UK Bird Photos 2010 - 2014

Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax
Fraisthorpe, East Yorkshire, December 2014.

Rarity of the year? Pheasant just about ruled out!

'Thayer's' Gull Larus (glaucoides) thayeri putativeii
Pugneys CP, West Yorkshire, December 2014.

Twitched it from Dewsbury connecting late afternoon. How will it be treated by the committees? Lots of debate on t'internet. It didn't stand out as much as the 2012 Lincolnshire bird, but the light conditions weren't ideal.

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
Ravensthorpe, West Yorkshire, December 2014.

A smart looking gull.

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
Anglers CP, West Yorkshire, December 2014.

One of two present in the gull roost.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
Anglers CP, West Yorkshire, December 2014.

A stonking 3rd winter bird present most evenings in late December at the gull roost.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Anglers CP, West Yorkshire, December 2014.

'Psycho' present in the gull roost.

Red Kite Milvus milvus
South Yorkshire, December 2014.

Distant views over the moorlands.

Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, December 2014.

The wintering bird present with over 100 Redshank at the high tide Stone Barges roost.

Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, December 2014.

Viewed distantly from the Purfleet Scrape hide.

Peregrine Falco peregrinus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, December 2014.

Hunting along the Thames near the Stone Barges.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, December 2014.

An adult roosting with the commoner gulls on Wennington Marsh.

Rainham Marshes RSPB, London - 29 November 2014. 

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
A colour-ringed adult winter (2CPK), one of 4 adult winter with yellow colour-rings.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus argenteus
A colour-ringed immature (U1GT), one of 2 immatures with orange colour-rings.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
An adult winter (right of centre) with the commoner gulls.

Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo carbo
Roosting cormorants, all of the form carbo judging by the face pattern.

Raven Corvus corax
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, November 2014.

This stunner initially flew south over the centre then turned heading upriver right past us on the riverside path heading towards the tip. My first wild London Raven.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans.
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, November 2014.

A 1st winter Caspian Gull (right) and in flight, amongst the commoner Herring Gulls present by the Stone Barges.

Steppe Grey Shrike Lanius lahtora pallidirostris
Burnham Norton, Norfolk, October 2014.

A 1st for Norfolk? This stunner drew in the crowds and was well appreciated by photographers. Interesting how the plumage looked different at differing angles and backgrounds. Nice to get some footage showing the colours as opposed to just from below, which is more typical of this family.

Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus
Kilnsea, Spurn, East Yorkshire, September 2014.

A 3rd for the UK and 1st for Yorkshire. It drew many in to see this cracking Shrike. (A mixture of phone scoped and bridge camera photos.)

Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva
Crook Ness, Burniston, North Yorkshire, September 2014.

One of many that appeared on the east coast during early-mid September 2014.

Barred Warblers Sylvia nisoria
Salthouse, Norfolk and Kilnsea, East Yorkshire, September 2014.

The top three are of one at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse, Norfolk and the bottom three of another at Kilnsea, Spurn, East Yorkshire.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
Cromer, Norfolk, September 2014.

This adult was with the commoner Herring Gulls by the pier. Is it a true Caspian Gull? Some have commented on possible hybrid with Herring Gull.

Yellow-legged Gull  Larus michahellis and Herring Gull  Larus argentatus argenteus 
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, September 2014.

A cracking adult Yellow-legged Gull resting at Coldharbour Point, at times "photo-bombed" by Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull. The final photo shows a colour-ringed adult Herring Gull - white ring A7HR. I'll try and trace its origin.

Peregrine  Falco peregrinus 
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, September 2014.

Taking stock of the marsh.

Whinchat  Saxicola rubetra 
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, September 2014.

One of three along the river wall.

Herring Gull  Larus argentatus argenteus 
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, September 2014.

This "white-headed" gull thre me, especially with its angled head. However, the finer detail of the plumage points the way to Herring Gull. Cheers to all who have fed back on the id. I believe the larger bird in the bottom photo is a similarly aged Yellow-legged Gull?

(Eastern) Subalpine Warbler  Sylvia cantillans albistriata 
 Landguard Point, Suffolk, August 2014.

A smart rarity that more or less gives a way the characteristic tail pattern of the eastern subspecies in one of the photographs above.

Spotted Redshank  Tringa erythropus 
Old Moor RSPB, South Yorkshire, August 2014.

