Showing posts from June, 2020

Iberian Chiffchaff (maybe?)

It's been 3 weeks now since my first ever rare find - or rare possible-find - whatever that may be called!  On the 4th of June, after a long and exciting day in Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire , my dad and I called in at Thorne Moors at 18:00, hoping to get to 100 for the day. What we weren't expecting was a rarity! Parking on the road in Moorends, we set off down the Grange Road access track. The vastness of this site soon became apparent; in fact, we walked for at least of 2km before we even got to the moor. We’d clearly come to the wrong place to add waders to our list, or at least the wrong place to find them in a short walk! The moor at Thorne Moors - around 2km from the Grange Road parking Walking through the small area of woodland after the information board before the main moor itself, I heard a strange song coming from quite deep in the trees, behind an area of deep water. It sounded like a Chiffchaff singing its notes in the wrong order. I pointed it out to my dad. Cont

A Big Day in Nottinghamshire & Yorkshire!

I'd been planning this day for a while. A big trip through Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire to look for some birds I never normally see (namely Puffin, Turtle Dove, Razorbill etc.), and maybe even a few lifers. Being on a UK list of 253, getting a lifer that isn't a rarity is a rare thing for me nowadays. The possibility of Woodlark and Honey Buzzard in Sherwood Forest was an exciting prospect. As was the chance of reaching 100 birds in a day, something I've only achieved once before in the UK (101 in Norfolk in January 2019).  Tree Sparrows are actually an unusual bird for me - we saw many at Bempton though Major Oak is around 1000 years old! So, on the 4th of June we undertook it. Granted the time of year for a big day list isn't ideal but I always have exams during late April/May and birding from sunrise to sunset isn't conducive to productive revision!  Waking at 05:00 it was just getting light, and the birding began. The first stop was Sherwood Forest and we were

Midsummer Lull

As you would expect in mid-June, the patch year list has slowed down considerably in the last few days. That doesn't mean there haven't been a few nice additions.  Yesterday, a morning visit in nice weather gave lots of singing warblers, the best of which was a reeling Grasshopper Warbler in the Owl Field. There were two birds, possibly a pair. It was actually the first time I've ever seen a Grasshopper Warbler before  hearing it first. The female bird perched up on the fence which bisects the field and then flew off into the long grass, then a few seconds later a male popped up from below the fence and began to reel, giving walkaway views. The best birds on the lake were Shoveler , Common Tern and some really showy Reed Warblers . The patch, while there isn't the variety of migration times, is really nice at the moment with the breeding season in full swing and lots of fledglings around.  A visit in strong wind this afternoon didn't produce the passerines I saw ye

Back on my Patch!

It was so nice to get back to my patch today after a long absence. The first visit to Willington in the spring is always a year-tick fest, it's just that normally it doesn't have to wait until June! I got no fewer than 14 year ticks this morning, 7 of which were warblers. I arrived at Willington GPs at 06:50, feeling like I was up before everyone else. Apparently, though, I wasn't. Another gentleman was leaving as I arrived! Now that's impressive commitment. I was hoping to get to the platforms early to avoid other people, but I only saw 3 other birders in total on my visit from 06:50 to 09:00 and passed them all easily at 2m along the lane. I had originally been avoiding the patch for fear of it being a difficult place to socially distance, but found it no trouble at all. The view from platform 1 - the exposed mud here looks good for Common Sandpiper this year The hide is closed, of course, but instead I viewed the lake from the small platform past the hide. T