Friday, 25 May 2018

Temminck's stint, Pennington Flash

The past 15 Temminck's stints that I have seen have all been between 12th May and 25th May, so no great surprise to see one this week, though it was nice to get it at Pennington Flash where it was a site tick for me. Although not particularly elusive it's tiny size and the long viewing distance, combined with heat haze, the sun often in the wrong place and a myriad of boulders for it to disappear behind, to say nothing of the aggressive locals made it quite a challenge at times, and on more than one occasion this week I have arrived in the hide to be told that the bird hadn't been seen for hours, only for me to almost immediately relocate it (simply because I knew it's favoured spot and had my eye in for it). I also think that often people forget how small it is, little larger than a house sparrow. The supporting cast on Tuesday included two smart black terns.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Iberian Chiffchaff, Thurstaston

I seem to be putting a lot of video on here at the moment, but it's justified. It's hard to fully appreciate yesterdays dawn chorus at Pennington Flash without hearing it and seeing the wonderful blue skies, and today if I just posted a photo of the Iberian chiffchaff at Thurstaston on Wirral it would be difficult to truly appreciate how different it is to our more familiar chiffchaff.

At one time Iberian chiffchaff was a real bogey bird for me, but in recent years I've seen several, and each one seems to show better than the last. The Thurstaston bird is a beauty, constantly singing and showing very well.

Birkenhead Docks

I've heard a lot about Birkenhead docks recently, so called in for a look today. It's quite an impressive place with a decent common tern colony. My maximum count today was 44 birds.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Dawn Chorus at Pennington Flash

It was a breathtaking dawn chorus this morning at Pennington Flash, I stood in one spot and could hear at least nine species of warbler singing and managed to get this video of a garden warbler. How many other species can you hear in the background? I've managed to hear at least four other species of warbler. Also today a drake wigeon on the flash, at least four Cetti's warblers singing and seven common terns.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Glossy Ibis, Pennington Flash

There was a glossy ibis in front of the Teal hide at Pennington Flash this afternoon. It's one of those very cosmopolitan species, along with the likes of osprey and cattle egret, which I've seen all over the World including Florida and Australia. Back in December last year I also saw an amazing flock of 10,000 in Donana, Spain. Still, it's always special to see a new bird at the patch.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Draycote Water

I'm working in Warwickshire at the moment, and staying in a hotel near Draycote water. Up until about two weeks ago I'd never been to the place, but with work being mainly at dawn and dusk, I've started having a walk around it most days. It's a 5.5 mile walk and takes about three hours at birding speed. Highlights so far have been nice views of a few migrants, including yellow wagtail, Arctic tern, garden warbler and lesser whitethroat, as well as juvenile Iceland gull in the roost one evening.

Arctic tern
There was a huge passage of Arctic terns yesterday, with 100+ at Draycote and lots more at other midlands reservoirs, including an incredible 250+ at Carsington in Derbyshire, but apart from a few stragglers such as this, they seem to have largely moved on now.

Cherry red bill, nice short legs, white cheeks contrasting with grey underparts, pale primaries and tail extending beyond wing tips. What more could you ask for in an Arctic tern?

Male yellow wagtail

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