Wednesday 31 October 2012

Moth Tick

Thankfully the westerlies have returned providing an opportunity to catch up with things. Caught this moth the other evening in the hallway- I think its a Buttoned Snout.

Sunday 28 October 2012

Dot Birding

Lesser Redpoll 
Spent most of the weekend vis migging:
Saturday 27th October:  130+ Lawping (100, 15 moving west and 15 on deck), 450+ Fieldfare W, 100+ Redwing W, 40+ Chaffinch, 1 Brambling on bridge, 20 Meadow Pipit also 3 Pochard on Northern Lake (missed a Woodlark!)
Sunday 28th October: 1 Ring Ouzel (from obs), 1 Water Pipit, 2 Green Sandpiper, 450+ Woodpigeon S, 30+ Blackbird on edges, 15+ Song Thrush,  10 Reed Bunting, 15+ Redpoll, 10 Siskin, 60+ Linnet, 40+ Goldfinch, 20+ Greenfinch, 4 Goldcrest, 20+ Long-tailed Tit, 1 Chiffchaff, 15+ Skylark also Egyptian Goose, 120+ Teal, 90+ Shoveler, 1 Little Egret

Friday 26 October 2012


c190 Brent Geese flying south west 
Little Gulls (2 ads, 1 1st win), three of four birds 
Fieldfares- part of quite a large movement today 
Male Brambling on Mile Road Bridge 
Starling- about 3-4000 on site and moving over/around. Birds were roosting on site yesterday
Lots of fungi popping up- hopefully when the westerlies come back will have time to try and identify some
Another great vis migging day. Here are the totals:
approx 200 Brent Geese ( estimate in one flock ) 2 KNOT, 3 Pintail, 4 Little Gulls, 1 Swallow, 20 Common Gull, 130+ Lesser Black-backed gulls ( moving south ), 10 Cormorant, 70 Linnet, 1 Dunlin, 25 Redpoll, 1 Reed Bunting, 18 Skylark, 1 Rock Pipit, 2 Brambling, 1 Snipe, 2 Lapwing, 1 Water Rail, 20 Stock Dove, 232 Fieldfare, 120 Redwing, 322 Wood Pigeon
The Brents are the third largest flock (day count) at Beddington after 267 October 20th 1997 and 240 October 10th 1991.

Thursday 25 October 2012

Vis Mig continues

6 Little Gull heading southwest 
Autumnal Moth? Also Mallow and Diamond Backed Moth in the trap last night 
The north east winds and overcast conditions continue producing a lot of visible migration. I managed to squeeze in an hour or so today. Here are the days totals from the BFBG (I missed the Brents):
6 Brent Geese, 6 Little Gulls, 8 Golden Plover, 38 Fieldfare, 14 Redwing, 16 Skylark, 4 Snipe, 165 Wood Pigeon, 1 Dunlin, 15 Redpoll, 2 Goldcrest, 4000 Starling

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Vis Migging, Bulbing, Plotting and Mothing

Adult Med Gull, also a 2nd winter today 
Artist impression of the Green (by Lysanne Horrox)
Bulb Planting
A busy autumn day. 8am at the yard to sort out the tree and garden Little Oak teams, then straight to Beddington for some vis migging with Roger and Bulldog. We had:
30 Skylark, 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Goldcrest, 7 Siskin, 10 Redpoll, 105 Redwing, 37 Fieldfare, 7 Mistle Thrush, 1 Song Thrush, 4 Swallow, 1 2nd winter and 1 adult Mediterranean Gull, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Golden Plover, 3 Snipe, 46 Lapwing, 1 Dunlin, 1 Peregrine, 1 Buzzard, 4000 Starling, 1 Wigeon, 70 Chaffinch, 50 Linnet, 20 Goldfinch, 2 Meadow Pipit

Then I had to be at the village green at 12pm to help out planting 2000 bulbs with 500 kids which went surprisingly to plan. This is part of the wildlife corridors construction linking the farmlands with the River Wandle.

Then it was to the council offices to discuss the Beddington conservation management plan and after a half price curry with Gabs, Fran and Ange it was back to the obs for some mothing.

Birding in the Fog

A pretty good day at Beddington but no photos as it was too foggy.

1 ad Little Gull, 1 Redshank, 1 Wheatear, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Chiffchaff, 8 Fieldfare, 15 Redwing, 15+ Blackbird, 10+ Song Thrush, 25+ Redpoll, 50+ Siskin, 50+ Chaffinch, 60+ Linnet, 20+ Greenfinch, 11 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit, 1 Peregrine, 1 Mistle Thrush

Woodlarks and Hawfinches on the loose in London- seen migrating at several sites and I need them both for Bedddington. Will try and sneak in a couple of hours 2moro.

Sunday 21 October 2012

Back to Reality

Marsh harrier being mobbed by Corvids 
Male Pheasant in the obs garden 
Lapwing on the move

Back to reality and in good tradition I managed to break my new camera (7D) on the Azores- this time on the way home. So the pretty poor photos above are with my old Canon 400D.
First thing to greet me on my return to the obs was a male Pheasant at the feeder. An obs garden tick.
Today I woke to north easterlies and overcast so my hope for a relaxing Sunday was dashed. It was a good day too. Migrant totals (on the deck and over) were: 2 Ring Ouzel (one in the ringing area and one over to irrigation bridge), 1 Marsh Harrier, 10 Golden Plover south, 1 Brambling N, 45 Lapwing (30 over and 15 on deck), 70+ Redpoll (including 40+ along path), 10+ Reed Bunting, 5 Meadow Pipit, 10+ Redwing south, 2 Song Thrush south, 100+ Pied Wagtail on enclosed beds and south east corner, 3 Skylark, 100+ Linnet on mound, 30+ Goldfinch, 5 Greenfinch, 15+ Chaffinch, 2-3 Goldcrest and 1 Chiffchaff.
A pretty good welcome home.

