Monday, 18 May 2009

Black-necked Grebe

Must have missed this as I steamed through Ferry Meadows this morning but fortunately Matt was on the ball and picked it up. I buzzed out at lunchtime and managed a record shot as it drifted further and further away unfortunately.

Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis

132 Black-necked Grebe

Thursday, 14 May 2009


One of the problems with this list is the lack of any really good wader habitat on my normal routes or within easy reach of home/work. March Farmers, Maxey GP and Baston and Langtoft GP are the best sites at the moment attracting such goodies as Sanderling, Whimbrel, Curlew, Turnstone, Grey Plover and many more to come. But I have to make do with the High Wash, Beeby's BP and Ferry Meadows none of which attracts a great variety of waders. The wader scrape on the reserve at Ferry Meadows is now looking a lot better though and today held a Greenshank and a couple of Redshank.

131 Greenshank

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Terns galore

I'm going to give up looking at weather forecasts. Today it was supposed to be chucking it down by the afternoon but there have only been a few showers. As a result I decided to leave the bike at home and try to find a few birds by car. There was barely anything of note at Maxey though, despite many terns and waders dropping in all over the region.

Then news came through of Black Terns and two Little Terns at Ferry Meadows. Well my only option was to wait until after work and cycle there from home. A tense afternoon ended and I drove home via Fletton Lake, picking up nine Black Terns there on the way as a bonus.

I hurtled to Ferry Meadows into the brisk easterly in 23 minutes and the sight of two Little Terns fluttering over Gunwade Lake was magical. The three Black Terns on Gunwade kept to the SW end but another seven were on Overton along with a fair few Common Terns. I couldn't see any Arctic Terns there at all.

130 Little Tern

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


It is fairly mad to cycle all the way out to Turves but these 10 Dotterel were very nice to see and I'm very pleased they stuck around long enough to give me a chance to get out to them. The Turtle Dove was sitting by the green wheel between King's Dyke NR and the High Wash.

Also saw Corn Bunting, Shelduck, Oystercatcher and Kingfisher on the ride this morning.

128 Dotterel
129 Turtle Dove

62 species seen in 34km.

Monday, 11 May 2009

One Megametre

Today saw the 1000km clocked up and was my best one day total so far with 72 species showing during the 40km cycling to and from work. As always with any list despite a bit of effort some species just refused to show; e.g. Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Red Kite.

Here are the 72:

Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Great Cormorant
Grey Heron
Mute Swan
Greylag Goose
Canada Goose
Tufted Duck
Marsh Harrier
Red-legged Partridge
Black-headed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Common Tern
Black Tern
Feral Pigeon
Stock Dove
Collared Dove
Little Owl
Green Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Sand Martin
House Martin
Meadow Pipit
Grey Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush
Sedge Warbler
Reed Warbler
Lesser Whitethroat
Garden Warbler
Willow Warbler
Long-tailed Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Carrion Crow
House Sparrow
Reed Bunting

Black Tern

Probably more to come looking at the forecast for continuing easterlies and rain by Wednesday. Great bird to see though as I hit about 1000km cycled so far this year.

127 Black Tern

Just a Hobby

Back in the saddle after another weekend away in Hampshire (during which a trip of Dotterel turned up in the area, which I might still be able to get to). The wind now firmly in the NE I set off via the brick pits hoping to pick up a tern or Little Gull.

Climbing up Greenhill from Elton I caught sight of a Hobby belting towards the village from Keeper's Cottage. The rest of the trip into work was also good with Little Owl sitting out at Haddon village, Marsh Harrier at an undisclosed location, a Wheatear on the cleared land between Hampton and Jones' Covert, a Cuckoo near there and Grey Wagtails at the Town Bridge.

126 Hobby

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Cattle Egret

Once again I was heading to Hampshire when a good bird turns up but I was back this morning and took a gamble on the Cattle Egrets still being there. A strong tail wind helped me get to the High Wash in 50 minutes and I quickly relocated one egret with the cattle on the Whittlesey side of the wash towards the eastern end. Then I faced the slog back to work into the wind but at least the rain had stopped by then. The traffic along the North Bank Road is utterly dreadful though.

125 Cattle Egret

In an intruiging postscript to this sighting two more Cattle Egrets arrived later in the day, making a total of three. If these were the two that were present the previous day then the one I found this morning was a totally new bird and the second time I've found the species in the PBC area.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Iceland Gull

I think this is my fourth ride out to Tanholt this year and on each of the previous trips I've ended up with a puncture. This time I appear to have avoided that but there were few birds, let alone the Iceland Gull reported from here on Sunday and presumably seen again yesterday going to roost on the Nene Washes.

I decided to return via Dogsthorpe Tip and quickly spotted many large gulls resting in the field opposite. This very pale Iceland Gull was virtually in the middle of my field of view as I lifted my bins to view them.

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides

Digiscoped (at some distance) with Canon A640 and Leica APO77 x20

124 Iceland Gull


After a few days away in Hampshire it's good to be home again and adding to the list.

123 Swift