Sunday, January 25, 2015


Photographed this Brent Goose at Spurn on Friday (23rd)

Seemed to be hanging about with a family of Dark-bellied Brents but is it a bernicla or has it got a bit of nigricans in it?

Opinions welcomed

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Went down to Gloucestershire yesterday with a few targets to see.

Started off at the Dartford Warbler near Cheltenham which showed incredibly well! We arrived to this amazing little site that is basically a park in Cheltenham with an area sown with a wild flower mix where this bird was following a pair of Stonechat around. Showed really well at times even feeding in the nearby Sycamore trees several times! Shockingly the first Dartford I've seen for 12 years! So really enjoyed this bird.

Well overdue at Spurn, this year?!

  Feeding in Sycamore and sub-singing away

Then went onto Slimbridge WWT where the female Ferruginous Duck was in the Asian Pen! Really strange watching it swim around with the captive Baer's Pochards and getting chased by White-headed Ducks!

It then proved it wasn't part of the collection and flew off to the South Lake

We then toured around the hides, really enjoyed the large amount of birds there, so much to look at! The Tack Piece is really impressive with ton's of ducks, waders, swans and geese all over it!

Finished the day at Hawling where 2 Short-eared Owls put on a decent display despite us arriving a bit too late as well as a Barn Owl.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Thayer's Gull

Some pics of the West Yorkshire Thayer's Gull, initially in Mirfield around the Biffa waste disposal centre. Then in the roost at Pugneys CP. Tricky lighting conditions with viewing into the sun in Mirfield, washed the bird at so was hard to judge shades, good to see it later at Pugneys.

Brief flyby from a paler cousin

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

What a load of Bull

Back in Birmingham again for the winter, so decided to head out early this morning after a bit of talk online about the weather looking good for Wood Pigeon movement.

Went to to the Lickey Hills, Worcestershire and stood on Beacon Hill, facing north west. It was pretty foggy on arrival but it started to clear almost straight away. A few thrushes started to move west and then at 07:50 the Wood Pigeons started, I wasn't expecting the crazy numbers that they get at the well known sites and to be honest was really pleased when the first flocks started going over! Got really excited when a flock of 50 were going over at the same time as a 280 in the first couple minutes of them starting to move! It evened out from here on in but was still cool to see flocks of Wood Pigeon streaming over! Had 2 Feral Pigeon in with the Wood Pigeons, is this normal? Presume they just get caught up with them, never heard anyone mention them before (maybe because its Feral Pigeons....)

By 09:30 it had all but finished, final totals being

Wood Pigeon 2,223 (S)
Stock Dove 3 (S) doubtless overlooked
Fieldfare 68 (S/W)
Redwing 77 (S/W) 50 dropped in
Mistle Thrush 2 (S)
Starling 61 (W)
alba wagtail 3 (S)
Chaffinch 17 (S/W)
Great BB Gull 1 1w (W)

Also had several parties of Bullfinch, that seemed to be moving through going south, being pretty high and flying in non direct southerly direction, whether or not they actually moved south, they definitely seemed to be wanting to go somewhere!

I didn't get a sound recording of the first 2, but did of the next 4 and then 7. I'd looked at trying to tell europoea from pileata last winter at Upton Warren here so thought it would be interesting to have a look at the sound recordings from today as the birds seemed to be on the move, maybe they would be europoea?

I stuck them into Audacity and with a bit of playing around came up with these Sonograms

The party of 2 are the top recordings and the 7 are the bottom recordings. Hopefully they come out big enough for the difference to be obvious. The top calls are smooth and slowly downsloping and the bottom calls and more varied. 

From a quick bit of research it would seem to suggest that the top calls from the 2 are pileata and the bottom calls from the flock of 7 are europoea!

This blogpost also shows the calls of europoea recorded in Norfolk

Any feedback would be appreciated from anyone who knows about these calls etc. 

Have europoea ever been recorded in Worcestershire before? I'd guess not but seen as you have to make recordings and sonograms to even come close to proving them, will anyone have bothered?!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Protecting the Spurn area from Caravans!

Please help us oppose the planning application to expand Sandy Beaches Caravan site here at Spurn by liking the Facebook page and signing the e-petition here
 this will only take a short moment of your time and we'd be very grateful if you could, please pass this on to your friends, many thanks

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Nikon V1 for sale

If anybodys interested I am now selling my Nikon V1 due to being a poor volunteer!

Nikon V1 with 10-30mm lens kit, brilliant for digiscoping
As new only owned it for less than a year and have hardly used it!
Get in touch for any more details

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spurn Migration Festival

Been quiet on here due to being busy at Spurn! Currently preparing for the 2nd Migration Festival that will be taking place next weekend. Set to be a very exciting weekend with lots of interesting talks, walks and events taking place! I'll be at Kew in the mornings doing ringing demonstrations and then helping out around Westmere Farm for the rest of the day, hope to see you there.

Details on how to buy tickets here

Easiest option for accommodation will be camping at Westmere Farm, only £7 per head a night, details on how to get in touch with them here

Wednesday, May 07, 2014


Currently in Latvia staying at Kolka Point, its magic!

Keep up to date with what's about here

Also random postings on my Twitter page here
French Ringed Robin

Thrush Nightingale

Adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher

Some highlights!