Friday, 28 September 2012


Ended up not working on Weds the 26th Sept - this turned out to be the first of several pieces of good fortune on a memorable day!!

Out on the patch from first light but not much moving and a grounded Dunlin was hardly the business! persevered, counting the small numbers of viz-migs until the rain set in and I headed for shelter by the main lake with IB. The rain passed quickly but nothing on or over the water so we opted for hunting down a YBW, or more realistically a few chiffs! Heading round the back of the reserve wood I suddenly picked up a  big raptor heading S - finally it had happened !! An OSPREY !! Not the best views as it went behind the woods and away but still GET IN!! 9.25am was the time if anyone cares! Patch tick heaven!

Phoned Wintersett to alert them and then basked in the relief a bit and wandered back round the bushes and woods towards the E end of the Main Lake. Sat scanning from here and chatting when at 10.10 i scanned N and picked OSPREY!! WTF !! At first just thought it was the same bird but was it really ? It headed straight through S and I again phoned Wintersett but they were more excited after just having a bloody Rough-Leg go NE!! Greedy or what!

Slightly dazed now things got really crazy when at 10.45 IB picked up another OSPREY circling lazily north of the wetlands and slowly drifting SW towards the motorway!! Was this really happening!?? More phone calls and general excitement ( interrupted by a Brambling !) were brought to a halt by the sound of the Mega-Alert going off...PG TIPS in Hartlepool ! F%$K !!

So, I'm in the motor heading N, worried about flood delays and generally preparing to dip. Surely it wont be viewable? It wont be seen again i bet! etc etc.

Arrive on site and find loads of cover and little action - i was right so decide some birding in order, quickly picking up Redstarts, Pied Fly and several Wheatear. Mega-Alert again, PG TIPS trapped Whitburn!! I am by the car and can see locals running for theirs so it must be do-able in time! Ive not had my car long so it was its first ' WACKY RACES' experience and it did well as I shot into the car park and was told to dump the car and run! This I did and a good job too as I rounded the mound and had a bins full of the beast in the hand with seconds to spare! Pretty ace view of the release with tail and rump action and a massive blast of excitement and relief!

Not my picture sadly as i did not get chance!
Really never expected to get one of these bad-boys, certainly not away from Shetland so a real bonus but felt for several late arrivals who narrowly missed out - painful!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Where to start! Just a great day that i happened to have of work, belted the patch early doors and FINALLY scored not 1 but probably 3 OSPREY! And then I nipped up to North-east and scored a Lifer with in-hand views of PALLAS' GROPPER!  I gona write this up properly tmw coz im having a beer to celebrate!!


Sunday, 23 September 2012


F'in Magnolia Warbler on Fair Isle !!

 I have spent 6 Weeks on there in total and seen some brilliant birds, had some fantastic experiences and even found a few good birds but for F's sake!!

 Rarest i saw was a Blyths Pipit.
 Best i saw was a BLUE Red-flanked Bluetail.
 Best i found was an OBP.

None of of these are Magnolia warbler ...........


Highlight of the weekend (at least in rarity terms) was the Nuthatch that was along the river on the 22nd, they breed just across the river on the golf course and in nearby Clarence Park but are still barely annual - this was the 1st record of the year!!

Other highlights were a 'cream-crown' Marsh Harrier that flew N at 10.05am on 23rd followed shortly by a Hobby going S.

Best of the rest were a Ringed Plover, 2 Common Terns E, 2 redpoll sp and small numbers of the regular diurnal migrants.

Weather looks brilliant for next couple of days so it must be time for me to go to work soon !!!!!ARSE!

Sunday, 16 September 2012


Another update!! Really good morning on the patch today with 5.5 hrs of migration watching being well rewarded. Similar numbers of Mipits (119) and Siskin (10), Swallow(27) etc were supplemented by some quality in the form of the following...

KNOT. 1 flew into the wetlands and landed briefly before continuing E at 7.30am.

P F Geese. 57 flew W at 10.25.

Hobby. An AD flew slowly E, feeding on the wing, at 10.15.

Green Sand. 1 flew low N at 9.27 .

This is really what local patch watching is all about, enjoyed this more than many rare birds i have twitched ib the past!!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

AGP and some patch stuff

Updates have again been lacking due to lethargy and lack of interest on the patch!

I did manage to twitch the superb moulting Ad American Golden Plover at Edderthorpe on the 13th Sept and managed a couple of record shots;-

meanwhile back at the patch, its been hard going with very little in the way of passage or even signs of migration! highlights of past few weeks are as follows .

Little Egret. 2 on 24th Aug and a single E on 3rd Sept.

Peregrine. 1 N on 26th Aug.

Pintail. 2 N on 8th Sept.

Green Sand. 1 present from 9th sept - still present 15th.

Tree Pipit. 1 SW on 15th Sept.

Wildfowl numbers are slowly building with the WEBS count on 15th Sept revealing 25 Wigeon, 32 Shoveler and small numbers of Teal. Diving duck are much reduced from recently - maybe all at Anglers CP!!

15th also produced a small but enjoyable amount of passage with 126 Mipits, 7 Siskin, 3 Grey wag and 4    'Alba' wags, 2 Swifts and a Skylark - mostly heading SW-ish in c3 hours