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Buff Breasted Sandpier

Posted by meg33 on September 30, 2011 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

After landing at East midlands airport and stopping with family over night i heard that a Buff Breasted Sandpiper had been found in South cumbria and not a massive detory on the way home. I got on site and luckily a few birders put me on the bird straight away, it was a tick few photos and run day... Cracking bird though.

Buff Breasted Sandpiper



Spain Malaga Sept 2011

Posted by meg33 on September 29, 2011 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Spain Costa Del Sol West of Malaga

Day 1 Malaga Airport

A late arrival at the airport meant the only birding I could do was from outside the Airport Terminal, A swift flew past, a House Sparrow and a Kestrel were the only birds present.


Day 2 Club la Costa and Fuengirola

The day Started well as I drew back the curtains in our apartment at the Club la Costa resort we over looked the sea......WOW what a view.. So I set up the scope and immediately saw rafts of 20 odd Corys Shearwater and Baleric Shearwater with loads of Gannets diving and Yellow Legged Gulls flying past. Checked the sparrows on the roofs all House Sparrows damn but wait that's an odd looking Starling.... YES!!!! My first Lifer of the Trip SPOTLESS STARLING Easy!

Spotless Starling

In the trees across the way were a couple of Yellow Wagtails, a Sardinian Warbler and singing a Cettis warbler.

A walk along the beach a little later produced a hell of a lot of Yellow Legged and Lesser black-backed Gulls with 3 Adult Med Gulls. A little egret flew past and White Wagtails seemed everywhere.

Yellow Legged Gull


2nd Winter Yellow Legged Gull

Then out the Blue Red Rumped Swallows seemed to appear and were everywhere. On the way back a harsh Heron like call from the sea my Second Lifer Ive only been here a day CASPIAN TERN. A couple of Sandwich terns had me looking closely. Lots of Gulls Again Many Lesser black Backed Gulls in the form of Gresselli some with rings on....

Red Rumped Swallow

Lesser Black Backed Gull (grasselli)

Lesser Black backed Gull

Third lifer of sorts then came in the form of 20+ MONK PARAKETS, a Fan-tailed Warbler was a nice surprise so close to the resort and Numerous Serin...

What a site this was turning out to be oh wait I'm only a mile from the Hotel in a built up area... Strange!!!!

Monk Parakeet


Day 3 Club la Costa, Fuengirola

Well todays plan was to hire a car but unfortunately they were all out so just walked around the resort where there were a couple of rough scrubby areas... Best Result for today mind was a very close EGYPTIAN MONGOOSE, just a few feet away from me and didn't seem bothered till I got the camera out, bugger!..... A hoopoe flew past, first of the trip! A turtle dove was a surprise, lots more Serin in the area today, lovely things.

Had a walk down to Fuengirola Castle where my 4th Lifer was to appear in the form of a Crested Lark. Then down to the river to watch the hundreds of Gulls, YLGulls and LBBGulls.

Finished with more Serin, Red Rumped Swallows and Monk Parakeets. Pied Flycatcher, Coots and Moorhens were in the local park.

Crested Lark




Day 4 Rhonda

Well by 1130am we finally got the car so half day spent around resort and then off to Rhonda via the Mountains. This proved successful with a couple of lifers in the form of 6 GRIFFON VULTURES and 2 EGYPTIAN VULTURES. 2 Golden Eagles were sat on the top of one of the crags and a Goshawk shot through.  A Lizard of the species Large Psammodromus

Golden Eagle (honest)

At Rhonda the only things of note were 1 Lifer in the form of a Short-toed Treecreeper, a Blue Rock Thrush and a Firecrest were in the gorge but otherwise quiet.

Short Toed Treecreeper

On the way home we nipped into a reserve called Torrecillia National Park or something, This was an incredible area, 2 Southern Grey Shrikes, a lifer in the form of a ROCK BUNTING, Crested tits and Cirl Buntings were everywhere. Crag martins were abundant, and a Booted Eagle flew through as did a Black kite. Other birds were Stonechat, Jay Serin, another Blue Rock Thrush, Hoopoe and a Common Redstart. A Two tailed Pasha Butterfly was feeding on pooh.

Southern Grey Shrike

Juv Rock Bunting


Two-tailed Pasha

Large Psammodromus


Day 5 Terifa

Today was to be Raptor day, Terifa a very well known migration hotspot west of Gibraltar. It wasn't going to disapoint....but first as we passed Gibraltar an Osprey flew up the River. On Arriving at the watchpoint the first bird I saw was a Honey buzzard. Then a raptor was sat on some sort of mast that I eventually id'd as a SHORT-TOED EAGLE another LIFER! During the morning 500 Raptors and Vultures must have passed through probably a lot more but I lost count. Griffon Vulture were common as were Egyptian Vultures, Sparrowhawk were seen to be migrating a Marsh Harrier was nice as was a very high flying Black Stork. Another lifer in the form of 3 MALE LESSER KESTREL. A couple more black Kite and a Common buzzard. A Common Crossbill flew over as did a Common Swift and 3 Alpine Swifts. A Red legged Partridge was calling in a nearby field. Gibraltar was visited and was awful!

