Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Limosa tour to Morocco November 2014

Some photographs from Morocco. Please view earlier entry on the discovery of a Great Knot in Morocco.

Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita)

Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita)

Desert Little Owl (Athene noctua glaux)

Audouin's Gull (Larus audouinii)

Scopoli's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea)

House Bunting (Emberiza sahari)

House Bunting (Emberiza sahari)

Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis)

Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis)

Thick-billed Lark (Rhamphocoris clotbey)
Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Some recent scarce birds from Norfolk & Suffolk

There has been a run of Desert Wheatears with three in Norfolk & Suffolk this autumn. Plus a few Shrikes and a Hoopoe.
Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)
at Winterton 8th December 2014

Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)
at Gorleston-on-Sea November 2014

Steppe Grey Shrike (Lanius pallidirostris) Burnham Norton
Norfolk October 2014

Hoopoe (Upupa epops) Kessingland
Suffolk October 2014
Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) Lowestoft Suffolk October 2014

Monday, 10 November 2014

Limosa Tour to Morocco November 2014

On the recent Limosa Tour to Morocco I found a Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris) at the Oued Souss on the last day of the tour 8th November 2014. It was associating with Red Knots (Calidris canutus). It was only the second record for Morocco. 

The most obvious features that struck me when scanning through the group of Red Knot were the dark breast and large spotted flanks. Although I knew immediately deep down that it was a Great Knot I couldn't quite believe it. They are just so rare in Africa (and Europe). Could it just be an aberrant Knot? Afterall the bird was in fairly poor light and quite distant (aren't they always). However with closer scrutiny the slightly larger size and longer bill were apparent. 

From photographs other features could be seen. The black tail contrasting with the white rump and uppertail coverts in flight, marginally broader wings and the less contrasting dark wingtips in which the primaries only gradually turn black towards the tip. It is thought to be a first winter bird due to the darkness of the mantle and coverts feathers.

Arnoud van den Berg who was also leading the tour quickly got on to the bird and began documenting the sighting including taking some photos of the bird feeding with his telescope that gave far greater magnification than my (and his) telephoto lens. There were nine other birdwatchers in the Limosa tour group and they all saw the bird. 

The bird is second bird from the right on top photo and second from left on the bottom one. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Barred Warbler Salthouse Norfolk

Who could resist a tame Barred Warbler? Luckily for photographers it was pretty oblivious to humans and didn’t flinch much even when runners from the Round Norfolk Relay stomped by its favourite bramble patch.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Limosa Tour to Romania 2014

A selection pf photos from the Black Sea coast and Danube Delta

Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus)

Cardinal Argynnis pandora

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans

Hobby Falco subbuteo

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides

Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio

Cuckoo Cuculus canorus

Great Black-headed Gulls Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus & Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans

Brittany France August 2014

This non-native South American rodent had at least eight young and was eliminated from the UK at the end of the last century. More photos to be added soon.

Coypu (Myocastor coypus)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)

This male has been summering at Winterton and has been photographed 'to death'. Finally I could procastrinate no more, afterall this is one of those few charasmatic birds you remember well from thumbing through bird books as a child. What a peach!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Norwich Cathedral Peregrines

The Norwich Cathedral Peregrines provided enjoyment to many visitors again during the breeding season. This year four young again hatched successfully on their high spire ledge and so far, fingers crossed (unless you are a Pigeon) three still survive. As the adult Peregrines become more experienced it seems they are also becoming used to all the excitement. They even fed the young on the lower roofs despite the audience and a film crew building sets for a period drama in the cathedral cloisters.

Constant updates via the Hawk and Owl Trust media feeds ensured that those interested, including photographers, could keep finely tuned to on-going events, to maximise their chance of witnessing the best action. This constant supply of news ensured a continually stream of people visiting the site. Happily the Peregrines have become so used to the noises of a large vibrant city that all the extra visitors attracted to the cathedral by the Hawk and Owl Trust would seem to have little or no effect on their breeding success. 

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata) Norfolk June 2014

This male Spectacled Warbler established a territory for a few weeks at Burnham Overy Dunes and was pretty tame in that it would forage and sing unconcernedly just feet away. More photos to be uploaded at www.birdlineeastanglia.co.uk. Please click on the Norfolk bird news section.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Limosa tour Lesbos Greece April 2014

Some photos from the recent tour to Lesbos.

Eastern Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans

Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur

Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur

Little Crake Porzana parva
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus

Ruppell’s Warbler Sylvia rueppelli
Cleopatra Gonepteryx cleopatra

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida

Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala
Black Stork Ciconia nigra

Friday, 11 April 2014

Trinidad & Tobago March-April 2014

Wildlife sightings from Limosa Holidays tour to Trinidad & Tobago.

Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus crocodilus)

Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana)

White-tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus ensipennis)

Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor)

Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus)

Tufted Coquette (Lophornis ornata)

Ruschenberg's Tree Boa (Corallus ruschenbergeri)

Tufted Coquette (Lophornis ornata)

White-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgas cayennensis)

Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris)

Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola)

Pinnated Bittern (Botaurus pinnatus)

Trinidad Piping Guan (Pipile pipile)

Trinidad Piping Guan (Pipile pipile)

Audubon’s Shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri)