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Showing posts from September, 2008

Garden migrants

The nice weather over the weekend saw me in the garden doing various bits and pieces. However I was delighted to hear the call of a flava wagtail and then a flock of six Skylarks over the house. this morning, there were at least one Willow Warbler, one Chiffchaff and Goldcrests - still no sign of a yellow-browed, though.

Shrikes Galore!

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The news of a Brown Shrike at Flamborough Head the previous evening was the prompt needed to have a days birding on the east coast. Tony Disley, Bill Berry and I started out at 7, arrived just before 10 and parked the car in a field FULL of cars near the site. I was somewhat surprised to find John already there as he said he couldn't go on Thursday and Billy who should have been working (and had a change of heart)! This was the site of a real mega-twitch with crowds of birders lining the road for a distant glimpse of the bird that had moved from the Old Fall hedge to one a little more problematical. I've got to say the local constabulary did a good job in cordoning off half the road for the birders. Thankfully, after half and hour's wait, the adult Brown Shrike appeared on the hedge alongside a juvenile Red-backed Shrike - it was a stunning bird even at distance with a completely different jizz to the Red-backed. Once we'd had our fill we headed down to the Old Fall pl…

Some Milestones

Thanks to everyone who came along to our party on Saturday to celebrate our daughter Heather's 18th Birthday and our 25th Wedding Anniversary. It was a great night and not even the knowledge that I was missing a Pallas' Grasshopper Warbler at Spurn could dampen my spirits!

The wonderful north-east

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September 7th , and after days of torrential rain, the winds started to veer from the south-east and a front over the north sea raching land around Hartlepool could only mean one thing - stacks of drift migrants. It had started on the Saturday so Billy, Bill and I headed off early on Sunday morning - first stop Hartlepool Headland. As we arrived, the ringers had just caught an Icterine Warbler which was obligingly shown to the assembled birders. Pied Flys and Redstarts adorned the nearby trees and there were loads of Willow Warblers as well as Blackcaps, Garden Warblers and the like. A Lesser Whitethroat was also caught in the Doctors Garden and we also had Wood Warbler by the Town Hall.

After a very enjoyable hours or so we eventually decided to go for a nearby Greenish Warbler - we were too late and after an hour and a half we decided to give it a miss and head for South Shields. Half an hour later we were thrashing some bushes near Marsden Rock - more Redstarts, Pied and Spotted Fl…

All sorts of goodies!

It's been rather a busy few weeks and so much so that I haven't been able to update the blog until now.
August 29th: I took half a day off work to spend some time with Bernie and do a bit of birding at the same time. A juvenile Black Stork that had eluded us on our visit to Durham earlier in the summer had taken up residence near York. As ever, I played this one quite cooly - had a nice pub lunch before seeking out the spot where it had been seen. It was a fine day and the bird had been seen to fly off high to the north-east :-( Was I to miss this bird again?
After several hours of seeing nothing but a Peregrine, Yellow Wagtail and Kingfisher, we decided that it must have gone - I'd not gone two paces when "It's there!" came the cry. .. and then it wasn't. A few minutes later it took off from eep cover and flew over the field and out of sight again and try as we might we just couldn't get an angle through the hedgerows to see the bird. After another hou…