A party of 7 juvs. found Wath Ings to their liking.

Red Kite  Milvus milvus 
South Yorkshire, August 2014.

Showed well and sometimes seen in flight alongside an immature Marsh Harrier.

Kingfisher  Alcedo atthis 
Old Moor RSPB, South Yorkshire, August 2014.

Showed well on one visit.

Green Sandpiper  Tringa ochropus 
Old Moor RSPB, South Yorkshire, August 2014.

A common sight on passage.

Pied Flycatcher  Ficedula hypoleuca 
Kilnsea, East Yorkshire, August 2014.

A sign of autumn migration.

Yellow-legegd Gull  Larus michahellis 
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, August 2014.

An adult bird moving into winter plumage.

Rose-coloured Starling Sturnus roseus
Lowestoft, Suffolk, June 2014.
Typical time of year for this wandering species to be seen in the UK. Not a bad garden tick for some!


Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, June 2014.
Didn't go for this Eagle when spotted in Dorset a few weeks before. Lucky to have this second bite of the cherry. The Eagle showed well hunting over the valley by Gills Lap car park during most of Saturday 21 June 2014. At one stage it ate a snake in mid-air swallowing it like spaghetti, some cracking footage of this by Nick Croft on The Utter Twites website.




Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus
Hatfield Moors, South Yorkshire, May 2014.
Totally unexpected, this adult was found at the remote Hatfield Moors on 'Packards' during Spring Bank Holiday. Couldn't resist twitching this one! (Phonescoped & Lumix FZ45)



Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Houghton Washlands, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, May 2014.

A record shot of this Yorkshire rarity - a Barnsley tick! (Phonescoped) 


Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
Long Nab, Burniston, North Yorkshire, April 2014.
A very confiding and what turned out to be a one-day bird showed well by the cliff top path (Yorkshire tick - 320).




Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
Old Moor RSPB & Elsecar Res., Barnsley, South Yorkshire, April 2014.
Finally Arctic Terns dropped in around Barnsley on Tuesday 22 April 2014. The top 6 photos were of up to 7 birds at Old Moor RSPB. The bottom 6 photos are of up to another 7 birds present nearby at Elsecar Reservoir on the same day.



Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
Broomhead Res., Barnsley, South Yorkshire, April 2014.

Not especially numerous this winter but a clear sign of spring passage on this day, with this male by the feeders and up to 10 nearby at Midhope Res.


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
Wombwell Ings, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, April 2014.
Attaining summer plumage. Always nice to see, especially inland.



Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans 
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, January 2014 

Connected with at least 3 birds including a couple of different 1st winters (advanced?) shown here.




Buzzard Buteo buteo
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, January 2014 

A nice view of one circling 'Rainham Ridge'.


Kumlien's (Iceland) Gull Larus glaucoides kumlieni
Broomhead Res., Barnsley, South Yorkshire, December 2013.

The small gull roost held a "pale" adult Kumlien's Gull over New Year 2013/14. The fading light and distance didn't help when taking the photos and only when either the bird dipped head on to drink or opened its wings slightly could the pale grey notches on the primaries be noted. Much better photos were taken by Richard Lowe in early 2014: photo #1, photo #2 and photo #3.


Two-barred Crossbill Loxia leucoptera
Broomhead Res., Barnsley, South Yorkshire, December 2013.

A flock of 5m and 2f still present and showing well on the south side of the reservoir in late December 2013.


Parrot Crossbill Loxia pytyopsittacus
Budby Common, Notts., December 2013.

4th time lucky for this flock of 14. Present in scattered pines on the common they showed reasonably well, calling frequently. Call took me back to the flock of 22 near Woodall Spa in 1991, not the harsh "jip" of its commoner cousin, but a more ringing and softer "jeep" call.


Br√ľnnich's Guillemot Uria lomvia
Portland Harbour, Dorset, December 2013.

Another brilliant rarity to end the year! A couple of Razorbills looked on as the crowds savoured the Arctic gem.


Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea
Patrington Haven, East Yorks., December 2013.

A brilliant rarity to end the year and a sought after Yorkshire-tick.


Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk, November 2013.

As predicted by the locals this winter visitor showed well near the visitors centre at 2pm.


Great Northern Diver Gavia immer
Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk, November 2013.

A beast just offshore from the end of the boardwalk.


Parrot Crossbill Loxia pytyopsittacus
Shoeburyness, Essex, October 2013.

Now, it's time for the monster crossbill to invade. One male of the group of four (2 males and 2 females) present for 3 days in conifers right by the seaside. Heavy rain and strong winds made viewing difficult.


Two-barred Crossbill Loxia leucoptera
Broomhead Res., Barnsley, South Yorkshire, September 2013.

Still present at the end of September 2013. The photos show a male and female present on Sunday 22 September 2013.

Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor
Leiston, Suffolk, September 2013.

A nice study of this rare visitor from SE Europe. An elusive individual that showed well late afternoon.


Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, September 2013.

A confiding Spotted Redshank fed on a pool along the northern boardwalk.



White-winged Black Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
Attenborough, Nottingham, September 2013.

This juv. showed reasonably well doing a circuit of the ponds with a juv. Black Tern present as well C. niger, allowing for good comparison of the 2 species in this plumage.


Sparrow sp. Passer sp.
Northrepps, Norfolk, September 2013.

A striking male Sparrow present with typical House Sparrows P. domesticus. Is this bird a true Italian Sparrow P. italiae or a hybrid domesticus? Over to the experts.



Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax, Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia and Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Old Moor RSPB, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, August 2013.

The above cast typical of the Med, but these photos are from Costa del Barnsley. The immature Night Heron (phone scoped) after several weeks of playing hide and seek finally appeared to be settling down into a pattern of showing, albeit, half hideen in bushes at the back of the Wader Scrape near the "Cuckoo Tree". This was a first for the "Wath area". The 1st Summer Spoonbill had wandered around local waters all summer and finally settled at the Willow Pool of Old Moor RSPB. Little Egrets are now a regular sight here in late summer.




Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva and Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
Spurn, East Yorkshire, August 2013.

The "RB Fly" was doing a circuit of bushes near Post 61 and the "Spot Fly" was photographed at the point. Several Pied Flys" in the area completed the flycatcher trio.


Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina
Kilnsea, Spurn, East Yorkshire, August 2013.

Not your typical "Iccy", this bird by the roadside showed very well.


Wryneck Jynx torquilla
Kilnsea, Spurn, East Yorkshire, August 2013.

This very confiding bird was well twitched and photographed.


Two-barred Crossbill Loxia leucoptera
Broomhead Res., Barnsley, South Yorkshire, August/September 2013.

The unprecedented flock of 8-10? "Two-barreds" in a mixed woodland at the edge of Broomhead Reservoir I saw my first Common Crossbills nearby in the late 1980s but never expected to see these wanderers from Scandinavia/Russia.

Sat 24 Aug. 2013 - dipped a flock of 4 by seconds around 13:00, spent 6 hours dipping and then one "trumpeted" in a flock of 30+ Common Crossbills a couple of times before dark.

Sun 25 Aug. 2013 - 4 birds (ad male, fem, 2 juvs.) very first thing in the morning (06:45) calling the fast chip-chip-chip (almost Redpoll like) and "trumpeting". Female and adult male.

Tue 27 Aug. 2013 - 1 juv. present with the Common Crossbills.

Thu 29 Aug. 2013 - 1 juv again with the Common Crossbills, showing a couple of times and "trumpeting" throughout early afternoon.

Fri 30 Aug. 2013 - a flock of 5 fast calling Crossbills probably the Two-barreds flew straight through the clearing just after 07:00 but did not stop.

Sat 31 Aug. 2013 - an adult male and immature male present in a large flock of 50+ Common Crossbills just in from the clearing in larches for 10 mins around 13:20. Giving the distinctive rattled chip-chip-chip and occasionally "trumpeting". The immature male was essentially female like in appearance but had clear orange flecks above the eye and on the neck side.

Sun 08 Sep. 2013 - adult male, female and juv. present in larches by the feeders briefly mid am.


Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, Aug. 2013.

A well watched individual.


Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, July 2013.

One of 2 birds present on the reserve in late July 2013.


Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Crossness, London, July 2013.

One of 2 adult summers present at the sewage outfall at Crossness early evening Saturday 06 July 2013.

Med Gull radar going crazy Saturday 06 July 2013. Earlier in the day picked up a single adult summer heading inland from the Thames at Rainham Marshes RSPB just before 10:00 and shortly after 2 calling adult summers from the river flew towards the tip. This pair were probably the birds that spent part of the afternoon loafing on Rainham RSPB's Aveley Pools.


