove with its red eye, its white,blue and black collar and its reddy brown back. Unfortunately whilst my brother and I were celebrating and writing the sighting down in our books it it flew off and we didn't know where it had gone. But all in all a successful days birding.
to read my last post on going to the altenburghutte click here.

Off to the Hütte

Unlike my brother, I decided to have a nice lay in, but it wasn't long before I too was having to role out of bed after being woken by his alarm. When he had got back from his first walk about the place I was ready to go so Samuel was kind enough to go out again. Bird wise it was dull with only a possible Spotted Flycatcher and a possible Black Kite which had a very shallow forked tail but other wise to me was unrecognizable due to it only being a silhouette. But on the Butterfly side of things we had a great day. We started off with a Map Butterfly which was very shy when it came to photos.

Map Butterfly

We also had some Clouded Yellow Butterflies which were very reluctant to land anywhere so I gave up on trying to photograph one. We also had Painted Lady which showed nicely. But it was when we got to the edge of the woods when we began to see the real good Butterflies. It started with a Silver-washed Fritillary which kept on growing in number until we had a total of 3. I then spotted a butterfly which was flying away from us at first in flight it looked like a gatekeeper but when it landed and we were able to inspect it turned out to be a Fritillary. We first took our ID photos and then when we had IDed it as a QUEEN OF SPAIN FRITILLARY one that I had never before seen we went into proper photography mode.

Queen of Spain Fritillary

Next on the list was a Mallow Skipper a butterfly which does not occur in the UK. I was more interested in the Fritillaries so I left my brother to photograph the skipper whilst I ran around after the other butterflies.

Queen of Spain Fritillary

Later on when we eventually got to the Altenburghütte we saw a few Purple hairstreaks due to the hütte being so high we were at the top of the oak trees so a perfect opportunity to photograph the Hairstreak.

Purple Hairstreak

To read my last post about my trip through France click here.

Going onto the continent

Well it was that time of year again when the Butterflies come out and all the schools are on holiday and in this time free, people wish to go on holiday to exotic places or places they haven't explored before. In my case the holiday was to Germany. Yep some where I have been probably over 39 times and we all know how exotic it is there. Well again on the trip to Germany my brother and I were lucky and had a chance to stop off on the way. Our destination, Oye Plage near Calais. We had visited this reserve once and had experienced a wonderful amount of Kentish Plovers, but this time we decided to go round a different way around the shooting pools. Although these pools are specifically made or shooting they can at certain times of the year be very bountiful in birds but we choose just the wrong time to go exactly when they were beginning to start shooting so we only saw a few Common Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, some Whimbrel and a Snipe. We decided after this to head on to the beach in hope we may see some more Kentish Plovers again but it wasn't to be so we headed back to the car luckily we met a local on the way who told us about a hide which was slightly hidden away. We took a short walk to the hide where we were greeted with a run down wooden hide. We went inside and our day immediately improved. We had a short scan through the scope and I found myself a small amount of Avocets and shortly after a very blurred Spoonbill. After carrying on the scan I found out there were in fact a total of 12 Spoonbill. On the butterfly side of things we were lucky and got a large variety including: Painted Lady, GraylingClouded Yellow, Speckeled Wood, Essex Skipper and Red Admiral. And in the end the day turned out to be successful. P.S I am very sorry about the lack of photos recently.

Completing the Dowitchers (03/08/13)

On the 3rd me and Samuel were eventually at home and had a free weekend. This left us to the choice to be able to go twitch something for the first time in a long time. Chris was interested to go see the Dowitcher down at Pennington Marshes and so were we. When the Saturday eventually came we left at around 5:30am from Kings Langley. It didn’t take us long before we were parked up and walking to pool. On the way we did a little birding trying to find something for ourselves like a Wood Sandpiper. We were fruitless in our efforts and arrived at the pool when the largest congregation of twitchers had gathered. Then after a little looking we were rewarded with a stunning Adult Long-billed Dowitcher. After looking at the bird for a while we found the Curlew Sandpipers which was a boggy bird for me and then headed back to find the Little Stint but were rewarded with only some Dunlin and Greenshank. After a while we gave up on the search and headed back to the dowitcher when we arrived we were informed that it hadn’t been seen in a while so we carried on to do some more general this time we managed to see a Sanderling along with some Turnstone. Then on the way back to the car we stopped off at the Dowitcher spot one last time to see it, but it still had not been seen so we stuck around and hoped that we would be the ones to find it. We gave up after a short while and carried on but when we were half way around the pool Samuel had fond the Dowitcher and called over the other twitchers, the problem had been that we had been looking from a different angle so it had been hidden from us but from where we were looking we had some nice scope views. Other noteable species were Ringed and Little Ringed Plover. We then moved on to Acres Down in hope of some Woodland species after a nice walk through the woods we came out with: Common Redstart, Crossbill, Treecreeper and a possible tree pipit.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Catch up

