Saturday, 27 October 2007

Isles of Scilly

Finally I have been able to twitch a real mega this autumn!! The Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Travelling with Dan to Crawley to meet Gary and John late on 24/10, the four of us travelled west to reach a half 8 helicopter to St. Mary's. And then a boat taking us to St. Agnes for about half 9 on the 25th. The bird had already been seen at half 8 that morning, but had remarkably done a disppearing act. There was no sign until a photographer photographed the bird near Troy Town at about half 12. There was again no further sign of the bird and we refused to leave the island for other birds.

A showy Song Thrush eating the Blackberries instead of the Grosbeak (c) Ashley Howe

2 Merlin, Short-eared Owl and Raven were seen mean while.

Half an hour before our boat left back to St. Mary's the dip was looking ominous. But another report from the same area of Troy Town saw us running across the island and eventually clapping eyes on the bird. And what a stunner it was too.

The main bird showing us what its got, the extent of the red in the wings was fabulous as it flew between weeds and turnips. (c) Ashley Howe

Marching from the boat to the hides (ISBG I think) just minutes before our flight back to Penzance, there was no sign of the Wilson's Snipe but a roosting Greenshank.

A roosting Greenshank just before dusk (c) Ashley Howe

Many Thanks to Gary and Dan for the lifts and what turned out to be a successful twitch.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Walpole Park

On Wednesday, I made a brief visit to Walpole Park, Gosport before work to try and photograph the returning Ring-billed Gull. Although light wasn't perfect and the bird rarely chose to remove itself from the water. Abit of bread drew its attention and it eventaully came closer with a couple of Mediterranean Gulls in tow.

Here he is again, back for another winter. The Ring-billed Gull at Walpole Park (c) Ashley Howe

Monday, 22 October 2007

New Forest

Yesterday, I went for a nice brisk walk around Black Gutter Bottom paying most attention to the area south-west of Leaden Hall. After trekking all the way over to Pitts Wood and back, I eventually found what I was looking for. As well as a few Dartford Warblers thrown in for good measure.

An elusive Great Grey Shrike and very flighty. (c) Ashley Howe

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Selsey Bill & Pagham Harbour

After work, my family and I took the small trip East to Selsey where a summer plumaged White-billed Diver which had taken up residence for apparantly as long as a week!! On arrival it had disappeared from everybodies views but was relocated shortly after. Showing at range but still close enough for positive ID. A Mediterranean Gull was by the car park.

This Starling was a very brief distraction from the Pectoral Sandpiper but my attention was soon back with the wader! (c) Ashley Howe

Shortly after I located the Pectoral Sandpiper at White's Creek, I sat on the mud as it approached me instead of I approaching it! Eventually it came to about 2 foot away, too close to even use the camera.

Pectoral Sandpiper showing unbelievably well at Pagham Harbour, approaching me ridiculously closely. (c) Ashley Howe