Short Toed Eagle

Griffon Vulture

Egyptian Vulture

White Stork


Cattle Egret


Day 6 Rio Guadalhorce.

What a brilliant little reserve and well worth the Visit. First birds to be seen were Spotless Starlings, Monk Parakeet and Little ringed plover with my first Kentish Plovers of the trip. 18 Med gull's in a group of all ages landed on the river.When I got to the first screen hide all I could see were Little Grebes and Coots but finally saw another lifer in the form of a juv WHITE HEADED DUCK, then an Adult. Little Egrets were now starting to build and 8 Crested lark flew over. Now onto the main screen, wow 15 GREATER FLAMINGO, lifer number god knows . I sat here a good while totting up 10 Black winged Stilt, 2 Audouins Gull 1 juv and 1 adult, intially seeing the juv next to the Yellow legged gulls, the size is apparent. Lots of Grey Herons and Little Egrets and eventually I spotted a Black Necked Grebe. Reed Warbler Whinchat and Stonechat were nice and Kingfishers were everywhere. Pochard and a Bar tailed Godwit were building up the species list. A Booted Eagle flew over. A couple of Dunlin had me looking and a few Little Ringed Plover showed well. An Adult Little Gull flew in and was a great surprise.

Kentish Plover

Adult Med Gull


Greater Flamingo

A walk to the little raised platform produced a Marsh Harrier 4 of 5 seen during the Day, an Osprey with a fish. Fan-tailed Warblers were everywhere. 2 Black headed Weavers were a brilliant surprise although I didn't no the species at the time just a Weaver, Obvious now!. On the river a female Garganey was with a drake Red crested Pochard. Finished with a few more flyover Crested Larks. What a great reserve.

White Headed Duck

Garganey and Red-crested Pochard

Audouins Gull Adult



Day 7 Sierra De Camarolo, National Park

This was also a very nice area for the Landscape more than anything. The birds weren't bad either. Started with Rock Bunting and Cirl Bunting. Long-tailed Tits were everywhere, as it seemed were Black Redstart. Bird of the Day had to be a ROCK SPARROW Lifer!!!! Battery in the camera died as I was taking a picture and I couldn't find another. On walking back to the car I could hear Chough in the distant, turned out there were at least 70 birds an incredible sight, even if they were a bit distant.

Black Redstart

Looking up to the sky loads of Swifts and Martins including loads of Crag Martins, 8 Alpine swift and 6 Pallid Swift. Other things of note were Pied fly, Gropper, Swallowtail butterfly and Spanish Ibex a form of Wild Goat.

Spanish Ibex

On the way home we stopped off at Mijae a lovely little village where I got yet another Lifer....BLACK WHEATEAR, now this had been my boggie bird of the trip id been given 2 sites, Site 1 no birds the other site I couldn't find so finding two just by chance here was a great relief. A Black cap was another addition to the trip.

Black Wheatear


Day 8 Rio Guadalhorce

Last day and only half a day before heading for the plane so went back to finish off the parts of Rio Guadalhorce. On Arriving at the screens on the far side Rachel spotted our first Purple Swamphen of the trip and last! A move to the final screen gave us great views of 2 Little bittern although I was far to slow to get the camera set up so missed the money shot when sat on the edge of the water!!!! Damn!. Waders were in the form of a couple of Avocet, 3 Dunlin, Snipe 2 Little Stint a Ruff and a Redshank. The final Stop was the beach where the path over looked a small part of a lagoon, a Greenshank was nice as were more Black winged stilts, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover and Kentish Plover. Again a harsh heron like call was heard and another Caspian Tern Flew over heading inland wow!!! A Swift species flew over and more Blackcaps were seen. Hoopoe landed in a distant tree a Green sandpiper was heard and the Flamingos and Black Necked Grebe were Still present.

Little Bittern

Black Winged Stilt


Little Ringed Plover



Little Gull

Black-necked Grebe

Finally finished with a walk around the resort a new trip tick Nightingale and a Dragon fly Orange Winged Dropwing was a nice way to finish the Holiday....

Orange Winged Dropwing

Willow Warbler

A long winded blog I no but I saw a lot of great birds, a superb Trip! 129 Species with 14 Lifers.

A full list of the birds seen during the week can be viewed HERE

W/E 16th Sept Med Gulls and Rosy Starling

Posted by meg33 on September 16, 2011 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (2)

Well this update will be brief as i cant be arsed really  :lol: and i've been out quite a bit but here goes.....


3rd Sept

Adult med gull with 30 Black headed gulls in field near Asda by Siddick Ponds.


6th and 7th Sept

On shore wind!

Past 2 days ive spent 5 hours seawatching from Workington, nothing special of note.

4 Arctic Skua together, 3 Pale 1 dark.

5 Med Gull 3 Juv 2 Adults.

Fulmar a few

1 Close Manx Shearwater with many more a long way off past the Wind turbines.

Good movements of Gannets, Kittiwakes and Sandwich Tern.

Guillemots a few.

3 Wheatear

Juv Med Gull



9th-10th Sept

Dumfries and Galloway Rose coloured Starling...

Ive been working in Portpatrick on the Southern Way and had a bit of time birding.

Friday juv Rose Colored Starling at isle of whithorn still but illusive, but no sign at all today. Sparrowhawk on rocks.

1 Adult yellow wagtail in a bay north of Port Patrick on beach for 2 days.

Sea watch from isle of Whithorn produced 1 puffin, 1 black tailed godwit, 3 Gadwall, 8 Common Scoter, few Manxies, Sandwich terns and Guillemots lots of Kittiwakes.

Garliston the 2 juv Med gulls still, 18 Knot, 3 Bar-tailed godwit.

Juv Med Gull

Bar-tailed Godwit


11th Sept back for the day.

Wind SSW

Coved St bees with Keith then Workington

2 Bonxie, 6 Manxie, 6 Common Scoter.

 Got pushed off the Beach by the Tide So went to Workington.

A single Shag still had been 3

18 Common scoter

Kitts, Guillemots Gannets, 2 Sandwich tern.

1 Adult Med Gull.

35 Knot.

Sandwich Tern


13-14th Sept Portpatrick 

Only had bins with me but 3 Red throated divers, 6 Manxies, 12 Guillemots and 2 Sandwich tern past tonight. 1 Commic tern past yesterday. 1 White Wagtail on Golf coarse yesterday and 3 or 4 today, also 2 Wheatear and a Red legged partridge. A grey Seal.


15th-16th Workington and Siddick

4 Med Gull 2 Adult, 2 juv

3 Red throated diver

3 Guillemot

2 Gannet

8 Kittiwake sat in Harbour

125 Turnstone

40 Redshank

25 Ringed Plover

My first Whooper swan in the Harbour for the season.

 Whooper Swan

Siddick Pond

3 Med Gull 1 Adult 2 Juv

1 Kingfisher

Quite a few Chiffchaff including a few Singing

Adult Med Gull


4th sept Durham

Posted by meg33 on September 5, 2011 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Well i need to try out my scope camera combination properly so decided to have the day in Durham looking for the long staying but illusive Bonaparte's gull at Whitburn. Had a good start with a Dog otter running along the edge of a field just past Haydon Bridge. We arrived at whitburn and gave this bird till 11am with no sign. Luckily i got a text from a friend telling me of an American Golden Plover only a couple of mile away the other side of the bay so went to have a look.

On Arriving an hour later only the finder had seen the bird so it didn't bode well, but my new super scope picked the bird up sleeping after only a couple of minutes. After letting the crowd have a look i managed to look properly myself. A nice moulting summer plumaged bird. After an hour a Male peregrine flew over an flushed the lot..They did return with the AGP. Also in the flock was an very unusual Blue Budgie....

American Golden Plover

A walk back to the car i decided to look through the gulls on Whitburn Steel, just in-case the Bony gull was there. Unfortunately it wasn't but an adult Med Gull, cracking adult ringed Roseate Tern, Arctic, Common and Sandwich Tern were present on the rocks. Shag and Guillemot on the water.

I found a couple of fields with a mass of Gulls near Whitburn Steel, but another Adult Med gull was the only thing of note...

We had lunch and headed to Derwent Reser for a reported Pec Sand. On the way a Red kite flew over.

After arriving and finding the spot i had a scan of the area and managed to see the Pec sand quite distantly, so i had a walk down to the waters edge and got a much better look. 3 Little Ringed Plover were present also. Some pics were a Bonus.

Pectoral Sandpiper

A good finish to the day...

Med Gull and Soddy Gap

Posted by meg33 on September 5, 2011 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Pullus (chick) in 2006 in the country of Germany. Amazingly this bird goes back to the same site to breed every year since. Even better is since 2009 this bird has returned to Workington in August every year. Thanks to the ringers for such a quick reply.

