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.

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 […]

Jul 252016
 
Alaska - 9th June (Day 13)

Another day spent birding the Council Road which runs east from Nome, thats not a negative comment, its a fantastic birding road as it extends along the length of Safety Sound with the sound to the north and the open sea of Norton Sound to the south. Today we birded as far as the summit […]

Jul 182016
 
Alaska - 8th June (Day 12)

Today was a key day in the Nome section of the trip with one of the star birds to see. We were up early and headed up the Kougarok Road to Mile Post 72 we arrived at around 06:00. This site is known as the Coffee Dome, the summit of this relatively small hill is […]

Jul 112016
 
Alaska - 2nd June (Day 6)

We were up at 06:30 for a complete change in the routine from the last few days spent on St Paul, the day was to be spent driving south to Seward from Anchorage a journey of 126 miles with a few stops en-route and some birding in Seward on arrival. First stop was a supermarket […]

Jul 042016
 
Alaska - 1st June (Day 5)

The day started fairly still and overcast but gradually brightened to give a gloriously warm and sunny day, not at all what was expected on St.Paul. We spent the entire morning at Reef Cliffs mainly trying to get views of Crested Auklet on the cliff – we had seem them at sea but wanted to […]

Jun 272016
 
Alaska - 29th May (Day 2 - Part 2)

The hotel on St. Paul, the rather gloriously named King Eider Hotel, is connected to the airport buildings and is rather 1980’s in décor but functional. After checking in we were keen to head into the field and spent a couple of hours birding Ridge Wall, east facing cliffs in the south-west of the island. […]