Monday, 15 October 2018

Corvo 2018- Day 2, Wilson's Warbler

Landed on Corvo at about 1230 and within half an hour had secured a 2018 win (after two personal disastrous autumns in 2016 and 2017 )- Wilson's Warbler in the bag (WP lifer). Anything now is a bonus. 

Female Wilson's Warbler, Corvo village

News from Corvo HERE

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Corvo 2018- Day 1, Terceira

Western Kingbird (a first for the WP), Wilson's Warbler and White-throated Sparrow are potential WP ticks awaiting for me on Corvo and Flores. However it takes me three days to get there and today I was on Terceira Island.  Corvo blog HERE

First stop on Terceira was Cabo da Praia: Ebird List Here. Then I went to Lagoa do Junco, additional birds included 14 Glossy Ibis and 10 Common Buzzard. Finished the day at Paul da Praia where the main additional bird was a pale-bellied Brent. 

Great to see Sofia and meet Su and Luis and looking forward to meeting up with all the Corvo gang tomorrow.  

Here's a few pics and sounds from today. 

Ring-necked Ducks (above and below), Cabo da Praia 

Glossy Ibis (above and below) at Lagoa do Junco with Lesser Black-backs and Azores Gulls below 

Juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper, Cabo da Praia and adult (below) 
Adult White-rumped Sandpiper 

Call of White-rumped Sandpiper, recorded today at Cabo da Praia 

Pectoral Sandpiper at Cabo da Praia 

Pectoral Sandpiper call and sonogram
Pale-bellied Brent on Paul da Praia 
Dunlins at Cabo da Praia are always intriguing due to possibility of getting a Hudsonian Dunlin. Here's a couple of juveniles from today. Streaking on the flanks is supposed to be a feature for Hudsonian Dunlin, these two birds looking rather plain flanked. However, the bird above does have quite a Hudsonian structure (Curlew Sand like) 

Adult Little Stints, above and below (?) These birds have been reported as both adult Little Stints and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Notoriously difficult to identify in winter plumage so I  sound recorded them- at least one called just like a Little Stint (see recording and sonogram below) . 
Adult Little Stints

Little Stint and Sanderling calls
Juvenile Garganey 
Knots at Cabo da Praia 
Bar-tailed Godwit at Cabo da Praia 

Just to wrap up the calls here is another White-rumped Sandpiper calling with Kentish Plover. The recordings in this blog post features various 'pip' calls of generally similar wader calls- Sanderling, Kentish Plover, White-rumped Sandpiper and Little Stint, all of which give a single note flight call (within their flight call range). However each is subtly different as the sonograms show. 
 Female-type Red-veined Darter 
Long-tailed Blue
and the Ring-necked Ducks again 

Friday, 12 October 2018

Dusky-lemon Sallow - a first for the farmlands

The mild night produced the goods last night with another first for the farmlands- a Dusky-lemon Sallow (cheers Billy for confirmation). A nice selection of other autumn moths including two firsts for year Yellow-lined Quaker and Pine Grey Carpet with Black Rustics, Beaded Chestnuts and the usual fair. 

I know I really should be birding as its mid-October but it's hectic at work and I'm off to the Azores tomorrow so will be back on the job soon. 

 Dusky-lemon Sallow (above and below) 

 Yellow-lined Quaker- a first for the year 
Presumed Grey Pine Carpet- another first for year 

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Beetle New for the Farm

What with the warm southerly airflow at the moment I was hoping for some migrant moths. Instead had this distinctive looking Beetle which I didn't recognise. I sent to our group coleopterist (former curator at NHM) and he (aka Roger aka Beetlejuice) identified it as Oedemera (Oncomera) femoralis (Ispot link to species HERE). A first for site. 
Oedemera (Oncomera) femoralis (above and below) 

Also had a couple of rather variable looking Turnip Moths. Not much else in the trap Agonopeterix alstromeriania, Gold Triangles, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Pale Mottled Willow and Lesser Yellow Underwing. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Azores Rare and Scarce Bird Report 2015

Back from the printers today. To order a copy please email me at Price is 10 euro plus p&p. 

Yanks Ahead ?

I'm off to the Azores on Saturday. The weather seems to be looking good over the next few days for bringing in some yanks. 

 A mid-latitude westerly airflow creating a conveyor of westerly winds across the mid-Atlantic towards the Azores 
 A cyclone develops from the conveyor and moves quickly towards British Isles by Friday 
Another system from the west develops by Sunday 14th although it is moving north of the Azores. However the west airflow into the Atlantic can potentially displace birds into the region  
The jet stream (projection for Friday) also looking perfect. So between the low level westerly winds and the high level westerly jet streams- it is basically looking very interesting indeed 

Tuesday, 9 October 2018


Well there's a few signs that it may well be a Brambling autumn. I had at least two yesterday at Brill, they've turned up early at bird feeders in Oxfordshire, there's birds arriving on the east coast, over 700 were reported from Hunstanton and today we had two or three at the farmlands and one on the deck. We decided today that if somewhere like Eilat and Gibraltar is a migration motorway, somewhere like Spurn and Portland a migration A road, somewhere like North Norfolk a migration B road and somewhere like Rainham being a country road- well Beddington must be like a migration country track or bridleway so if we've got Bramblings here it must mean they are everywhere!

A few other bits including about 40 Chaffinch moving W, 6 Skylark W, 1 Redwing, 4 Mipits on the mound, 1 Reed Bunting, 10+ Chiffchaff and 1 Goldcrest.

Also had a migrant moth- Silver Y in addition to a few other interesting bits. Also seems to be a mini-influx of Red Admiral- at least five today.  Also a load of Harlequin ladybirds around. A swarm of them last Thursday and more today,

 Brambling (above and below) 

 Juvenile Buzzard 
 Beautiful Hook-tip
 Been a few of these acleris sp recently. I stuck them down as Acleris sparsana (below) and Acleris schalleriana (above) based on the variability of these species and abundance in the what's flying tonight pages- would welcome any correction on the ids 

Monday, 8 October 2018

Autumn at last

Well mid-autumn would be more accurate. Been a good influx of migrants and sprites mainly yesterday but continuing into today. Despite watching the charts for the last month or so, the window of light north easterlies following a front came on about the only day I couldn't budge (didn't stop Jaffa finding a mega from his laptop though!) . However managed to get some time in locally (Oxon/Bucks local). I did a skywatch at the Old Vic on Sunday and went to Otmoor in the afternoon and today did a skywatch from Brill Windmill between 0700 and 1000. Ebird list here

Also did a full night's sound recording (now I've got a new memory card) and had the moth trap on last night. Had about 10 Redwing calls last night, Tawny Owl and also a possible Golden Plover. The moth trap was quiet- just 5 Lunar Underwings and a Willow Beauty.

 Light north-easterlies across the North Sea and weak structures over the continent produced a good fall of sprites and migrants mainly across the east coast 
Despite the wind shifting to the west today the displacement/re-orientation continued
 Highlight was this presumed first-winter Ring Ouzel that came in from the west and seemed to go down. Also had two Brambling, 350+ Redwing moving north/ northwest, 80+ Chaffinch moving west, 65 Fieldfare going west, 8 Song Thrush through,  6 Skylark, 2 Chiffchaff and 1 Blackcap. Full list HERE

Presumed first-winter Ring Ouzel- seems to be pale showing in the remiges but no sign of any gorget so presumably a first-winter female 
 Also had a single Mistle Thrush 
 Redwings over Bucks 
 Distant Fieldfares- the white underwings visible at great distance 
Sunrise from Brill