Local bits today. Close to the Roman café, on the A52 near Ropsley a couple of ravens were on wires beside the road, they kept coming down to eat a road kill on the verge. Also a red kite very low. Late pm at the area 51 mod site no owls yet (prob. a bit early for seo), but there were c.600 golden plovers before going off high to the south.     Continue reading 30/10/2013

Marston regulars

I went to Marston to try out a new Olympus camera with my favourite Canon 400mm lens. What a super lens that is but with the Olympus it is manual focus only – not easy with a long lens handheld. Fortunately the Olympus has in body image stabilisation which makes the whole process a bit easier, although in flight shots are a challenge. Anyhow here are a few from last Friday which I am pleased with and show some potential for this outfit in the future. David Continue reading Marston regulars

Close encounter of the Sprawk kind.

28/10/2013   We get a fair few bird strikes at home, this despite putting up plenty of those hawk type silhouettes and having blinds up. There was an extra loud thud today and it soon became clear that sparrowhawk had chased a collared dove into the windowpane. The sprawk allowed me enough time to race down and fetch the camera, before dropping to the ground. I couldn’t tell whether it too had crashed into the window and was stunned, or whether it’s hunger had caused it to completely lose it’s fear of me, as it waited for it’s meal, which unfortunately lay on the … Continue reading Close encounter of the Sprawk kind.

Freiston shore.

26/10/2013 Freiston shore inc. walk to Butterwick.   It was quantity over quality today at the rspb reserve, the sheer numbers of wildfowl provided quite a spectacle. Wigeon covered the lagoon and islands, I made a rough estimate of 4,000. I heard there were high numbers at Frampton too. With lots more on the seashore itself, that’s a lot of birds. A scan through the flocks revealed a handful of pintails. Geese were around in high numbers too. (brent 1,000+, canadas 600+, greylags 300+,) Some fellas alerted me to a snow goose of unknown origin, but it’s structure and bill was more like ross’s goose.?? … Continue reading Freiston shore.

Denton res.

Denton res. 22nd Oct. 2013. I’ve made a vow to check this site a lot more this winter. It’s very attractive to wildfowl, and is a nice quiet spot. It’s only used by a few anglers, dog walkers and the odd birdwatcher. An eclipse drake red-crested pochard was the best bird today. It was constantly diving, coming up with  a beak-full of weed with almost every dive. (I much prefer beak to bill, a much better word in my opinion). Other stuff seen; coot c.150, mallard 60, tufted duck 60, wigeon 40, pochard 12, shoveler 5, gadwall 6, teal 2, … Continue reading Denton res.

Andiniotissa Lagoon Reserve

Andiniotissa Lagoon Reserve This 500 hectare reserve is on the North coast of Corfu and I spent a week staying right next to it. Unfortunately, like many Mediterranean Islands, the birds were extremely wary and kept their distance or kept hidden. Nothing startling but at least two Ospreys – one seen carrying a large fish, three Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Water Rail, many Cetti’s, many Jays, Stonechat and a few Chiffys. An interesting observation of the many Italian Sparrows saw them perched on a prominent high point and flying out to catch wasps a la Flycatchers! Lots of Butterflies, Dragons, Damsels, … Continue reading Andiniotissa Lagoon Reserve


Marston stw 19th Oct 2013.   Had a bit of a search this morning, just in case the yellow-browed warbler was still around, but no luck. A calling chiffy and a blackcap were in the hedge. Greylag goose flock now c.875 – most I’ve seen here. 2 grey wagtails. A few redwing and fieldfare. Water rail calling. 15 curlews. Jay. Continue reading Marston.


Yellow-browed warbler at Marston 17/10/2013. Trudged around Marston this morning with Steve Lyon (Spadgebirder). It was deadly quiet, we saw next to nowt, we tried turning an almost concealed snipe into a jack, but naaa. There were plenty of linnets, mipits and pied wags around. The greylag flock has now built up to c500 with 60 teal and 20 wigeon + 15 curlews. Along Mill lane we located a predicted and much hoped for prize, in the shape of a yellow-browed warbler, though still a great surprise. This is the first site record and a great inland find. Spadge nearly fainted when he … Continue reading YBW at MSTW.

Stonking day’s seawatching.

Cut End, the Wash, Boston Sun13th Oct 2013. Horrendous conditions for humans meant great conditions for seawatching. N and NE winds with driving horizontal rain saw me heading to Cut end. Had some great birds. Hundreds of gannets passed in both directions, at one stage 50 were resting on the sea after a particularly heavy stormy spell. Yesterday Paul Sullivan had a few Leach’s Petrels here and this was one of my targets, but the first petrel I saw was a Stormie, not Leach’s, probably scarcer on this coast. A Leach’s did show later, though. All four Skuas showed and in … Continue reading Stonking day’s seawatching.

Back to Marston.

Marston,Sat.12thOct 2013. My first visit for a few weeks, and a different variety of birds. Winter thrushes just starting to come in, a flock of hungry blackbirds, 20 strong, were accompanied by a few song thrushes. A couple of mistle thrushes showed and a handful of redwings flew over from the north. Robins seemed to be all over the place. Two little egrets were on Mill lane pool, now slightly more viewable as the vegetation dies back. This species is now regular here. About fifty lapwings, sixteen curlews, a green sand and a snipe made up the wader count. A … Continue reading Back to Marston.