Thursday, 24 September 2015

Probable Acadian Flycatcher - Dungeness, Kent

How many firsts for Britain have you seen? I am pretty sure I have only seen one, Pacific Diver, in Yorkshire in 2007. Well maybe, I have no seen my second.

This Tuesday, 22nd September, I had taken my telescope, bins and camera to work as I planned a quick visit to Vange Marsh after work to go see a Wilson's Phalarope. I have only see one previously so one 30 minutes up the road was a must.

At work I cam out of a meeting around 11am to find numerous missed calls, texts and whatsapp messages. An Empid Flycatcher had been found at Dungeness in Kent and is do-able at around 1.5 hours from my work.

I guess 99% of birders at this point would have been thinking it was probably an Alder Flycatcher. There had been 2 Empids in Britain in the last 7 years and both had been Alders. I had seen the 2nd on Blackeney Point in Norfolk. My boss is very understanding of my passion for birding and twitching and said I could go right after our afternoon Finance meeting at 3pm. By 1pm I had a car full with city workers Bradders and Jono catching a train to meet me and Dan Barrett arranging to meet us on route.

The messages soon started to say, "Empid still, thought not to be an Alder", this was getting interesting. At 3pm we were on the road and by 4.50pm we were on site, along with a good 250 birders, surrounding the garden where the bird had been tracked down to and had been showing well on and off in poor weather most of the afternoon. The garden was in fact the same one where I had seen my first (of two) Dark Eyed Juncos in Britain. It didn't take long for the bird to show and when it did it was not shy, sitting on benches, a bin, fences and a satellite dish.

With the wonders on modern technology even while we were on site, via Bird Forum and twitter, American birders who had studied the photos were commenting that they were pretty confident it was an Acadian Flycatcher. If so it would be Britain's first and only the 2nd for the Western Pal after a bird was found dead in Iceland many years ago.

So it is now time to wait and see what happens. I believe DNA was obtained so a definite outcome should be able to be found. Watch this space.                                

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Sri Lanka - Leopard, Sloth Bear, Jackal, Wild Boar etc

Sri Lankan Leopard 

The largest Leopard on the planet. It has evolved to be the largest leopard, as in Sri Lanka it is the number one predator. In all other areas where leopard can be found there is also a bigger, more dominant cat i.e. Tiger in India and Lion in Africa.    

Wild Boar

Spotted Dear

Land Monitor


Golden Jackal  

Water Buffalo 

Leopard food

Water Monitor

Monday, 31 August 2015

Birds of Sri Lanka

Yet more pics of some of the 120+ species of birds seen during my recent family trip to the beautiful island of Sri Lanka.

Indian Nightjar - Udawalawe National Park  - 1 seen all trip + 1 probable Grey Nightjar

Malabar Pied Hornbill - only seen at Udawalawe NP

Indian Roller - c10+ seen, including one flock of 7 roadside on wires  

Spotted Dove - very common 

Black Headed Oriole - c10+ seen

Sirkeer Malkoha - 1 seen all trip

Jungle Fowl - Sri Lanka's national bird

Black Crowned Night Heron

White Browed Fantail - (above and below) a few seen but always very mobile and high up in canopy  

Brown Headed Barbet

Grey Headed Canary Flycatcher

Loten's Sunbird

White Browed Bulbul - fairly common

Greater Coucal

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Birds of Sri Lanka

Some more pics of some of the birds seen on our family holiday to Sri Lanka.

 Dull Blue Flycatcher - (Endemic) - only one seen  

Plum Headed Parakeet -  female with grey head - very smart and only seen in one location 
Bar Winged Flycatcher Shrike

Scarlet Minivet (m)

Scarlet Minivet (f)
Yellow Fronted Barbet (above and below) 

Sri Lnka White Eyes

Oriental White-Eyes are very smart and pretty common across Sri Lanka. Many were seen over the trip. The bottom two pictures I believe/think are of Sri Lanka White Eye, a much scarcer endemic bird.

Ashy Prinia - Sri Lanka

This Ashy Prinia was the only bird of the trip that responded well to psshing. After appearing in reeds around a small pond at the rear of one of our hotels in Nurara Eliya, it came within feet as the more I psshed the closer it came. What a smart little bird.


Sunday, 23 August 2015

Birds of Sri Lanka

Yet more pics of some of the c150 species seen on my 2 week family holiday to Sri Lanka.

Black Bulbul - one of just a few seen - this one seen on the only bird table seen all trip

Paddyfield Pipit - common

White-Rumped Munia -  common but localised

Black-Hooded Oriole - record shot - always elusive

 Lesser Hill Myna - only 2 seen all trip

White Bellied Drongo - common 

Scarlet Minivet - fairly common 

Oriental Magpie Robin - very common

Large Billed Crow