Tuesday 30 July 2013

Afghanistan now a country involved in sickening crimes against Birdlife

  1. Bird-hunting in Afghanistan helping drive migratory species like Siberian Crane to verge of extinction

Monday 29 July 2013


A summer-plumaged male MONGOLIAN SANDPLOVER (that from Moray in fact) was present from Saturday evening through most of Sunday near Youghal on the Ballymacoda Estuary (County Cork). It represented the first record for Ireland. Aidan Kelly obtained the following footage of the bird on Sunday - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAr2IdQ11TI&feature=youtu.be

Saturday 27 July 2013

Young CASPIAN TERN in Staffordshire/Cheshire

A first-summer CASPIAN TERN (pictured superbly above by David Carr) was discovered at Acre Nook Sand Quarry, 2 miles SSE of Chelford (Cheshire) on Wednesday night, roosting overnight with Black-headed Gulls on the mud there. It represented the fourth county record. It reappeared again the following evening before being intercepted at its daytime roost - about 6 miles away at Rudyard Reservoir near Leek in Staffordshire. It remained at Rudyard all day Friday, before returning once more to Acre Nook to roost. This same pattern of occurrence followed Saturday, allowing 500 birders or more to connect.

Acre Nook Directions: From the A535 Holmes Chapel Road, take Lapwing Lane southwestwards for just under a mile to view (SJ 820 723)

Rudyard Reservoir Directions: NW of Leek on the A523, turn west at Ryecroft Gate on Beat Lane and after 100 yards, turn left by the cottages and follow the rough track towards the north end of the reservoir for half a mile, parking by the barrier.

Another great selection of Caspo shots taken by STEVE SEAL


Dennis O'Sullivan discovered a summer-plumaged MONGOLIAN SAND PLOVER in County Cork this evening, the bird being sighted at Pilmore Quay just prior to dusk. This could be the bird seen two Tuesday's ago at Lossiemouth Beach (Moray).....
Northumberland's BRIDLED TERN moved to the Isle of May (Fife) last night whilst on Fair Isle, a SWINHOE'S STORM PETREL was trapped and ringed overnight

Meanwhile, more TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS continue to arrive with the tally over 25 now - most on Shetland - although a twitchable juvenile still remains on Salthouse Heath in North Norfolk

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Major Invasion of TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS likely

Adult female Two-barred Crossbill, Lynford Arboretum, Norfolk, late July 2013 (David Campbell)

With reports of up to 50,000 crossbills irrupting from West Siberian forests and vast numbers entering Scandinavia since late June, the UK is set for a bonanza of this trumpet-blowing finch. Already birders are reaping the benefits as following Saturday's arrival of seven individuals (two at Havergate Island and Holme NOA and singles at Gramborough Hill, Cley Beach and Spurn Point), more have been appearing this week with up to 4 (adult female and 3 juveniles) at Lynford Arboretum and a confiding juvenile on Kelling Heath.

Saturday 20 July 2013


In line with a huge influx into southern Scandinavia perhaps involving many thousands of birds, a minimum of 6 birds arrived today in East Anglia as winds freshened from the North East - a juvenile at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse, this cracking male at Cley Beach, a male and a juvenile at Holme Firs (all North Norfolk) and two juveniles on Havergate Island in Suffolk. Eddie Myers obtained these excellent shots above as the bird showed very well about 250 yards east of Coastguards for just over half an hour before flying southwest. A precursor of more to come

Friday 19 July 2013


Margaret Sharpe photographed this summer-plumaged male MONGOLIAN PLOVER on Lossiemouth Beach (Moray) last Tuesday, as it fed beside Ringed Plover. This represents only the fourth British record of this recently elevated species by the BBA/UK400 Club - the previous records coming from Bridge of Don (Aberdeenshire) on 18-19 August 1991, Keyhaven Marshes (Hampshire) on 22-26 July 2003 and in Aberlady Bay (Lothian) on 8-9 July 2004. This stunning bird may well make its way further south down the East Coast.

Local Mega: ROCK THRUSH in Aberdeenshire (2nd day)

First-summer Rock Thrush, Scotston, Aberdeenshire, 18 July. Found by Margaret Cowie and confirmed shortly later by local birder Tim Marshall, the photographer of this shot above.

Still present today (Friday 19 July)

The Rock Thrush is at NK113520 and present until at least 0830 this morning.  It is in the second field to the south of the obvious parking area at Scotstoun, just c20m beyond the gate leading into this second field, on the ground in an obvious sandy area full of thistles and rabbit holes.  Everyone last night  [only about 15 or so observers in total] was watching it from the little ridge just to the west as this gave a much better view looking down on the bird which frequently was in sandy holes and would not otherwise have been seen at all easily (per Al McNee)

Thursday 11 July 2013

My favourite bird

Outstanding video of my favourite bird - WALLCREEPER filmed in Romania by Chris Griffin -


Barbaric slaying of two COMMON BUZZARDS

A barbaric video has surfaced showing just exactly what our landed gentry get up to in this country, in the name of protecting Common Pheasants........despicable behaviour
Warning - this video is not for the fainthearted

Thursday 4 July 2013

And still those megas keep coming.........BRIDLED TERN on the FARNE ISLANDS

Monday afternoon saw visiting Norfolk birder Rob Wilson and ranger Will Scott independently discover an adult BRIDLED TERN on Inner Farne (Northumberland) - the first to be recorded in Britain for several years. It was roosting with Arctic and Sandwich Terns in the vicinity of the quay and remained on view for 50 minutes or more before flying out to sea. It then returned about two hours later, beginning a pattern that was to continue for several days. With news of its discovery breaking at 1430 hours and with daylight continuing until 2200 hours, it came as no surprise to hear of 27 observers connecting before nightfall, including a Lancashire team consisting of Chris Batty, Andy Holden and Stuart Piner; Vicky Holden made it too.

The bird was still present next day (Tuesday 2 July), allowing a further 219 observers to visit - 21 of these unfortunately dipping as the bird disappeared for six hours due to a period of inclement weather.

Being the first twitchable Bridled Tern in the UK in at least 20 years, the bird proved very popular, prompting me to visit today thus securing my 5th individual. Thanks to *Billy Shiels, we were on the island by 0620 hours, the Bridled Tern entertaining us for just under 45 minutes before flying out to sea.....

Early morning looking expectantly out towards the Farnes...

After a night of heavy rain, the sun emerges not long after dawn...

Take ones pick, a choice of options on sailing - £15 per return trip

Seahouses Harbour - picturesque, quaint, with breeding Common Eider and Rock Pipit

Approaching intrepidly...

.....and disembarking on the Inner Farne quay

A welcoming from one of the summer residents...

....And the beauty itself - an adult BRIDLED TERN

Roosting with the Arctic Terns on rocks by the quay

And all this enjoyed with some great birding friends - including the legendary JOHNNY MAC - What a Day !!