29/07/2013 Heysham Power Station Outflow

Gulls: Another day off and another day of twitching and this time I filled up the tank and headed off to Lancashire.

I was hoping for the Bonaparte's Gull at the power station. Not being here before I was surprised how many gulls were hanging around the outflows.  
Mediterranean Gull: Although It was incredibly difficult to find the tiny Bony's Gull among hundreds of Black Headed and Herring Gulls it was not difficult to find Med Gulls. One thing  that was striking was the amount of Med Gulls which where here.
Bonaparte's Gull: After a few hours of scanning through the flocks of gulls both on the shore and feeding in the water, myself and a couple of other birders pin pointed the Bony's Gull.

I was hoping it would come closer however it didn't as this is the result of taking a picture of a tiny gull which is too far away, still great to see.

26/07/2013 Rudyard Lake, Staffordshire

Caspian Tern: OH YES!

One tern deserves another, I have had two cracking terns in one month, this little stunner and the Bridal Tern on Farne.

I've been chasing this carrot nose for the past two days, first I went on to Acre Nook, Chelford on the Thursday once I found out the bird had been there.

I arrived at 10ish and left around 12ish, without any sign of the bird. Feeling a bit deflated I decided to rent a movie, buy a bar of chocolate and stop in with Dawn. After watching the movie I checked my phone and saw a txt of Tony saying the tern had made another appearance at Arce Nook.

That night I checked Facebook and saw that a flock of twitchers had descended on the place and saw the bird. I was totally gutted, the movie was Looper it was OK but I would swap that for my first Caspian Tern.
I then went back to the Nook at 6am this morning and waited a few hours without any sign.  But alas the bird turned up at Rubyard and after a bit of persuasion I bombed it down and finally bagged the bird.

I also spotted this Spot Fly as I was leaving, It was in a small wood at the far end of the lake near the boat house.

19/07/2013 Carnforth, Shore Road

Green Woodpecker: Dawn and I headed up to Carnforth to see her family, but I was able to persuade her to make a detour to Heysham in search of the Bonaparte's Gull.

After and hour or so in search of the gull I started to get a bit peeved as I had that sinking feeling, we dipped on the bird and headed to her dads house.
My day soon brightened up, as the traffic built we decided to take the scenic route to Milhead via the Shore Road where I spotted a Green Woodie sitting on a fence post, we parked up, I grabbed my camera and soon there were two birds which showed really well.

15/07/2013 Manchester Cathedral

Peregrine Falcon: I am now coming to the end of my contact on the Manchester Peregrine project and although I'm looking forward to a change and a new challenge I will miss these stunning birds flying over the heads of  oblivious Manchester folk who are too busy scurrying from shop to shop!
Today we set up in Manchester's Cathedral Gardens, at the back of Exchange Square and saw the birds on the CIS building and was given excellent views on the Cathedral itself.

05/07/2013 Kings Street, Manchester

Black Redstart: Today I struck gold....black gold!

However the day started off really bad as I got fabulous views of a singing male right in front of me on the Corn Exchange building, but my camera was locked in the rspb van, one word GUTTED.

Later on I saw the bird on top of the Harvey Niks building and again on the Corn Exchange but only very briefly.

Its my mums birthday tomorrow and once again I was running late posting her a card, so I took a walk to Kings Street to find the post office when I was stopped in my tracks by the song of the Black Redstart (: and it was here I snapped some shots of it.

04/07/2013 Chester Meadows

Sedge Warbler: A very sunny and pleasant walk down to the meadows revealed a breeding pair of sedge's who were busy foraging and feeding their young deep within the tall grasses.

A part from this nice glimpse in to the Sedge Warblers busy world of young rearing the meadows where pretty quiet with a dozen or so House Martins  and some nice male Reed Bunting singing being the highlights.

03/07/2013 Coquet Island, Northumberland Coast

Guillemot: (bridled variety) The second ferry across to Coquet from Amble was just as fun as the first without the excitement of seeing the Bridled Tern but with new excitement of seeing the Roseate Tern which breed on the island.
Guillemot: (normal variety) It was nice to see both types of Guillemot on this crossing, we also spotted several rose terns on and around the island.

Sandwich Tern: Although I didn't manage to get a decent shot of the rose terns I did get a few of the larger sand terns which were dotted within the arctic.

Puffin:  Puffin are always nice to see but I gutted I never got a good shot of the Roseate Tern as Coquet is famous for being the largest breeding site of Roseate Terns and is home to 98% of the UK population.

Grey Seal: The puffin cruise we took was really good and Dave who operated the trips is a really nice guy.

If you are ever in the area you must go see the Roseate Tens, Seals, Puffins and the whole lot more the island has to offer.


03/06/2013 Farne Islands, North Sunderland

Bridled Tern: A 1am start, two ferry crossings and a 466 mile round trip from Chester to Manchester and then  Manc to Farne.

But what a AWESOME day!
Once again we struck lucky as we arrived early and decided to jump ship and get the early 6am crossing from Seahouses to Farne.

The ferry crossing was brilliant we were surrounded by hundreds of Puffin,Guillemots and Kittiwake. We also spotted Gannets, Razorbills and the ships captain spotted two Manx Shearwater, but unfortunately I missed them.

As soon as the ferry landed we saw the bride tern roosting within a giant flock of Arctic Tern. The bird then flew right passed us and landed just a few meters away giving us some spectacular views.
Obviously Scott, Liam and I were made up and grinning from ear to ear, not only because this bird is the first twitchable bird since 1988 but the fact we bagged the bird so early as Mr Payne and co were booked on the 9am ferry and had to wait almost 4 hours before catching a glimpse of the bird.

Ringed Plover: Other highlights included this Ringed Plover which was happily watching all the twitchers marveling at the Bridled Tern.
Arctic Tern: The Farne Islands are famous for its summer breeding seabird colonies and are home to over 100,000 pairs of breeding seabirds, including 55,000+ pairs of puffins.
Although I think its the Arctic Tern colony which the Farne's are most famous for,they can be tolerant of people however, that may not be quite the right word for the Arctic Terns.
They have a very aggressive side as they try to protect their nests from anyone who comes too close.

They do this by dive-bombing unsuspecting folk like this ranger and pooing all over their heads and shoulders as they pass through their nesting colonies, not something to be forgotten in a hurry!

02/03/2013 Pennington Flash

Green Sandpiper: With fresh reports of Common Scoter at Penny I decided to pop over on the way to work, but alas there was no sign of the Scoter.

But I did get this Green Sandpiper from the Teal Hide.

01/07/2013 Exchange Square, Manchester

Peregrine Falcon: With excellent views like this I can happily say I have the best job.

Today the birds had been very active all over the city, I had reports of them feeding on the town hall and seen around the CIS building.

I spotted them on the music school building and on the cathedral where this picture was took. I had no sign of the male Black Redstart which was seen right in front of the RSPB marquee up on the Corn Exchange Building. I spent a bit of time looking allover the surrounding area.

The best place to see these stunning charismatic birds of prey is up on the Premier Inn building or better still through our scopes. The RSPB are still in Manchester with our date with nature marquee until July the 21st, so come down and make the mot of them.

01/07/2013 Clippers Quay, Salford Quay's

Egyptian Goose: This bird has been hanging around Salford Quay's for ages now and I finally got away from Manchester Peregrines and made it down to the Quay's.

Thanks to the legend that is Roy (volunteer on the Manchester Peregrines project) who tipped me off to the specific whereabouts of the bird.
It was brilliant to see and a nice bird that gave me very close views. I remember seeing my first Egyptian Goose at Frodsham Marsh in my early birding years but it was miles away.