Wednesday, 22 June 2011

First for a while...

This is the first post for a while as I've been fairly busy recently with a stag do and then a wedding taking up two very enjoyable consecutive weekends and most of my work recently involving office-based report writing etc.

I've not really done any birding of late but added Great Spotted Woodpecker to my garden list (#79) - an adult female that caught my attention as it hung upside down on the washing line before landing on my nuts. It gave them a good going over but hasn't been back since (that I've seen) so it may not have enjoyed them!

A dog walk at the weekend around Skipwith Common was fairly quiet though the highlight was a pair of Spotted Flycatchers that showed really well.

Not so good was when I returned from the wedding to find that my nest of House Martin had prematurely fledged and I'd got 4 dead babies on the driveway. Has anyone else seen this happen?

Today over on the wolds I was entertained by at least 4 singing Quail Always a joy to hear them singing. Great little birds!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

It may be a day late but....

...I got the White-throated Robin this morning!

After reading about all of the issues with viewing the bird yesterday afternoon I was a bit worried that if it stayed overnight I may not even be able to see it!

Thanks for an early tip-off from Ollie I got on the road early morning. I got to Hartlepool and as I was driving through towards the bowling green I noticed a small group of twitchers stood by a tall wall. I parked up, asked if the White-throated Robin was about and they said, yeah go through here... I walked into a large garden (turned out this was the Drs garden) and was greeted by about 6 people stood watching the bird sat out in the middle of the lawn! Unbeknown to me, the Doctor had just decided to open up the garden as I drove past! This was a total stroke of skill, well ok, luck but it worked out brilliantly! I watched the bird for about an hour as it fed on the grass lawn, in the rose and other flower beds and along the compost heap. It would occasionally fly up and alight on a fencepost or the wall.

White-throated Robin (phone-scoped)

White-throated Robin (phone-scoped)

These views were spectacular, and so easy too! Within 30 seconds of getting to Hartlepool I was stood in relative peace watching the MEGA target bird! I'd spoken to Dave yesterday who'd been chasing round the bushes yesterday afternoon with hundreds of other folk getting the odd view here and there. just the luck of the drawn I guess and if the bird had not have stayed overnight I'd be the gutted one!

This represents the third record over here, though I guess technically this is the second UK record after the first in 1990 on Skokholm, Pembrokeshire. Before that, one on the Isle of Man - Calf of Man (not on UK lists) was present in 1983. The Hartlepool record pertains to the first mainland UK record so was very popular! See below from Slack (Rare Birds Where and When):

1983: Isle of Man: Calf of Man - Male 22nd June
1990: Pembrokeshire: Skokholm Island - Female 27th - 30th May (News withheld)

Today I managed to make the papers, The Sun, The Scottish Sun! and the Daily Mail! The pictures are below, I'm not going to link to the articles as they are total rubbish!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

CYPRUS: Species List

The following is my species list from my recent Cyprus trip. Unfortunately I can't get it in the format that I want (ie with detailed data for each species for each day). I will add details and counts for some of the more interesting species/sub-species over the coming days. I will also add details of other species records (e.g. insects, reptiles etc)

No. Species
1 Little Grebe
2 Little Bittern
3 Black-crowned Night Heron
4 Squacco Heron
5 Cattle Egret
6 Little Egret
7 Grey Heron
8 Glossy Ibis
9 Greater Flamingo
10 Eurasian Teal
11 Mallard
12 Ferruginous Duck
13 European Honey Buzzard
14 Eurasian Griffon Vulture
15 Western Marsh Harrier
16 Eurasian Sparrowhawk
17 Bonelli's Eagle
18 Lesser Kestrel
19 Common Kestrel
20 Red-footed Falcon
21 Eleonora's Falcon
22 Peregrine Falcon
23 Chukar
24 Black Francolin
25 Common Quail
26 Common Moorhen
27 Eurasian Coot
28 Black-winged Stilt
29 Eurasian Stone-curlew
30 Kentish Plover
31 Spur-winged Lapwing
32 Temminck's Stint
33 Wood Sandpiper
34 Common Sandpiper
35 Yellow-legged Gull
36 Rock Dove
37 Feral Pigeon
38 Common Woodpigeon
39 Eurasian Collared Dove
40 Eurasian Turtle Dove
41 Great Spotted Cuckoo
42 Little Owl
43 European Nightjar
44 Common Swift
45 Pallid Swift
46 Alpine Swift
47 Little Swift* - only record of this species on the island this spring!
48 European Bee-eater
49 European Roller
50 Eurasian Hoopoe
51 Calandra Lark
52 Greater Short-toed Lark
53 Crested Lark
54 Sand Martin
55 Barn Swallow
56 Red-rumped Swallow
57 Common House Martin
58 Tree Pipit
59 Yellow Wagtail
60 White Wagtail
61 Winter Wren
62 Common Nightingale
63 Common Redstart
64 Whinchat
65 Isabelline Wheatear
66 Northern Wheatear
67 Cyprus Wheatear
68 Eastern Black-eared Wheatear
69 Eurasian Blackbird
70 Cetti's Warbler
71 Zitting Cisticola
72 Sedge Warbler
73 Eurasian Reed Warbler
74 Great Reed Warbler
75 Eastern Olivaceous Warbler
76 Icterine Warbler
77 Spectacled Warbler
78 Subalpine Warbler
79 Sardinian Warbler
80 Cyprus Warbler
81 Garden Warbler
82 Eurasian Blackcap
83 Wood Warbler
84 Common Chiffchaff
85 Willow Warbler
86 Spotted Flycatcher
87 Collared Flycatcher
88 Eurasian Pied Flycatcher
89 Coal Tit
90 Great Tit
91 Short-toed Treecreeper
92 Eurasian Golden Oriole
93 Red-backed Shrike
94 Lesser Grey Shrike
95 Woodchat Shrike
96 Masked Shrike
97 Eurasian Jay
98 Eurasian Magpie
99 Western Jackdaw
100 Hooded Crow
101 House Sparrow
102 Spanish Sparrow
103 Common Chaffinch
104 European Serin
105 European Greenfinch
106 European Goldfinch
107 Common Linnet
108 Red Crossbill
109 Ortolan Bunting
110 Cretzschmar's Bunting
111 Black-headed Bunting
112 Corn Bunting

Not forgetting Jan and Mike's Tawny Pipit!