Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Orphean Warbler

Nice afternoon doing a bit of filthy twitching today.

As I was preparing for my Chemicals exam this morning, I see that theres a ROLLER at SPURN! Pretty gutted I couldn't go straight away but I suppose I best do the exam! Then 10 mins later, mega alert, thinking that they'd delayed mega'd the ROLLER cause it was at SPURN I look at my phone to realise that there was an EASTERN ORPHEAN WARBLER in Cleveland! Two mega birds and at the time I was a bit gutted about the later as the former would have to wait until tomorrow! 

Get out my exam at 11:00 then have to wait around for my lift and tart about cycling around town to fetch his car keys!

Finally rock up to the wrong Headland at around 15:45 to hear that after showing all day its just flown off! Have a look round for a bit and then decide to head back to the green where it had been showing earlier, on the way over everyone starts running so we decide to join in! Oli got ahead of me even in flip flops cause I couldn't stop laughing at him!

Twitcher next to me said ''Its funny when you've seen the bird isn't it''
Me ''I haven't seen it yet''
Twitcher ''Why aren't you sprinting then!''

Arrive at the Bowling green and over the next hour or so manage some initially fleeting glimpses then it showed pretty nicely in the bushes on the far end of the green. 

Rather pleased with my photography today
Nice bird and good day out! Last exam on Thursday then proper birding can start again! Been wierd not being out for at least 5+ hours a day!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Double Wader Day

Stuck in revising all day yesterday, managed to avoid getting distracted and going to Wheldrake and looking at the Wood Sand that Jono had found and even carried on working when he rang me to say he'd got a Turnstone at Hes East!

However I finally cracked when Chris said he was going down to look for the Turnstone so I decided to have the evening off revision! Took a while to re-locate where the Turnstone was but once we had it was obviously following a routine so we decided to sit it out on the side of the main lake and wait for it to walk to us. After a couple of false starts with it being flushed by geese etc we were soon rewarded with it walking right up to us and bathing no more than 15ft in front of us! WOW another weekend another magical moment with a wader on the patch!

Managed to get some photos, video to follow when I get chance to edit it next week once my exams are over!

We had a quick look round elsewhere and the 3 Greenshank from earlier were still present, but no further sign/sound of the Quail since I first heard it and it was then heard briefly later that evening.

Chris then had to head home so I headed up to the Raptor Watchpoint to check out the far eastern pools. I got up there just before 9 and admired the sunset for a bit

Then turned round and almost the first birds I looked at on the eastern pools were these 2

A cracking finish to the day with 2 patch ticks and an area year tick taking me onto 154.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Stroll around the patch this afternoon produced an unexpected Quail singing from a field along Low Lane, heard it for a while but thought I was either hearing things or that it was my trousers rubbing as every time I stopped I couldn't hear it!

Not my recording


National RSPB/Natural England survey going on with these atm


Coming to a reedbed near you soon?



Area year list bumbles onto 153 still with Grasshopper Warbler, Turtle Dove, Redstart, Little Egret, Wood Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and Stonechat to catch up with hopefully in next week or so

Sunday, May 20, 2012


On the patch today! Grand total of 6 hours just looking at these beauties!

Big thanks to the local birders on getting news out on them so quickly, just gutted I didn't find them myself!

Got some video to add later in the week that I'm really happy with, so watch this spot!

My personal 21st wader sp for York University Campus, crazy yer?

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Off to Spurn for a days birding tomorrow, some good birds through there recently will we see much?!

This ones hoping for a Pied Flycatcher!

Full update tomorrow evening (if I can be bothered!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Recent Birding

Showed really well from the 'Garganey' hide at North Duff whilst dipping Sanderling, but my battery died pretty quickly!

Right since getting back from Tenerife have been doing some local birding. In summary

LDV is flooded so is getting most coverage. Year list has moved onto 143 with a push of Spring migrants moving into the area.

