Showing posts from March, 2020

Lockdown Listing

I've been diligently watching my garden for the past few days to increase my BWKM0 Garden List - I've now joined a league with other Leicestershire birders and the competition is tough to beat! Over the past few days I've managed to add several new birds though: Saturday:  the day got off to a great start with a Raven and a Black-headed Gull in view at the same time - a double addition! A Pied Wagtail flew over in the evening Sunday: no new birds came until the evening until 3 Redwing and 2 Fieldfare flew over in quick succession. Somehow my first Starling  also put in an appearance. Monday:  difficult day with some rain but a male Reed Bunting was a great find. Tuesday:  the Reed Bunting was seen several times today, but the first new addition came when 2 Canada Goose flew loudly east. Although not a garden tick, we rarely see Reed Bunting and rarely a male! This takes my garden list to 32 species. I'm now impatiently waiting for the summer migrants a

Champions of the Driveway

In support of the fantastic Champions of the Flyway competition which has sadly been cancelled this year (as with everything else), I tried to record as many birds as I could today during my exercise walk and from the garden. This is a competition I'd love to take part in some day. My walk this morning took me underneath the bypass along the Ivanhoe Way and out into the farmland beyond it. It was a beautiful morning - warm and very still - which was great for listening for birds singing. Drumming woodpeckers, singing Chiffchaffs and my first Blackcap of the year made for a fantastic spring soundscape. This is as close as it gets to a wetland habitat near to my house - this pool had Moorhen and Mallard In total, I recorded 39 species on my walk. Which I am really pleased with, especially considering the complete lack of water (aside from a few algae covered ponds) anywhere near me. The main highlights were a huge number of Yellowhammer, a Mistle Thrush, Stock Dove, Raven and L

Online Birding Community

I've been birding since I was very small but it's always been a private hobby of mine - shared only with close family. It was only recently that I decided to become more of an active member of the birding community and I've loved it so far. There is such an active internet community for birding that it would be a real shame not to engage in. Now, more than ever I think, is a fantastic time to connect with other birders, with many birders now restricted to garden birding or satisfying their birding fix online. This is the perfect opportunity to take to social media, blogs and other platforms to share birding experiences and connect with other like-minded people who are going through the same withdrawal that non-birders just won't understand! So please follow me on Twitter @mattcowardbirds and reach out if you're in a similar situation. I'm always keen to speak to other birdwatchers, including those who like myself have previously kept birding as their private

Birding Trip Report: Southern Spain 2019

Birding Trip Report - Southern Spain: Overview:   In September 2019, my dad and I set out on an ambitious self-guided trip to Southern Spain to attempt to see all the specialities it has to offer with just two full days. We landed in Malaga airport at lunch time on the 10 th and spent the rest of the day birding our way up through the mountains to Dos Hermanas near Seville where we stayed the night. The following day we made the journey down to Tarifa via Brazo del Este and the Bonanza and Trebujena area. On our final full day, we enjoyed the incredible raptor migration at Tarifa and explored the vast La Janda. After a pre-dawn trip to Los Lances on the final morning we made the drive back to Malaga and flew home at lunchtime on the 13 th after just 72 hours. This was a fast-paced and extremely exciting trip which really tested my fieldwork and planning skills. In total, we recorded 143 species and covered hundreds of miles. I loved the thrill of trying to make the most of such