Sunday, September 27, 2009

He Was The King

First up today is this picture of an excellent sycamore moth caterpillar, which I found in the front garden yesterday.

Sycamore moth caterpillar

Onto today, and a patch walk produced a new tick, when a kingfisher was spotted in Tanners Green Lane. Never seen one there before, so a welcome surprise.

That takes the birds seen on foot tally to 79. By the way, it's me that's on foot - not the birds, silly!

The rest of the morning has been spent revamping my birding spreadsheet in readiness for next year. I might even show you a snippet of it next time.

I love spreadsheets, me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


If something good sticks locally for over a week, I do sometimes feel duty-bound to go and have a look at it.

As a result, the new Golf had its first birding-related outing this morning when my Dad and I paid homage to the pectoral sandpiper that has been at Draycote Water for over a week.

Pectoral sandpiper

Pectoral sandpiper

Pectoral sandpiper and dunlin

Pectoral sandpiper with a couple of dunlin

Also present was this juvenile bar-tailed godwit - a welcome addition to the year list.

Bar-tailed godwit

Bar-tailed godwit

Bar-tailed godwit

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Been A While

Quite a few weeks since my last post, so I thought I'd better provide a quick update on events.

Last Monday Mrs Reg and I headed off to York for a few nights. The cat was duly delivered to the cattery, which is conveniently located not too far from Bittell reservoirs. I had received news of a number of greenshanks at the upper reservoir over the weekend and the lure was too much to resist. A quick scan revealed one greenshank - my first for the year.

During my stay in York I enjoyed several good sightings, despite it being a non-birding break. On Tuesday evening I spotted a pair of peregrines displaying over York Minster and a visit to Castle Howard on Wednesday produced a lifer in the shape of a black darter in a small reservoir located in Ray Wood. I also spotted a marsh tit in the woods.

It was such a nice day on Thursday that we decided to stop off at Fairburn Ings on the way home. Whilst there I added willow tit and tree sparrow to the year list, and there was another lifer - emerald damselfly, which was seen in one of the pools. Also, many common darters on site, and southern and migrant hawkers present too.

Since getting back, I have resisted the urge to do any twitching, though the pectoral sandpiper at Draycote Water remains appealing.

I'll finish on a sad note. After 11 years and 4 months, I am saying goodbye to my trusty Peugeot 306. Rupert, as he's affectionately known, has served me well, and in spite of all his little quirks he will be missed. In about an hour's time I'll be picking up my new car - a VW Golf named Yubbub. I hope I have as many great birding adventures in him as I did in Rupert.

Until next time, I'll leave you with some shots taken over the last week or so.

Red admiral

Common darter

Speckled wood

Common blue damselfly

Red admiral, common darter, speckled wood and common blue damselfly all seen at Castle Howard

Emerald damselfly


Common darters up to no good

Emerald damselfly, brimstone and common darters at Fairburn Ings