Jan 012012

My year list for 2011 was slightly better than last year, I managed to see 267 species in Britain and I had  4 lifers plus an armchair tick (Siberian Stonechat) so I’m creeping along ever closer to the big 500!

My highlights of the year were trips to Speyside, Scotland in April; Shetland in September & Scilly in October; White-winged Scoter twitch to Aberdeen in June; the White-throated Robin at Hartlepool in June; Northern Water Thrush & Scarlet Tanager on Scilly in October and finding a Dusky Warbler on Scilly. A Western Bonelli’s Warbler in Derbyshire was a surprise county tick. 

An Oriental Turtle Dove in February; White-tailed Eagle in the highlands in April; a Black Stork in Northants in May; a superb Sabine’s Gull at Belvide, Staffs, plenty of waders including Pectoral Sandpiper; Sharp-tailed Sandpiper’ Western Sandpiper; Marsh Sandpiper and several Grey Phalarope; the finding of a Pallid Harrier in September having just come off Shetland; Sandhill Crane at St.Combs on our way to Shetland;  American Black Tern in Lincs in Oct; Red-flanked Bluetail in Norfolk Oct and plenty of migrants and rarities on Shetland & Scilly. A superb year, met some great birders throughout the year and enjoyed good company from the usual crew…
Dec 182011
A Rare Scandinavian Visitor to Notts - 18th December 2011

For several weeks a juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard has been favouring an area of old pit workings just north of the city of Nottingham.     It may well over winter here and it seems to be finding plenty of food. Only 20 miles from home, so well worth the visit. The bird showed well intermittently this morning. Often spending time perched in trees and bushes at a distance.  During late morning the weather  cleared and in good skies and bright sunshine the bird eventually took to the air and spent some time soaring over the large area of rough ground […]

Dec 042011
A "peep" in Norfolk - Sunday, 4th December 2011

  2011 has been one of the best  years in memory to see American Waders in Britain.     At least 17 species had been seen up to 28th November. The only species not found at this time was Western Sandpiper. So it was inevitable that one would be discovered somewhere!. Cley  NWT Reserve was to be the host site for this rare wader. It was first identified as a Semi-palmated Sandpiper but as the bird was eventually seen and videoed at close range, the finer points of the bird’s plumage could be seen and it was eventually re-identified as […]

Nov 272011
3 Yanks & 1 Sibe in a day & in November! - 27th Nov 2011

Chew Valley Lake & Blagdon Lake, both sites now in Somerset, must rank as two of the best inland waters in Britain for attracting rare birds. Chew Valley had managed to hold on to a cracking wader for well over a week. A juvenile Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, along with a supporting cast of 2 Long-billed Dowitcher & a Spotted Sandpiper was irresistible. Arriving at Chew early morning, it wasn’t long before we found the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper amongst a large flock of Dunlin. These Siberian waders are real treats and a juvenile even better. There have only been a handful of records […]

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