Right. I've been away a lot recently and very busy,.........and also very lazy! I partly blame the fact that my digital camera has died (shortly after photographing the Piping Plovers, they must have blown it's tiny binary mind). Not having photographs to post takes the fun out of it a bit!
Anyway, here's the mega-edited highlights of what I've seen recently.
Spurn 16th-17th May (With Laurence Pitcher and Lee Amery)
Pied Fly 2
poss rubicola Stonechat
Dipped several Ickys. Missed the East winds by a day. Still, was very nice to be out and about at Spurn. Very 'birdy' place in all ways.
Grove Ferry/Stodmarsh 13th May (With Laurence Pitcher)
Black-winged Pratincole 1
Temminck's Stint 1
12 Black Terns
Little Stint 1 (sum plum)
Twitch on! Pratincoles are amazing birds. Pratincoles in Britain are fucking amazing birds. Enough said.
Plus, my best ever views of Black Terns (down to 8 feet overhead!) and finding a Temminck's Stint.
Walthamstow Resrs. 12th May
1 Hobby (No.1)
Horsey/Waxham 3rd May
1 Ring Ouzel
Hickling Broad 2nd May
My closest ever views of Grasshopper Warbler (reeling out in the open at 20ft) plus finding a Ring Ouzel were the highlights of this trip.
Cairngorms 23rd-26th April
Capercaillie 2 males (lekking at Loch Garten RSPB)
Black Grouse 1 male (come across by chance......somewhere)
Golden Eagle 3cy Linn of Dee
Ptarmigan Cairngorm Plateau
Red Grouse Frequent in most upland areas
4 grouse whammy in 36 hours. This belies the nature of the trip though. This was no car-bound year-tick fest. A walk through the Lairig Ghru; a footpath pass, right across the Cairngorm range; with my old mate Mat, was the focus of this trip.
It was a 2 day walk through the pass, leisurely, from the Linn of Dee to Coylumbridge. An amazing landscape.
After that I spent 2 days blatting around the Cairngorm forests. Siskins are abundant up here! I see how they are becoming the most populous Carduelis. Crested Tits were also about, as were Red Squirrels. Two Capercailles put on an amazing show at Loch Garten, fortunately after most people had left the hide. This particular attraction is becoming very popular.
As an aside I'd just like to add that the Caledonian forests of Rothiemurcus and Abernethy are probably the most beautiful places in all of Britain. Go there!
The male Black Grouse that I stumbled across, walking slowly and warily across a forest ride not 30 yards away, was undoubtedly the highlight of this trip.
New York, NY, USA. 15th-18th April
Centaral Park 15/04
Yellow-throated Warbler 1
Jamaica Bay etc. 16/04
Piping Plover 5
American Woodcock (display flight)
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
YT Warbler down to 2 feet!! All good...