Sunday, July 03, 2016

Ravenglass 29 June

By train to Ravenglass on the NW coast.

From the train Shelduck, Oystercatcher, little  egret and Mute Swan.

Ravenglass has an interesting history. It's sheltered harbour made it the Romans' supply route to the North West frontier of the empire (ie Hadrians Wall). They had a big camp here and the ruins of the baths building still stand, along with the earthworks around the main fortress which, intriguingly, has not been excavated.

The village had a second golden age in the 18th C as a trading/smuggling route to and from Ireland, before the harbour silted up. 

Walking along the estuaries and inland I saw BH, Herring and LBB gulls, curlew, spotted flycatcher,  crow, jackdaw, chaffinch, blue and great tit, house sparrow, dunnock, chiffchaff, swallow, house Martin, meadow pipit, kestrel, buzzard, common tern, goldfinch, grey heron.

In Glasgow, Yellow-legged full and wren.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


At the house and through the Scotches, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Crow, Magpie, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, GS Woodpecker, Blue Tit, Robin, wood pigeon, feral pigeon

At Wyver Lane BH Gulls, Gadwall, Shelduck, Coot, Oystercatcher, Canada & Greylag geese, Buzzard, Mallard, Moorhen, House Martin, Great Tit, Tuftie

We identified Hedge Woundwort by the lane

Down at the Valley Gardens, all 5 Peregrines on the Mill, Grey Wagtail, Jay, Swift, Mute Swan (30)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

SW London Seasonal Highlights

We finally had our second sighting of the Richmond Park Little Owl, and are now trying to take our dog walks there later in the afternoon to try to see the young too. We also saw a splendid Whitethroat there.

Also through dog walking, Leo chanced across birders on Putney Common looking at an Iberian Chiffchaff. 

When we heard about the Little Bittern at WWT Barnes, Leo headed down and got some great views of it in a willow. I got there the next day and had one good view as it flew across the reed bed, landed towards the top of a bunch of reeds and rapidly shimmied down and out of sight. Birders there told us about the optimal spot for viewing the kingfisher nest so we saw them too. Reed Warblers and Buntings were also much in evidence.

In our garden, it has been great to have regular goldfinches and dunnocks this year as well as the Robin, blackbird, jay, titmice and magpie families. Herons have made off with lots of frogs and an unexpected sudden splashy visit from a pair of mallards to the pond seemed to clear out lots of the frogspawn.

By early June, the stag beetles start taking to the air and we have to keep Spencer out of the garden at dusk to protect them.

Monday, April 18, 2016


On a visit to Keukenhof tulip gardens and cycle from there to the coast, the highlights were Sedge Warblers in the dune scrub and a Yellow Wagtail on one of the canals. Others were chiffchaff, grey heron, Jay, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, mallard, coot, GCG, Egyptian, Canada and Greylag geese.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Japan Feb 2016

Japan Birds

From the airport monorail, Coot, Mallard and 
Tufted Duck. Feral Pigeon of course.

In Zenkoji temple grounds Oriental Goldfinch, Tree Sparrow, Eastern Great Tit, Carrion Crow and Black Faced Bunting. 

Black Kite over towns and forests.

Starlings in murmuration at Obuse, with Common Buzzard close by.

Bramblings in the snow at Kenrokuen gardens at Kanazawa. First group high in trees and confusing from below as could just see white underparts and orange under wings, but later a group on the ground.

Goosander first at Shikawara but later literally dozens on the river down from Takayama, also Spot Billed Duck.

Skylark singing noisily on a tree at Shikawara. Japanese Wagtail piloting a car along the snowy street there.

There are rice paddies so there are Little Egrets.

Wigeon on the shore of Lake Ashi, and a solitary Osprey overhead. Great Cormorants there, distinctive by their white heads.

In a Tokyo park, White Cheeked Starling and a pair of Japanese Pygmy Woodpeckers.