Apr 162018

On Sunday 15th of April there was an obvious influx of Little Gull in Derbyshire and the surrounding counties. A flock of 14 was found at Willington Gravel Pits during the early morning and I spent several hours at my local patch in the hope of finding an odd one there, but with no luck. I managed to get up to Willington in the early evening just in time to see one bird, along with a Common Tern. There was a clear sunny spell during late afternoon and I guess the majority of birds took advantage of the break in the weather and moved on. The single Little Gull was always distant and into the sun, making photography rather difficult.

Little Gull – A moulting adult at Willington Gravel Pits, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

 Posted by at 9:09 pm
Apr 152018

Last weekend (8th April) a photograph of a Bittern, taken at Carlton Marsh in Suffolk, was posted on Social Media. It was very quickly re-identified as an American Bittern, an extremely rare vagrant to our shores. I last saw an American Bittern in the 1990’s, when one was at Marton Mere, near Blackpool, in Lancashire. Plans were made during the week, with Barrie and Richard, to see the bird on Saturday 14th, assuming it was still there on the 13th. After several hours wait on the morning of the 14th, the bird eventually put in a brief fly-by appearance. Later in the morning, around 12:30 it eventually showed quite well as it wandered across a large gap in the reed beds, giving a reasonable, but distant view. I managed a few record shots of this superb looking bird. Also seen during the morning – a Ring Ouzel, a Wheatear, a Whimbrel, a stunning Barn Owl and lots of Sky Dancing Marsh Harrier.

American Bittern – Carlton Marsh, near Lowestoft, Suffolk – Tony Davison©

Barn Owl – Carlton Marsh, Suffolk – one was flying around and hunting during the early morning – Tony Davison©


 Posted by at 8:06 pm
Apr 022018

We spent our Easter break in Northumberland, at Bamburgh. Despite some atrocious weather, Sunday turned out to be a superb day of weather and managed a few birds whilst out and about in the general area. A stunning coast line between Bamburgh and Newton-by-the-Sea. Best birds were Grey Phalarope, 2 self find Black Redstarts, including a stunning male, 4 Whooper Swan, lots of Eider, a huge flock of Pink-footed Geese, Purple Sandpiper and Red-breasted Merganser. 

Black Redstart – One of 2 birds I found at Low-Newton-by-the-Sea, whilst visiting the area for the Grey Phalarope – Tony Davison©

Eider – drakes – above 6 images – Plenty of these stunning sea ducks along the coast – Tony Davison©

Eider – female – above 2 images – Tony Davison©

Bamburgh Castle – Tony Davison©


 Posted by at 9:02 pm
Mar 292018

A rare occurrence in Derbyshire, a Lapland Bunting was found feeding in a field with Skylarks and Meadow Pipits at Peak Dale Quarry, just south of Chapel-en-le-Frith in North Derbyshire. It was first found on Saturday and as this was a county tick and a good opportunity to see this rare county bird, I went to see it this afternoon.  Although distant in the field, viewed from the public footpath, the bird showed well through the scope but I only managed to get a few record shots. Also in the area were plenty of Twite, Meadow Pipit and a Raven.

Lapland Bunting – first winter – North Derbyshire – Tony Davison© – Most records in Derbyshire have been of flyover birds, so to see this one “on the ground” was a real treat.

Twite – above 6 images – North Derbyshire – Tony Davison©


 Posted by at 7:34 pm
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