Tuesday, 25 October 2016


Sunday I was in need of a  break from the patch and Danny had invited me to Spurn. It was a long trek up there but it brought back some happy memories of years gone by and it was nice to meet up with some friends and fellow Digiscopers. Unfortunately the birds wernt playing ball and everything cleared out the night before. We did find a few bits though, Brent Geese, a Hooded Crow was a first of the year for Spurn. A Black Redstart, Snow Bunting and 4 Twite. The Redwing and Fieldfares were showing nicely.

So no birds but it was nice to be somewhere different with great Company. Thanks Danny and the gang.

local stuff

16 October
Swallows 5 over the patch. 3 Reed Bunting Corton dis Railtrack.
Seawatching produced a small Auk Sp South, Looked like a puffin. 14 Dunlin and a Knot together. Plenty of Red Throated Divers COSW

17th October
Out Running the patch when 3 Ring Ouzels still on the Service Rd to CNSW. Another Ring Ouzel COSW and a Mealy Redpoll.

18th October.
Running again, 2 Ring Ouzel (CNSW) and a Stonechat. (COSW)

20th October
Only Managed a Seawatch. Brent Geese, plenty of Guillimot and Auk Sp. Dunlins, Sanderlings and a Bar Tailed Godwit. Teal, Wigeon, and plenty of Red Throated Divers.

22nd October
Good start to the day with Yellow Browed Warbler and a Firecrest, went down hill from there.
Quick Seawatch. 3 Eider. Guillimot. 18 Wigeon. 6 Dunlin. Lots Gannets and Cormorant.

24th October
After work Swallow and Reed Bunting, Then Bingo PALLA'S Warbler Corton Dis railtrack. My first Self found and my first on the patch.
Luckily Brian Small was there where he managed these great pictures.

Whilst refinding the Palla's after it went missing it was found together with a Yellow Browed, it was heard to call and sounded good for Humes. Unfortunately I didn't hear it but would be a great record.

25th October
Tonight very quiet but a distant Yellow Browed Warbler calling from Corton Dis Railtrack.
A few pics from last couple weeks.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

What a differnce a day makes.

The winds turned southerly over night so it wasn't surprising when the patch was much quieter than yesterday, an I mean MUCH quieter. However the morning started great as I was getting ready to slog the patch the back door was open whilst the dog was out and I heard the familiar call of the Yellow Browed Warbler, flipping close too, so close it was directly over my head when I went into the garden. It didn't stay long unfortunately although I did hear it call again a few gardens away.
As I walked down the garden to have a look see what else was around a Grey Heron flew out the area of the pond, so its found it, luckily there's no fish.
Other birds noted were Goldcrests, Long Tailed Tits, Meadow Pipits, 3 Grey Wagtails, 2 Pied Wagtail, Continental Blackbirds, Song Thrush and 7 Redpoll Sp, lastly a Siskin.

I felt I had to get back onto the patch, I was really trying to find that biggie, unfortunately like I said earlier things were much quieter. I did have a Firecrest and a Yellow Browed Warbler in Corton Dis Railtrack, unfortunately for the rest of the morning nothing. After lunch it was even harder and added nothing to the day.

So no sign of that biggie again!!! Must plod on though. One day!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Dawn to Dusk Birding

Got in a bit of a panic Friday Morning as James had found a Dusky Warbler at Cosw, best bird of the year so far. Bloody work was getting in the way again but luckily it was still there at 4pm that evening Phew. It was great that Geese were moving again. I only had 2 Whitefronts on the patch before this week and after the 26 or so from Thursday night it was great to see another flock of 26, and a small flock of 8 and a 12 that were probably Whitefronts. Bramblings were showing in the nearby trees too.

