Monday, 17 December 2007

The 'HIT' list

It's being Christmas shopping weekend, and birding has been put on hold for a weekend.

I thought I would list the birds I need in the next 18 days.

Black-throated Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Cattle Egret, White Stork, Bean Goose
White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, Red-breasted Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Mandarin Duck
Green-winged Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Ring-necked Duck, Eider, Velvet Scoter, Smew, Rough-legged Buzzard, Common Crane, Jack Snipe, Woodcock, Lesser Yellowlegs, Grey Phalarope, Pomarine Skua, Great Skua, Mediterranean Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Little Auk, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Snowy Owl, Wryneck, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Short-toed Lark, Water Pipit, Waxwing, Cetti's Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Rosy Starling, Twite, Common Crossbill, Hawfinch, Snow Bunting, Little Bunting, Corn Bunting

Thats 48 all together. With 17 realistics

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Winter Desert..

Having my fingers and everything else crossed all week has payed off. A chance to get the lost Desert Wheatear - 2 in the country.
Cromer point, Burniston, North Yorkshire, TA0292. A 6am blast off from home, I get to the top of a very cold Seacliff top. A couple of minutes walk from my warm car, and I am in a small stubble area with 4 or 5 stonechats showing off. The wind is bitter. Then I see it. a few feet to my left. What a poser! The bird was happy to tolerate birders if they stayed still. Crippling views, and then I am back to the car in 10 minutes. As I take my boots off, a strange (to me), call comes from the hedge. A trill - a whistle - a trill.. My brain gives me a question - Is that a Lapland Bunting call? A lapland Bunting, the bird I have most dipped on. I inspect the hedge. A bunting shaped bird, sees me coming, and it's erupts from the bush still calling. Yes! that's it. A lifer. No sign of the Snow Bunts - my bogey bird this year. Face beaming, I'm off to scarborogh harbour - Great Northern Diver - ticked.
184 - Desert Wheatear
185 - Lapland Bunting.
Nail biting times.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Heron their...

It's December, where has this year gone? Time to get those birds I have been putting of for some time now.
Leighton Moss SD4775, Today I have packed the kitchen sink into my rucksack, with the intention to 'roughing it' in Lillians hide -Carpeted, Comfy seats, and heated - untill I get to see Britains most secretive and rariest Herons. On arrival I am greated with the 'Should have been here 15 minutes ago...the Egret was posing a few feet away from the hide, before flying off'..damn! the time I spent in Morrisons buying steak pies, etc....bugger!
Black Sabbath blasts from my pocket...Guess who forgot to turn the mobile off!..Leave the hide time...It's the Wife!!..3 minutes later..back inside..Excitement in the air....A Bittern is flying across the pool, lands, 2 steps into the reeds, and it turns invisible, gone!...Incredible...that was a near miss...phew!
I load up the mule (me), And I am off to another hide in the direction the Egret fly..and get soaked...Nothing here but a very wet looking Heron...One more hide to try. As I leave the hide, My eyes catch a glimpse of a white bird flying just above the 6ft high reeds, being chased by a Heron. Yes! that's it. It lands in the area I am going..700 yards in seconds...The Egret is just outside the window...set up in record time..3 pictures snapped, and the Heron sees off the Foreign bird....Gone...Am I lucky today....Both Bittern and Great White Egret seen in my first Hour....Breakfast time declared..and some bird watching time.
Woodwell SD462744, Is a cert for Britains larges finch, Hawfinch, at the right time of year..not December though, but last week one was seen..I give it 90 sign...But some Marsh Tit made up for the missing finch...should have been here in spring.
Hest bank, Morecombe SD4766, Great timing! I catch the tide just coming in. This brings the birds towards me. No need to leave the car, and get wet. Farsands of birds here. good bird watching, No sign of Eiders. Where have they go to?
High Rid Reservoir, Horwich, SD6610, A lost Long Tailed Duck, prefares here rather than the turbulent seas. I set up for a Foto, only for Dog walkers/ dog swimmers to put the duck in the middle of the reservoir. GRRR!
181 - Bittern
182 - Great White Egret
183 - Long Tailed Duck
Nail biting times.