Tuesday 30 April 2013


This year, unlike recent years, they were everywhere - even all over the road. I must have seen at least 25 individuals, often moving around in one large feeding flock. Heavy snow as we arrived was enough to bring these mountain glacier top residents down into the town and what a spectacle it was - lots of these too...

A very successful trip, including an extension into Eastern Turkey for other specialities - LAMMERGEIERS and BLACK VULTURES abounded, and more RED-BACKED SHRIKES than you could ever dream of.....

I have lots more trips to run in 2013, so if birding dawn 'til dusk floats your boat and a bagful of birds, contact me for further details - LGREUK400@aol.com

A somewhat sad ending for a wintering EURASIAN BITTERN

Whilst twitching a EURASIAN BITTERN in Bedfordshire yesterday afternoon, I never expected having to take the bird into care - but that's what happened I am afraid....

Met with a bemused Bob Henry, Cliff Tack and Mike Wilkes, I could hardly believe what I was seeing - a BITTERN acting as if it was a Red-throated Diver on a small stretch of water just about capable of holding a Great Crested Newt.......

After two hours barely moving, it was clear something was up and after a determined attempt to catch it, I soon realised it had a broken wing and was not capable of flying (it had seemingly flown into overhead power cables). It was seriously emaciated and in poor condition and swiftly despatched to Aylesbury's St Tiggywinkle's Wildlife Hospital where it was immediately placed on life support.......

Sadly, it was confirmed today that the bird's injuries are so severe it will never fly again and will be kept indefinitely at the hospital's pond.....

See Johnny Lynch's images of the escapade......

The team succeeded - Bittern's in the bag (Cliff Tack, Bob Henry and I seconds after the capture)

Annual Tally increases

Popular birds in the form of a ROCK THRUSH (David Carr) and EASTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER (Lee Woods)

With the addition of 19 new species in the past two weeks, the tally of species recorded in Britain and Ireland in 2013 increases to 329.........
Recent additions include BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (South Devon), Honey Buzzard (3 in Suffolk), RED-FOOTED FALCON (female on St Martin's, Scilly), Common Quail, BAILLON'S CRAKE (found dead at Slimbridge WWT), Corncrake, BLACK-WINGED STILT (mobile pair in SouthWest/Wales), Pectoral Sandpiper (London/Essex), Wood Sandpiper, Sabine's Gull (Eire), CASPIAN TERN (Spurn), WHISKERED TERN (2 in SouthWest), European Nightjar, EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (twitchable bird in Salop), ROCK THRUSH (twitchable female at Spurn), EASTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER (male at Landguard), WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER (Church Norton), Spotted Flycatcher and Golden Oriole

Tuesday 9 April 2013


Still present after a number of weeks at Ham Walls RSPB (Somerset). These shots taken by Gary Thoburn are of outstanding quality

This Weeks Challenge - Quizbird 4

Identify Quizbird 4. An easy one, so only 4 points up for grabs. Email LGREUK400@aol.com with the correct answer

Saturday 6 April 2013

Quizbird 3

Identify the species depicted in this image? First correct answer will claim 5 points - email LGREUK400@aol.com with your answer

A relatively easy one - HAWFINCH - quickly answered correctly by a stream of observers.....

1) Chris Parnell, 5 points
2) Geoff Hawkins, 4 points
3) Michael Booker, 3 points
4) Steve Nuttall, 2 points
5) Mark Bailey, 1 point

Tuesday 2 April 2013

When will this winter ever end?

Yet another male WHITE-SPOTTED BLUETHROAT recorded today - this one at Melksham in Wiltshire - whilst 5 remain with singles on the Isle of Wight at St Helen's Duver, in the Observatory Garden at Portland and along Chesil Beach (Dorset), at Bockhill Farm, St Margaret's-at-Cliffe and at Samphire Hoe Country Park, Dover (Kent). The Dawlish Warren NNR (South Devon) HOOPOE remains for a second day, whilst a major surge of White Wagtails, Ring Ouzels, Black Redstarts and Northern Wheatears is being felt.

In West Norfolk, the juvenile WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLE reappeared this evening over Roydon Common, whilst at least 1 ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD continues at Haddiscoe Levels (Norfolk)

In the far North, the drake HARLEQUIN DUCK remains on North Uist at Traigh Iar (Outer Hebrides), with WHITE-BILLED DIVERS on South Ronaldsay (Orkney), Butt of Lewis (Outer Hebrides) (2) and Portsoy Harbour (Aberdeenshire) (3).

Lots and lots of rare wildfowl lingering in the south and west, including 6 or more drake LESSER SCAUPS, drake FERRUGINOUS DUCK at Otmoor RSPB (Oxon) and RED-BREASTED GOOSE at Farlington Marsh (Hants).

The two male KENTISH PLOVERS remain at Rye Harbour NR (East Sussex) and the male PENDULINE TIT at Stodmarsh NNR (Kent).