Back to today, I was out at first light and it was great to see the dusky Warbler was still around the OSW. Other birds on site were more Bramblings my first patch Fieldfares of the Autumn and my first Yellow Browed Warbler of the day.
The Dusky moved out of sight and I got a message of James saying he had another Probable Dusky Warbler now at the Dis Railtrack and could I check it out as he was in a hurry and had family stuff to do. It took a while to find but the call sounded spot on and eventually the bird gave great view and sure enough it was another Dusky Warbler, it was possible that we had a second individual. Whilst watching the Dusky another Yellow Browed Warbler was calling nearby and a Ringed Plover flew over.
A group of birders were now on site so the coverage was great and one chap spotted a Palla's Warbler but unfortunately it was too brief for anyone else. A Yellow Browed warbler gave good views and called over the next few hours.
A Male Marsh Harrier flew over.
I made my way slowly home for a quick bite to each, on the sea 11 Red Throated Divers and a Guillemot, also 11 Brent Geese South.

After lunch I walked through Furse wood and caught 2 birds flying towards me, they were large and had nicely marked wings, they called as they dropped into the trees, Hawfinch!!!! Bingo!.
Over at the NSW Pond my 3rd Yellow Browed Warbler of the day (or same one doing a circuit)
and then back in the Dis Railtrack a singing Firecrest. .
Again made my way to the OSW and back along the coast to home just before complete darkness.
So all in all a brilliant day although that Rare or Mega still evaded me.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Good Stuff

A great evening on the patch tonight after work, it was bloody windy but that didn't stop me finding a Shorlark on the path at COSW and whilst trying to find the bird again for another birder, 26 White-fronted Geese flew south over our heads. Never could find the Shorelark once in the long grass.
The strong wind didn't help. Over at furse wood and Woodcock flew over.  Excellent, what will tomorrow bring, Sib Accentor hopefully. ;-)

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Great Grey Shrike and Slavonian Grebe

Started on the patch and Radar Lodge but it was surprisingly quiet. 2 Reed Bunting 8 Siskin 3 Red Throated divers and a Stonechat in off the sea was the best Danny and I could manage.
We nipped to North Denes to check see if the Great Grey Shrike was still about from yesterday and it was.

Next onto Mutford Lock where we again checked to see if the long staying Slavonian Grebe was still around. Danny picked it out first and it was showing really nicely.

Also here were Cormorant, a Ringed Black Headed Gull Kingfisher and a Common Sandpiper.

Went home for lunch then slogged the patch again but nothing new, lots of common migrants but no special one.
Disappointing weekend really as it held so much potential but lacked any real goodies.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Patch Migrants

On patch this week its been good with plenty of migrants.
Wednesday I had a nice Yellow Browed Warbler and Ring Ouzel in and around the NSW. Plenty of Redwing and Song Thrush now here, wonderful sound.

Thursday the Black Browed Albatross was in North Norfolk so me and the local birders sea watched from Corton bench's really really hoping it would pass us. Unfortunately our luck wasn't happening.

Friday was a good day for migrants, unfortunately it all kicked off whilst I was at work. It was hard work after work but I ploughed on and managed to find a Firecrest at the NSW pond.

Today was an excellent day, although should have been much better too. I was up at 6 and was listening to thrush's passing over the house and nicely a Brambling.
So off I went as soon as it came light, started on the Dis Rail track and found a cracking Ring Ouzel, more Bramblings to and plenty of Goldcrests and Thrush's also plenty of Chiffchaffs.
Stood in the gap in the hedge looking towards the coast I spotted a small falcon at first I thought it was going to be a Hobby but as it came close I could see it was a blue grey Merlin, a year tick and not common on the patch. It did seem to come of the sea.
Moved to the NSW where I stood on the hill with a good vantage point 50+ Pink footed geese flew over going west then another Ring Ouzel flew out with a couple of Redwing.
Continued towards the Sewage works access road and met another birder, it was great to then show him another nice young male Ring Ouzel then a second joined it. 2 nice ring ouzel in the same hedge and a well pleased birder.

My Leica 82 is poorly so I'm having to use my trusty Leica 62 for now so its a hand hold the camera up to my scope jobbie for now.

