Mar 162017
 
Pallid Harrier at New Holkham

The weather forecast was predicting rain for most of the day but with yesterdays reports of Pallid Harrier in New Holkham I was compelled to take the old fella up the A11 in search of his first Pallid Harrier and the bird he had made his main target for 2017. We arrived at first light […]

Mar 162017
 
Curlews in crisis?

To the layman, the curlews are a shy, unassuming family of birds. Their mottled-brown plumage makes for effective camouflage against their marshland and mudflat feeding grounds, meaning they can go about their business unnoticed, prying out invertebrates such as ragworms with their purpose-built curved bills. But if, like the curlews, you take time to dig […]

Sep 132016
 
A Bad dose of Hawkie

Today I had my first outing with Zak for what seems like ages. As is our wont we had a Tour de Østfold. First stop was Kurefjorden. Here we had a rising tide that seemed to bear no resemblance to that which was predicted by the tide tables but conditions were very good with all […]

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 […]

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. […]

Nov 092015
 
Bar Tailed Godwit: New Zealand's Bird of the Year

The bar-tailed godwit (kuaka) has been crowned New Zealand’s Bird of the Year after three weeks of close competition, heated campaigning and attempts at cheating. The Bird of the Year competition is run each year by Forest & Bird, the New Zealand BirdLife partner. The godwits spur public imagination having the longest migratory flight of […]

Oct 102015
 
Plenty of waders – Dhahran Expro Wader Roost

A trip to the Dhahran Expro Wader Roost produced plenty of waders of a good variety of species. The tide was not ideal but plenty of birds were along the edges including both Lesser and Greater Sand Plovers in small numbers. Curlew Sandpipers, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwits and Dunlins had the largest number of […]

Aug 042014
 
Wading birds declining in the UK (Photos)

The magical wildlife spectacle of hundreds of thousands of wading birds converging on British estuaries could be under threat as research shows big declines in some of the most familiar species. Results from the Wetland Bird Survey reveals that ringed plovers, oystercatchers, redshank and dunlin are among the eight most abundant species overwintering on UK […]

Jun 062014
 
Restless Muse on Migrating Birds

Aristotle was a brilliant philosopher and observer of nature. He pioneered the study of zoology, but he was utterly clueless about bird migration. The seasonal appearance and disappearance of the birds in his native Greece perplexed him. Similar appearing species must be “transmuted” into each other across seasons, he reasoned, to explain the disappearance of […]

Dec 222013
 
Savvy bar-tailed godwit equipped for climate challenge

The bird world’s long-distance champion is probably savvy enough to cope with climate change, researchers believe. The bar-tailed godwit makes the biggest no-stop migration, flying 11,000km from Alaska to New Zealand every autumn. It relies on the right type of winds to make this epic journey – winds that computer models indicate could become less […]

Nov 282013
 
Birding the Gambia

For birders on a budget, or perhaps nervous first-timers to Africa, the Gambia offers some of the best of the continent’s bird life without the expense of a safari. This tiny West African country is not only the closest Sub-Saharan African destination to the UK but is also served by numerous package companies offering budget […]

Sep 032013
 
August Migrant Shorebirds

I visited Daijyugarami, Saga prefecture, last Friday to see what birds had started migrating through. The highlights were a solitary juvenile Asian Dowitcher, a Long-billed Dowitcher in breeding plumage, a Red Knot also in breeding plumage, a Broad-billed Sandpiper, a Long-toed Stint, four Black-faced Spoonbill, one Saunders’s Gull, a few Black-tailed Godwit and plenty of […]

Jun 022013
 
A few days in Sharjah, UAE

Earlier this year, I was fortunate to represent Kuwait at the 14th Conservation Workshop for the Biodiversity of Arabia. I am pleased to report that the bird team was able to achieve the workshop objective of assessing the regional Red List of all the breeding birds of Arabia. On the last day of the workshop, […]