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Friday, December 20, 2013

Ivory Gull

Ivory Gull ( Juvenile) . Patrington Haven, Humber Estuary.
The Ivory Gull is a small gull, the only species in the genus Pagophila. It breeds in the high Arctic and has a circumpolar distribution through Greenland, northernmost North America, and Eurasia

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Baikal Teal

Six hours travelling to see this very rare vagrant from Siberia. Was it worth it.
Of-course it was. Another tick on the way to 500.

The Baikal Teal (Anas formosa), also called the Bimaculate Duck or Squawk Duck, is a dabbling duck that breeds in eastern Russia and winters in East Asia.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Mangrove Kingfisher, TANZANIA & ZANZIBAR

More images can be seen of a trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar by clicking on or Clicking on the relevant entry in the GALLERY on the Right Hand Side

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Arctic Tern, adult and juvenile

Arctic Tern, Grafham Waters

Also 'Bonxie' on water near Dam

Monday, October 14, 2013

Leach's Storm Petrel

Showing the characteristic V-shaped white rump patch

Record Shots of Leach's Petrel at Rutland Water.
Also Grey Phalarope, Great Skua and Pectoral Sandpiper ( near Burley Fish Ponds)

Grafham Water

Ringed Plover, Grafham

Black-headed Gull, Grafham.
Also Little Gull and Arctic Tern

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Common Raven

Stonking views of a 'Cronking' Common Raven.

After 5 visits to Milton Park, Peterborough  managed to get a flyover shot of one of at least 3 Ravens which have taken a liking to the Eastern part of the Park.

Taken from the Public Footpath as it flew from a Westerly direction towards  the Kennels at 09.00h

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Great Snipe

Great Snipe, Spurn.

Unfortunately was found dead the day after our visit. 
~ thought to have been taken by a predator, either by a cat or a weasel or stoat. There was no real suggestion that the bird was unwell, it appeared to be in immaculate condition, and it seems as though the bird’s tameness and trust was the cause of its untimely downfall.
The Great Snipe (Gallinago media) is a small stocky wader in the genus Gallinago.
This bird's breeding habitat is marshes and wet meadows with short vegetation in north-eastern Europe including north-western Russia. Great Snipes are migratory, wintering in Africa. The European breeding population is in steep decline.
The birds are noted for their fast, non-stop flying capabilities over huge distances.[citation needed] They can fly up to 97 kilometres per hour, with researchers finding little evidence of wind assistance. Some have been recorded to fly non-stop for 48 hours over 6,760 kilometres (4,200 mi).[2] Their wings are not especially aerodynamic, lacking pointed tips, and they typically do not stop to feed despite having opportunities. The birds instead rely on stores of fat.[2]
The males display at a dusk lek during the breeding season, standing erect with chest puffed and tail fanned. They may jump into the air. They produce a variety of rattles, clicks, buzzes and whistles while displaying. 3-4 eggs are laid in a nest in a well-hidden location on the ground.
These birds forage in soft mud, probing or picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects and earthworms, and occasional plant material. They are difficult to see, being well camouflaged in their habitat. When flushed from cover, they fly straight for a considerable distance before dropping back into vegetation.
At 26–30 cm in length and a 42–50 cm wingspan, adults are only slightly larger, but much bulkier, than Common Snipe and have a shorter bill. The body is mottled brown on top and barred underneath. They have a dark stripe through the eye. The wings are broad, and a pale wingbar is visible in flight.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Italian Sparrow, Northrepps, Norfolk.
The Italian Sparrow (Passer italiae), also known as the Cisalpine Sparrow, is a passerine bird of the sparrow family Passeridae, found in Italy and other parts of the Mediterranean region. In appearance, it is intermediate between the House Sparrow, and the Spanish Sparrow, a species of the Mediterranean and Central Asia closely related to the House Sparrow. The Italian Sparrow occurs in northern Italy and neighbouring regions, with intermediates with the House Sparrow in a very narrow contact zone in the Alps, a slow gradation in appearance from the Italian to Spanish Sparrows across central and southern Italy, and more birds of intermediate appearance in Malta, Crete, and other parts of the Mediterranean. There has been much debate on the origins and taxonomic status of the Italian Sparrow, especially given its possible hybrid origin. Some have classified it as a subspecies of House Sparrow, a subspecies of the Spanish Sparrow, or as a distinct species, a treatment followed if only for convenience by authorities such as the Handbook of the Birds of the World. A DNA analysis by Glenn-Peter Sætre and colleagues published in 2011 indicated an origin of the Italian Sparrow through hybridisation between the Spanish and House Sparrows, and Sætre and colleagues argued that given its origins and the limited extent of hybridisation, the treatment as a distinct species was supported


Wheatear, Salthouse, Norfolk


Dunlin, Salthouse Beach, North Norfolk 

Black-headed Gull

Black-headed Gull



Sunday, September 01, 2013