End of April produced

2 Arctic Skuas! Dark morph and a pale morph birds flying east over Sutton-on-Derwent, my first inland Skuas and an awesome moment!
1w Little Gull at North Duffield
A mad dash in the evening to Flamborough for the flycatcher, felt rather smug after seeing it thinking it would clear off that night, its still present today...

Year ticks in May have been
Arctic Tern
Egyptian Goose

Chris had a flyover Hooded Crow at East Cottingwith today! Had a good look this afternoon and found a few large corvid flocks but no Hoodie! Mega area bird the last record being in 2002 and the last twitchable being in 1983! Here's hoping its re-located in the next few days.

Still a few common migrants that I haven't caught up with, mainly because I'm revising! 
Tree Pipit
Common Sand
Reed Warbler
Garden Warbler

In a field along Hagg Lane this afternoon, tundrae at a guess but tricky with single bird in a heat hazy field!

Plus Redstart, Wood Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and Turtle Dove should be gettable shortly if not already.

Still haven't heard of any Stonechat in the area so that might have to worringly wait until late summer! First Whinchat found by Andy Walker this evening where I'd been all afternoon!

Few Black Tern being reported in Yorkshire today as well as a few Wood Sand, Sanderling and Turnstone. Red-necked Phalarope at Old Moor, only 1 previous area record, due for a second?

Need to head up north and listen out for Nightjar and Long-eared Owl but I guess they will have to wait till after exams.

Migrant Pied Fly would be a nice bird as would a Ring Ouzel but are both outside chances in the area.

All in all, year list going pretty good, however a bit of local competition has arose which should make proceeding a bit more interesting from now on!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Birding experiences 2012

Quick post from a recent trip to Tenerife

Was on the Island for 9 days 20th-29th April, did hardly any research into what birds I might see as I wouldn't be able to influence where I was going due to being on a University trip and without a hire car. 

Still managed 12 lifers with a few more new ssp.

These were

Plain Swift
Blue Chaffinch
Laurel Pigeon
Canary Islands Chiffchaff
Lesser Kestrel
Spanish Sparrow (first lifer that I've had while being under the effects of a few beers...)
Subalpine Warbler
Spectacled Warbler
Barbary Partridge
Berthelot's pipit
Southern Grey Shrike

The best birding experience of the trip however came in the form of Common Terns.

We had 1 free day at the end of the trip so we booked up with a local company to go snorkelling with Green Turtles. Where we were in the harbour a pair of Common Tern were using a small boat as a resting place before heading off to fish in the surrounding area. They allowed me to swim as close as I could which meant that my face was about 2ft away from the terns at times! It felt like a great privilege to be able to observe these birds at such close quarters. Completely different to seeing birds in the hand (even though I missed Common Tern in the hand at Spurn last year due to making dinner!) a true highlight for me!

me with tern on boat behind


Sunday, May 06, 2012

Good days birding today, got a patch tick in the form of a flyover Whimbrel, which was promptly eclipsed by a fly through Red-rumped Swalllow! Seen by a local dog walker Andy Walker the bird shot through north east and didn't return! Oh well a Red Kite moments before was also picked out by the sharp eyed dog walker! Good numbers of Wheatear on site with 13+ noted including some nice upright peachy birds.

soon to be appearing on a much more popular blog than this one!

Video of the Red Kite here


Being in active wing moult apparently makes it an Adult Female which is pretty cool!

A quick blast up to Castle Howard where the highlight was everyone else getting tipex thrown over them by some Rooks above. 3 Mandarins present probably mean that there taking up residence on site now!

Rest of day was spent in the valley with Cuckoo taking me onto 141 for my York Area Year List, still plenty of water around! Common Tern through Ellerton, 2 Wheatear, 3+ Yellow Wagtails down Hagg Lane with 100's of swallow-like-creatures, none with Red-rumps though. 

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Lack of recent posts due to being in Italy and Tenerife for a while, however will update fully soon but pretty busy with exams at the moment! New record flock of Arctic Tern for the LDV was pretty sweet today!

Video and more info here


More posts to follow, hopefully...

Taster of more to come