The weather has been truly horrendous but a clear window of windy but dry weather meant we could get out and about early morning. First thing on the agenda was the short drive to Veensgarth as Mark had never seen Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll. We soon located the bird with two Meally Redpolls and a Lesser Redpoll. Not as impressive as some of the Hornemann's I've seen on Shetland and I'm not entirely convinced!
Two Common (Mealy) Redpolls above and the Arctic below:
Whilst there news broke of a Raddes Warbler at Sumburgh and with Chris never having seen one we all drove south only to find the bird had been found moribund beneath a car and placed in a potato field. It was last seen staggering with its eyes shut and had probably died. A real shame as Raddes have got increasingly scarce in the last few years. A Long-eared Owl sheltering beneath a dry stone wall was small consolation.
Deciding to try Wester Quarff, as we reasoned it would be slightly less windy, we went first to Boddam where another Little Bunting was showing reasonably well by the side of the road.
We found the bird easily enough and searched other likely spots in the area finding yet another Yellow - Browed Warbler before heading for Wester Quarff.
Our hunch appeared right as local gardens were full if Bramblings & Redwings along with a Willow Warbler & a few Blackcaps. Highlight for me was finding my own Little Bunting. That's my 5th this year including the Hilbre bird.
By now the weather had seriously deteriorated. It wasn't worth staying out to get soaking wet so early afternoon we retired back to our apartment.
Wester Quarff- the field where I found the Little Bunting is just to the right of the left hand white bungalow.
Cheshire & Wirral: 305 Western Sandpiper - armchair tick!
New garden list: 70 Little Grebe
Garden List: 128 Spotted Flycatcher
What this blogs about.
Welcome to my blog about birding on the Wirral, in Cheshire and beyond. This blog will be updated regularly to include photographs of birds (and other wildlife) I've photographed both in the UK and abroad. Enjoy!#
All photo's are taken by me unless specified and I retain the copyright. Photos shall not be used for any other purpose without express permission.
Moved to the Wirral in 1983 and settled there after marrying in 1986. I've been birding since I was 7 or 8 - it was that long ago I can't remember!
My formative years were spent in Suffolk and birds became a passion in my teens. I started twitching when still at school but began seriously whilst at University in the late 70's and early 80's. Yes I am old enough to remember Nancy's cafe!
Took a bit of a break due to other committment but now able enjoy getting out birding both locally and for long distance twitches and trips.
Married to my beautiful wife Janet since 1986 and have two grown-up children.
I've been lucky in that work has taken me to many countries and I've always managed to do a bit of birding wherever I go. The only continent I've yet to visit is Antarctica!
I first became interested in photography whilst still at school and used an old Zenith SLR with a Tamron 300 mm lens. I've rediscovered my earlier interest and have graduated to digital - much easier to use for an amateur like me! My kit now includes a Nikon D7100, Nikon D7000, Nikon F4 500, Nikon F2.8 300, Nikon 80-400, Nikon 1.4 & 2.0 x teleconverters.
I've been birding since I was a kid - I got my first pair of Prinz 8 x 30 binoculars aged 9 and these saw me through until we moved to Suffolk in 1971. On my first visit to Minsmere I realised the old binoculars had to go.....................................
My Great Aunt, Joyce Lovell, encouraged my interest in wildlife and I remember spending hours in her Somerset cottage poring over Tunicliffe's superb illustrations.
My first solo twitch was in Suffolk when, in December 1977 when a Sociable Plover turned up at Great Henny - a 12 mile push bike ride but I had to get Dad to collect me in the car as I was so cold I couldn't move and took refuge in a telephone box!
I trained as a ringer at Wicken Fen in the 70's whilst still at school but let my licence lapse when I left University and worked abroad. I've subsequently retrained and ring extensively with Hilbre Island Bird Observatory & the SCAN ringing group.