Sunday, 1 March 2015

A Good Start 2015.

I've not written a blog for some time now but that has to change with the great start to 2015. Hope you enjoy a little insight into the birding world, my world.


All kicking off on New Years Eve with the report of LITTLE BUSTARD at Fraisthorpe, East Yorkshire. I had to cut the New Year celebrations short and get some rest, ready to be up in Yorkshire early on New Years Day. The weather was poor to say the least. Wind, cold and thick cloud spoilt the opportunity to get good photos of a very rare bird for the UK. These were the best images managed and all were digiscoped. Nice to catch up with Lee Evans and tick him on the first day of the year.



A great bird to see in the UK and still with time left in the day to move on. On to meet Jonny Holiday and hopefully see his great find of the previous year, the BLYTHS PIPIT. On arrival I found a few birders waiting patiently having not seen the bird since the earlier reports of the morning. I called Jonny and he was on his way to meet me. Jonny arriving with a few birders with still no sign of the pipit so far. Well, Jonny the #BlythsWisperer worked his magic, picking up the bird within two minutes of turning up, much to delight of the small crowed amassed.



(Blyths photos by Ron Cousins)
A break in the rarities meant I could spend a little time at my local patch Amwell Nature Reserve in Hertfordshire. The reserve has thrown up a few rarities in its time including LITTLE BUNTING, GREAT REED WARBLER, LESSER YELLOWLEGS and LAUGHING GULL to name a few. The place is well watched with my friend Barry Reed really working the place on a daily basis. We've not had much as yet this year but have had many Caspian Gulls, Kingfisher and Barn owl, the latter being a first in two years.
The next biggy for me was on the afternoon of Sunday 11th of January. GREATER YELLOWLEGS, first report being put out as possible and lost to view. I was alerted by BirdGuides and was ready to go. Finally the id and location was nailed and I was on my way. On the two hour drive down I saw a tweet from Amy Robjohns confirming the bird was still present. After arriving and parking, it was a short but very muddy walk and I was there, having good views. The challenge would be getting photos of any description. The bird was distant and was often obscured behind the Juncus. Eventually I did manage a few record shots, all digiscoped. In the end was just grateful to make it down there and get some record shots as the bird was on the move and was not relocated the following morning.


Next stop was for some Essex Birds, two of them hanging out in a park...... Gunners Park to be precise. Now, this took me some time. Wasn't until my third visit and over 10 hours of patiently waiting before I connected with the SERIN. Really smart little birds and again seem to be on the decline in occurance in the UK. The photos I got are digiscoped again.
Last Saturday I decided to go have a look at the LAUGHING GULL in New Brighton. Many people do know I spend a lot of time looking at Gulls at Amwell and further afield. This one did not disappoint, amazingly close, siting on the pontoon at Marine Lake for all to see. An added bonus was the presence of a large group of waders.







A great start and no doubt there will be more to come. Planing on blogging more this year as I did the year before. Do have a look at the old post, some good rarities there.
Leave you today with a couple of LITTLE OWL. They have returned to their Ash tree about 4.3 miles from my house which is always great news. Hoping they will stay and breed. Happy Days.




  1. The Kingfisher images are really good Jay.

  2. I love the Kingfisher, how did he/she swallow that fish??

  3. Thanks.

    The Kingfisher dropped the Perch in the end as it was just to large to swallow.

  4. The owl looks so calm and strict even. When I lived in California, I saw them twice a day and even more often in the yard. They nested there, but then there was a climate change and they were gone. I miss them.
    Currently working for