Wednesday 28 April 2010

Four Dips in 48 hours!

A quick post as I am still computerless following the burglary. Had to go to Derby for work yesterday so took the afternoon off on Monday to bird my way up. Things didn't go quite to plan.

Dip 1 - Red Backed Shrike, Ingatestone, Essex
Dip 2 - Bluethroat, Welney, Norfolk - I knew it tended to only show in the morning and I didn't get there until 3pm, so nothing ventured etc
Dip 3 - Green Winged Teal on the way home yesterday, Eyebrook Resevoir, Leicestershire
Dip 4 - Red Footed Falcon, Oakham, Leceistershire - arrived to find half a dozen bemused birders, no one who had seen the bird or knew anyone who had seen it.

On the plus side I found a Dipper (ironically) nest, with 2 juvs at Bradfordale, Derbs. Very nice.

Monday 19 April 2010

Scotland Trip April 2010 - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Each year we take a family holiday in Scotland. We never tire of Speyside or the west coast. This is just a short preliminary post from work in my lunch break. As you will read below it is not easy blogging without a computer!

The Good - Wildlife wise as always Speyside didn't disappoint including:
Golden Eagle (2)
Capercallie (3)
Black Grouse (2)
Scottish Crossbill (lots - found a great site)
Osprey (4+)
Red Grouse (20+)
Bottle Nosed Dolphin (2) down to 30 feet
Arctic Hare (3+)
Red Squirrel (lots)
Probable Common Crane over (Sophie and Julia only)
Meeting Shaun, Dave Mo, Redsy and Dick for half a day's birding on my last full day

The Bad - with our flights home cancelled due to the ash cloud from the volcano in Iceland, we had to drive a hire car home. A very long and tiring 13 hours later we arrived home via Luton airport (to pick up our car) and Stanstead airport (to drop off the hire car).

The Ugly - our house was burgled while we were away and lots of stuff was taken, including our lap tops. Hence the short post and no photos.

What this space.

Thursday 8 April 2010

Black Winged Stilt Rainham Marshes

There I was asleep and dreaming about a nice looking bird with long legs when.....would you believe it....... Jamie (my 10 year old) come in and wakes me up saying filthy twitcher Jono had just called:

Jamie: Hello
Jono: Hi Jamie, is your Dad there?
Jamie: He's asleep, still not very well....
Jono: Here's something to get him out of bed, tell him there's a Black Winged Stilt at Rainham
Jamie: Ok thanks, I'll tell him....
Jamie: DAAAAAAAD! Jono called and said get out of bed, there's a Black Winged Stilt at Rainham
Me: Oh my God! Ok let's go

I've been ill with a chest infection for the best part of a week now. So ill in fact that I could not get out of bed last weekend to see the local Alpine Swift and Hoopoe. "You must be ill" said my ever caring wife Julia.

I put on my tracky bottoms and fleece, hacked up a load of yuk, brushed my teeth, had a coughing fit, coughed up more yuk, brushed my teeth again, picked up my stuff and we were out the door. 30 minutes later we arrived at Rainham to find a small crowd already gathered. Dick, arrived at the same time, and Dominic Mitchell confirmed it was still showing well, as we climbed the stairs to the visitors centre. And there it was....

Jono, is back from Scotland tomorrow. Let's hope it stays for him.