Saturday 28 January 2012


Azores Bird Sightings is temporarily taking over from Birding Azores in delivering all the latest bird news from the region.

Lincoln's Sparrow (above)

Thursday 26 January 2012

Portugal Day 2

Spent Monday in Portugal having a look at the gulls on the coast and around Peniche with Joao Jara. Saw a near adult Iceland Gull (pic 1) and a good selection of the Yellow-legged Gulls (pic 2) in this area. Here's another pic from Michael Armelin of the Ruppell's Vulture from Sunday.

Sunday 22 January 2012

Portugal, Ruppell's Vulture

Ruppell's Vulture at Portas de Rodao, pictured here (pic 3) trying to mate with a Griffon Vulture confirming this bird is a male (and suffering from shepherd syndrome :-) ).

Black-shouldered(winged) Kite

View over Portas de Rodao.

Black Vulture from the road between Cegonhas and Rosmaninhal.
In Portugal at the moment mainly for Azores bird business but also slipped in a day trip for the Ruppell's with Michael.

Also 'Iberian' Shrikes, Azure-winged Magpies, Spotless Starlings etc.

Friday 20 January 2012

Mystery Teal

Derek found this duck at Waddon Ponds. Not sure what it is?

Monday 16 January 2012

Terceira Birding Study

Posting this request for data towards a PhD which includes research into improving habitat at Cabo da Praia and Praia da Vitoria.

Hudsonian Godwit, Cabo da Praia

Have you been in Praia da Vitória Bay bird watching?
Then we need you!
In case you can collaborate, please contact the coordinator the project: Helena Guimaṛes Р ou 00351968829544 or by skype:Helena_iben_64
We want to describe the bird watching activity in Praia da Vitoria Bay. So the best sources of information are the people that visit it, for bird watching.
At this point we need 30 minutes of your time to reply to a questionnaire.
All the best

Sunday 15 January 2012

Project Parakeet

Helped out with a count of the Ring-necked Parakeet roost at Mitcham Common with Derek and Gillian. The birds fly past my window and over the farmlands every evening. This evening there were 4000 birds in the roost.

A Sunny Winter's Day on the Patch

Top to bottom: Female Stonechat, Teal, Goldfinch, Goldcrest and Great-spotted Woodpecker

Walked the whole farm today for a sweeping winter bird census. Despite all the pressure on the environment at Beddington the birds are still hanging in there (but unfortunately in lesser numbers). However still 10 Skylark, 20-30 Reed Bunting, 12 Meadow Pipit, 2 Stonechat, 36 Lapwing, 150+ Teal, 36 Gadwall, 30 Shoveler, 13 Snipe, 2 Green Sandpiper, 30 Pied Wagtail, 70+ House Sparrows, 80+ Tree Sparrows, 450+ Starling and bird of the day was another Buzzard.

Saturday 14 January 2012

Nice Gull

One of the 2nd winter Iceland Gulls was showing well today on the southern lake. Also Jack Snipe there and a Common Buzzard (pic 4) flew over.

For some proper white winger action and possibly connected to why we have 2 Iceland and 1 Kumlien's Gull at Beddington see here :

The London Tree Sparrow Partnership 2012

We had the London Tree Sparrow Partnership meeting this week with the RSPB, MKAEcology, Viridor and the BFBG.

Last year 545 Tree Sparrows were colour ringed (red) with the aim of monitoring dispersal from Beddington Farmlands. So far there have only been four reports of colour ringed birds: Wanstead in North London, nearby at Cheam and also from Otford and Edenbridge in Kent. I've also managed to attract small numbers on the estate that I live on- the other side of the railway to Beddington Farmlands.

This year birds will be fitted with individual coded blue colour rings and we hope to get some more recoveries by getting the message out again to local residents (and naturalists) to keep an eye out for them and also to put out millet in their bird feeders to try and attract the Tree Sprogs. I had success by mixing millet in with a standard seed mix.

The Future of Beddington Farmlands

Viridor (The Waste managment company operating the landfill at Beddington) have started the consultation process ahead of putting in a planning application to build an incinerator at Beddington Farmlands.
This is contrary to original commitments and plans of developing a public nature reserve at Beddington by 2015 which is both behind schedule and failing to achieve conservation management plan targets.
In addition to ecological objections by the Beddington Farmlands Bird Group there is also a lot of opposition from local residents and other groups with regards to health risks posed by the incinerator and also by recycling advocates who would prefer recycling and reuse as an alternative to incineration.
Things are squaring up for a very interesting situation.

Thursday 12 January 2012

January blooms

Came across these fungi in a local woodland (Wilderness Island) today. Had the moth trap out last night and caught this micro (pic 4). Help with ID appreciated with any of these. I reckon from top to bottom: sulphur tuft, oyster mushroom, bracket sp and...... micro moth sp.

Tuesday 10 January 2012


2nd-winter Iceland Gull

Adult Med Gull

Shoveler and Teal

Fungus sp.
There's 2 Iceland and 1 Kumlien's Gull at Beddington at the moment. Today I saw a 2nd winter Iceland which I also had from the kitchen window yesterday.

It's very mild at the moment- had the moth trap out last night and quite a few insects in it but just a couple of micro moths.

Sunday 8 January 2012

Arundel Day Trip

Brown Hare

Grey Partridge

Rough-legged Buzzard

View over Burpham towards Arundel castle

Starling roost at Arundel WWT centre

Had another look around the Arun valley in the Arundel region. Following good conservation practise in the agricultural region around Burpham a large area has become a refugia for farmland birds with populations of Corn Buntings, Yellowhammers, Grey Partridge etc in very good numbers. Over the last couple of weekends I've seen Short-eared Owls, Rough-legged Buzzard, Red Kites, Common Buzzards, Sparrowhawks, Kestrels, Peregrines, Merlin and Ravens and also Bewick's Swans by the river. Very encouraging to see such a bird rich refuge on such a large scale. Saw a couple of Brown Hares too. 3000 Starlings coming into roost at the WWT centre was impressive.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Gulls, gulls, gulls

An excellent bit of gulling this afternoon. They others also saw a first winter Caspian.

Juvenile/first-winter Kumlien's Gull- showing obvious dark wash to outer primaries

Juvenile/first-winter Kumlien's Gull- showing smooth dark tail band and dark outer primaries

Adult Mediterranean Gull

First -winter Yellow-legged Gull

Juvenile/first-winter 'high latitude pale gull'. An influx of large gulls today included 165 Great black backs and a couple of strange pale looking gulls which presumably originate from the far north/ Iceland?

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Winter moth?

Moth 1

Moth 2
Put the trap out a couple of nights ago as it was so mild and caught two of these.

Monday 2 January 2012

Holiday birding

Short-eared Owl

Brent Geese at Pagham Harbour

Lapwings- about 2000+ at Pagham Harbour

Bewick's Swan

Blackwits at Oare.

Had a few days out birding in the south-east over the holiday.