Friday 31 October 2014

Davidstow - American Golden Plover

This was my third attempt to nail this 'obliging' bird! It had flown out the day of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo dip on the way back from Scilly and when I called yesterday, the airfield was shrouded in FOG!!  That was after getting reasonable views of the Steart Pallid Harrier (283) in the morning - any hope of images was dashed by my camera locking up :-( The same thing happened here initially and then I managed to work out it was the converter at the root of the problem. When I took it off, everything was fine!

So hear we go, short on words and most angles of this rather tame juvenile American Golden Plover (284) covered.  Flight AGP 284 was well and truly grounded! And everyone stayed in their cars thank goodness :-)

It was between the windsock and the control tower, at the edge of the runway, posing well:-) That supercilium was soooo striking!

Every now and then, stirring and feeding on small insects and worms barely big enough to see!

Yes, a decent sized one at last!

Proudly showing it off :-)

The only other thing it 'did' was an occasional feather ruffle. I never got so much as a wing flap!

And this quirky pose was about the only out of the ordinary shot!

Mind you I'm not complaining, it's hard work ticking off birds at the moment and every one counts.....

Thursday 23 October 2014

St Agnes - Ortolan finale

Last full day on Scilly and the birds seem to keep on coming..... I was having a wander around the Garrison when news of the Ortolan showing well on St Agnes came out. A midday boat was laid on and it would have been rude not to patronise it.....

The same field behind Troy town farm (which produced the Tawny Pipit) produced the goods again! There was one unusual onlooker, tasting tripod legs :-)

It took an eternity to come close enough for one or two decent images but got there in the end!

Pinkish legs and bill and that distinct yellowish eye ring.

The closest encounter....

After the image-less tick of the previous week, it would have disappointing to have left Scilly without some images - job done!

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Scilly Pelagic

A full on pelagic aboard a jam packed Sapphire, needed just two things - firstly some wind! And then of course some birds...

The lack of wind seriously dented our chances as there was little chance of the chum slick tempting in birds from afar. But we did have a couple of Mediterranean Gulls (1w and adult), Bonxie, Kittiwake, Razorbill, Guillemot and Arctic Tern.

My quest for a pom looked on with a distant likely looking skua on the water - it got up and started mugging the gulls and sadly when we got closer, it was of course an Arctic Skua!

There were 5 Storm Petrels, which never came quite close enough and neither did this single Manx Shearwater....

But you can always depend upon Gannets to keep the shutter from seizing up!

And of course I think every single person on the boat took this iconic scene :-)

Come on you poms if we get out again??

Monday 13 October 2014

Lower Moors Memorial Garden - Red-breasted Flycatcher

A blank walk along the coast from Hugh Town and a negative Red-breasted Fly (I was ill-advised to leave) didn't bode well for the day. I was watching couple of Jack Snipe bobbing about at Lower Moors from the hide when I recognised a familiar voice on the radio. Richard Powell was reporting the Red-breasted Flycatcher, back in the favoured area of the memorial garden! I was on my way out of the hide before he'd finished speaking....

It didn't take long to see and tick the bird (for 278) but getting some images took a while longer!

Here's the pick of the bunch :-)

Catching the sun!

Briefly perched in the gloom.....

One opportunity free of obstructions!

That's the last but one of my Scilly 'bankers'. Where's a Lapland Bunting!!!

Sunday 12 October 2014

Mini pelagic - Spoonbill finale

With hopes of some decent sea birds, I joined in with a very busy 'mini' pelagic trip on Sapphire. An early Balearic Shearwater got things going but apart from Arctic Tern there was not a lot seen out at sea! We did however get close up to Purple Sandpiper, plenty of Sanderling plus cracking views of the Green Island Spoonbill before returning to harbour.....

It clearly wasn't troubled by the onlookers!

At first that is.....

And eventually decided to put on an air display!

Having missed Pom Skua and Grey Phalarope recently, fingers crossed for a later pelagic??

Saturday 11 October 2014

St Agnes - Richards Pipit!!

Now that can't be bad - the trilogy of large Pipits (Richard's, Tawny and Blyth's) within a week! This bird was initially put out as a Tawny at distance but once it came closer (and called!!) there was no doubt!

Here's a few angles of the Agnes Richards Pipit (276).......

Plus three more images  from another card.......

taking off.....

Friday 10 October 2014

St Agnes - Tawny Pipit!!

It was meant to be a Rustic Bunting encounter today but that was kicked into touch after an opening hour spent checking out the area it was feeding in the previous evening! The Short-toed Lark was an easy repeat bird on Castello Down but something else a whole lot better was just about to drop in....

In the field behind Troy Town farm this Tawny Pipit (274) dropped in for approx 5 mins - when it was called out, I was a few metres away!!

A brief view of the Ortolan Bunting (275) through Ian Grant's scope (cheers mate!!!) completed an awesome day!