Friday, 28 July 2017

Year List Update - a Lifer!!

On Tuesday, Jayne and I spent 4 hours on a wildlife watching boat trip with AK Wildlife Cruises in Falmouth Bay. The trip was aimed mainly at cetaceans, but obviously, birds were also seen, including, as the title suggests, a lifer for me!

The first wildlife seen was Grey Mullet, with dozens of these fish feeding in the shallow water around the marina. As we set out on the water, we saw Herring and Black-headed Gulls. Mediterranean Gulls were also seen, including several juvenile birds. Other birds seen during the trip were: Fulmar (1), Razorbill (2; 1 adult and a juvenile), Peregrine Falcon (1 juvenile), Little Egret (1), Gannet, Whimbrel (1), Manx Shearwater ( 50+) and Storm Petrel (2) - a LIFER1!!

Manx Shearwater

The marine mammals were playing a little harder to get, but we did manage to get great views of several Grey Seals that were hauled out on the rocks. We also saw several Harbour Porpoises (perhaps up to 10 individuals), including adults and juveniles. They were very difficult to photograph, but I did manage a few shots.

Harbour Porpoises

Year List update:
176 – Manx Shearwater
177 - Whimbrel
178 – Storm Petrel

Thursday, 27 July 2017

St Ives' Herring Gulls

Back in 2015, I blogged about a couple of darviced Herring Gulls that I'd seen in St Ives, Cornwall (see here). I was back there on Monday (24th), and saw 1 of the same birds, and a new one.

The first bird I saw was W:195, the bird I'd seen back in 2015. It was in pretty much the same place as in 2015, namely on top of an ice cream shelter on the harbour front in St Ives. It was originally ringed in St Ives in June 2014, and had been reported from there on several occasions when I reported it then. Hopefully, it'll have been reported a few more times in the last 2 years.


The other bird, a new one for me, was W:186. This bird was also present in and around the harbour in St Ives, heling itself to scraps of food!!


The birds were ringed as a part of a scheme, lead by the West Cornwall Ringing Group (see here). I'll email them my sightings and update the blog when I hear back from them.

UPDATE: I heard back the Ringing Group today (many thanks for the quick reply), and both birds were ringed in St Ives in June 2014. They've both been reported many times since ringing, mainly in and around St Ives, and the Hayle Estuary (4km), but W:195 did also go on a day trip to Mousehole (13km away) in January 2017.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Whitby and Scarborough

Last weekend I was up in Whitby and Scarborough with the family. Whitby was quite quiet Birdwise, but I did spot a well known Herring Gull, with a darvic ring 1R1B.

Herring Gull 1R1B

I say, well known, because I saw this bird in exactly the same spot ( the top of a dustbin on the pier) back in July 2015 (see here). There were lots of other Herring Gulls around, along with the odd Fulmar and a pair of Shags. Red Admiral butterflies were present in good numbers (10+), and 4 Small Tortoiseshells were also seen.

Scarborough was a little busier. There were hundreds of pairs of Kittiwakes in and around the town centre and cliffs, including several with growing chicks.

Also present were Herring, Lesser Black-backed, Great Black-backed, Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls (3 of the latter, including 1 adult in full breeding plumage, on the sea by The Spa).

Mediterranean Gull

Turnstones were seen in the harbour, along with a small flock of 10 Redshank, a few more Kittiwakes and a pair of Rock Pipits that were carrying food to an unseen nest.

Rock Pipits

Monday, 3 July 2017

Common Scoter at Linacre ... again!

Back in September 2016 there was a record of 4 Common Scoters at Linacre Reservoirs (see here for details). I didn't manage to see them then, so when I saw a record and photograph of a male Scoter at Linacre yesterday (2nd July) on my email tonight, I had to get down to see if it was still there. Unfortunately, I "dipped" again!!! Here's the photo from yesterday. many thanks to the photographer J O'Neill, for letting me use it.

Common Scoter

Despite not seeing the Scoter, I did record the first evidence of breeding for the Tufted Ducks in 2017, with 1 female and 4 small ducklings seen. Also present were: Moorhen; 3 chicks, Coot; 3 chicks and Great-crested Grebe; 6 birds, 5 adults and 1 juvenile.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Silver-studded Blue

For the last few years Jayne and I have visited a super site in Carlton in Lindrick, Nottinghamshire, to see some lovely butterflies; Marbled White, Dark Green Fritillary and Silver-studded Blue. We've always managed to see the first two species, but the third one has been a little trickier!! Thankfully, this year we managed to drop lucky, seeing at least 1 female and 1 male.

Silver-studded Blue (male)

Silver-studded Blue (female underwing)

Silver-studded Blue (female upperside)

Dark Green Fritillary

Marbled White

Other butterfly species seen were: Comma (1), Red Admiral (1), Ringlet (10+) and a small skipper species (either Small or Essex; 1 of which was reported by another visitor).

Marbled White, Ringlet and Meadow Brown

Saturday, 1 July 2017


I haven't seen Bee-eaters in the UK since 2002, so when I spotted news of 7 birds in Nottinghamshire on the Birdguides website, I knew I had to travel down to see them. Today, we had a family trip and got great views of 4 of the 7 birds as they flew around the site near East Leake. Here's my best attempt!!


The RSPB had set up a car park and viewing facilities, and I bought this pin badge to supplement the views I'd had!


Whilst there, we also got good views of several Ringlet butterflies, including this individual with its wings held open, not something I've seen very often.


Year List update:
175 - European Bee-eater