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Friday, 12 December 2014

Long-standing DEVON birder bows out.....

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Exeter birder JOHN WOODLAND who died at the age of 86 following a long illness on 30th November. John was to be found with his beloved wife Jean on every outing, the two of them spanning a birding career of over 45 years and often incorporating the Reverend Robert Kempster into their travels and midst. I first met the couple, along with the legendary 'Shrubkins' (aka Dave Hopkins) in the very early 70's in West Cornwall, when visits to St Ives Island were an essential part of the annual birding agenda. John was very unassuming, quiet and extremely appreciative of help and always was so happy, never having a bad word to say about anyone! The two of them never learnt to drive so birding was always done on foot, with over 40 years worth of Exe Estuary wildfowl & wader counts being executed in this way, but with him working for the railways, transport was not too much of a problem, annual holidays being spent birding on Fair Isle, the Isles of Scilly or North Norfolk. It was on the former that John connected with a real 'blocker' - a White-crowned Sparrow in May 1977 - but better than that, for him at least, was the finding of a Myrtle Warbler there at the same time. The pair were well into their butterflies too - finding more than just a few High Brown Fritillary sites during their ramblings - and supported Devon Birds for over six decades. It was on the Isles of Scilly pilgrimages that I go to know them best, spending many hundreds of hours in the field in search of rare migrants. John was just so keen, regardless of weather - and would trampse back with me to Watermill or Deep Point if anything was found late in the day even after we had finished a hard day's birding on the archipelago. He will be very sorely missed.
 
For those of you that knew John and Jean and would like to pay your respects, the funeral service is to be held at Exeter Crematorium at 1345 hours on Wednesday 17th December
 

Lee G R Evans

Saturday, 6 December 2014

A few places remaining on ROUND BRITAIN Birding Tours in 2015

I still have places left on two of my Round Britain Birding Tours in 2015 - on 23-31 January and 7-14 June. Up to 180 species are expected to be seen on the January trip and over 200 on the June, including all of the species that regularly occur in Britain, whether as resident or winter/summer visitors. Accommodation is a mixture of B & B and Travelodge/Premier Inn depending on location - for bookings or more information, contact me on LGREUK400@aol.com

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

ROUND BRITAIN 23-31 JANUARY 2015

There are still places left on my 9-day ROUND BRITAIN EXTRAVAGANSA - please email me for more details........

Likewise, places available on other tours between January and April, including Spain, Morocco/Western Sahara, Israel and Portugal

British Birding Association CERTIFICATES

For those of you that have passed the milestones of 400, 450, 500 or 550 species of bird in the UK & Ireland, why not decorate your wall or office with an official recognition of that fact by the BBA. Such an accolade should be celebrated and for just £5.00 (postage & packing included), one of these could be winging its way towards you. Simply email a copy of your latest list or number to LGREUK400@aol.com for consideration...


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The first ISABELLINE WHEATEAR for County Durham

See link here - http://bbabirding.blogspot.co.uk/

Thursday, 13 November 2014

UK Trips Schedule for 2015



BIRDING TRIPS INSIDE THE UK IN 2015
 
Just launching my itinerary for 2015 in terms of the UK where I can offer the following -:
 
ROUND BRITAIN TOUR 23-31 JANUARY 2015
Designed to see as many of the winter specialities as possible depending on weather conditions, recent tours accumulating around 180 species and 93% success; targets include Great Northern, Black-throated & Red-throated Divers, Slavonian, Black-necked & Red-necked Grebes, Fulmar, Gannet, Shag, Bittern, Cattle & Great White Egrets, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Whooper & Bewick's Swans, Snow Goose, Greenland White-fronted, Eurasian White-fronted, Tundra Bean, Taiga Bean, Pink-footed, Icelandic Greylag, Barnacle, Pale-bellied Brent, Brant & Red-breasted Geese, Ruddy Shelduck, Mandarin Duck, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal,Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Greater & Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, King Eider, Common, Velvet & Surf Scoters, Long-tailed Duck, Smew, Goosander, Ruddy Duck, White-tailed Sea & Golden Eagles, Marsh & Hen Harriers, Rough-legged Buzzard, Goshawk, Peregrine, Merlin, Red & Black Grouse, Ptarmigan, Grey Partridge, Golden Pheasant, Water Rail, Common Crane, Avocet, Purple Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Jack Snipe, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Bonaparte's Gull, Ring-billed, Mediterranean, Caspian, Yellow-legged, Little, Glaucous & Iceland Gulls, Rock Dove,Little, Barn, Short-eared & Long-eared Owls, Kingfisher, Ring-necked Parakeet, Shore Lark, Water & Rock Pipits, Dipper, Waxwing, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Dartford Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Siberian Chiffchaff, Yellow-browed Warbler, Crested Tit, Willow Tit, Bearded Tit, Great Grey Shrike, Red-billed Chough, Hooded Crow, Common Raven,Tree Sparrow, Brambling, Twite, Hawfinch, Common Crossbill and Snow, Lapland, Cirl & Corn Buntings.
 
