Wednesday 26th February 2014

   Another quick, after work, visit to Marshfield, the Bluetail was still there. Light was good, hoping it was gonna stay light enough for some photos. It did, but not for too long, soon went dull and very cold, and i went home..........

Red-flanked Bluetail
    Soon as i arrived it was showing well, and i did get some more shots.....................

Red-flanked Bluetail

Sunday 23rd February 2014

   Another possible 'Gullfest' today, trip to Cornwall.

Glaucous Gull
   When we arrived at Marazion, it was blowing a gale. Didn't think there was much chance of seeing, let alone photographing the birds here!!! Luckily, i was wrong. An adult Glaucous Gull was flying up & down the beach, along the tideline. Also the usual common 5 Gull species, Med Gull & Kittiwake were there. best views 7 photos were from Longrock car park, which i didn't even know existed until today, even with all my trips to Penzance!!!!

Glaucous Gull

Kumlien's Gull
   Still blowing a gale, so we decided to try Newlyn Harbour, which hopefully would be a lot more sheltered. As soon as we arrived, there was the adult Kumliens Gull, sat in the harbour with some other large Gulls. It showed really well for about an hour too.
   Stonking bird..........

Kumlien's Gull

Kumlien's Gull

Great Northern Diver
  After the Kumliens Gull decided to fly off, i had a wander around the Harbour, to see what else was sheltering in there? There were at least 6 Great Northern Divers, including one which had just started moulting into Summer plumage, 2 Guillemots, 1 Razorbill, Cormorant & Shag.

Great Northern Diver


  Then on the way home, a stop at the Hayle estuary, which sadly didn't really add too much to the days totals, Curlew, Wigeon and lots more Gulls, but the wind was still being a pain.

   Another good day, except for the Gale force winds that is. Some more good photos too, i hope you will agree....?

Sunday 16th February 2014

   Finally decided to go to Newgale, Pembrokeshire, to see the 'Gullfest' there. There had been Glaucous, Iceland, Kumliens and Nelsons Gulls all reported there, and a Green-winged Teal.

   I had been told about where to watch the birds from, firstly the Marsh, sadly this was not good at this time, looking straight into the sun. So, went to the beach. The stream running to the Sea was the place to be. There was a 1st Winter Glaucous Gull, the adult Kumliens Gull, Kittiwakes, plus the usual 5 common species. A couple of Ravens, and a Sparrowhawk were also seen here.

Kumliens Gull
Kumliens Gull

   After a while i walked back to the car, along the pebble beach, there were quite a few dead Auks, beached during the recent storms, sad.........

Glaucous Gull (2nd Winter)
   We moved back to the Pub car park, to view the Marsh. This time we could actually see the birds that were there. The same species of Gull were now visiting the Marsh. Another Glaucous Gull, this time a 2nd Winter was there too, a couple of Med Gulls, and a Gull we thought was another 2nd Winter Glaucous Gull, but it had dirty, greyish primaries, was this the Nelsons Gull which had been reported? Yes it was, i got a second opinion by sending the photo below to the Pembrokeshire Blogger later, who confirmed jot for me!

Mediterranean Gull (Adult Winter)
Glaucous Gull (1st Winter)
Nelsons Gull (2nd Winter)


   We also refound the Green-winged Teal, but at the back of the Marsh, but it did fly around a couple of times with the European Teal. Towards the end of the day, as the light was starting to go, a ringtail Hen Harrier flew around at the back of the Marsh too.

European Teal & the Drake Green-winged Teal
It is in there, honest!!!!

    So, all in all, a well worthwhile trip! A new species of Gull, and some decent pix, which always helps!!!

Saturday 15th February 2014

    A trip to Chew, as the sun was out. Didn't see much, but got some nice pix in the light! Especially the Green Sandpiper at Moreton Lane.

Great Crested Grebe
Green Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper

Sunday 9th February 2014

   A quick look about at Aust Warth this morning, just produced some Reed Bunting pix.

   Decided on a trip to Slimbridge this afternoon. Cold, but a nice sunny day.

