Saturday, 27 June 2009

Barn Owl/Nightjar Surveying

I've been conducting some really interesting Barn Owl and Nightjar surveys at various locations in the UK this year, the Nightjar surveys were very interesting and were great fun getting to play around with a 35K thermal imaging camera and several Ks worth of image intensifying cameras.

A set of Barn Owl surveys in Beverley were particularly interesting providing some really good results and a hunting Hobby at just gone 4.30 in the am was a nice surprise! Not as nice as the lady police officer that pulled me at 3 in the am wondering what i was doing wandering round country lanes at that time in the morning!!! Got your number!!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Twitching ups and downs and run arounds!

Had some ups and downs twitching over the last couple of months (main,y downs), not bothering to go for the Collared Flycatcher(s) and Crested Lark - big mistake, gutted, the Great Not which was a load of balls (but lots of exciting year ticks, Curlew Sand, Greenshank, Little Tern - what joy!!) and dipping the Pallid Swift too, but the fun and games revolved around Pratincoles, the Black-winged vanishing the day before i could get down to try for it and the Collared giving me the run around the country - literally, as described below from my Bank Holiday birding log!...

Had a good weekend, in the end! Started with an early morning trip to Norfolk on Saturday that almost resulted in no birds, however a pair of breeding Montys Harriers (the best kept secret pair in the country!!) was well worth the 400 miles! Spoonbill, Hobby and several warblers (Cettis, lesser white etc) new year birds.

I heard a rumour of a Collared Praticole down there but the little F$%^er decided to bugger off before i could get it!! Nevermind, its only a bird!!

Managed the adult male Woodchat on the edge of sunny Wakefield on Sunday afternoon, showed really well catching bees!

On Bank Holiday Monday a 5am wake up bark by the dog (thanks Daisy) made me decide to go to Swilly, 45 mins later I was watching the Collared Pratincole and a Whiskered Tern - result. Back in bed with a bacon Sandwich and my beautiful wife by 7.30 am!!!! Jobs a goodun!!

After a fairly stressful weekend the Collared Pratincole finally gave itself up, before vanishing never to be seen again! Its quite amusing that I drove all the way from Yorkshire to see it in Norfolk for it to vanish and turn up just down the road from where i'd come from! Briliant!

Devonshire Wedding then back to work

I'm just back from a week down on the south coast of Devon, we stayed in some beautiful log cabins in the middle of some really nice woodland, with bird boxes and bird tables around all cabins and due to the great habitat birds were super-abundant, with lots of fledglings, being evident Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, Blackbird, Dunnock, Chiffchaff and lots of Tits. A pair of Spotted Flycatcher were also present around the cabin for most of our stay which was nice. Highlight however was a nice male Cirl Bunting that showed really well on the cliff top footpath. Didn't really do a great deal of birding but it was nice just having lots of birds around the cabins - and the weather was awesome too. (The Wedding was good too!)

On Monday back at work a nice suprise was that my two pairs of nesting Little Ringed Plover had hatched their young, with one pair having 4 chicks, the other 3. Hopefully some/all will fledge in the coming weeks!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Longtime no news - sorry!

Its not that I haven't been out birding recently, pretty much the opposite, it's just that I've also been really busy report writing in one form or another, however I'm going to try and update the blog over the coming days with my recent goings on, highlights including my Goa Trip Report from April and a few interesting twitches (Great Not, Collared Pratincole etc etc...). Keep your eyes peeled!