Well I haven't written a blog post in a long time so I think it would be good to catch everyone up. Since my last blog post I haven't been very busy on the twitching side other than a double dip of a Black Kite and a American Golden Plover. My only other proper twitch was to see the Rose-coloured Starling in Norfolk which we had nice views of. Obviously I have been keeping myself busy with the end of my school term only a week or two ago. When I eventually got my summer holidays I was to relieved to write anything on my blog. A few walks around my local patch during the term also as usual produced nothing much other than a large number of Small Tortuseshells, aswell as a trip to Ivinghoe beacon with my dad produced my first ever Dark Green Fritillary.
Two weeks ago me and my family headed of to Wales to have a nice holiday obviously I wasn't expecting much but Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers and Wood Warblers. Me and my brother had to go down by train and when we went past the reserve which had wales nesting pair of Osprey me and my brother almost suffered from a heart attack. When we arrived at the house it was nice to find a Common Redstart nest just next to our holiday home. We later also caught up with some Wood Warblers and short after a Spotted Flycatcher a bird which alluded me the year before. After speaking to a Rob Roy on my facebook he told me about a place to Red Grouse another bird which I needed on my life list. A few days after recieving the information I managed to get a lift with my dad unfortunately we didn't see anything apart from a difficult Juv. Whinchat and a few adults. On another day whilst my parents were shopping I was left in the car with my brother. When we were waiting we were lucky enough to see a pair of Hawfinches fly past and a different individual which landed in a tree near by. Unfortunately the second part of our trip to Somerset was not as good with two trips to Ham Wall and not seeing anything other than some Ruff and Blackwits and the local area not being exactly the best place to see wildlife other than Red-legged Partridge. But the worst part of the holiday was when we decided to head over to Chew Valley Lake in hope of seeing some rare or scarce duck all that was seen was a nice Yellow-legged Gull (my first) but it was definitely not worth the price had to pay. When we arrived back to the car we found the window smashed and all of my photography equipment worth about £1,500 was all gone. Well as you can imagine I went into a state of blind rage and sorrow. I am now still waiting to see if the insurance company will cover me. But I learnt a lesson and I would like to share it with my blog readers: DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING VALUABLE IN YOUR CAR OR IT MAY NOT BE THERE WHEN YOU GET BACK!!! Thanks for reading.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Good news

Very good news. The Great Tits which were nesting in my webcam bird box have now fledged after yesterday when they had been squished together. I couldn't get a good view of them because they were to close to the camera so I believe there were up to 4 or 5 in the box. Now I'm waiting for the Robins to fledge.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The New Forest

After the possible Marsh Warbler in Gosport was reported as a Reed Warbler I, Chris and Paul had no where to go. So our chose was the new forest seeing as we were already heading in that direction. We arrived around 16:30 at the New Forest and after a small snack we headed straight off. After walking about 200yds we heard our first good bird and soon we had a lovely FIRECREST showing very well and singing to its hearts delight. We then heard a Wood Warbler calling in the near vicinity. I walked on hoping for it to show itself and soon we were watching a nice WOOD WARBLER but it was slightly elusive and it took a bit of looking. We then moved on and also saw a spectacular male COMMON REDSTART which perched up for us and we had some great views. We also saw a Grey Wagtail and a Marsh Tit. On the way back we saw another two + Firecrests and a female Common Redstart.

For Chris's trip report click HERE.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Leaving Day

It was my last day down in Cornwall and I had already had amazing birds like Pomarine Skua, Garganey and even Cirl Buntings and to finish the trip off I made one last visit to Lizard with my brother. Again we had to get up about 5:30 in the morning and there had been a huge party the night before in the flat so I hadn't properly gone to sleep until about 3 in the morning. When I woke up I felt a very ruff and a little homicidal toward the people who had been bashing on the door until 3 o'clock in the morning and not letting me sleep, but otherwise I was ready for the day. I almost fell asleep at the sea watch but I still managed to have a good look at my brothers very probable ARCTIC SKUA before me losing the bird again, luckily he had taken notes already so me losing the bird wasn't the end of the world. We also got the usual sea bird species along with good flight views of two Choughs again. This time they came very nice and close and fed right infront of me unfortunately with there backs facing me for 90% of the time.

Male House Sparrow


Great Tit

Female House Sparrow

I have been writing my posts up quite frequently so if you missed my last post about Cirl Buntings and a Garganey click HERE.

Some cornish delights

I and my brother headed off for some Cirl Buntings on the Wedensday and we managed to see 5 CIRL BUNTINGS 4 males and a female. Cirl Buntings are a schedule 1 breeding species and is in the red list so I will not be releasing any information. So please do not ask any questions. But on a less serious note they showed nicely and I got a few distant photos.

Cirl Bunting

Later that day when we got back to the flat after a long journey we were tipped off about a Garganey which was down at Swanpool which was a short trip by bus from Penryn. We immediately had our bags packed and headed down to the bus stop were we met another one of Samuel's friends who was doing the wildlife photography course in the Uni. After the bus journey and a medium walk we arrive at Swanpool and almost instantly located the drake GARGANEY. We watched it until about 9:05pm when it went to roost in the reeds on the South West end of Swanpool. That was two life ticks in one day!!! I got some record shots of the bird but nothing else because the light was going in.


I have been writing my posts up quite frequently so if you missed my last post about my trip to the well known peninsular Lizard click HERE.

Choughed at the Lizard

I was kindly given along with my brother a lift down to the well known peninsular named the Lizard. We headed down by car after a 5:30 wake up which gave us a kick start to our day. The trip down gave me a chance to properly wake up after only getting to bed later than 1 o'clock and by the time we had arrived I was ready for what lay ahead. Our birding started off by heading over to the very tip of the peninsular where we were immediately greeted by Fulmars, Gannets, and a wide variety of gulls but our main focus was what lay beyond them out to sea. As my brother set up his scope to view over the sea I took this opportunity to photograph the Fulmars which came delightfully close and gave great views with the waves breaking behind them.


Just as I had got the hang of chasing the Fulmars in my lens my brother shouted the words I had been hoping for "Pomarine Skua". It was a mad rush to get to the top of the cliff where a life tick was awaiting me. My brother explaining all the way about the plumage and the ID features which he could see. The short climb felt as if it took hours but when I arrived my brother complimented me on my speed that I had arrived in. I took a look through the scope and had my first proper view of the.... sea. Yes you read it right it was just the sea. After almost suffering from a heart attack the bird came into the frame, I first saw the Manx Shearwater and then the pale phase POMARINE SKUA came into the frame. All the ID features I could see on it was that it was a Skua. But in my rush to get to a more comfortable position to look through the scope I hit the tripod and lost the bird. I looked all over the sea to try and find it again but the search was fruitless, but my brother didn't mind and carried on with the sea watch. When my brother decided he wanted to look around I had a short view throught the scope where I saw a good amount of Guillimots (first for the year), Manx Shearwaters and some Gannets. After this my brother wanted to have a second go and had some good luck with a Great Skua and a fly past Great Northern Diver. Time was running out and I wanted to get some pictures of the Choughs so we headed over to the right place and instantly saw my first CHOUGHS for the year. They showed well but the rain ruined my chance for  good picture.


Luckily the sun came back out and an obliging Rock Pipit showed himself whilst I was waiting for the Choughs to return.

Rock Pipit

After the Lizard we were dropped off near Stithianes Reservoir where we were hoping to see a Grasshopper Warbler. To make a long story short we got drenched and had very restricted views of a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER and a few fly over Whimbrels.

I have been writing my posts up quite frequently so if you missed my last post about exploring my brothers local patch click here.