SCOTTISH LONG WEEKENDER: 17-20 APRIL 2015
Departing Little Chalfont early evening Thursday, we arrive in Scotland for dawn and displaying BLACK GROUSE. The schedule then follows a well-rehearsed routine, taking in all of the Scottish Specialities and visits to the far North West and outlying islands such as Skye. Expect to see CAPERCAILLIE, BLACK & RED GROUSE, PTARMIGAN, WHITE-TAILED SEA & GOLDEN EAGLES, OSPREY, DIPPER, CRESTED TIT & SCOTTISH PARROT CROSSBILL with a boat trip excursion for close-up views of WHITE-BILLED DIVERS, Seaduck & Auks included and if available - a SNOWY OWL diversion.
 
ROUND BRITAIN TOUR 7-14 JUNE 2014
Another repeat of my highly successful summer tour concentrating on seeing all of the UK's resident breeding birds and summer visitors, recently accumulating weekly totals in excess of 205 species and a record 209; the long list of targets include GREAT NORTHERN, BLACK-THROATED & RED-THROATED DIVERS in breeding attire, breeding SLAVONIAN & BLACK-NECKED GREBES,  Manx Shearwater, Storm Petrel, nesting SPOONBILL, WHOOPER SWAN, MANDARIN DUCK, GARGANEY, KING EIDER, WHITE-TAILED SEA & GOLDEN EAGLES, OSPREY, MONTAGU'S & HEN HARRIERS, HONEY BUZZARD, GOSHAWK, HOBBY, PEREGRINE, RED GROUSE, GREY PARTRIDGE, QUAIL, CRANE, CORNCRAKE, STONE CURLEW, WOODCOCK, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, ARCTIC & GREAT SKUAS, LITTLE & ROSEATE TERNS, PUFFIN, BLACK GUILLEMOT, ROCK & TURTLE DOVES, CUCKOO, NIGHTJAR, WOODLARK, DIPPER, COMMON REDSTART, WHINCHAT, RING OUZEL, DARTFORD, GRASSHOPPER, MARSH, SAVI'S & WOOD WARBLERS, FIRECREST, SPOTTED & PIED FLYCATCHERS, CRESTED TIT, BEARDED TIT, HOODED CROW, RED-BILLED CHOUGH, COMMON RAVEN, TREE SPARROW, NORTHWESTERN REDPOLL, SISKIN, HAWFINCH, COMMON & SCOTTISH PARROT CROSSBILLS & CIRL & CORN BUNTINGS.
 
AUTUMN 2015 week-long trips concentrating on rarities in Shetland, etc still to be finalised
 

Accommodation is either B & B or Travelodge/Premier Inn, whilst birding is traditionally dawn until dusk. Vacancies are available on all 3 trips at present - please email LGREUK400@aol.com for further details and bookings

Thursday, 6 November 2014

DESERT WHEATEARS arrived today

Two first-winter male DESERT WHEATEARS were discovered today - one at Reculver Towers in Kent and this one in Suffolk at Lowestoft North Denes - both showing typically well. A particularly special rendezvous....















































Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Official LGRE Account on Twitter

Please note that Lee Evans has just ONE official Twitter account - @LeeEvansBirding

An account bearing the name @leeevansuk400 is fraudulent and is contacting individuals claiming to be me and being rude and offensive. Please IGNORE all such messages and report any such contact/tweets to Twitter. I have contacted them and they claim that they can discover the identity of the imposter; I have also reported the matter to the authorities following a number of concerning matters over the past six months