Carried on birding checking every bush but just usual suspects including a few Blackcaps. Finally made my way to the coast path COSW and it was getting time for lunch but not before a very nice Yellow browed warbler dropped out the sky into the grass in front of me and quickly move inland. Amazing migration at its best, a Goldcrest did something similar as did a few Meadow pipits. 7 Pink Footed geese flew OUT to sea. Headed home for lunch.

After lunch I was back out and started on the coast path COSW first bird I saw was a Goldcrest then a Stonechat, another uncommon bird on patch.

Started now to look on the sea 30+ Common Scoter in various small groups, 8 Sandwich Tern a few Red throated divers.

A guillemot was close inshore and didn't look well, shortly after spotting this bird a Greater Black Backed Gull killed and ate it.

Other species over the water were a Curlew and 3 Brent Geese. 8 Brambling flew in off as did more Meadow Pipts and another Goldcrest. 2 Reed Bunting and a chiffchaff were in the COSW compound.
I had another good look around the NSW and Dis Railtrack but I didn't find anything else new unfortunately. So the day could have gone worse but should have been so much better.
Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Back on patch

Back on patch but it was a bit of a failure. Seawatching produce a few ducks, Pintail, Teal Common Scoter and Wigeon. 100s of Gannets 3 Dunlin and 2 Sandwich Tern. Plenty of Red Throated Divers too.
In the bush's were just a Reed Bunting, Song Thursh and a Pale Lesser Whitethroat. A dozen Goldcrest and Chiffchaffs made for a disappointing weekend.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Majorca September 2016 Species list

1Common ShelduckTadorna tadorna
2GadwallAnas strepera
3Eurasian TealAnas crecca
4MallardAnas platyrhynchos
5Northern PintailAnas acuta
6GarganeyAnas querquedula
7Northern ShovelerAnas clypeata
8Marbled DuckMarmaronetta angustirostris
9Common PochardAythya ferina
10Red-legged PartridgeAlectoris rufa
11Little GrebeTachybaptus ruficollis
12Black-necked GrebePodiceps nigricollis
13Cory's ShearwaterCalonectris diomedea
14Sooty ShearwaterPuffinus griseus
15Great CormorantPhalacrocorax carbo
16European ShagPhalacrocorax aristotelis
17Little BitternIxobrychus minutus
18Black-crowned Night HeronNycticorax nycticorax
19Cattle EgretBubulcus ibis
20Little EgretEgretta garzetta
21Great EgretEgretta alba
22Grey HeronArdea cinerea
23Purple HeronArdea purpurea
24Glossy IbisPlegadis falcinellus
25Greater FlamingoPhoenicopterus roseus
26Black KiteMilvus migrans
27Red KiteMilvus milvus
28Griffon VultureGyps fulvus
29Cinereous VultureAegypius monachus
30Western Marsh HarrierCircus aeruginosus
31Booted EagleHieraaetus pennatus
32OspreyPandion haliaetus
33Common KestrelFalco tinnunculus
34Eleonora's FalconFalco eleonorae
35Peregrine FalconFalco peregrinus
36Water RailRallus aquaticus
37Common MoorhenGallinula chloropus
38Purple GallinulePorphyrio martinicus
39Eurasian CootFulica atra
40Red-knobbed CootFulica cristata
41Eurasian OystercatcherHaematopus ostralegus
42Black-winged StiltHimantopus himantopus
43Pied AvocetRecurvirostra avosetta
44Eurasian Stone-curlewBurhinus oedicnemus
45Little Ringed PloverCharadrius dubius
46Common Ringed PloverCharadrius hiaticula
47Kentish PloverCharadrius alexandrinus
48Little StintCalidris minuta
49Curlew SandpiperCalidris ferruginea
50DunlinCalidris alpina
51RuffPhilomachus pugnax
52Common SnipeGallinago gallinago
53Eurasian CurlewNumenius arquata
54Common SandpiperActitis hypoleucos
55Green SandpiperTringa ochropus
56Spotted RedshankTringa erythropus
57Common GreenshankTringa nebularia
58Wood SandpiperTringa glareola
59Common RedshankTringa totanus
60Ruddy TurnstoneArenaria interpres
61Black-headed GullLarus ridibundus
62Audouin's GullLarus audouinii
63Yellow-legged GullLarus michahellis
64Common Wood PigeonColumba palumbus
65Eurasian Collared DoveStreptopelia decaocto
66Common SwiftApus apus
67Pallid SwiftApus pallidus
68Alpine SwiftApus melba
69Common KingfisherAlcedo atthis
70European Bee-eaterMerops apiaster
71HoopoeUpupa epops
72Eurasian WryneckJynx torquilla
73Thekla LarkGalerida theklae
74Sand MartinRiparia riparia
75Eurasian Crag MartinPtyonoprogne rupestris
76Barn SwallowHirundo rustica
77Red-rumped SwallowHirundo daurica
78Common House MartinDelichon urbicum
79Tawny PipitAnthus campestris
80Yellow WagtailMotacilla flava
81Common NightingaleLuscinia megarhynchos
82Common RedstartPhoenicurus phoenicurus
83WhinchatSaxicola rubetra
84European StonechatSaxicola rubicola
85Northern WheatearOenanthe oenanthe
86Blue Rock ThrushMonticola solitarius
87Common BlackbirdTurdus merula
88Cetti's WarblerCettia cetti
89Zitting CisticolaCisticola juncidis
90Eurasian Reed WarblerAcrocephalus scirpaceus
91Dartford WarblerSylvia undata
92Sardinian WarblerSylvia melanocephala
93Eurasian BlackcapSylvia atricapilla
94Common ChiffchaffPhylloscopus collybita
95Willow WarblerPhylloscopus trochilus
96Common FirecrestRegulus ignicapilla
97Spotted FlycatcherMuscicapa striata
98European Pied FlycatcherFicedula hypoleuca
99Coal TitParus ater
100Eurasian Blue TitParus caeruleus
101Great TitParus major
102Woodchat ShrikeLanius senator
103Eurasian JayGarrulus glandarius
104Western JackdawCorvus monedula
105Northern RavenCorvus corax
106Common StarlingSturnus vulgaris
107House SparrowPasser domesticus
108European SerinSerinus serinus
109European GreenfinchCarduelis chloris
110European GoldfinchCarduelis carduelis
111Common LinnetCarduelis cannabina
112Red CrossbillLoxia curvirostra

