Monday, 17 March 2014

Long time, no post!

Hi everyone,

It has been ages since I last blogged, this is just a quick blog post of what I hope to be many to get back into a habit of blogging more regularly. So much has happened in birding since the last time I have blogged, 2014 has already been absolutely fantastic with Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Herring Gull, and Great Spotted Cuckoo being the clear highlights so far. Here are my attempts to do the Great Spotted Cuckoo justice.

(Great Spotted Cuckoo - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Great Spotted Cuckoo - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

On Saturday I was invited our by Jack Bucknall to Dumfries and Galloway, unsurprisingly we dipped the Hoopoe but we were successful in connecting with the presumed returning Red-breasted Goose there. There are two birds currently about in the area, a yellow ringed bird and an unringed bird. We were tipped of by Mike Youdale that the Barnacle Geese often move to Loanningfoot, sure enough the birds were present here and we drove down the famers track at West Preston Farm, after about 40 minutes the bird was finally picked up and after a short time we were able to confirm it was also the unringed bird. Superb! I absolutely love Red-breasted Geese.

 (Red-breasted Goose - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

 (Red-breasted Goose - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Red-breasted Goose - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

I will be back blogging again very soon, I hope!

Monday, 30 September 2013

Sylvia curruca blythi?

Just some pics of the bird that may by sylvia curruca blythi? Some discussion currently on going on Twitter...






Sunday, 22 September 2013

Past weeks birding...

The past weeks birding has predominantly been full of only twitching highlights, Teesside is currently dreadful, Lambton Pond is dreadful, the coast is dreadful, seawatching is dreadful, this just sin't the September I envisioned really!

Monday was an excellent day, I headed on down to Cheshire to catch up with the Leach's Petrels off Leasowe in Cheshire. This is a species that really had avoided my eyes up until Monday, I was fortunate enough to see around 8, of which myself and Zac Hinchcliffe jammed in on all. An excellent morning and was great to share the experience with Zac, a similarly aged birder I have known for around 5 years now. On the way back I called into Bishop Middleham and jammed in on the Pectoral Sandpiper someone had found, of course it wasn't there during the many hours or searching I put in over the past year. But that's birding!

 A Cheshire Lesser...

A Leach's I was actually able to photograph!

Nothing much happened until Friday when I finally had a good bird at Lambton Pond and also managed to see the American Golden Plover at St Mary's Island in Northumberland. The AGP showed well, the banter was excellent (as is always the case in Northumbs) and I rounded the day of nicely with a Pink-foot at Lambton Pond! In between this I ventured down to Teesside in what may have been the most quiet few hours on the Marshes I have ever experienced, exceedingly poor for the time of year. What is going on?!?!

Lambton Pond Pink.. 


 St Mary's Island American Golden Plover showed well..



Yesterday was spent dipping the Brown Shrike in Hampshire, but lets not dwell on that! A rather long trek later saw myself and team looking at 3 juvenile Blue-winged Teals. Which were "kind of" nice, certainly better than the worst bird I have ever seen to date, that being the eclipse drake of Saltholme RSPB back in 2011. As always a whole load of nonsense on BirdForum on various threads in regards to the origin of the Teals. Why is it so unusual for a presumed family part of Blue-winged Teals to reach Britain then end up on the east coast? I don't get the difficulty, its hardly as though they are the rarest set of wildfowl to reach our shores.

What Blue-winged Teals looks like..


2 of the 3 Blue-winged Teals, my camera could not fake taking a pic of the 3rd bird. 



Speaking of wildfowl...isn't it about time that they accepted that Baikal Teal from Flam? Not that I want to start a debate of course, not in my nature at all. Also some easterly winds are on the way, good news!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Snook & The Rather Great Snipe

The weekend begun with the checking of the waders at Seaton Snook, the tide wasn't really favourable and so not many wader at all. But I had some absolutely superb views of Dunlin and Ringed Plover, gave me a chance to try out my latest purchase; a Canon SX50 bridge camera, absolutely superb results for only £300.

First of all a slow approach...


Then some mega views and photo opportunities...




Only a single and rather solitary Ringed Plover, but sadly not a Semipalmated Plover!


Sunday saw a near enough to first light trip down to Spurn to see the Great Snipe. On arrival I was shocked to be told it was still present, a check of my phone also revealed that Oli Metcalf had already kindly alerted me to its remained presence 30 mins previously. The bird showed rather well, allowing for pics and video to be taken, I haven't had a chance to upload the video yet but that is something I'll get around to later on and will post it here on the blog.


Yes...it was rather showy. This photo wasn't that sharp which was frustrating, but I was more interested in watching and enjoying the bird. The next day I went to go look for Leach's Petrel on the Cheshire coast, more on that to follow.