Monday 11 May 2009

11 May 2009 - At home

Have just found time to update the blog - finally. The Bearded One has been sunny his ageing buttocks on Lesbos for a couple of weeks, doubtless seeing masses of fantastic birds! He'll doubtless call me shortly to see what's turned up whilst he's been away. How do I tell him that there's been: Brown-headed Cowbird (3 days), Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, Western Sandpiper (6 dyas), Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Collared Flycatcher (4 days), Crested Lark (5 days), Hudsonian Whimbrel, Little Bittern, Black-winged Pratincole (in Kent), Solitary Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, Franklin's Gull, 2x Black Ducks, White-winged Black Tern, Whiskered Terns, Bee-eaters, Marsh Sandpiper, Iberian Chiffchaff, etc, etc - not to mention all the Cattle Egrets, Purple Herons and Black kites....

Welcome back John!

Sunday 10 May 2009

10 May 2009 - New Hythe Lakes

Breakfast in the back garden produced this Buzzard flying overhead - a welcome and very overdue species for the garden list.

Had a walk with the rellies round the lakes - a few butterflies and this caterpillar were the only things of note though the amount of warblers calling was a welcome diversion from nattering about family matters.

My first attempt at Bat photography was poor - though the evening was brightened up by the odd appearance of three Common Sandpipers chasing each other in teh fading light (8.55-9.10pm!).

Wednesday 6 May 2009

6 May 2009 - East Malling Research Station

A quick lunchtime walk produced a few nice sightings - regretably this was the first such outing (to look at small stuff) so far this year around my place of work.

Speckled Wood trying to avoid being seen!

Fox cub - one of three seen at the den.

Green-veined White's put on a good showing.

Including this mating pair.

Highlight for me though was the appearance of several Large Red Damselflies - nice.

Saturday 2 May 2009

1 & 2 May 2009 - Portland, Dorset

Flippin eck! Mega-alert: Eastern Bonelli's Warbler on Portland - time to leave work... Or at least I wanted to, but it was Friday afternoon and I was in The George Public House wishing a colleague farewell as he departed for the new HQ in Warwickshire. I gave my speech and threw him his presents before finally cracking and driving to Portland. With very heavy traffic we encountered delay after delay and finally we arrived at 8.05pm - 30 minutes after the bird was last seen. Oh well, I guess that answers yesterday's question!
An overnight in a hotel provided us with another opportunity for the Warbler - had it been present. Instead we had to console ourselves with the wonderful Collared Flycatcher (picture by Steve Nutall) in an apple tree, before finally heading for home.
A brief stop at Radipole enabled us to get a plumage tick on this very tame duck - wild, it is certainly not - we had it down to less than 3 feet!