Monday 21 May 2012

An Eventful Morning at Swithland Res

Another of my ‘most wanted’ county birds was found by Ralph Lockwood on Saturday – a 1st-summer male Golden Oriole singing in Buddon Wood, adjacent to Swithland Res. By the time I heard about it though, it seemed too late in the day for it to be singing, so I didn’t bother going immediately. A good decision as it turned out, as there was no further sign of it for the rest of the day.

I didn’t really expect it to stay overnight, as they never do in Leics*, so I was surprised but pleased to get a phone call from Steve Lister on Sunday morning to say that it was still there! I think I did pretty well to get from being at home in bed to Kinchley Lane in about half an hour, but I needn’t have rushed, as it sang on and off until about 10:30. No chance of seeing it though, as it was well back in the trees, and as is usual with this species, managing to move around without showing itself once. I think they must have an invisibility cloak or something. But you have to take what you can get with birds like this, so I’m happy to add it to my county list on the basis of hearing it singing and calling for several hours.

But the bird was overshadowed somewhat by the fact that Colin Towe, aka beast, aka username, had to be carted off to hospital in an ambulance mid-morning after passing out (protesting that he couldn’t go until he’d seen the bird, of course!). Apparently they couldn’t find any obvious cause for it, and I later had a text from him saying ‘Docs wanted 2 keep me in but I said fuck off...’, so it sounds like he’s back to normal now!

After sorting out Colin’s car for him, Dave Gray and I headed for Cossington Meadows, where we saw a Bar-tailed Godwit but not a lot else.

So, three county ticks so far this year and it’s only May – the last time I had that many was in 1999! I’m just going to say one more thing on the subject of potential county ticks – Bee-eater...

* - there are actually two previous records of Golden Orioles being recorded on more than one date in the county, but the vast majority were only seen/heard by the finder(s).

Thursday 17 May 2012


A pleasant day out in Norfolk yesterday with John '8mm' Hague, Dave 'Blue Suede Shoes' Gray and Andy 'Two Lifers' Neilson. Andy has already written up the day's birds here, so I'll just post a few of my photos:

The Hooded Birder amuses himself with some colouring-in whilst waiting for the old folks to finish their breakfasts in McDonald's

Fly-by Hen Harrier snapped out of the car window somewhere near Choseley

 A not-too-shabby photo of a male Bearded Tit at Titchwell - first time I've ever managed to get any kind of image of one of these!

A lovely day at the beach

 Obliging Titchwell waders
Snettisham - not a bad photo of a Turtle Dove considering it was taken through a closed car window

 Nene Washes, Eldernell, with rather more water than there should be at this time of year

Saturday 12 May 2012

A Cautionary Tale

The funniest thing about the whole 'Atlas Flycatcher' saga is this photo (link goes to the whole page rather than the individual photo). It's a shame more people couldn't see the message being shouted at them in capital letters!

Thursday 10 May 2012

So, anyway...

...another one ticked off the spring county wishlist. And I got some photos. Which was nice.

Simon the Savi's Warbler - showing well. Occasionally. If you're lucky.