Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday 28th November

Much the same as yesterday, although I haven’t managed to get over but both the Gt Northern Diver and the Common Scoter where still there.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Tuesday 27th November

Firstly there was a Smew briefly this morning (Bobby D). Then the Gt Northern Diver was reported followed by a message to say that there were now two. I managed to wangle a couple of hours off work, so I phoned the Captain and we met up and walked round. There was a female Common Scoter (Paul Hyde) at the west end and the two divers were more or less together about half way around. It started to rain and that combined with the cold wind convinced me it was time to call it a day.

I did take my camera but the light was so poor that it proved to be a waste of time.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Monday 26th November

Received a  text to say Steve Cawthray had found a Great Northern Diver at Shustoke. I managed to get out and see the bird. It was still there mid-afternoon there was also a Goldeneye and a fly over Raven.

Monday, 12 November 2012


Well I am back from a week in Tenerife and it didn’t turn out to be the relaxing week I was hoping for. Flew out with Thompson on the 2nd November – if you are taking hand luggage – beware. Their limit is 5kg with the suitcase weighting about 2kg, plus a telescope, bins and camera. Unless you can survive for a week on a couple of pairs of “skidders” and the clothes you fly in – then don’t go with them!

Having had my suitcases rifled at Birmingham Airport in the past I am reluctant to fly from there with anything apart from hand luggage. When you go to a surprise birthday party taking everyone’s birthday cards to surprise a sister-in-law and find on arrival that all the cards have been opened and the money taken, it tends to make one cautious. Plus, despite emailing the airline and airport authorities and never having a reply I tend to think sod you!

Arrived in Tenerife £60 lighter (thank you Thompsons) no pun intended on the word “lighter”. It was pouring with rain. We decided that we would have a car for a few days and try and photograph some Canary Island endemics. If you have ever birded the island before you can work quite hard and see barely 40 species. That was the case with us with four day’s birding we amassed only 32 species, that was mainly because we were trying to get photo’s of Bolle’s and White-tailed Laurel Pigeons. Although we saw the former we missed the latter mainly due to the weather which was invariably raining in the north  where the main sites are. The Arjos site is a 5.8k walk but now after about a 1k walk on a sharp left hand turn by a red marker “7” there is a footpath which leads to a felled area which overlooks the Laurel forest. We checked this out on the return leg and had several views of Bolle’s I assume that White-tailed would occur here as well and it takes 40 minutes off the walk. However, one thing to bear in mind is that it faces west and the sun did hamper viewing in the evening so it would be best earlier in the day.

I did get a tick out of the week with my first Rock Sparrow closely followed by around another 50 or so. Apart from the obvious birds Blue Chaffinch, Bertholot’s Pipit, Canary Island Blue Tit, Tenerife Goldcrest, Canary Island Chiff-chaff, Cory’s Shearwater and Atlantic Canary the best bird we had was Barbary Falcon and the similarly named but not nearly as exciting Barbary Partridge!

We also came across a few of the subspecies that abound – Kestrel, Buzzard and Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Bertholot’s Pipit


Rock Sparrow

Atlantic Canary

Blue Chaffinch (female)

Blue Chaffinch (male)


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Thursday 1st November

Up and round early as I had to go to work earlier than planned. The Slav Grebe was still there and there appeared to be a lot more thrush’s around. With steady numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare passing overhead. There were still a lot of Siskin around with a group in the car park. However, it started raining so I left early but still wet. Off to sunnier pastures for a week see you when I get back!