Bonaparte's Gull Larus philadelphia
Crossness, London, July 2013.

Simply stunning and at times tricky to pick out from the 100s of Black-headed Gulls (L. ridibundus). It did show well in the early evening sunshine at the sewage outfall. The bottom three were taken from video grabs.




Raven Corvus corax
Langsett, South Yorks., Spr. 2013

Still going strong!

Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
New Arram, East Yorks., Spr. 2013

This smart looking North American duck was present in East Yorkshire (New Arram) on a secluded pond with a Tufted Duck flock that included a drake hybrid Tufted Duck x Scaup type.


Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, April 2013.

The Motley Crew strike again! Whilst scanning the Target Pools along with Ruth Barnes and Paul Davies mid morning I noticed a fair amount of Teal. I was hoping to pull out a Garganey hiding in the grassy marsh edge. Instead this drake "Teal" immediately stood out. It was face on, asleep and clearly had vertical stripes down the breast sides. I put Ruth and Paul on to the bird and we were soon joined by Vic W and Phil S. For the next 15 mins, which seemed like an age, it remained asleep, and more punters were shown the bird. It then became active when we could confirm an absence of horizontal white bar on the side and lack of yellow lining on the face. This appeared to be restricted to the lower part of the join between the red head and green eye mask. It was twitched throughout the day. Timings would suggest it's the bird from Crossness, not a million miles away across the river. (Saturday 27 April 2013)

Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, March 2013.

3 birds were present on the reseve during the afternnon of Saturday 09 March 2013. 2 birds in summer plumage (or nearly there) and one in winter plumage. Nice contrast.


Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, March 2013.

Three birds showed well late afternoon over the silts and tip. The crows thought otherwise.


Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, March 2013.

One of 3 just west of the Stone Barges.



Stonechat Saxicola rubicola
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, January 2013.

Present along the river wall.

Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, January 2013.

A nice sight along the river wall.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
Wintersett Reservoir, West Yorkshire, Dec. 2012.

Back to digiscoping. A shame the light was poor to get this record shot of what was a stunning 1st Winter Caspian Gull. I think this was its 4th consecutive night in the roost (31st Dec. 2012). At least two 1st winters in the area.


Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
Pugney's Country Park, West Yorkshire, Dec. 2012.

A brief visit early afternoon in late December produced this stunning white-headed 1st winter Gull. At the time I took it to be a Yellow-legged Gull. When looking at the photos in the evening, I began to wonder why wasn't it a Caspian Gull? The gleaming white sloping head, long black bill points towards Caspian Gull. I went to the internet and feedback received is for Caspian Gull. (Lumix FZ45)


Lesser (Richardson's) Canada Goose Branta hutchinsii hutchinsii
Cley, Norfolk, Dec. 2012.

Is it wild? Despite the smaller size compared with its bigger cousins, it was easier to pick out on the head shape and bill size. 


Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis, Smew Mergellus albellus and American Wigeon Anas americana,  
Anglers CP and Wintersett Res. - Yorkshire - December 2012
A fine selection of scarce ducks on the neighbouring lakes included this confiding Long-tailed Duck, a smart drake Scaup and returning American Wigeon. Also of note were good views of Goldeneye and Goosander. (Lumix FZ45 plus digiscoped American Wigeon)



Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus
Wombwell and Old Moor RSPB, South Yorkshire, Dec. 2012.

A flock of 190 (480 in previous days) on the Wombwell bypass and at last decent views in the Wath Area. (Lumix FZ45)



(American) Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens
Queen Mother Res., Berkshire, Dec. 2012.

Finally caught up with this species in the UK. A stunning individual showing well on the shore of the reservoir. It even called briefly in flight, givin a soft "zipit" call - reminded me of calling birds seen migrating in Washington state several autumns ago. (Lumix FZ45)







Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, Nov. 2012.

Several were very vocal around the reserve and this one was quite showy for this species. (Lumix FZ45)


Bee-eater Merops apiaster
Seaburn, County Durham, Nov. 2012.

An absolute cracker, this juvenile caught wasps from the aerials, but what was it doing in a frosty north east England in November? (Lumix FZ45)





Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, October 2012.

Two of 25 birds present on the beach. Several were ringed including these - White 'E651' and Green 'AAZU'.

