Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Venus Pool - Red-necked Grebe

Yesssss, Red-necked Grebe, a long awaited patch tick for me, viewed from the causeway on the adjacent fishing pool. Nice work too by Paul Bennett, Dave Bate, and John Smith, three Belvide birders who found it mid morning and got the news out!! You will have to agree the finder guys and submit a rarity form to Ian Grant :-)

I got down there just after midday and in between showers after a 30 min 'no show' it reappeared again in the NE corner! The light was pretty dire and rain didn't help but I'll more than settle for these!






It was busy catching fish too!


This one proving to be quite a struggle to swallow!




But eventually 'down the hatch!


There have only been two other records in modern times at Venus Pool, in 1989 and 1991. A showy long staying bird was at Priorslee Flash in 1998 and the last record in the county was in 2012 (my first local one seen with Yvonne at The Mere)  More importantly, bird No.181 for my VP list! Come on Winter, do your best deliver a Slav next?! I think everyone needs that?

Monday, 4 November 2019

Severn flood plain - Whooper Swans

I had a cruise (not literally) around the  Severn flood plain in the Pentre / Melverley / Edgerley area which has been deluged in recent weeks by severe flooding and now accessible. I was very fortunate too, as the land, now gradually reappearing, still held enough flood water to keep the swans happy and in view! There were plenty of Mutes but I was hoping for Whooper Swans and with a count of 19 for an hour long session, I had to be pleased...

I'd have settled for one!


But at quite a few of my stopping places, the calls were all around and they were clearly 'roaming'...



The car makes the perfect mobile 'hide'! Firstly a group of three landing in front of me...




Not to be outdone, I also found additional groups of six and ten (all adults) as the day veered from misty to bright! Here's a count-down to what happened next... Five...


Four...


Yes, you know what's coming when they have that 'gonna fly jizz'... Three...


Two...


Off they go...


In perfect synchro unison :-)








Looking back, I think this was my favourite image?


Magic moments indeed!

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Priorslee lake - Caspian Gull!

It's been four years since I've seen one of these brutes in the County. With the advent of 'recycling centres', large Gulls have had to move on to new feeding opportunities and the local tips no longer offer a haven for foraging! There must be something going on locally as this 1st winter Caspian Gull has been around for a few days...

With barely 30 Gulls on the water, the centre of attention! The white head of this Gull gleaming out and just look at that bill...


Quite distant at first but at least it was active!





Those long legs pretty obvious in the next two...


White underwing showing nicely !


Despite clouding over, with patience some closer views were possible! With a couple of Lesser BBG for comparison, that is one mighty bill!




Hmmm, vegetarian fare? It was soon spat out!


Paddling away and about to depart at 4.00pm...


There was also a burly 1st Winter Yellow-legged Gull for comparison! Next to sort...

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

St Martins - Rose-breasted Grosbeak

After the previous  'Keystone Cops' comedy twitch, two days previously, I decided to have another try for better views of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak!? Two favoured locations, the 'Quarry' and the 'Bakers' were on my radar and here's the best from each...

The Quarry , shame it was side-lit...


And at the Bakers, what an incredible underwing :-)


The chocolate cake was pretty incredible too...

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Morning Point, St Mary's - Blue Rock Thrush!!

I put my eggs in one basket today after yesterday's Cuckoo moment, could the same happen again but with the elusive Blue Rock Thrush?? I decided to patiently stake out the section between Morning Point and Woolpack battery... eventually with a couple of seconds of success!


And a second later...


I think it was worth it?

Monday, 14 October 2019

Dump clump, St Mary's - Yellow-billed Cuckoo!!

The Dump clump was the place to be today with a Red-breasted Flycatcher present but extremely mobile and elusive. Pride of place however went to the Yellow-billed Cuckoo which was on show once more. I say, 'on show'n but it was up in the canopy often obscured by branches and at an awkward angle. So to spare you the messy images, here's the one and only half decent one...


Certainly in contention for bird of the trip...

The Old Town Red-eyed Vireo had relocated into the churchyard for a finale...


Given what's gone before, not in contention!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Tolls Porth, St Marys - White-rumped Sandpiper!!

The birds keep coming and a White-rumped Sandpiper was first port of call for me today at Toll's Porth, St Marys and another great find by Will Scott! Not a lifer but very welcome Scilly tick!

Loving the life in this sheltered seaweed strewn bay full of seaweed!


 The favoured feeding spot was a patch of mud, not too far away!




It never treated my to any flight views but that distinctive long primary projection, clearly on view.




The rest of the day was spent chasing a mobile,elusive Rose-breasted Grosbeak around on St. Martins. Managed to get a distant view of it but pics will have to wait a couple of days!!