Thursday, April 25, 2013


Today was awesome! 

Go on the Huttman! Gutted my dissertation is in next week though!

Friday, April 19, 2013


Despite being really busy with dissertation work at the moment I've still been able to squeeze in plenty of mainly evening trips to Hes East, highlights being

Arctic Tern on main lake (patch tick)
Black-tailed Godwit (patch tick) through with 7 Grey Plover!
First Swallows and Sand Martins

first Yellow Wagtail, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler

Osprey through north east

Note full crop. Also limited breast band indicating male?

Quick twitch to Flamborough for the stunning 2cy drake Baikal Teal and an early Swift

Red Kite through west
Pintail over south (patch tick)
Jay (3rd personal patch record)

fall of Wheatear with 26 on Hes East and 58! in the wider Heslington area with 29 in 1 field!!!

male Peregrine

2 Arctic Terns in morning increasing to 4 in the evening along with a Common
17+ Wheatear

Showed down to 3ft!

Experimented with a bit of slow motion video, really need to use this more!!!

Reason why I'm making time to do this post is that it is partly dissertation related!

Basically I'd like some opinions on the following;

The increase in wintering Blackcaps in the UK is a result of increase in non-native plants in gardens and increase in wild bird feeding. 'Reverse' migrants were always coming to Britain but would either re-orientate to winter or only be present in small numbers, however the above reasons caused this population to increase as birds with this genetic pre-disposition returned and bred and so this sub-population increased.

Linking this to Yellow-browed Warblers, if we assume that they have a similar relationship and are finding new wintering areas and so increasing on passage in Britain, what factors has caused them to increase? 

So what I'd like to hear opinions on is what people think the equivalent of what non-native plants and increase in wild bird feeding did for Blackcaps is for Yellow-browed Warblers?

This is forming part of my discussion, so just curious to hear peoples opinions at the moment, have a few of my own but just curious as to what others think! Hope it makes sense!

Either drop a comment below or send me an email on


Friday, April 12, 2013


Finally feel like it spring today!

An evening at Hes East produced;

Arctic and Common Terns spent all evening fishing around the main lake

7 Grey Plover and a Black-tailed Godwit

21 Swallow and 5 Sand Martin through north east

Really good birding and 2 patch ticks!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Aythya Hybrid

Managed to get some photos of the Aythya hybrid thats been doing the rounds in the LDV recently, click on images for a larger photo, comments would be really appreciated!

Seems to be a pretty good Lesser Scaup wing pattern?

Nice amount of restricted black on nail

peak on head seems to far forward

black on nail can look larger at times, confusingly so! Maybe due to water on bill?

head shape just before a dive

In the field it looks to be slightly larger than a Tufted Duck and the mantle has very faint vermiculations, views are alright probably around 500 m away from Garganey hide

Is this what a Scaup x Lesser Scaup looks like?!