Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pied Flycatcher rarity

in 32 years doing bird surveys in the forest I have never seen a Pied Flycatcher so when I stopped to look at a nice sunny corner that produced 7 Spotted Flycatchers and various warblers it was a slight shock to pick up this Pied Fly; it initially proved elusive but then took to hovering and feeding over a stony path in front of me taking small moths and the odd butterfly -- from the Birding World article I make it a first-winter and from the tail and uppertail covert colour possibly a male but sexing is said to be optimistic in first winters

a few Hobbies

female Hobbies seem to come in two main types; the ones that scream when you are anywhere within 300m of their young and the ones that just keep quiet and slip off round the edge of the nearest tree when you are not looking; calm and quiet females seem to produce quiet and calm young which are more approachable but they are also much harder to find because they keep quiet and perch unobtrusively -- some nice video of these two juvs to upload with the iphone and scope -- must get a new digi-scoping camera-- all broods I have seen this year have been of 2 rather than the usual 3 from the study pairs

juvenile Common Buzzard

Canon 1DX with 400 DOII and 1.4xIII -- most raptors seem to be this approachable across the pond here it is just a bit of luck now and then

moulting male Ruffs

juvenile Marsh Harrier

August sees low numbers locally as adults disperse to moult and juvs wander around before the wintering birds return

Thursday, August 18, 2016

a few local migrants from yesterday

the Redstart was the first I had seen in Britain this year! and took the patch year list to 153 species a high total by recent standards but still not had Garden Warbler or Red-legged Partridge!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Squacco Heron -- Barton Pits

This bird has proven to be particularly elusive and time consuming; I have spent about 30 hours looking for it around my patch over the last week and can confirm that it is not just not easy but damned difficult; After the brief sightings on the night of the 6th when it flew into Hotel pt from the east at 20:30 and was seen briefly in the hedge by the hide it could not be found on Sunday, did not fly into roost that night and the same on Monday. Several other people have put in a lot of time but the daily whereabouts of the bird have remained unknown. Then on Tuesday evening just as the rain set in with a vengeance a certain Scunny area birder who also enjoys drowning the odd worm saw the Squacco sitting there on the pond he wash fishing; a site that has been checked many times over previous days. The bird remained on that pond until 20:20 catching at least one large fish and calling fairly regularly late in the evening a fairly typical heron like aaarrrg note. At 20:20 it flew up and off to the west but was lost to view. The owners of the pond allowed access that evening but the site is otherwise private with very restricted viewing from the adjacent road. While present it made a few flights around the pond and even seemed to set off away from the site but came back each time. It seemed to be very tolerant of people but did flush at one point when fishermen walked past a hedge it was perched in. I checked the site from 06:30 the following morning and at intervals all day but it was not seen again there or anywhere as far as I know o the 10th but it could still be somewhere.
This is the 5th Squacco Heron for Lincs and the first in August; it is an adult in breeding plumage.

1861 Lincolnshire A Fillingham Lake, near Gainsborough, shot, June.
1910 Lincolnshire A Great Cotes, immature, shot, 29th September.
1999 Lincolnshire A Messingham, adult, 3rd to 11th June, photo.
2015        Lincolnshire     A      Kirkby Pits adult summer, June 27th photo

a bit of iphone video below through Swaro 95 scope

Squacco Heron