   Lots of Duck species, Bewicks Swans, Common Crane, and a few species of Wader, and still a couple of species of Goose were seen. Flight shots were the main aim today, some of them are below:

Black-tailed Godwits

Bank Vole
   A Lesser Redpoll was at the Willow hide feeding station, with the usual Goldfinches and Tits. Also there were 2 species of Vole, probably the first time i have ever seen 2 species at one place, at the same time anyway?

Water Vole

Friday 7th February 2014

    Right then, its my Birthday, i got the day off work, and the sun is out, what the...................

    A few things to do, but the Bluetail is still at Marshfield too.....amazing.

   Wow, there are about 60 people there, how did they all get the day off too? Chatting to some of them, yes they did, just for this bird! I waited at the end of the queue for a while, until the hordes thinned out a bit. The light was good, but if i could get into a certain place, it will be better later, right behind me, i thought. So, thats what i did, got into position and shot away, until the sun was just right. Someone had put some Mealworms out for the bird, it had found them too! Lots mention that it wasn't as mobile as in the days before, but why would it be, when the food was right there? Its 'patch' had been narrowed down to a triangle of 3 Hawthorns. This made positioning for photos quite important, and also patience. They both paid off too...................i hope you agree?

Red-flanked Bluetail
Red-flanked Bluetail
Red-flanked Bluetail

Tuesday 4th February 2014

   Stuck in work, suns out.......typical! Twitter going mental, Red-flanked Bluetail messages and photos. Long, long, long, long day. Really dragging today.

   Days works over, drive to Marshfield and amazingly found a parking space. Suns still out. I started to walk along the footpath, and guess clouded over.

Red-flanked Bluetail
   Walked the rest of the way, ah well at least the bird was still there. Managed some photos in crap light, not bad, but not what i wanted. This is becoming a habit recently.

   Will it stay????
   Will the sun ever come out again???
   Will i manage to be out of work, when they both happen together?????

   Lets hope so....until then

Red-flanked Bluetail

Monday 3rd February 2014

   Took the camera to work today, hoping to get out of work and maybe get some pix, as the sun was supposed to be out.

   Work finished, what to do? Marshfield, nah, nothing there, will go to Aust Warth again, for the Twite. Arrived at Aust Warth, picked up my phone, 2 missed calls and answer machine messages from Martyn Hayes. Oh dear, i thought, Martyn normally rings when there is something good about, or he wants one of my photos! As i haven't got any recently, could be important, so better ring him. Straight to answer phone.............and again, finally time to listen to answer phone messages. There a Red-flanked Bluetail at you can imagine i laughed! No chance to get there before dark, so hope its there tomorrow.

   Everyone knows i am pretty relaxed about my birding, but was a bit peeved about this one!!!!

   Then to everyones started raining again!!!!! Sun tomorrow forecast, lets hope i can get there.

Saturday 1st February 2014

   Really bad day yesterday, which i won't go into, but had to get out of the house!!!

   Went to Aust Warth first, after the very high tides, i was surprised not to see NO cars. The road was flooded but passable. I had 2, possibly 3 Twite, lots of Reed Buntings, a pair of Stonechats and a couple each of Dunnock and Meadow Pipits. I set up my camera, using the car as a hide, and began photographing the Buntings, waiting for the Twite. The Twite were still out of camera range, but gradually getting closer, when a car drove along and parked in front of mine. Shit, i thought, thats the end of that....but i was wrong, nothing flew off! Twite still getting closer, brilliant. Then, the driver decided to turn his engine over, but not start it up, for no reason......THEY ARE GONE!!!!!!!!! Then to add insult, he got out walked up to me and asked if the Twite were about, NOT ANYMORE mate!!!

Stonechat (Male)
Stonechat (Female)


   Decided Forest of Dean was as good a bet as any, for rest of the day, especially as you can bird from the car, if necessary, when it rains, and it will!

   As it turns out it was not a bad decision. At Parkend we parked up and just waited. In and under the Yew trees there, were Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, a Treecreeper and finally a Hawfinch (a male). Then a female too. Two other cars joined us there, and disappeared, then one came back.....bit of a theme here. At least i managed some photos of what i wanted this time!

Hawfinch (Female)
Hawfinch (Female)

Hawfinch (Male)

Hawfinch (Male)

   There were also some Redwings and a few of Mistle Thrushes in the area too.

   At least the Hawfinches cheered the day up slightly.