Monday, June 25, 2012


Raking them up, what the earliest you could realistically get a a juv Scaup in Yorkshire?

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Had a chill out around Castle Howard with Jack and his brother Tom pretty quite afternoon until the drive back got an injection of adrenaline!

Driving back along the road from Castle Howard Jack Ashton-Booth picked out a GANNET flying low over the A64 just by the Highway Man Cafe.

We managed to pull over and scope the bird where I somehow controlled the shakes from the adrenaline pumping and managed to get a quick bit of video before getting back in the car to try and chase the bird as it was flying south west along the A64 

Thinking that going 60mph along the A64 we would overtake it, we then picked it up again as we got to the next roundabout flying over the car once again, now heading slightly more west and heading towards HES EAST!!! 

Driving round the roundabout we continued to watch it as it rapidly approached Hes

Driving round to the top car park at Hes we picked it up over the building site seemingly dropping in height so we were hopeful that it would drop onto the water  

Sprinting out of the car we lost it behind the buildings sprinting the right round the buildings and down onto to lake side and still couldn't pick it up either on the water or in the sky and the bird must have carried on shearing south west, next stop fairburn? 

We aged the bird as a 3cy due to the largely adult appearance apart from plenty of black in the flight feathers

Proper awesome moment! Big thanks to Jack and Tom Ashton-Booth for finding and keeping on such an awesome bird 

can you tell what it is?

 Video viewable here

Friday, June 22, 2012


Always take my gear out with me as the main reason I got it was to record anything I find and it works brilliantly for that. 

Always toyed with the idea of entering some digiscoping competitions when I was researching my gear but now realise that it would take a lot of time and effort photographing the birds whereas I seem to spend most of my time trying to find them and visiting different places. 

Maybe over the summer I'll try my hand at a bit of photography.

 Here's a few that I took the other day in the sun.

Baby Mute Swan Castle Howard. f.4.5 1/400th sec ISO 200

Ad Female Blackbird Hes East f.4.5 1/200th sec ISO 250

Juv Dunnock Hes East f.4.5 1/80th sec ISO 250

Spent a grand total of about 10 mins taking these photos and then just a quick run through Photoscape adjusting brightness and contrast and a bit of sharpening. Could I improve with better software and more time?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Finally managed to get Osprey on my York area year list last weekend, with a nicely timed bird turning up at Castle Howard just as I was on my way up there with the family!

Takes me up to 159 so only 12 more for the record! Still need Grasshopper Warbler (have I left it to late?!) Turtle Dove, Redstart,Wood Warbler (although none have been found so far in the regular haunt!) and Spotted Flycatcher. 

Looks like Stonechat aren't breeding in the area this year so I will have to hope for a late summer bird, at Hes East would be good!

Other birds that are predictable additions to the list would be

Wood Sandpiper
Black Tern
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Little Stint
Waxwing (invasion would help!)
Bewick's Swan
Barnacle Goose
Grey Plover

So that would be the record! Add in a few unknowns and I think I could be in with a shout!

For now, I'm off to Spurn for a few days, blog post to follow next week somepoint.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

End is near

Just finishing off my last piece of coursework until I finish my second year at Uni and will be free until early October, birding anyone?!

Check this out for some digiscoping oppurtunites in the future