19/11/2014 West Kirby Marina Lake

Red Breasted Merganser: An after work trip to West Kirby and Red Rocks didn't  throw up anything too rare.

The highlight was by far was six RBM loafing on the marina, although I was far too late for the Great Northern Diver that was spotted off Red Rocks

From West Kirby I went across to Leasowe with the hope I could connect with the snow bunts, however knowing they haven't been spotted in a day or two I wasn't that surprised when there was still no sign.  

15/11/2014 Lytham Moss

Great Grey Shrike: There are times I love this time of year, when I am watching a Hen Harrier down on Burton Marsh or the times when I successfully find a large white winged gull among the gull flocks on Richmond Bank.

What I don't like is the lack of daylight hours we have, the lack of photography light and birding time.

This was my second visit to Lythams Shrike hot spot, however this time I took Garry along.

We didn't have to wait too long before the bird was spotted on the other side of the road to Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary.
Garry and I spent the last of the light watching the bird getting mobbed by the local Great Tits.

It was also great to bump in to Mr Carlton-Jones, who had a two Shrike day bagging both this bird and Grindleton bird.

03/11/2014 Dovestone RSPB

Rough Legged Buzzard: After the RLB invasion I was thrilled to finally catch up my first over Dovestone Reservoir.

Gary, Jon and I sped up straight to the site where the bird has been spotted the day before, thanks to Damien for the directions.

Almost as soon as we arrived not one bird but two came soaring over the ridge, we didn't have to wait long before one bird came right over the road above our heads!

This bird gave us some cracking views however the winds made it pretty difficult to get a decent shot, never mind as I was just pleased to catch up with this striking bird.
It was nice to bump in to Andy Makin- the old man of the moors (his words not mine) he was on the wrong moor though.

Red Grouse: The place was full of Red Grouse, no surprise I guess but I had never seen so many so close up there before.

31/10/2014 Brotton, Cleveland

Eastern Crowned Warbler: Awesome!

What a bird especially after my mega dip on last weeks Cuckoo, I was very pleased to connect with the UK's third ever EC Warbler. 

Jon and I left at 6am and made good time, once we arrived we had a two hour wait - it felt a lot longer! 

My first sighting was in my opinion untickable as I caught the bird flying high from one tree to another, however it didn't take long to track the bird down. 
Once I did the bird gave me cracking views of it's crown stripe, I was surprised how pale it was but I guess after a journey from China it's bound to not look it's best. 

As the bird moved through the trees the large gang of twitchers moved with it, where it occasionally sat out on bare branches for all to see. 

After Jon and I had our fill we made our way to Saltburn sea side and had another treat, a big bag of chips! Nice.  

29/10/2014 Norton Priory, Runcorn

Goldcrest: This was only a short demonstration organised by work (Cheshire Wildlife Trust) and it was the third demonstration I have attended in my birding lifetime.
Dr David Norman, Mike Myers and the team were on hand to show us a good selection of woodland birds up close and personal, the highlights being Redwing and Goldcrest.

It was a real treat to see these birds in the hand and has really inspired me.

Shameless plug - Cheshire Wildlife Trust have loads of varied events throughout the year across the whole of the Cheshire region see the link below.


25/10/2014 Hayle Estuary, Cornwall

Lesser Yellowlegs: MEGA DIP on the Yellow Billed Cuckoo!

I was bloody gutted, I guess it goes to show how fast you have to move in this game and how important a quick lift share can be and leaving it one day in this case didn't pay off.

Despite leaving at 12pm and travelling through the night and not seeing the Cuckoo, it was still good to pick up two new ticks.

I got at least five Balearic's off the point while eating a veggie Cornish pasty - the best way in my opinion to see Shearwaters.

We also picked up the yellow leg that has been on Cooperhouse Creek for a while now.

12/10/2014 Burnham Norton, Norfolk

Steppe Shrike: After being cooped up indoors with some serious man flu it was great to get back out and bag some new ticks.

I was very lucky this bad boy hung around all week and even more lucky when the bird came close.
When Alan and I arrived the bird was a few yards too far for my lens but only after a short wait the bird hopped up on to the fifth post before flying across the field and even more distant.

12/10/2014 Ness Point, Suffolk

Red Backed Shrike: From Burton Norton we dove through to Ness Point and picked up this little beauty!

Upon arriving we bumped in to a very polite local who pointed us in the direction of the birds preferred bush.

We waited with this guy for a few minutes before catching sight of the bird in a completely different bush further up the car park.
I was happy to tell this guy the bird was elsewhere as he had been waiting for a few hours in this one spot for the bird to turn up.

The bird came incredibly close as it picked off wasps that were bathing in the sunlight.

Our main aim for heading through to Suffolk was to catch up with Minsmere's Little that had been seen on and off all day.

However our luck ran out and we dipped the crake!
However due to time restrictions Alan and I were forced to leave and was proper gripped!

Perhaps an excuse to take Dawn away for a weekend......if the bird continues to show.