Saturday 14th-Saturday 28th January 2012

  A two week trip to Sri Lanka, resulted in us seeing c250 species of bird, all the Endemics, and i photographed 190+ of them. I have put some of the photos here, and will (probably) do a more thorough report when i get chance. Still got plenty of photos to sort first! Hope you like what you see, all of these and the rest will be on my website asap. I can also highly recommend our guide in Sri Lanka, Amila Salgado, he was excellent, spoke brilliant English (which is always a big help), had a decent sense of humour too. You can find his blog, Gallicissa blogspot, and maybe if you fancy a trip to Sri Lanka you can contact him. I would highly recommend him, but even higher, i would recommend a trip to Sri Lanka, fantastic birds and wildlife, very friendly people, and nice and warm too! Along with the birds seen, i also saw my first Asian Elephants, Leopard, Water Buffalo and other wildlife, which included many Butterflies, Dragonflies and Moths too.

Black Bittern
Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush

Chestnut-backed Owlet

Sri Lanka White-throated (Legge's) Flowerpecker
Sri Lanka Bay Owl
Sri Lanka Scimitar Babbler

Sri Lanka Frogmouth
Sri Lanka Small Barbet

Sri Lanka Woodpigeon 

Serendib Scops Owl 

Sri Lanka Yellow-fronted Barbet

Sri Lanka Blue Magpie

Sri Lanka Junglefowl 

Sri Lanka Spot-winged Thrush

Sunday 8th January 2012

   Decided to go back to Chew, to try to get some flight shots of the Ring-billed Gull, but light was nowhere near as good as yesterday. Found out that the Spotted Sandpiper had shown really well yesterday, before we looked sadly! Lets have a look. It was showing quite well, so i finally got some shots, not quite as good as i would like, but not too bad at all. It seems to be showing some spots, not sure whether this is usual for winter plumage or not, lets hope its the start of summer plumage, and it stays a couple more weeks or months even!

Spotted Sandpiper
   After the shots i got, the bird flew across the pool, came back, flew over the road and landed on the lake side of the bridge. Went over thinking this should be really good for photos, but the bird went under the bridge and spent a long while under there! Was seen near dusk again, not sure if it was seen inbetween or not? Went back around to Woodford Lodge again. The Gull was sat on the pontoons, looking as though it was fully fed. So i went back to the car. In the car park, there were 4 Bullfinches feeding on some berry bushes. They flew into the top righthand corner of the car park, so we followed. The Bullfinches were feeding on the floor, which i have not seen too often. They were eating Sycamore seeds, not seen that before either! Last thing i had not seen before, were at least 30 Bullfinches together, absolutely brilliant, what beautiful birds!!!

Bullfinch (Top & Middle: Males, Bottom: Female) 
  This will be the last entry for a couple of weeks i would think, i am off to Sri Lanka on Friday. So, will be showing off my holiday snaps on here next time i add an entry! Cant wait!!!!!!

Saturday 7th January 2012

   Trip to Chew today to see the Ring-billed Gull, which has been around the Woodford Lodge area most of the week. The bird showed down to a few feet at times, coming to bread, if not Carrot cake, sorry Dave! It has an injury under its wing, maybe flew into something like a wire, but seems to be coping quite well.      
Ring-billed Gull

   No sign of the Spotted Sandpiper today, the spit it has been showing on is now underwater, so it has to either return to the pool at Herriotts or go altogether, lets hope it stays around! Would be nice if it stays into summer plumage.

   First Jack Snipe of the year, was showing from Stratford hide, asleep most of the time, sadly! There were at least 6 Common Snipe there too. 2+ Ruddy Duck and a drake Scaup were also seen from there. Looks perfect for Water Pipit at the moment too, but none seen.

Monday 2nd January 2012

   A New Year, same weather, same luck with photos im afraid!!!!

  Had a trip down to Ham Walls RSPB, on the levels, to see a Yellow-browed Warbler. Sunny when we arrived, but soon changed into a hale storm, they hurt dont they!!! No sign. What to do, stay or go to Burnham for the Lesser Yellowlegs??? Went to Burnham, weather cleared up, until we got there that is. Got to the pools and walked down towards them, the Yellowlegs was on the back pool on its own, or so i thought! Got a bit closer, seemed quite settled even with me there, then a Redshank called and 2 of them flew from the pool, taking the 'legs' with them! Had a look along the river, no luck. Walked back past the pools, only to find the 'legs' on the front pool. It flew straight onto the back pool and was again settled. Got a couple of rubbish, fairly distant 'record' shots, then moved closer. But, my recent luck held, as a Redshank flew in from the river, calling, and chased the 'legs' back onto the river again. Then came the rain again, i'm going home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lesser Yellowlegs