Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Long Nanny & Low Newton, 26th Oct 2010

A quick dash up to the Nanny this afternoon, the twite flock here has built up to 74 birds now, and a lapland bunting flew south calling, but as usual, refused to stop....

I noticed a bit of migration once the rain had cleared this afternoon, a few groups of linnets, chaffinches and meadow pipits moving south, and a woodcock came barrelling in off the sea right over my head.

Before leaving I decided to drop down to Low Newton to check the water levels in the scrapes..... I have raised the water here over the last week to try and get some more winter flooding for wildfowl and roosting waders. This also serves to suppress marginal grass growth and flood out any colonising vegetation on the bare muddy bits, so, when we start to slowly drop the water again next spring there should still be plenty of mud to expose for that broad-billed sand !

I had a scan of the field, looking for pipits..... and by 'pipits' what I mean is water pipits ! Still haven't seen one here, but I'm hoping this field might pull one in some day...... Today 2 rock pipits and 3 meadow pipits were hanging around, giving me a bit of hope......

On the scrape today a nice gathering of waders that I suspect had been booted off the beach by all the disturbance. I guess it's good that there is a bit of a refuge here now for situations like that.

On the scrapes today......

57 redshank
2 turnstone
1 dunlin
3 lapwings
2 curlew
32 oystercatchers
and in amongst the redshank the unexpected star of the show..... a juvenile pec sand !

Pec sand

This is the 3rd (or maybe 4th) pec sand on the scrapes this autumn, I'm certainly not complaining, but I'd kill for a different yank wader !

Anyway..... raising the outflow pipe by a couple of collars seems to have done the trick, a much larger body of water sitting here now.....

Click the pic for a closer look.....

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Some classic comedy....

Here's a rare clip for Father Ted fans......

Saturday, 23 October 2010


This bunch of losers make me realise I am not all that bad after all....
If ever there was a reason to give up birding, these CLOWNS are it !!

Of course if you are grumpy old bastard like me, you'll know that modern birding isn't proper birding anymore..... it's all listing and technology nowadays isn't it........ I used hear about rare birds a week later, then hitch hike to sites, and sleep in bus shelters !

Is it normal to spend obscene amounts of money racing around the country just so you can get one more number on your UK600 list than the next listing clown ?.............In this grumpy birders opinion you may as well collect feckin stamps !

The worse thing is all my friends seem to think I am like this too, and it's because clowns like this paint a picture in the media that birders are just social outcasts in competition with each other to get one more tick on their lists....... These are not birders, they're listers........

How many of these pager wielding idiots actually bird a local patch, or even know how to identify what they are looking at ?........... I think we need a cull !!

Kill all clowns !!

Long Nanny to Low Newton, 23rd Oct 2010

It felt wintery this morning, howling northerlies and horizontal rain were not the most inspiring conditions to be birding in, but the weekend is the only time off I usually get and beggars can't be choosers I guess........ must stay positive.....

I started off optimistically, as I wandered towards the Long Nanny I was day dreaming about finding a rough-leg........ the fields here look just perfect for one ! Maybe some waxwings, or shorelarks might put in an appearance today too ?............ Yep I had the day mapped out in my head..... rough leg and shorelarks at the Nanny, followed by a nice flock of waxwings at High Newton, and finishing off with a firecrest down at Newton Pool....

Guess what....... today day was nothing like that at all !!

At the Long Nanny the twite are back..... 62 birds in total today, but no buntings or larks keeping them company unfortunately........ I have always dreamt of finding an arctic redpoll with the twite flock at the Nanny....... I think the chances are probably zero.

Imagine finding a snowball amongst these peachy beauties !

Everywhere seemed particularly quiet today (howling winds don't help), the Nanny was no exception, so I moved on to High Newton. The walled garden here held a tit flock that included 1 chiffchaff, 1 blackcap and 3 goldcrests. Also at High Newton today a few fieldfares chomping on roadside berries seemed new in.

A check of the bird crops at High Newton was worthwhile with an ever growing flock of 200+ mixed sparrows (at least 50 tree sparrows now). Also a smaller flock of yellowhammers and reed buntings here.

Part of a mixed sparrow flock feeding in the bird crops

Next I took a trip down to Football Hole to boot through the stubble strip, 150+ linnets here, plus just 5 skylarks and 3 reed buntings.

Down at Newton Pool the only birds of note were 2 goldcrests and a woodcock in the very breezy willows.

I finished off today by spending an hour seawatching at Newton Point, within seconds of sitting down the first bird I put the scope on was a sooty shearwater, closely followed by a juv pom skua, both at fairly close range too. This is going to be good I thought........ then I sat there for an hour and saw feck all !

Finally, a hailstorm came through and finished me off. On the walk away from the point I noticed a couple of soggy looking fieldfares sat in the grass, presumably fresh in and grounded by the rain ?

Rainbow at Newton Point