Majorca 10th-17th Sept 2016

Once again we arrive in Majorca for a Family holiday. The beauty about Majorca is the tourist stuff come with the opportunity to be birding at the same time and even better this time is we chose the Eix Lagotel Hotel in Playa De Muro and I asked for a room overlooking the S'Albufera Marsh and that's what we got, certainly a nice portion of it. The down side for people who don't like noise would be the entertainment that lasts until 1130pm, but we quite enjoyed listening to the live music from the balcony.

Sunday 11th
We Arrived late on the Saturday night so no birding was done and we never got to see the view, so it was a great surprise to see we were over looking the reserve and that put me down for Sunday all day birding just from the Hotel.  The birds were brilliant. Osprey (every day) Juv Purple Heron, 50 Black Winged Stilts 10 Greenshank, 20 Spotted Redshank, Kentish Plovers, Purple Gallinule, Booted Eagle a nice Griffon Vulture plenty of Pallid Swifts with couple of Alpine Swifts and many many more commoner species.

A walk out to get some food in the evening had us walking past a small water filled ditch within the hotel and our first of many Little Bitterns.
The Moon was fabulous as always.

Monday 12th
The Monday passed Alcudia walking round the fabulous walled village, a great tourist spot and a nice place for lunch.

Then Headed for Formentor Lighthouse, as always the Eleanora's were showing fabulously as were 50+ Corys Shearwater but highlight of the hole trip was a surprise SOOTY SHEARWATER, not something you would see in the Med very often, a very special bird.
The other birds on site were pretty normal but still nice, Blue Rock Thrush, Firecrest, Sardinians and a couple of nice Peregrines.

