Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Sunday, 22 January 2017

RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Good Morning RSPB Bempton Cliffs!

The weather on the cliffs this morning started with a combination of early morning frost, a sea fret,  hints of blue sky above the mist and brightness where the sun managed to find weaknesses in the fret. This combination did give some excellent photographic opportunities and of course, I was happy to accept the challenge!

Good Morning RSPB Bempton Cliffs!

 Walking towards the cliffs, the paths were being guarded ! (An omen, perhaps!)

Yesterday, the cliffs held c5000 Guillemots, this morning they had all gone back out to sea! However, Fulmar were still present in good numbers, even though some were squatting on a Gannets residence!

Walking towards Jubilee Corner, it was noticeable that Gannets were in increased numbers, flying close to the cliffs and when I arrived at Jubilee, four were found to be on the ledges.

Unfortunately, the blue sky and sunshine did not last with increased cloud and dullness moving across with sleet showers, just as two Short Eared Owls came out to play!

Overall, not a bad day!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Draycote Water, Warwickshire


A few days back in Rugby enabled me to visit Draycote Water and meet up with old friends Bob Hazell and Keith Foster. A pleasant walk around the water, in good company, good banter and of course some good birds. The day was rather dull, misty and grey making me think I would carry my camera but not point it at any subjects! Close to the treatment works, a Jay made an appearance and obligingly posed for a short while.


Is this a rock or a hard place?

Along Saddlebank, we caught up with four immature male Scaup and one female scaup.

Record shot of two Scaup showing with Tufted Ducks

The Inlet area was obviously the venue for the Cormorants AGM, ably chaired by a Grey Heron!

Just beyond the Inlet, we were pleasantly surprised to see a Common Buzzard on the waters edge with brunch and being harassed by corvids!

The morning produced a total of 58 bird species and 3 Roe Deer!

Robin; Black Headed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Blackbird; Mallard; Lesser Black Backed Gull; Herring Gull; Dabchick; Coot; Tufted Duck; Great Crested Grebe; Cormorant; Canada Goose; Magpie; Pied Wagtail; Moorhen; Goldeneye; Rook; Carrion Crow Wigeon; Goosander; Greater Black Backed Gull; Wren; Teal; Greylag Goose; Shelduck; Gadwall; Long Tailed Tit; Green Woodpecker; Dunlin; Starling; Blue Tit; Dunnock; Great Tit; Bullfinch; Sparrowhawk; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Song Thrush; Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Goldcrest; Greenfinch; Jackdaw; Jay; Little Egret; Common Gull; Grey Heron; Kingfisher; Scaup; Raven; Kestrel; Buzzard; Lapwing; Tree Sparrow; Yellowhammer; Linnet; Pheasant (with one Albino Pheasant in the fields beyond Hensborough Bank.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

"Biffing" at RSPB Bempton Cliffs


The forecast for Bempton today was rather inclement, however the reality was better! Yes we had mist, light rain and a gentle blow but bright intervals also intervened and made for a good day. The light was difficult and images required an ISO of 800+ (must try auto ISO!). Today, I concentrated on birds in flight, a subject that I struggle with, getting many blurred, many of the grass, many of the sea and many of the sky! A good number of birds were present, the highlight for me was a first winter Glaucous Gull, a bird I thought was a "lifer", but my records indicate seeing one in 2008, so still nice to tick! It didn't help that my camera was switched off when it passed so rather annoyed with myself!

At RSPB Bempton today

So, onto my efforts of "Birds in Flight"!


Great Black Backed Gull

Herring Gull

1st Winter Common Gull

Distant, grainy, heavily cropped Gannet! (Can't wait till they come back to the cliffs!)

And of course the spectacular views - doesn't the water look inviting?