3rd Sept Soddy Gap

Went out in the pouring rain to try out my new scope and Camera combination...more on that in a later Blog.

Seemed to be a lot of Chiffchaffs on site today, probably c20 with Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit and Coal Tit Mixed in...

5 Teal.

Teal, Mallard and Moorhen

29th Aug Seawatch

Posted by meg33 on August 29, 2011 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Well the winds had been blowing all night so thought id give Workington a go again. I should have been going over to durham but decided against it. Trouble is the wind had now died down somewhat so i wasn't surprised to see very little .... below is what i did see however.

*1Cracking Purple Sandpiper* which is very early, Keith picked it up as it flew in over high tide.

5 Med Gull 3 Adult and 2 Juv + 1 Adult on the roundabout At Tescos in Workington Green ring AAEJ.

1 Manx Shearwater

9 Common Scoter.

Loads Gannet and Kitts

5 Rock Pipit

150 Goldfinch

Small Swallow Movement.

Purple sandpiper

Adult Med Gull

Anyway back to work tomorrow...

27th-28th August Cumbria

Posted by meg33 on August 28, 2011 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

27th Well staying in Cumbria, Soddy gap was a bit quiet as usual.

10 Teal were new in.

Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler singing

12 Tree sparrow.


28th Workington Seawatch with Keith

3,1/2  hour sea watch produced

3 Med Gull 1 Adult 2 Juv.

45 Manx shearwater South 12 North.

2 Fulmar

Plenty of Kittiwakes and Gannets

Few Sandwich tern

3 Guillemot

Maybe go see some decent birds tomorrow which means leaving the County.


26th Aug Solway

Posted by meg33 on August 26, 2011 at 12:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Keith and I Started at port Carlisle

At least 2 Juv Curlew Sand, although I believe there were at least 3 Present.

2 Little egret.

Juv Curlew Sandpiper


Then we moved onto Bowness Railings

2 Juv Curlew Sand.

1 Sparrowhawk

1 Summer plum Bar-tailed Godwit.

Juv Curlew Sandpiper


Stopped off at the Viaduct to check through the 250 Golden plover, 1 bird stood out as being in full summer plum and looked small, but in the heat haze couldn't id it for sure as a lesser. Probably come to nothing but i hope its re found..


Then moved onto North-plain roadside pool

2 Ruff

1 Peregrine

1 Sparrow hawk

1 Little Egret (possibly from port)

Little Egret


Finished at Anthorn where we walked part of the Wampool.

2 Med Gull adult and a 2nd Winter.

Adult Med Gull

2nd Winter Med Gull

9 Greenshank 8 Juv and a winter adult.

4 Ruff

1 Little Egret.

A very good day indeed....


20th August

Had  a few hours  around the lake district after work, stopping off at Thaka flash, not a lot about but a cracking little reserve that has a lot of potential...

Stopped and looked at the Ospreys at Bassenthwaite lake just 1 Juv on the nest.


Finished at Soddy gap where my highlight was my first Otter on site, a juvenile popped up out the water and disappeared through the grass. 

Loads of Emerald Damselfly were on the wing...

Emerald Damselfly

In the evening a walk along the Prominade at Maryport hosted the adult Med Gull which has been around for a week or so.

Adult Med Gull


13th August Sea Watching

Posted by meg33 on August 13, 2011 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Checked Soddy gap first thing but pretty quite except for  a female Sparrowhawk, 4 Common Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler.

Then Headed to Workington for a Sea-watch. 9am-1330pm.

1 Dark Pom 0934 North

1 Pale Pom being harassed by a Dark arctic 1140.North

12-00 pale Pom south followed 30 sec later by the Dark Arctic. (Same birds)

Dark Arctic North 12-20.


At least 7 Med gulls.4 Adults, 2 on beach 1 South and stumpy in the car-park. 3 Juveniles south with at least 1 bird joining stumpy in the car park briefly a couple of times then lingering off-shore.

500+ Sandwich tern South a steady trickle All morning

1 Common Tern

20 Common Scoter all south



2 Guillemot

1 Red-throated Diver North

3 Knot summer plum

1 Common Sand

7 Rock Pipit.

43 Mute Swan



11th Aug 2011

Posted by meg33 on August 11, 2011 at 12:55 PM Comments comments (0)

God its that time of year again when all I find is Med gulls, mind you better than finding jack shit I suppose...So a walk along Maryport Promenade produce an Adult Med Gull and a Knot.

Adult Med Gull


At Work in Durham Black and Red Grouse, Grey and Red Legged partridge and the highlight 2 Female Merlin.

Soddy and various spots around Cumbria as Above Jack Shit!


Oh well one day I will see a good bird.