Monday, October 24, 2005

Prediction - 210 for 2005!

Having reviewed my year list now, I'm more confident of getting over 200. With some luck and time in the field there's about 20 species I should still get this year which will take me to 210 - my best year so far. Species I should get include:
  • Red-throated Diver
  • Bewick's Swan
  • Whooper Swan
  • White-fronted Goose
  • Pink-footed Goose
  • Smew
  • Marsh Harrier
  • Purple Sandpiper
  • Jack Snipe
  • Black Redstart
  • Willow Tit
  • Marsh Tit
  • Crossbill
There's a chance of Great Northern Diver and Ring-billed, Glaucous and Iceland gulls, a surprise or two including a few other northern species given the predicted cold winter.


A trip to Slimbridge on Saturday brought this year's total to 190, with Red-necked Phalarope showing down to just a few feet in the Robbie Garnett Hide, and a decent flock of Barnacle Geese from the Holden Tower. A short trek around Uskmouth disappointed with no Marsh Harrier, and Sunday was no better, missing out on the Ring Ouzel invasion. I hope to catch up with these next weekend.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Red Necked Phalarope, Slimbridge, 11th October

As we know, Slimbridge is nearly on the way back from Newton Abbott to Cardiff.......

Squacco, Newton Abbott, 11th October

Dan and I twitched this stupidly approachable bird in a town centre park. We thought it had gone, because when we arrived, the only birder present was stood some distance from his scope, hands in pocket. As we got nearer, we realised that the bird was about 30 feet from him (and us!), on the wall around the pond. Dipped on Cirls at Exminster, however........

Monday, October 10, 2005

Portland Weekend

Another good weekend at Portland earlier this month. The highlight was the Arctic Warbler twitch, a lifer for us all. Yellow-browed Warbler at Reap Lane, a Lesser Whitethroat at the Obs along with Bittern, Pectoral Sandpiper and Bearded Tit at Radipole were all year ticks for me. We also enjoyed prolonged views of Water Rail while looking for the Spotted Crake. Natuarlly it showed on the Sunday evening. A juvenile Spoonbill at Lodmoor concluded the weekend.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Isles of Scilly, 6th October

Whilst in Cornwall, a £20 day trip from Penzance to St Marys on the Scillonian brought me 3 "lifers" and 2 year ticks. Spotted Sandpiper (shown), Sora and Blackpoll Warbler all showed well, and Yellow Browed Warbler and Jack Snipe were welcome bonuses! I still had time to pop to a couple of pubs. Sea watching was poor, just a couple of Bonxies and Stormies on a calm day. Gill enjoyed clothes and art shopping in St Ives, so a good day was had by all.

Long Billed Dowitcher, Drift Res, Cornwall. 2nd October

This long stayer was only 20 mins from where Gill and I were staying in Cornwall, so we had to pop along to see it. Lovely, obliging bird. Gill saw it first. I was scanning the far bank, when she pointed out that it was in fact about 30 yards in front of us!