Thursday 21 April 2011


First-summer male Northern Wheatear, Deeping High Bank, 20th April 2011.

It's been a good spring for these boys so far.

Blue-winged Teal

Drake on the Ouse Washes, 20th April.

Had a few local birds, including a Turnstone on the patch on 19th. Also plenty of Wheatears, Green & Common Sands etc but nothing much else.

Monday 18 April 2011


Last couple of days I've spent some time covering my old patch; the extensive area of gravel pits on Baston and Langtoft Fens.

Yesterday (17th) produced my first decent flock of wagtails of the spring; at least 20 Yellows (all males), as well as my first Whitethroats, Sedge Warblers etc of the spring down there. Highlight was provided by a partial summer-plumage Black-tailed Godwit on the new, northern pit. Blackwits are a surprisingly rare bird here (I've seen many more Barwits), so was understandably chuffed - poor views in the fading light suggested it was probably a 2cy bird, but it wasn't there today so I'll never know for sure. The new pit it was on looks like it might be alright this spring (shame I'm not here to do it daily), and I've given it a new name - hopefully something worthwhile to report from it soon so that it gets on the news services.

Today promised a bit more; southeast winds and clear but becoming overcast by early afternoon. To me, it seemed like a good afternoon for the first Black Terns to arrive (which they did at a few sites across England), but none at BLGP. New-in migrants included a White Wagtail and a Common Sandpiper (both firsts for the year), whilst a Red Kite drifted over. A late adult Common Gull was on the new diggings opposite Reedbed Pit, and a drake Shoveler was at Grummit's Scrape. All the usuals were present, with LRPs now up to 5 in number. Highlight for me though was a small flock of 13 Golden Plover in splendid plumage on the south side of the complex, showing nicely for some photos:

No Dotterel tagging along, but these birds really are mint at this time of year. Got back this evening to hear that my partner in crime Staines had done further damage with a drake Blue-winged Teal in North Yorkshire this evening - he's finding some good birds this year. Gripped!

Portugal & Spain, 11-15th April

A good five-day trip to Portugal and Spain, the former country for Ruppel's Vulture and Cat C action, whilst we also visited the steppes of Spain. Details on the ticks I had at my netfugl page, whilst some pics below:

Sunday 10 April 2011

Purple Heron 10/4

I've been up in North Wales over the weekend visiting family; early this morning I headed west to Anglesey in order to try and connect with the adult Purple Heron frequenting a small pool in the river valley at Dwyran. It took a while to find the site but once located, the heron was easily picked up fishing on the pool. It was catching quite a few fish and, contrary to reports, seemed relatively unconcerned by my presence. A few photos below, taken with my mother's new Canon camera - my old Canon Ixus has bust. The results are pretty pleasing:

Also had a singing Sedge Warbler and a Swallow over there. I called in at Old Colwyn and Llanddulas on the way back to Hawarden, but unsurprisingly no sign of the Black Scoter - the scoter flock, and there were thousands of them, were inconceivably distant - an impossible task. There were a few Red-throated Divers and other mildly interesting blobs at extreme range.

Off to Portugal & Spain tomorrow.