Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Friday Twitchers Club

Josh is currently galavanting around in Norfolk seeing some nice falls of nackered migrants on their onward journey north. Will had his turn yesterday when he officially joined the Friday Twitchers Club- Roger Teasdale and Mac Bell (local Peterborough Bird Club members who are renouned for their mid-week twitching).

There was a faitle flaw to the plan though, they were twitchers with out anything to twitch so had to settle with the usual stuff in Norfolk. It was very poor. Wheatear's, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Swifts and Common Sandpiper were probably the highlight (yes, folks THAT bad!).

Light was good though so a few snaps had to be taken.

Wheatear, Snettisham Coastal Park, Norfolk | © William Bowell

Gadwall, Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk | © William Bowell

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

WPB's Deepings Birding Theory

It is Josh's job to update the blog regularly, but you will have to excuse the lack of recent adventures featured here; he has been busy with revision (that's when he's not birding of course!). Local birding has been taking our main focus, mainly 'cos the only places we can get to in a week day evening are patches within three miles of our houses!

We did do a spot of twitching for Yank Wigeon in Cambs (a rare event indeed [twitching in Cambs, not twitching in general]!) which we successfully saw and was a lifer for myself and a year tick for Josh.

Josh has been doing extremely well on his patch recently; Redstart, Waxwings, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Arctic Terns, etc have all been recorded within the past couple of weeks by Josh at Baston/Langtoft GP. My patch, has been going through something of a slump recently. But I have a theory.... for Deepings birding

WPB's Theory on Deepings area Birding: If one site is doing well then the rest will almost certainly be empty on passage. This is because passing birds generally get grounded at the same time and therefore at the same location (pot luck where though). If that location is being disturbed then they will carry on their passage north to the next spot.

This theory has been proved right, time and time again. For example all this week Deeping Lakes (Welland Bank Pits) has been pretty dead but for the odd Wheatear or Warbler. BLGP has, however been buzzing. In the past it has happened the other way round. This evening it was Deeping Lakes turn as it had Common Sand, Dunlin, Gropper, 2 Arctic Terns and a Whimbrel! All good birds to be recorded here, and I dare say if Josh had done BLGP he would have found the long staying Green Sand and Spotshank but little passage (actually other than the Arctic Terns and a single flyover Yellow Wag) there was very little vis mig this evening.

The Whimbrel was right next to the path and since it is a rare event to get them on the deck in the Deepings area I got a record shot taken at 8.40pm (basically the dark!), through a 26x eyepiece of a Leica APO 62 (so not the greatest light gathering in the world).

Whimbrel, Deeping Lakes NR, Lincs | © William Bowell

Hopefully both patches will continue to do well.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

New Galleries

Some new galleries on

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Mighty Midget!

After a busy weekend for the wandering birders (more of that to come), I had a non-birding afternoon in Norfolk with my parents. On the way home we dropped in at Titchwell RSPB, where my absolute favourite species; Little Gull, were showing incredible well. A pair of adults (both in moult) were zooming round people's heads, most people didn't really appreciate them just passing them off for Black-headed Gulls.

Here are a couple of hand-held (and manually focused due to AF not performing in the poor light) record shots.

Little Gull, Titchwell RSPB | © William Bowell

There wasn't much else about but Curlew Sandpiper was another highlight.


Sunday, April 10, 2005

A Weasel is weasily recognized.....

...and a Stoat is stoatally different.

This mad Stoat ran across the road at Blatherwyke this morning as Will and his Dad drove through the village, after gorging on the raptor fest over the Lake (well I say Lake..... its a dried up puddle at the moment).

Buzzards and Sparrowhawks were ten a penny, and as for Red Kites, they were getting to the point of being boring! The Lake, despite being a mass of mud, had no waders on it! All it needs is a few Dunlin on it and hopefully the rest will follow.

At Eyebrook a 1st summer Little Gull was the highlight and at Rutland a pair of Ospreys sat pretty, eating fish on the nest.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Getting Shorty..

A Short-toed Treecreeper was found at around midday on Wednesday 6th April at Bradwell, Essex. It proved too much of a temptation for the wandering birders, and thanks to Josh's mum very kindly giving the duo a lift, they had ticked the bird off within 5 hours of it being found. A superb British tick, and a real rarity outside Kent.

Short-toed Treecreeper, Bradwell-on-Sea © William Bowell

Thrilled to have seen such a fabulous bird, we headed to the 'Norfolk pad' in high spirits.

Over the next few days we saw a few decent bits 'n' bobs, not many photos due to strong wind however. Among the highlights were House Martin, Cetti's Warblers, plenty of Swallows, Wheatears and Long-tailed Ducks and Velvet Scoters off Titchwell.

Marsh Harrier, Holkham Freshmarsh © Josh Jones

Spotted Redshank, Titchwell RSPB © Josh Jones

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Sightings from Baston + Langtoft Pits this evening:

2 White Wagtails
1 Med Gull
1 Yellow Wagtail
1 Swallow
500+ Sand Martins
2 Green Sandpipers all the usual waders.


Ring-necked Duck

One of the wandering birders managed to catch a lift with Gary Heath for a rare twitch into Cambs for the Ring-necked Duck this early afternoon. Josh had already added this to his year list with one in the west country back in March, but Will was more than happy to his fourth ever RND in the UK (all of them males, this one being the first he's seen sporting a proper neck!).

The news coming through on the pagers was pretty poor, with word being that it flown on to the main reservoir from the lagoons, then news coming through immediately after saying it flown back onto the lagoons. Confusing. Needless to say, Gary and Will managed to eventually find it on the lagoon it was first located.

© Will Bowell Grafham Water, Cambs, 05.04.05.

Having no converters was pretty crap, so Will had to make do with some pretty awful record shots, but at least the last one shows the ring round the neck- if you squint.

Welcome to our Diary!

About the Diary
Due to technical reasons, we have had to move our diary to blogger. We are told by our good friends, the bloggers from south of the mighty Welland, that blogging is easy and quick to use, so hopefully we will be able to chart our birding adventures more easily from now on for your enjoyment.

This blog will include many of bird photos and our general birding adventures from the UK and abroad. Occasionally there may well be a few macro shots of insects and a few Landscape and Animal photos for good measure!

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The Wandering Birders
Josh Jones and Will Bowell

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Norfolk 3/4

Today was spent in North Norfolk, in search of a few migrants. First stop was Wolferton for the traditional dip on Golden Pheasants. However, for once, thanks to Josh by chance crossing the road to look on the other side, we had a corking male. A lifer for us! A nearby site produced Tree Pipits, Woodlarks, 3 Crossbills and a Goshawk all in a 20-minute spell, which for the area was quite something.

We then moved on to Salthouse where we encountered Sandwich Tern for the year and a couple of Wheatears on one of the hills. Reports were coming through of plenty of migrants on Beeston Bump, so thats where we next headed. On the ploughed field we managed 2 Black Redstarts, 3 White Wagtails, 8 Wheatears (including a Greenland-looking bird) and plenty of Meadow Pipits.

Wheatear spp, Beeston Bump © Josh Jones

Quite pleased with our haul of migrants, we headed back to Titchwell hopefully to see a few good birds. We heard Sedge Warbler, and saw and heard Cetti's Warbler. Offshore we had a few Long-tailed Ducks and a couple of female Velvet Scoters, but nothing outstanding.

Snipe, Titchwell RSPB © Josh Jones

Avocet, Titchwell RSPB © Josh Jones

And so a good day came to an end, with four year ticks for Josh and more for Will, not to mention plenty a good migrants such as the Black Reds. Top day.