31/05/2013 Manchester

Peregrine Falcon: Today I was given the privilege of spending a few moments to photograph the Manchester's Peregrines on their nest site!

This nest site is kept a close secret but there is a 24 hour LIVE webcam set up so you can get up close and personal, check it out guys


Today was also a hot day, not just for us but for our Peregrines too!

The  female adult was sheltering two of it's chicks under her wings while one looks like its just given up with the heat, beak wide open and sitting in the shade of the wall.

A stunning view of the fastest animal on earth!
The Peregrines have been breeding in Manchester for ages and this year they have had 3 chicks which are growing fast, so come down to Exchange Square in Manchester which is the best place to see these birds, and see them in real life which is the best way to experience wildlife.

22/05/2013 Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Black-tailed Godwit: These stunning elegant birds are just one of the 682 coastal species for which we have trends, 60% have declined and 29% have declined strongly according to The State of Nature Report published today, see the RSPB link below.

These were taken from Burton Mere Wetlands Inner Marsh Farm hide (IMF).

This part ofthe reserve I shamefully rarely visit as it is superb, with closer views of Black-tailed Godwit and much more.

Sanderling: NOT LITTLE STINT! While enjoying views of Common Tern and talking to Ron Thomas in BMW's Visitor Centre  hide I was tipped off by Tony that there was a few Little Stint over at IMF so I shot straight over.
The State of Nature Report -

*****MUST READ*****

17/05/2013 Lake Vyrnwy RSPB

Siskin: Dawn treated me to a fantastic birthday trip to Carno where we stopped over in a tipi.

We stayed at Cledan Valley Tipis and it was brilliant the tipis are rustic and fun, I would recommend it to anyone who might be thinking of taking a trip to mid Wales as an alternative to a hotel.
Pied Flycatcher: We spent our last day at Lake Vyrnwy were we watched a huge flock of Siskin and a handful of Redpoll feeding on the feeders near the visitor centre.

We then took a walk along the yellow trail and spotted both female and male Pied Fly. I spotted a Dipper down the waterfall dam. And we could hear Wood Warbler singing but never saw one!

Redstart: Just as we were about to leave I spotted this stunning male Redstart in a private field next to the craft centre.

We also had a really nice lunch at the Lake View Tea Room and met some really nice folks from Warrington and Wigan, you can't go too far without bumping in to a nice northerner.

 Cledan Valley Tipis www.cledanvalleytipi.co.uk/

17/05/2013 Carno, Powys

Badger: This tragic scene was captured on our way to Lake Vyrnwy when we drove over the hills from Carno.

BE AWARE OF BADGERS ON THE ROAD. 45,000 Badgers are killed in road accidents every year, you could be responsible.

15/05/2013 Ynys-hir RSPB

Stonechat: So now I am 29 it the last years of my twenties and I'm going grey, this could be a day to be down in the dumps! But with a gorgeous sunny day at one of my most anticipated RSPB reserves I had a lot smile about.
Sedge Warbler: Ynys-hir is stunning, the place was buzzing with life we had a lovely walk along the nature trails seeing Sedge and Reed Warbler along with all the usual suspects.
Pied Flycatcher:  The place was full of Pied Fly, from the carpark to the furthest trails they were awesome to see, although unlike Pensychant these mid Wales birds seemed to be more timid and flighty.

Dawn and I also visited the near by Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust's Dyfi Osprey Project and saw both female and male Osprey on their nest. This place is always worth a visit; the film footage and live cameras on their many huge HD plasma screens are AWESOME, but actually seeing the birds was disappointing as they were miles away, even through the scopes.

So now I'm 29  next year I will be 30 and more grey but with all this wonderful wildlife on offer I wont let that bother me.

15/05/2013 Llanfachraeth, Anglesey

Cattle Egret:  The day before my birthday and I already got my first birthday present, a superb Cattle Egret.

I arrived mid afternoon and spent around two hours staking out a farm field just off the main road heading north through the village with no sign of the bird.

The guys who were already there said they had just seen the bird and it had just dipped down in to a ditch. These birds, being famous for getting comfy in one place and standing still for long periods of time, encouraged me to wait and wait.....and wait!
I decided to go home, I was gutted. There was no sign of the bird all day and all I was thinking of was 'well that was a waste of petrol'.

And then I go and see it in a completely different field full of cattle, I quickly parked up and jumped out with a huge smile on my face. GET IN!

Thanks to Alan Davies and Scott for the extra info on where the bird was.

11/05/2013 Exchange Square, Manchester

Peregrine Falcon:  A good day at work with Lydia and Hayley, nice people to talk to and a few new members made for the RSPB.

This bird was taken through the scope with the tablet   and was feeding on a fat Pigeon.

Check out the great website and live 24hr webcam on the Peregrine nest http://www.rspb.org.uk/datewithnature/150761-manchester-peregrines 

09/05/2013 Low Newton-by-the-Sea, Northumberland

Collard Flycather: This was my first long distance twitch, OK I know some of you guys go to Uist or Scilly in a day for a mega but after a 3.45 hour journey from Chester to Northumberland's east coast I have to tip my cap to you hardcore twitchers.
This little beauty was hanging around the gauze bushes and was showing really well. I had only just recently saw my first UK Pied Fly but wouldn't it be strange if I had a Collard Fly on my list before bagging the Pied Fly?
This bush was full off Blackcap, Song Thrush,  Whitethroat and Scott also spotted a male Yellowhammer but you just can't take your eyes off this stunning Collard Fly, another great twitch.

09/05/2013 Druridge Pool, Northumberland

Garganey: We found this little gem of a nature reserve ran by Northumberland Wildlife Trust where we spotted two drake Garganey.
Isn't it funny sometimes, I have been to Frodsham Marsh, Burton Mere Wetlands and Conwy RSPB reserves in search of Garganey without any luck and I travel over 3 hours away to Northumberland and see two!

We got talking to a nice gent from Newcastle who came down for the Collard Fly then came here, he informed us this place has had a really good rarity list including Purple Heron, this is the website http://www.nwt.org.uk/reserves/druridge-pools check it out guys.

09/05/2013 Amble Marina, Northumberland

Eider: The famous Eiders of Amble are awesome, these social and comical characters are Ambles answer to Mallard Ducks, they are incredibly approachable and stunning!
Here off Northumberland's coastline you can regularly see colonies of Eiders bobbing in and out of the waves where they spend most of their time, but the best place by a million miles to get close, and I mean very close to these sea ducks, is Amble's Marina.
Scott and I came straight here from seeing the Collard Flycatcher.
This greedy Eider was very cheeky and was pecking out camera lens's, fingers and shoes! It was after some bread......and don't worry Scott left with all his fingers intact!

Turnstone: The weather was grim and we only came to see the Eider but there was also a couple of Turnstone around the edges of the Marina and a few mixed gulls flying around but nothing unusual.

01/05/2013 Pensychnant Nature Reserve

Pied Flycatcher: Let me first apologise, I spoke to a local birder from Pensychnant Nature Conservation Centre who asked me not to tell anyone about this place!

I simply can not do that, this place is AWESOME and it would be a crime not to tell anyone about it.

 Besides this, by raising the profile of the place more money can be raised for the the nature conservation centre, and that's got to be a good thing!

As soon as I stepped out of the car the call of the Cuckoo was all around, the sun was beaming down, the skies were blue and the woods and the house looked stunning.

Just a few yards from the house a pair of Pied Flycatchers were happily living up to their namesake. I continued to come across Pied Fly throughout the woods (Home Wood) and around the car park while Buzzards were soaring overhead and Ravens were crowing from the tops of the tallest trees.
Redstart: This stonking male Redstart was among the gorse bushes at the far north of the reserve, there were at least two male and one female but there was possibly more.

I was really looking forward to catching sight of this stunning bird but after around an hour of trying to get a decent pic I now hate it, the bird doesn't like getting its picture taken and was one step ahead of me.

Cuckoo: In the same area this Cuckoo was calling and then flew off while getting mobbed by a gang of mipits.

I will be back and I will tell people to go and enjoy this little gem of a place and I would hope they would have as a good of a time as I did.

Oh and I still love Redstart how can I not, just look at them. Cheers to Paul Brewster for the heads up on this place.


30/04/2013 Parkgate and Burton Point

Wheatear: After Marbury I headed down to the best side of the Wirral and was very surprised to see how many Wheatear were loafing around on Heswall Golf Club, I must have counted at least 25 individuals.

I looked out for owls, but like the Garganey luck was not on my side.

I moved on down to Burton Marsh and saw a few more Wheater in their usual place (around the sheep pens) but again no Owls!

30/04/2013 Marbury Country Park

Whitethroat: A very rare trip to Marbury in search of the drake Garganey threw up a day full of warblers and no Garganey!

The woods were teaming with Blackcap, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Whitethroats, I got a few Sedge and Reed Warblers near Neumann's Flash.