Simon Colenutt

Simon Colenutt

I began birdwatching at the age of nine when living on the Isle of Wight. After obtaining a copy of the Isle of Wight Bird Report from 1976 I realised that Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua and Black Tern were regularly seen at St.Catherine's Point, only five miles from my home village of Chale Green. To a nine year old these birds were near mythical and so I just had to go and try to see them. Little did I know that these birds were seasonal and after a long winter of seeing nothing I eventually started to bump into other birdwatchers as March drew to a close. It was then that Dave Hunnybun, Dave Wooldridge, Paul Castle, Peter Gandy and Audrey Wilkinson introduced me to the art of seawatching and the joys of bird migration, I have not looked back since.

Jul 282017
 
Skomer Island - 14th July

Sarah, Tobias and I last visited Skomer on 6th July 2014 and so after a couple of years with no visit we were looking forward to getting back and Tobias was very excited about seeing Puffin. So after a good drive to Pembrokeshire on Thursday afternoon we had time for a short stop at Laugharne […]

Jul 202017
 
Mongolia - 19th May (Day 12) - Sangiin Dalai Lake, and Hustai National Park (Part 2)

Arriving at Bayan Nuur from Sangiin Dalai Lake it was immediately apparent that this lake was teaming with birdlife even though it was blowing a gale. Almost the first birds we picked up were a pair of stunning White-naped Crane on the far hillside with another pair closer in the reeds, we saw nine in […]

Jul 112017
 
Mongolia - 18th May (Day 11) - Barig Mountain to Sangiin Dalai Lake

We were up at 05:15 to the sound of screaming Saker Falcon, packed our bags and after a quick coffee headed back up Barig Mountain at 06:00 for a last try for Hodgson’s Bush-chat. After climbing the steep grassy and rock strewn slopes of the mountains in the vehicles we parked at the summit and […]

Jul 072017
 
Mongolia - 17th May (Day 10) - Kholboolj Lakes and Barig Mountain

We had a very peaceful nights sleep in our tents beside Kholboolj Lake (45°20’12” N 100°49’36” E) and awoke to the sounds of Pallas’s Sandgrouse commuting to the lake for their morning watering. After breakfast beside the lake watching Pallas’s Sandgrouse come and go plus two Pallas’s Gull fly-by we packed the Land Cruiser’s and […]

Jun 262017
 
Mongolia - 16th May (Day 9) - Ikht Bogd Uul and to Kholboolj Lakes near to Jinst

After a good nights sleep in our tents beside Orog Lake we had an earlier breakfast at 06:30 overlooking the lake with its breeding colony of Spoonbill and Grey Heron and to the sound of booming Bittern and singing Asian Short-toed Lark. After loading the car we headed up the valley behind the campsite and […]

Jun 212017
 
Mongolia - 14th May (Day 7) - Dalanzadgad to Khongor Sand Dunes

We were up 05:45 and birded the habitat around the guest house. There had evidently been a small fall of migrants and we recorded six Eye-browed Thrush, three Pallas’s Bunting, 12 Red-throated Thrush, Dusky Warbler, Reed Warbler and, best of all, two Siberian Rubythroat which showed well in a newly planted line of scrub opposite […]

Jun 162017
 
Mongolia - 12th May (Day 5) - Dalanzadgad and Gurvan Saikhan National Park

After some early morning birding around the guest house at Dalanzadgad which produced much the same as yesterday including Isabelline Shrike,Pallas’s Bunting, Red-throated Thrush and Long-toed Stint we packed our bags and headed into the Gurvan Saikhan National Park around 45 minutes away.       Citrine Wagtail- Gurvan Saikhan National Park Isabelline Shrike – […]

Jun 142017
 
Mongolia - 11th May (Day 4) - Travel from Ullanbataar to Dalanzadgad

Today was mainly a driving day 570km south from Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad passing through the Gobi Desert with a few stops, mainly at lakes, en-route. The landscape was vast, stark and barren, mainly flat with a few rocky outcrops and dominated by gravel plains with sparse grass. The common birds here were Horned Lark, Asian […]

May 012017
 
Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust - 22nd April

We had a weekend at the cottage in the Cotswolds planned but there was to be little time for birding – I need brownie points for an up coming trip! Still, I managed to convince Sarah that a trip to Slimbridge might be nice and she duly arranged to meet with her sister so that […]

Apr 212017
 
Pennington Marsh - 7th April

This first half of April has been fantastic, like mid-summer come early, after an early morning breeding bird survey where the highlights were a couple of Song Thrush and a Willow Warbler I spent a couple of hours at Pennington Marsh. Spring really is here and there wereBlackcap singing from the scrub, fair numbers of […]

Aug 232016
 
6th and 13th August - Pennington Marsh

A free Saturday morning on 6th August and I couldn’t resist the pull of Pennington Marsh but a few beers the night before meant a slightly later start so I wasn’t in the car park at Lower Pennington Lane until 08:00 by which time the dog walking hordes had descended. I wandered a short way […]

Aug 092016
 
Alaska - 13th June (Day 17)

It was our final mornings birding in Barrow and indeed in Alaska as this was the final day of the trip. We decided to head out to the point to get some final views of Polar Bear. As we drove along the coast road the male Snowy Owl from yesterday was perched close to the […]

Aug 012016
 
Alaska - 12th June (Day 16)

The morning started rather foggy and dreary, a big change from the amazingly warm weather we had been experiencing (up to 21c yesterday) and much more akin to the weather we were expecting. However, fairly quickly the fog cleared and the morning morning was gloriously sunny although rain set-in in the afternoon. We spent the […]