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Sunday, 15 July 2012


After moaning about the lack of action on the patch it has really picked up and plenty of effort has been richly rewarded. The 'flood field' is draining and there are large areas of mud exposed, these are being used by c200 BHG, 40-50 Lapwing, and small groups of LBBG.These were joined on the 14th by 2 Yellow-Legged Gulls, a 3rd summer bird and a near-adult type which left NE after a brief bathing stop. Seems to be plenty of these about nationally and hopefully we may see a few more in the coming weeks!!

Waders are starting to sneak through which is probably bad news really as they are presumably more failed breeders. Curlew, a new LRP, and the autumns first Redshank and Golden Plover, plus a drake Wigeon, have been seen this week along with the years first Tree Sparrow ( from the nearby breeders by the Golf Course presumably)

The undoubted highlight of the weekend was a REDSTART found on the afternoon of the 14th by SC on the Soap Tip. I was first to arrive and the bird showed really well on and off for the rest of the day to most of the regulars - a much appreciated patch tick for me also!

As can be seen from the photos the bird is a very young juvenile - would love to know exactly where this bird fledged !? First 3 photos courtesy of M Hemingway - cheers pal.

The next 3 pictures are my fault - sorry !!

This is not a juv Redstart ...........its clearly an adult!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Patch strikes back!!

Been struggling with the patch lately, really hard going. I hate this attitude and I'm sure it costs me birds but i often find myself sneaking of for other peoples birds at this time of year.

On the 19th June i nipped into Fairburn after work and had great views of the Ad Sum White Winged Black Tern. Seen a fair few of these over the years but a man who tires of these little belters needs a new hobby!

The 23rd saw me blagging a lift over to The Wirrral with MF for the Little Swift. I saw the Notts bird but with this one showing so well i felt it would be rude not too!!

30th provided a visit in tricky weather to Wykeham for a crack at HB's. No joy on that front but still very enjoyable with several reasonable views of at least 2 different Goshawk, c30 Crossbill, Turtle Dove, Tree Pipit, Hobby, Siskin and Roe Deer.

And so to the 1st July and a concerted effort at the patch. Initial signs were not great - a brood of Tufties here, GCGrebe young there, then a  Common Sand, my 1st on the patch for almost a month - returning bird maybe?... Thinks really got better at 8.34am when myself and SC had at least 1 Crossbill flush from the Drain and fly south, sounded like 2+ birds but not sure! Still, a great record of this very scarce bird (at Pugneys). Not much else for the next hour or so - due to the 5 birders on site sitting drinking coffee in the cafe. This did enable IB to tell me about the flooded rhubarb field on the river bend and i advised all about the apparent influx of Med Gulls at Old Moor . When i mooched off to have a look the fields looked aces! Gulls bathing, Lapwing all over, mud everywhere!And bugger me, as I wandered closer I picked up an Ad Sum Med Gull up in flight straight away and then a male Peregrine appeared right overhead at the same time!! Rang the team to much cursing and watched the Peg head of South whilst the Med landed on the flood - nice! It pottered about for c10 mins then headed of towards the Calder Wetlands.

Now sorry if my excitement seems a little out of proportion but this is only the 2nd patch record of both species this year so if you extrapolated that to a national context i had managed the rough equivalent of a UK  Pacific Goldie and Blyths Reed plus, say, a Yank Passerine for the Crossbill!! All in one morning ! That cant be right, must be talking tosh again!