Saturday, 28 September 2013

And another tick.

Well dawn broke still and foggy and after walking from the Obs towards the south it was evident not many birds were about, even the Yellow-browed Warblers were thin on the ground. After a couple of hours of trudging we ended up at the shop where we were treated with great views of the Sykes's Warbler and even better views of the Barred Warbler.
As I was about to join the que for lunch news came through of a Lanceolated warbler at Shirva so I jumped aboard the bus with the rest of the boys to be whisked off to the southern part of the Island. We were treated to mind blowing views of the bird as it crept through a ragosa rose with it being less than a metre away at time, a truly unforgettable experience.
After lunch I went back to get second looks at the Lanceolated and photograph the Sykes's Warbler. Both performed faultlessly and kept the smile on my face.

We are on.

Well we managed to get on to Fair Isle and were greeted by blue skies and a mini bus waiting to take us to the Sykes's Warbler. The bird showed reasonably well by the shop to a small crowd of just 8. We then walked the wetter parts of the east as we headed back towards the OBS for dinner. After a good luck we birded the western half of the island arriving back at the shop around mid afternoon for second like at the Warbler. We managed superb views and is distinctive jizz made it look at very different beast to a Booted Warbler indeed. Highlights of the day included 12+ Yellow-browed Warblers, Barred Warbler, Water Rail showing to about 10 feet, 4+ Jack Snipe, 5 Lapland Bunting and a young Storm Petrel that had been found out in the open.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

And they are off.

Arriving at around 3pm we checked into the hotel and headed straight out to bird around the hotel. We covered about a square mile before heading off to Toab. With the sea being mirror flat we notched up several harbour Porpoises, whilst the highlights of the birding were 1 Barred Warbler at Toab, 6 YBW, 1 Redstart and a Whinchat.
We all have our fingers crossed we can get the plane on to Fair Isle tomorrow.

And so it begins.

So after a few years of promising myself a trip to Fair Isle I am sat in Stansted airport with 5 other Suffolk birders waiting to board our flight. I have to confess that I have been a little bit excited about the prospect of what I might see, so on Monday 23rd I made the decision to cut all links to the internet. This meant no twitter, Facebook, RBA or any other news services, I also stopped looking at the weather forecast and just went with the ethos that what will be will be and there is no point speculating or getting anoyed with not being there to see things. It wasn't until 7pm last night that I was aware of what was present and the forecast. Now the phrase chomping at the bit comes to mind, the birds are there and the weather looks awesome. Stay tuned for (hopefully) daily updates. P.s. please pray for me that the Lanceolated Warbler and Whites Thrush stay till Friday!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Shrike 2 in 2 days

Well after twitching the smart juvenile Red-backed Shrike on the patch yesterday I thought it only right to take in the 1st winter Lesser Grey Shrike at Leiston. It showed well but distantly during the hour or so I was there but the light was always good. Will it be 3 Shrikes in 3 days, I doubt it.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Digiscoping on the Deben

Spent the afternoon on the Deben digiscoping a few of the birds that were hanging around on the falling tide. Not many waders were about with turnstones being the commonest of the close waders but none ventured close enough to get a decent photo. An Osprey plane flying over was nice to see. Hopefully I will be able to get down to the river again in the near future to get some photos of other waders.