On the Drive back down the mountain Crossbill, Firecrest and other common stuff. The Landscape here is out of this world however.

Late afternoon I spent a bit of time on the S'Albufera Marsh from the hides. Started at CM Hide which was awesome as ever with Cattle Egrets, a Great White Egret, 22 Marble Teal, Stone Curlews and a Garganey.


Then I moved to the Bishop hides where an Osprey was feeding, amazing views and not sure ive seen one this close for many years. Black Winged Stilts, Green and Common Sandpipers, everywhere here.

On the way back to the hotel the Night Herons were in there usual trees by the river.

Tuesday 13th
A very nice trip down to Cap De Ses Salines birdwise is as quiet, no movement of Raptors except the local Booted Eagles, plenty of Ravens, a Dartford Warbler in the lighthouse gardens and a handful of our first Bee eaters of the trip.
This Speckled Gropper was new to me.

Down at Ses Salines the Flamingos were in and the variety of waders were nice, Curlew, Curlew Sandpipers, Kentish Plovers, Avocet, Turnstones Dunlin, Little Stints and Ruff. Raptors were a couple of Red Kites.

After here the tourist trap of Porto Cristo what a nice place, plenty of money floating around here.

Wednesday 14th
The morning I added House Martins, Sand Martins and Cormorant from the hotel list but the best birds were from Cubar Res.  Crossbills were all over, Black and Griffon Vultures were great although not the best of views this trip. A couple of showy Tawny pipits were nice. 3 Elenoras with 3 Peregrine and lots of Common Redstart. Booted Eagles always show nicely here.

Then to the tourist spot of Valldemossa, beautiful area with wonderful flower lined streets.

Dropped the girls off back at the hotel and I headed for Son Bosc Deck over looking the water Treatment lagoons. It was great to see plenty of Cattle Egret, Wood and Green Sandpipers, Red Rumped Swallow, Woodchat Shrike, Nightingale, Whinchat, Yellow Wagtail Hoopoe and European Starling. Pick of the bunch was a nice Black Kite.

Thursday 15th
Started at Inca, a town we had never visited before. We had gone to see the traditional market which was massive and quite frankly amazing, some great produce on offer. 
Then we had Lunch at our favourite place the Campanet Caves as the gardens are superb. The Humming Bird Hawk Moth was here in good numbers and I spotted my first ever African Preying Mantis.

After dropping the girls off at the hotel again I had the opportunity to spend the rest of the day at S'Albufera again, all the usual good birds again including a very showy Little Bittern

A few Bee Eaters, 2 Black Necked Grebes, Pintail, some more Alpine Swifts and the Osprey again. There were 2 Pied Flycathers around the centre and 3 Glossy Ibis flew over and landed on one of the pools out of sight. Garganey up to 3 now.

Cattle Egrets again where everywhere and a strange creature Long Headed Toothpick Grasshopper Acrida ungarica

A Purple Swamphen showed well as did the usual Red Knobbled Coots .

The pools were full of water and so it did seem like bird numbers were down on previous years. Still amazing though .

Friday 16th
Started at Son Real which we missed on our last trip but it was as good as every with 2-3 Wrynecks, a few Thekla larks and Tawny Pipits, Woodchat Shrikes. Lots of Redstarts and Spotted flycatchers, dozen Shags on the rocks and I never fail to find showy Audouins Gulls here.


The monuments are always good here and this is what draws Rach to the area.


Went back to Playa De Muro and enjoyed the beach area as it was very hot and time to take it easy a little.

Saturday 17th
Our last day, our flights weren't till late so we had time to relax sit in the sun enjoy the area again then a few hours at the wonderful Arta Caves, a new area for us and the best cave we have ever visited in truth, it was huge and very colourful, set by the sea in a wonderful location.


A wonderful end to a great Family Holiday. 112 Species give or take a few Ive forgot since returning.
List here.