I saw 'E651' here in December 2011 and German bird 'AAZU' has been a regular at this site since September 2007. (Lumix FZ45) 

Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
Broomhill Flash, South Yorks., Autumn2012.

Nice to see. (Lumix FZ45)



Pectoral Sandpiper Falco subbuteo
Kelling Water Meadows, Norfolk, October 2012.

Just on the limit of the zoom for the Lumix. Always a nice bird to see, especially in crisp juv. plumage like this one. (Lumix FZ45)


Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
Beacon Lane, Kilnsea, Spurn Point, East Yorkshire, Sep. 2012.

This little beauty showed very well along Beacon Lane for a few minutes around 4pm (Sat 29. Sep. 2012) sheltering from the strong westerly wind. (Lumix FZ45)



Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Salthouse, Norfolk, Sep. 2012.

A striking winter plumaged adult close offshore from the beach car park. (Lumix FZ45)


Common Buzzard Buteo buteo (top) and Red Kite Milvus milvus (bottom)
Wittenham Clumps, Oxon, Aug. 2012.

Trying to get used to taking flight shots with the Lumix. (Lumix FZ45)

Knot Calidris canutus and Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, July 2012.

Just before opening time on Saturday 21 July I came across a sum. plum. Knot and on returning an hour later with the rest of the gang we found a moulting Curlew Sandpiper had joined it. Shame about the strong heat haze. (Lumix FZ45) 



Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, July 2012.

This Spoonbill had recently been found on the Target Pools, was it the bird seen two days previously? As we were about to walk over to the Target Pools it flew towards us and landed on Aveley Pools. Surprisingly for this species it was a very active bird, but I had to include a typical photo of it sleeping! (Lumix FZ45) 


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus
Willington, Derbyshire, June 2012.

A lingering 1st summer male was too close to digiscope! I managed this blurred digi-binned effort. Excellent photos are on the web of this cracking falcon.


Little Bittern Podiceps grisegena
Stocker's Lake, Herts., June 2012. 

This immature passage bird showed well.



Roller Coracias garrulus
Aldbrough, East Yorkshire, June 2012.

This stunning adult Roller present just north of Aldbrough village delighted birders over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.





Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Crossness, London, May 2012.

A 1st summer bird with a well marked head amongst the Black-headed Gulls. This bird provided the entertainment after the well twitched Bonaparte's Gull had disappeared mid morning.



Wryneck Jynx torquilla
Spurn Point, East Yorkshire, May 2012.

This bird showed well at the Warren, one of at least three in the Spurn Area.


Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Bempton Cliffs RSPB, London, May 2012.

One or possibly two birds present taking in the evening sunshine.


Guillemot, Razorbill and Gannet Uria aalge, Alca torda and Morus bassanus.
Bempton Cliffs RSPB, Yorkshire, May 2012.

A trip to Bempton after Flamborough produced the usual suspects, a stunning sight.




Ficedula Flycatchers
Flamborough Head and Langsett, East and South Yorkshire, May 2012.

The first two rows shows of the 1st summer male "Flamborough Ficedula" present at South Landing. An interesting bird, but what is it? Atlas, Pied (aberrant? hypoleuca or a migrant iberia or integrade) or hybrid Collared x Pied. Lots have been said on the internet forums, as usual, and DNA of the bird suggests a standard hypoleuca.

For comparison the bottom two shows a standard male Pied Flyctacher hypoleuca on breeding grounds on the edge of the Barnsley Area moorlands.




Whimbrel Aythya affinis
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, April 2012.

A good spring passage of Whimbrels in the UK this year.


Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, March 2012.

This little beauty was present off piste on the reserve on Saturday 10 March 2012.


Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, March 2012.

Nearly full summer plumage Water Pipit present on this visit to the Stone Barges.


Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London and Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk, March 2012.

Rainham - one of the wintering birds or a migrant? This bird was hunting over the scrub near the "Serin mound" late afternoon. Titchwell - one of two passage birds that spent time hunting over the marsh near the visitors centre early evening on Easter Sunday.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, March 2012.

A cracking adult Mediterranean Gull, good comparison here with an adult Black-headed Gull L. ridibundus. 


Kumlien's Gull Larus glaucoides kumlieni and Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides glaucoides
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, March 2012.

