Saturday 30 November 2013

Rainham Catch 30/11/13

Great morning with the NTGG (north thames gull group) which saw us process one catch, which was a good size, as we are still struggling for food waste again at this site.

Black-headed Gull   60 all colour ringed
Herring Gull   135   100 colour ringed
GBB Gull    2     both colour ringed

two recoveries and three controls on the black heads also.

Nineteen Starlings also in the net were also processed, these were new for me to.

ageing and sexing starlings

LBB enters the area...

Chooses his spot

This is my shit....

Go away..shu.....

one of the mighty GBB.

Sunday 24 November 2013

Patch Rewards.

Having turned down a couple of offers today to twitch the Orphean in Wales I decided to do the decent thing and go to work!!  Yes being self employed sometimes has its disadvantages but 10 + hours in the car was not really selling it for me either.

Anyway getting home at 14:30 I decided to have a quick look at the mighty Maysebrook Park, which is just a stones throw from my home, and with just over an hours worth of light chose to visit my local park that I have neglected for the last couple of months.

On arrival it was evident that the lake was covered in gulls, this is quite normal for a Sunday as most of the local tips being closed all day gives sites like this an opportunity to pick up something a little different.

Boom!  A fine red head GOOSANDER appears in view, and only my third for the site.  As I grab the camera for a few record shots I scan around only to discover a bloody GOLDENEYE.  This is only my second record with an over wintering female some 15years or so ago!!

Too much Excitemen!! I scan amongst the gulls and find this advanced second winter YELLOW-LEGGED GULL, this being another second record ever for me here.

And if it couldn't get any better a flyover juv PEREGRINE put in a brief appearance.

So what a great buzz for such a short visit, and probably much more of a buzz than I would have got seeing that taffy warbler!

Saturday 23 November 2013

Hoo Peninsula 23/11/13

November's low tide count on the Hoo peninsula proved bitterly cold but plenty of birds see for me and Mo,
resulting in a mass increase of Knot, Dunlin, Lapwing and Golden Plover in good numbers.

The female Merlin was again seen as well as a new juv male causing the wader's havoc, as were the regular Marsh Harrier's and Peregrines.

Bearded Tits increased with several small groups and a flock of twelve seen.

Mo picked up a Lap bunt, and eight Eider mid river for a bit of variety, and four Ruff and a single Brent was all i could muster.

Tuesday 19 November 2013


Some more pics of the Laughing Gull from last weeks holiday, which is just a distant memory now :-(

These shots were taken on my small lens Canon EF 24-105mm, where i had lots of fun taking the shots as the birds were feeding from my hand, so not the sharpest but very enjoyable.

Sunday 17 November 2013

More from Hoo.

So yesterday's survey was completed in glorious sunshine for me and Mo, which makes a nice change as the Hoo peninsula can be raw and blustery place.

A high tide survey which saw an increase in both Lapwing and Wigeon on the previous month and Golden Plover also building up.

On private land i picked up a single Woodlark which i also had on last months transit, and a bonus Lap bunt that flew around calling, with both birds being the host of a small Skylark flock.

Marsh Harrier were in good numbers and both Peregrine and Merlin were seen causing havoc, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel completed the raptor list.

distant fem merlin

Good numbers of Beardies from the ditches and a single Corn Bunting on rough ground were also noted. 

Saturday 16 November 2013

Richard's Pipit, Hoo Peninsula, Kent.

Nice bonus to today's bird survey was this fine RICHARD'S PIPIT, my second at this site in four weeks (assuming this is a separate bird)

Bird is viewable from public footpath along the seawall and is favouring the grassy bank on the lower section on the west edge of Egypt bay and can get in the field beyond the black fence, and also in long grass by the two small hawthorns at the end of the fleet.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Golden-fronted woodpecker

A few more pics from the holiday balcony in the shape of this golden-fronted woodpecker that showed rather well, these are widespread throughout the Yucatan peninsular and can quite often be seen in small flocks (presumably family)

Another species seen locally was the Yucatan woodpecker (endemic) which is basically a smaller version of this species.

Also these Brown Jays came to investigate the balcony in family flocks and even managed to get them feeding from the hand.

Wednesday 13 November 2013


I find it quite amazing how easy it is to pish out birds in the Americas compared to here, all i manage to bring out here is the odd dunnock and wren, when pishing out there you can attract up to a dozen species in one tree alone, ranging from warblers, vireo's, catbirds, orioles and jays.

This Red-eyed vireo was out side my room balcony and with a bit of pishing.

you can add a warbler.

and a catbird.

And by imitating the ferruginous pygmy owl, this then appeared in front of me.

Think i have this one down to a T, and think i will be using it my next autumn UK trip  :-)

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Cob'a (part 2)

The ruins are open from 8am and an early start is essential to avoid the crowds, which build up from 10am and becomes a bit of a zoo towards midday, the forest here offers good birdwatching and you can catch up with most of the commoner American wood warblers and a good selection of Mexican species too.

summer tanager

yellow-winged tanager

greyish saltator

Not all the bird are so easy to photograph up in the canopy but this odd looking eye-ringed flatbill is worth sharing !

These Ruddy ground doves are fairly common in the right habitat.

This Caribbean dove was another new species for me.

This Yellow-throated vireo was all to brief and just managed a record shot before he moved through, this was my first in 23 years !!