Apr 212017
 
Catching a few ticks in Tuddenham

Saturday saw me going solo down at Elmley while the Jims enjoyed Vange Marshes Stilts. I had good but brief views of a day flying Barn Owl, a Peregrine hunting the marshes with several Buzzards and Marsh Harriers. Hares were putting on a show and the mating rituals of Lapwing and Redshank were in full […]

Apr 102017
 
Another day at Dungeness

We arrived at first light to find the point covered in thick fog and the fog horn blasting out it’s warning to the ships that couldn’t see the lighthouse. By 7:30am the fog had lifted and we quickly found a couple of Wheatear on the shingle by the fishing boats. An hours sea watch enabled […]

Mar 232017
 
Marsh Harrier and Short-eared Owls at Elmley NNR

I took a drive down to Elmley this afternoon after work thinking it’s as good a place as any to clear the head after a very hard week of chasing numbers. I spent two hours there with little to note other than singing Skylarks, Lapwings and a few Redshank before it all kicked off. First […]

Feb 052017
 
Rare and unusual birds seen in Saudi Arabia in second half of 2016

A pair of Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus with two recently hatch young, 12 August, were the first record of breeding for the species in the Kingdom. An unprecedented influx of Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris were seen with fifteen 30 kilometers east of Zulfi 8 November, six together 40 kilometers north of Zulfi 11 November and […]

Jan 182017
 
Great visit to Wallasea Island

Sometimes a days birding can deliver very little and then sometimes days like today come along where it all seems to go right. A Barn Owl as we pulled into the track to the reserve followed by two Short-eared Owls hunting at first light then a male Merlin flashes across us and sits out on […]

Dec 302016
 
Snow Buntings at Salthouse

Barn Owl, Buzzard and Marsh Harrier at Burnham Norton kicked the day off well. A Water Rail was a nice surprise at Brancaster Staithe whilst watching a good variety of waders in the harbour. At Thornham the Twite flew back and forth but remained mobile and a Kingfisher buzzed through without stopping. Lot’s of Skylark […]

Dec 182016
 
The severe Baltic winter that made thousands of birds flee

We seem, nowadays, to have forgotten what a “proper” winter is like. A series of mild seasons, punctuated only by the freeze-ups of 2009-10 and 2010-11, have perhaps made us complacent. But for Europe’s birds, cold winters need to be taken far more seriously. Almost 30 years ago the winter of 1978-79 led to a […]

Dec 172016
 
More Harrier action at Wallasea

Another trip to Wallasea Island at first light this morning. A Male Merlin zipped along the reeds and a female was seen sitting on a fence post too before two Ring-tail Hen Harriers and a Marsh Harrier came out to play. Several Kestrel and a few more flying passes from the Merlins kept me entertained […]

Jun 042016
 
Oare and Elmley

An early morning trip down to Oare marsh in Kent rewarded me with a drake Garganey, Marsh Harriers, Cuckoo and Bearded Tits to name a few.           Moving on to Elmley I found more Marsh Harriers and a Short-eared Owl along with plenty of Yellow Wagtails, Redshank and Lapwing as you’d […]

Feb 192016
 
Spanish Sparrow breeding and much more – Haradh

Whilst birding the area of Haradh recently where we concentrated on looking in the pivot irrigation fields we also saw a few other good birds around the filed edges and surrounding areas. The first good birds we saw were just outside the main entrance to the huge HADEC farm complex where a nesting colony of […]

Dec 042015
 
Highest site count of Greater Spotted Eagles - Sabkhat Al Fasl

Last weekends birding at Sabkhat Al Fasl produced a good number of winter visitors including the largest number of wintering Greater Spotted Eagles recorded at the site when 17 were seen in one morning. Birds normally arrive in September and stay until April or early May. Western Marsh Harrier is another wintering raptor seen regularly […]

Apr 012015
 
Why we should learn birdsong alongside French and German?

I arrived home the other evening at dusk after a long journey, and stepped out of the car to hear a shouting match between blackbirds, one of the most beautiful sounds in nature. In the still calm of a clear March evening three males were fiercely staking their suburban territories, belting out sweet and flutey […]