2nd winter Kumlien's Gull present mid afternoon (Saturday 17 March 2012) on the Target Pools. This bird was found the previous day and caused a bit of a twitch at the Stone Barges. I saw it earlier in the morning at about 10am at the Stone Barges, initially close in on the water, but it quickly moved away spending a lot of time on the south shore of the Thames. 

A nice surprise when it appeared out of the gloom on the Target Pools mid afternoon. I was watching the Iceland Gull  and scanned across to find the kumlieni sitting in the water.




Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, March 2012.

Several in the Rainham area, including 3 together at one stage.

Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
Cosmeston Lakes CP, nr Penarth, South Wales, February 2012.

A smart adult drake Lesser Scaup with Tufties twitched on the way back from the Common Yellowthroat.


Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, February 2012.

A 2nd winter on the ice.


Geese Anser sp.
Seaton Carew, County Durham, December 2011.

A nice selection of winter geese. 16 Eurasian White-fronted geese, 1 Greenland White-fronted Goose and 1 Pink-footed Goose present along the Zinc Works Road. From left to right:

Top - Bottom:
Greenland White-fronted Goose (imm)
Greenland White-fronted Goose (imm) with 2x Eurasian White-fronted Geese
Greenland White-fronted Goose (imm - back) with immature Eurasian White-fronted Goose (imm - front)
Eurasian White-fronted Geese (adult and imm)
Eurasian Eurasian White-fronted Geese (adult)
Pink-footed Goose and Eurasian White-fronted Goose (adult)






Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
Cowpen Bewley, County Durham, December 2011.

A dapper drake (returning?) Ring-necked Duck showed well on the small woodland pond.


Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
Hartlepool, County Durham, December 2011.

One of 2 "1st winters" present around the Fish Quay.

Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Old Moor RSPB, South Yorks., December 2011.

This male "Sprawk" resting before it flew over the Wader Scrape.

Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Old Moor RSPB, South Yorks., December 2011.

Showed well in the cold afternoon sunshine, oblivious to photographers snapping away.


Smew Mergellus albellus
Wintersett Res., Yorks., December 2011.

Scarce winter visitor to the Barnsley area, "redheads" more usually seen.


Bittern Botaurus stellaris
Old Moor RSPB, South Yorks., December 2011.

An elusive wintering bird. Fantastic camouflage.


Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus
Burnham Overy, Norfolk, December 2011.

One of several wintering in the Burnham Overy - Wells area.


Western Sandpiper Calidris maura
Cley, Norfolk, December 2011.

A big UK rarity!




Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, October and November 2011.

Several in the Rainham Marshes area.


Gannet Morus bassanus
Old Moor RSPB (Bolton Ings), South Yorkshire, September 2011.

How on earth did this juvenile get blown in? Weather warm (mid 20s), sunny with southerly winds.



Bittern Botaurus stellaris
Old Moor RSPB (Bolton Ings), South Yorkshire, September 2011.

Sunning itself on a very warm late September's day.


Merlin Falco columbaris
England, September 2011.

Nice to see in upland habitat.


Pectoral Sandpiper Larus sabini
Pugneys CP, West Yorkshire, September 2011.

A very showy juvenile on the edge of the main boating lake by the car park. One birder was very excited, providing non-stop directions, and I mean non-stop!


Sabine's Gull Larus sabini
Grafham Water, Cambs., September 2011.

Always the wow factor when these are in flight, the best gull on the planet?



Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
Grafham Water, Cambs., September 2011.

Part of the Grey Phal/Sab's double act. A good little performer.



Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, September 2011.

It just appeared out of nowhere on 10 September 2011 at raptor o'clock (ca. 2pm) over the reserve. It flew south into the strong wind and no crows or gulls got up to mob it. The 2nd in 2 days for the reserve and both were at a similar time of day. 

Hobby Falco subbuteo
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, September 2011.

Several showed well hawking over the reserve. 



Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
Walsey Hills, Cley, Norfolk, August 2011.

This youngster showed well in the lee of the wind at the back of Walsey Hills.


Wood Sandpiper (top) Tringa glareola and Green Sandpiper (bottom) Tringa ochropus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, July 2011.

Two adult "Wood Sands" and four adult "Green Sands" were viewable from the new Purfleet Scrape hide on the last day of July.



Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk, May 2011.

Always nice to see especially in the Spring. This moulting bird showed well from the "new" Parrinder Hide.


Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator
Filey, North Yorkshire, April 2011.

This 1st summer? female Woodchat showed well on the "old tip" at Filey. 


