Archive for the 'uk wild birds' Category

09
Sep
22

Six Whistler

When staring out to sea, as I often do, looking for cetaceans, birds often attract my attention. These Whimbrel flew West the other week when watching at Cley.

30
Aug
22

Migration

Swallows are not our birds; we only borrow them. Soon to be lost to foreign shores. Drink these beauties in while you can.

23
Aug
22

First for Britain

As that temperature contour continues to flow North aided by global warming, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that new species for the UK will move on its crest. I found myself to the South of King’s Lynn the other week. Unusually, I had a little time to spare. A visit to Graffham Water was on the cards. The Cape Gull showed admirably.

I’m not so sure I would have pulled that giant bill out from the flock. I would probably have passed it over as an odd Greater-Black Backed. Well done to the finder… and thank you.

05
Aug
22

Wader-fest

The reserve at Frampton in Lincolnshire without doubt will become an RSPB showpiece. There are certain improvements going on at the moment that will make it irresistible to visitors. Both avian and human.

Barbara, Carol, Richard and Ross accompanied me on a tour there last week. We had a good number of passing Yellow Wagtails but without doubt the highlight was the wader-fest presented before us. A wide range of species in great numbers.

01
Aug
22

For the love of Dolphins

Sailing through the Summer Isles off Ullapool last month we were on a glass mirror sea passing rocky outcrops punctuated with Arctic Terns. Young were pestering parents for their next meal … nothing in nature varies in that respect. As we pulled into a sea cave a Common Sandpiper fell from one of the ledges and proclaimed its objections to us being there with a diagnostic call and fluttering flight.

Moving further out from the coast the skipper sighted dolphins ahead. It wasn’t long before we were surrounded by playful, accommodating and very very beautiful Common Dolphins.

They are not there, then they are, then they are gone again. They bow ride and leap from the water. They watch you from under crystal clear water as they swim alongside. There’s something quite enigmatic and mysterious about Common Dolphins. I just love them.

21
Jul
22

All Skua’d out

I’m currently in the very North of Scotland leading the Sutherland Tour. Yesterday we visited a skua colony attended by wardens. Both Arctic and Great Skuas nest in the colony and numbers are down because of avian flu. The Great Skuas are suffering greatly … an 80% reduction in numbers at this one colony will mean populations will be low and vulnerable for some time. The Arctic Skuas are doing better.

I think a pale phase Arctic Skua takes a lot of beating.

01
Jul
22

Black Yank Back

When we went on the East Coast Seabird Tour last year one of the intriguing birds we saw was a Black Tern in Northumberland. That in itself is not so unusual. What was a little different was Black Terns are Marsh Terns and wouldn’t normally be found in close association with Common, Little and Arctic Terns in a beach colony.

I’ve never seen an American Black Tern in summer plumage. I’ve only seen winter plumage birds – that wear distinctive ‘headphones’ like the one I photographed in 2011 at Covenham in Lincolnshire. https://wildcatchphotography.zenfolio.com/p912769488/h264a45db#h264a45db

It transpires that the white leading edge to the wing and sparkling white underwing, shown by the Northumberland bird are two features not shared by the European Black Tern in Summer Plumage. The bird was in fact an ‘American Black Tern’ of the race surinamensis.

Amazingly, what was undoubtedly the same bird returned this year and we called to see it on the East Coast Seabird Tour last week. When we first arrived at the colony it was nowhere to be seen. However, it wasn’t long before we saw, and heard, it fly in from the sea and come over the beach to where we were standing with the wardens. Being quite vocal it wasn’t difficult to keep track of and it showed amazingly well, enabling me to fire off a few frames as it flew overhead.

24
Jun
22

Imminent Tours – places available

https://mailchi.mp/c0ecc7455624/nightjar-evening-and-purple-emperor-day

Click on the link for details

15
Jun
22

Wood you?

One of the best birds on Scillies this year was this Wood Sandpiper. Not for its rarity value but for its complete lack of concern for our presence.

05
Jun
22

Homing Bee Eaters

Well you couldn’t make it up could you?

Still buzzing from finding the four Bee Eaters on Porthloo Lane in Scillies last week; I was delighted to get a message from friend Andrew this morning informing me he had found four Bee eaters, just down the road here in Norfolk.

It would be tempting to think they were the same four. That would be extraordinary wouldn’t it? Well, I photographed one of the birds in flight on Scillies as you know from my previous post. The photo is repeated here again. Take a look at that worn 5th primary in the right wing. Now take a look at the photo of the bird I took today. It has the same worn primary. It’s the same bird. This is the same group of Bee Eaters in Norfolk as were on Scillies. They have followed me home!

Scillies Bird
Trimingham Bird



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