27 July 2010

Finally milked the Cow......Egret!

With news of a Cattle Egret roosting at Doxey Marshes for the last two nights, I, along with The Marquis, made the short 50 mile trip over to Staffs. After missing this species twice this year in Somerset, it was pleasing to eventually be able to connect so close to home! Initially pretty elusive in amongst the udders of some distant cattle, the bird, presumably hoofed up the arse by one of the bovines, flew a short distance and settled in pool side bush and showed sweetly until we got bored (and pissed off with doddering old c*nts standing in front of me) and did one home (251).

Cow Egret

Mad Cow 'Egret' Disease affects Staffs birders more than most!

26 July 2010

Green Sand' = 250th yeartick!!

Yep, the title is correct! After 207 days of 2010, my elusive quarry has fallen! Now, this may sound a little OTT but up until today, I had genuinely resorted to believing that I had more chance of seeing Slender billed Curlew/Liz Hurley taking a soapy plunge in my tub/Liz Hurley waking me up with a coffee and pack of Embassy No.1 dressed as a naughty schoolgirl etc, than I had of bagging Green Sand for the year! Anyhow, this is how it went - Leaving work at 5pm, I noticed a pager message reporting a Common Scoter at Ogston Res' and tagged onto that message was this bit of juicey news - '' + Green Sand<''. Now, even tho I desperately needed to see this species for the year, I HAD said there was no way I was going chasing one BUT Ogston Res is a decent place (let down by it's county of residence!), I f*ckin' love inland seabirds and if I caned it from home, I could get there in 9 minutes! The twitch was on! I arrived home in Tibshelf at 5.25pm, grabbed my scope and jumped back in the motor (engine foolishly left running!) and arrived at Ogston at 5.37pm! Now, I wouldn't normally be writing so much shite regarding times etc but this was the one, the holy grail of 2010, the chance to hit 250 for the year with.....................a proper w*nk species! Viewing from the car park on the west bank, I quickly located the imm drk Common Scoter loafing just offshore. I then moved to the public hide and noted 8 imm Mandarins, Oystercatchers, a few juv' Ringed Plovers, a twat with a sco-pac, a couple of typically miserable derbyshire birding bastards but no Tringa. A few more sweeps of the far bank from the car park revealed 3 Common Sands and very little else! Time was now ticking by and with a phonecall from the other half demanding that if I wasn't back within 15 minutes my tea would be inside the next door neighbours dogs, I 'threw' the scope and bins into the car and quite angrily started heading home. However, a decision to make one final stop to scan the Wooley Moor bay of the reservoir proved to be the highlight of the year(?) as stood on the spit here was the bird I had been dreaming of (I haven't really) for the last 6 months.....Green Sand (250)!
And that was it, a true anti-climax to a pretty annoying quest but with a wry smirk to myself, I did one and thoroughly enjoyed a (still warm) sausage hotpot!


Blackish duck

The location of the Holy Grail...some f*cker tell Tom Hanks!!

I 'ATE Fishermen too,

19 July 2010

Red Rumpers, Bulgaria 2010

A short video of some Red Rumpers that were seen daily on wires close to the house on my recent trip to Bulgaria. I'm currently knocking together a trip report but it could take some time!

17 July 2010

Zummerzet jam (Little Bittern & Spot' Sandpiper)

Early morning saw myself and 'The Marquis' arriving at pokey Polesworth for our rendevouz with Archie Archer and Jules Allen. After jumping aboard Lord Archers spacious new courtesy passion waggon, we made our way SW. We arrived at a very wet and miserable Ham Wall RSPB and after a brief period of contemplation, we trudged towards the viewing area. At c7.10am, the female LITTLE BITTERN (248) appeared briefly in flight. It then teased us with a few sexy glimpses before giving a prolonged view as it flew strongly west and out of sight. An hour later, she returned and during the next 50 minutes showed on & off in flight and at times perched up amongst the reeds. Other bits included 2 'big' Bitterns, plenty of Cetti's Warblers, 2 Hobbies and a few Little Egrets. An unnecessary search for a lingering Great White Egret proved fruitless and our second attempt at the local Cattle Egrets was also a complete waste of time! A short while later while sat in a local MC.Donalds luxury carvery establishment, the pager announced the presence of a summer plumaged Spot' Sand near Minehead at DUNNster Beach. We promptly caned it over there and after a little bit of confusion regarding the exact whereabouts of the bird combined with no further news since the initial message, we eventually located a pretty unlikely looking pool hidden behind a shop & tennis courts and two local birders scoping our target! We'd technically jammed onto a stunning summer plumaged SPOTTED SANDPIPER (249). I quickly rattled off a few shots and then was informed we were apparently illegally parked so we scarpered and did one back home!

15 July 2010

A new era begins in Staffs...

After hearing that Archie had moved to this sort of Blog, I decided that after months of debating it, I'd do the same. This evening while creating it, I took a swift glance at the (on silent) pager at c7.05pm and was gutted to see that a Franklin's Gull had just been located at Chasewater, Staffs. Knowing that my arch year-listing rival Archie Archer from War-wick-shire would no doubt be on his way over already (I soon found out he was actually still sat at ASBO HQ glued to Emmerdale while munching on a king size tub of Ben & Jerrys blissfully unaware of a potential year tick just down the road!), I bombed over to collect the Marquis from Kirkby-in-Ashfield and hit it towards the site. Luckily there were no obstructions (or 'boys in blue') along the way and we arrived in a tidy 45 minutes! Thankfully the yank was still present (and so was Archer!) and gave shit views roosting on the island in amongst loads of other dirty gulls! Anyhow, as nice a year tick as it was, my thirst got the better of me, along with the rapidly deteriorating weather. I caned it home and was sampling some fine Swedish ale by 10pm!!