Dotterel Charadrius morinellus
Choseley, Norfolk, April 2011.

A party of 5 birds (3 males and 2 females) of which one of each shown here. The birds were very elusive in the windy conditions, and well camourflaged in the field.


Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
Blacktoft Sands RSPB, East Yorkshire, April 2011.

This reeling "Gropper" showed well in the warm Easter sunshine.


Slavonian Grebe Podiceps grisegena
Blacktoft Sands RSPB, East Yorkshire, Spring 2011.

This passage bird added a bit of color.

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena
Hatfield Moors, South Yorks., Spring 2011. 

Taking a dislike to the locals.


Garganey Anas querquedula
Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk, April 2011.

A pair of these wonderful summer ducks showed well at the start of the path to the new hide.


Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, March 2011.

A 1st winter showed for a little while during the March gull workshop.


Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
Scarborough, North Yorks., Dec. 2010.

A cracking confiding 1st winter ended the year nicely. 


Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus hudsonius
Brancaster, Norfolk, Dec. 2010.

This strikingly marked individual and showed well perched up in the marsh, and then hunting over the marsh, after the fog cleared. This bird when hunting was very showy. I've also noticed this of this type on visits to New Jersey. Hen Harriers are normally shy, and the hunting of this bird was more Marsh Harrier like than the fleeting glimpses usually provided by Hen Harriers. Just a thought.


Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus
South Ferriby, Lincs., Dec. 2010.

A long staying juvenile showed well in the cold and dark conditions.


Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
Sands Lane GP, Mirfield, West Yorks., Dec. 2010.

A Yorkshire rarity, this returning adult came to bread after the 3rd chuck!



Smew Mergellus albellus
Aldenham CP, Elstree, Herts., Dec. 2010.

This redhead was very active and looked well in the late afternoon sunshine.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, Dec. 2010.

One (or two?) of several adult YL Gulls present on the Target Pools during the Gull ID Workshop of December 11th. Unfortunately the red colour-ring could not be read in the field.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, Dec. 2010.

A smart adult played hide and seek amongst the Black-headed Gulls.


Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, Nov. 2010.

A nice little performer near the Target Pools.


Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, Nov. 2010.

The first definite Caspian Gull I've seen at Rainham. This 2nd winter was very obliging for birders attending the RSPB's first gull workshop of the winter season. Credit to RSPB staff and volunteers for the session. Looking forward to the next one - Sat 11 December 2010.


Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, Nov. 2010.

One showing well from "Serin mound" late afternoon.



Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor
Spurn, East Yorks., Oct. 2010.

One of many cracking migrants at Spurn.


Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca
Wintersett Res., Yorkshire, Oct. 2010.

Last winter's bird? Still a scarce visitor to the Barnsley area. 


Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus
Lakeside, Doncaster, South Yorks., Oct. 2010.

Too ruddy close for digiscoping!


American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica
Great Heck, Yorkshire, Oct. 2010.

A moulting adult showed well with about 80 Goldies, but the late afternoon sun posed a problem for viewing.

Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor
Welney, Norfolk, Oct. 2010.

A long staying 1st winter showed distantly from the main hide.


Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica
Buckton, East Yorks., Sep. 2010.

Twitched from Spurn, this little beauty showed well about 6.20pm after an agonising wait. It became very elusive soon after. Only the 4th for GB.



Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus
Spurn Point, East Yorks., Sep. 2010.

Despite the windy conditions, this immature Rosefinch showed briefly on the elder bush.


Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis 
Spurn Point, East Yorks., Aug. 2010.

Measurements including DNA analysis showed this to be a 'Collared'.


Iberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus ibericus
Potteric Carr, South Yorkshire, May 2010.

This individual whilst singing all the time, was difficult to see on my visit. It varied its song, only occasionally ending with the typical rattle.


Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum
Frampton Marshes RSPB, Lincs., May 2010.

Still only a handful of records in the UK of this delightful wader. This bird showed well hawking insects over the scrape.



Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, Mar. 2010.

An immature showed briefly.



Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, Feb. 2010.

A winter plumaged bird frequenting the Stone Barges. 


(Tundra) Bean Goose Anser fabalis rossicus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, Jan. 2010.

Two rossicus birds present amongst the local Greylags. 



Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus
Rainham Marshes RSPB, London, Jan. 2010.

This cracker showed well just off the reserve.