Day 13: Last Day

Barnacle Goose at Vila Campo do Franca  
Corvo birders (above and below)
Vince and Josh
Last day on the Azores and we left Corvo on the 2pm flight to arrive on Sao Miguel with enough time to try and twitch the Willet. Not only did we dip the Willet but we also heard news of a Caspian Plover being found on the mountain on Corvo. Next morning as we got off the plane at Gatwick we got news of a Prairie Warbler at the Lighthouse Valley in Corvo- a first for the WP.
So basically about the worse end to a great trip that can be imagined :-) (Did get another Azores tick- Barnacle Goose).  
Still brilliant trip and brilliant company- a great team with exceptional birding and photography skills
Now.... back to Beddington.

Thursday 18 October 2012

Day 12: Last full day on Corvo

American Robin from yesterday
More photos at

Last day on the island today and I took it easy around the village. A bit of a quiet day on here. News has just come in of a Willet on Sao Miguel- luckily we are heading there tomorrow.
As usual all the Azores bird news at

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Day 11: American Robin

A few photos from Vincent over the last few days. More photos here:
First-winter male Dickcissel
Female Northern Parula
Common Yellowthroat

Canada Goose
My legs are not working anymore so I spent the day in recovery in the guesthouse. Katt drove me to the local bar for lunch when news broke of an American Robin from the road between the power station and Lapa. Katt was up for the twitch so we arrived in style in a 4x4 and I managed to see the bird from the car window borrowing Christian's bins as mine were at the guesthouse.
We drove back down to the village when I got another text from Darryl telling me to get my (crippled) arse back up there as they had found a mystery american sparrow. I did my best to look for the bird but my knees weren't having any of it so I came back to the guesthouse. Luckily the sparrow was a Lincoln's- a species I had seen before on Corvo.
Hoping I can walk again tomorrow! Photos of Robin tomorrow.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Day 10: Knee capped

Cory's Shearwater 
SPEA monitoring the Cory's in the Sea bird compound. 10 young birds have been translocated to the new breeding compound.

Sea bird compound (EC LIFE Project)- a predator free area of slope with artificial nest sites for Shearwaters and Petrels. 
Third-winter Azores Gull
My knees have given up following 9 days of running up and down this volcano. I can barely walk so had to restrict my movements to around the village but got a chance to catch up with the SPEA people.
I had no chance of seeing the Parula and Common Yellowthroat at the top of Lapa and I couldn't even make it outside the guesthouse for a Canada Goose onto my Azores list. Bosse had a Ring Ouzel today as an Azores tick so we are both neck and neck again on the Azores listing chart.
There are blokes in their 60s out here that are still going and showing me up :-)- I am going to have to train for next year.

Monday 15 October 2012

Day 9: Mourning Scare

Sei/Bryde's Whale? Just off shore this morning 
Yank flyover- Buff-bellied Pipit, calling and flying over towards Flores 
Semipalmated Plover in the fields 
White-rump Sandpipers in the streets 
Mystery warbler- somewhere in here 
Slender-burnished brass- pretty common on the island
Missed the cab this morning to the valleys so Darryl and I had a look round the coast and fields. We had a large whale in the channel between Corvo and Flores and had a Buff-bellied Pipit fly over the coastline and heading towards Flores. Then we got a message of a possible Mourning Warbler at Ribeira da Ponte so spent the rest of the day there seeing bugger all.

Sunday 14 October 2012

Day 8: Dickcissel

Dickcissel, Middle Fields (above and below) 

Tennessee Warbler also in Middle Fields 
Two Indigo Bunting, Middle Fields 
Vincent, Josh and Jens legging it for the Dickcissel 
Markku legging it 

Started the day off at the reservoir in the fog. The Solitary Sand was still up there but couldn't see much else apart from a few White-rumps. Our fog trawling was brought to an abrupt end with the news of a Dickcissel in the village so we ran down the mountain back to the village.
Spent the rest of the day looking around the fields and luckily I didn't need to twitch the Philly Vireo that Pierre found at Da Ponte. The Tennessee was located later in the afternoon which gave Darryl the run around who had gone up for the Philly and after marching to the top of the hill had to march straight back down again. When he finally arrived at the twitch the bird flew off just before he got onto it which resulting in Darryl dropping the biggest 'C' bomb ever dropped in the WP.

More blogging from Corvo/Azores:

Day 7: Tennessee Warbler

Tennessee Warbler (Vincent Legrand)
First-winter male Rose-breasted Grosbeak 
Semi-palmated Plovers dropped in and onto the road this morning 
Emperor Dragonfly
Ernie over looking Agua 

At the guesthouse at the moment listening to this topical track
Today was pretty quiet until the last 30 mins of light when Lars found a Tennessee Warbler in the middle fields causing a stampede from the guesthouse. The bird was mobile, probably fresh in and quickly made its way up the cliff with us chasing it. While chasing the Tennessee we also stumbled across a Red-eyed Vireo, an Indigo Bunting and a Rose-breated Grosbeak.
All the Azores bird news,as usual here: