Monday, 21 October 2013

This Weeks Birding

Thursday saw me heading for Hartlepool Headland early doors with Tom M and Dan McG for Western Bonelli's Warbler, we gained some excellent views of that bird and also managed Mealy Redpoll in the hand there. Sunday saw me back at Hartlepool Headland for the Pallid Swift, Dusky Warbler and Bonelli's again, getting good views of all again! Me and Dan then went with Andrew K and Michael M to North Yorkshire for the Siberian Stonechat, and got some excellent views of that as well! However we dipped Hoopoe in Notts later in the day thanks to an ignorant photographer who thought 10 feet wasn't close enough, wow. Today saw me flying up to Howick for another Siberian Stonechat which showed even better, becoming my second in two days after only life ticking it yesterday! Excellent few days birding.

Western Bonelli's Warbler

 Mealy Redpoll
 Pallid Swift

Siberian Stonechat

Friday, 11 October 2013

Mad Seawatch 11/10/13

(7:15 - 12:15) and (15:30 - 17:45) seawatches today from St. Mary's - Totalling 7 Busy Hours! Highlight Day Totals:

Sooty Shearwater - 38
Manx Shearwater - 28
Common Scoter - 241
Arctic Skua - 4
Great Skua - 125 (!)
Red-Breasted Merganser - 3
Brent Goose - 20
Red-Throated Diver - 18
Pomarine Skua * - 2
Goldeneye - 5
Velvet Scoter - 3
Long-Tailed Duck - 2
Black-Throated Diver - 2
Great Northern Diver - 3

Can't get enough of this fantastic passage, back for more tomorrow!! Also a couple of grounded migrants today, hopefully more tomorrow, but did get the long-staying Firecrest again and a patch yeartick in the form of Stonechat, putting me on 156.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Patch Mega!

After a report from Alan C of a RB Fly on the patch today, I went straight down for a look. It was a fruitless effort however as nobody on site saw the bird, and there was only one observer at 9:30, no further sign since. I managed to hear a Firecrest (2 Still Present), 4 YBWs and a Redstart. While looking for the RB Fly, I got eyes on a Large Raptor coming in off the sea. After I got my bins on it, I come to the conclusion that it was a Harrier sp! I presumed it was Marsh Harrier because there had been a few about and it was most likely, however after having a good look at the shape, I decided it was a HEN HARRIER! I shouted across to Bob, Brian and Darren who were standing with a few other birders who all got on the bird, and came to the conclusion that it was in fact a Hen Harrier, as a couple of the birders there had the Harrier in their scope and got the white rump showing nicely! One of the birders also managed a nice shot of it as it was flying away, my 2nd ever on patch, fantastic!! Better have another prediction as is tradition now! With these westerly winds coming in, I'm not hopeful, but Red-Breasted Flycatcher re-appearing would be nice...

Hen Harrier

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Mini-Fall 2-3/10/13

Visit to patch this evening prove very productive! Me and Daniel McGibbon had a wander around the bushes and on our way to the willows, we got eyes on a female-type Redstart that dived in near the 2nd viewpoint. In the end, we had 2 Blackcap, Redwing, Song Thrushes and a few Goldcrest in the bushes. A Jack Snipe also flew over while we were scanning. The wetland held an absolute mega on the patch in the form of a COOT! My second of the year! Just as we were leaving, we were told to hurry along the track towards the 2nd viewpoint by PA and JM, and when we got along there, they told us they had just got eyes on a Firecrest, a full lifer for me and Dan! On waiting a few moments, we got some smart views of it, although elusive, excellent bird and a cracking find!

I went back down this morning to try and get some photos, and apart from 3 YBWs calling loudly from the bushes, there was very little else around. However, after a while the Firecrest was re-seen and I managed to get it in front of my camera in the willows near the wetland, showing well at times! Also had patch yeartick number 153 in the form of Little Grebe on the wetland, a cracker! Back for more tomorrow, I'll try this again... RBFlycatcher tomorrow please?