Wednesday 30 January 2013

Daddy Long Legs

Pholcus phalangiodes aka Daddy Long Legs 
Found one of these in the obs this morning. An obs tick. It was encounters with these chaps when I was kid that triggered my interest in nature. Although the nature of that interest was not quite the same as it is today. I have even wrote a song about that :

Fungi sp? Answers please?

Monday 28 January 2013

Big Garden Birdwatch Weekend

Reed Bunting at Beddington 
Natural History Museum- currently hosting Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition 
Caspian Gull at Beddington 
Little Egret at The Grove, Carshalton 
Blue Tit on the Big Garden Birdwatch 
Fieldfare and Redwing on The Grove playing fields
Spent Saturday morning helping out the Sutton Biodiversity Team with a Big Garden Birdwatch event, Saturday afternoon at the farm with the ringers and Sunday went to the Natural History Museum (the nerve centre) to have a look at the Wildlife Photography of the Year Competition.  Here's a jumble of weekend pics.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Caspian Gull

Adult Caspian Gull
A bit of movement today- Fieldfares, a few Lapwings. Adult Caspian Gull again. Derek and Roy had a walk about- 4 Jack Snipe, 5 Green Sandpiper, 1 Stonechat, 70+ Linnet and about 15 Snipe. The Maned Duck is still around too.
More snow coming so will be intersting to see what happens. 

Monday 21 January 2013

Beddington in the Freezer

Skylark- over 100 flew west/ northwest today
Adult Med. Also saw adult Caspian today and Frankie had a 1st winter Caspian too
View over Northern Lake

The cold weather continues and today Fieldfares, Skylarks and a few Redwings were on the move. We had over 500 Fieldfare, 100 Skylark and a handful of Redwings. Also 100+ Linnet on the mound.
A few of Dodge's pics from this cold spell:

Sunday 20 January 2013

Snow Patrol

Red Kite
Male Kestrel
Juvenile Peregrine
Raptors on patrol in the snow were the highlight of the day. We had Red Kite, Short-eared Owl (I missed it), Peregrine, 2 Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. The Peregrine was going after a Snipe. Still a bit of vis mig today including a Grey and a Golden Plover. Not as much moving as yesterday.

Saturday 19 January 2013

Hard Times

Golden Plovers heading South
First-winter Glaucous Gull
Lapwings- several hundred on the move over the last couple of days

Jack Snipe- 3-4 about
Hard weather watchers
Adult female Maned Duck- an Australian species

This cold weather has produced some interesting vis mig over Beddington. Rarest bird has been a female Maned Duck which has presumably been frozen out of it's collection.
Sightings from the last couple of days here:
Been discussing today whether the birds are moving over London on flights lines or broad fronts. This is what is going on about five miles to the south-west: :

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Inner London Day Trip

Hyde Park Beardies

Kensington Gardens waterfowl
Dingers and Martin Honey (Lepidoptera curator at NHM)
The Cacoon- 12 million entomological specimens stored here

Lee had discovered an unidentified moth while working in the Brazilian rain forest so we took some photos of it to the Natural History Museum to see if we could find it in the specimen collection. With the help of the museum curator we managed to identify it and Lee is going to do some more investigation to see if it has been recorded in that area before.
On the way to the museum we stopped off at the Beardies in Hyde Park. Good to see Hyde Park Gaurdian Des McKenzie,  and also quite a good selection of waterfowl on the Serpentine including quite a few Shoveler.
More on today from Lee here:

Monday 14 January 2013

Azores Pelagic Expedition 2013- Monteiro's Petrel, Azores Bullfinch, Endemics, Azores Seabirds, Cetaceans and Whale Shark

Swinhoe's Petrel, Bank of Fortune, August 2012
Zino's Petrel, Bank of Fortune, August 2012 (Harro Muller)
Monteiro's Petrel, Graciosa August 2012. Identified by moult of inner primaries- characteristic of hot season breeding birds at end of breeding season
Presumed Grant's Petrel, Graciosa, August 2012- identified by fresh plumage with brown tones. Juvenile Monteiro's Petrel would also be in fresh plumage in late summer but the plumage tone is darker and the tail fork generally more pronounced
Barolo's Shearwater, May 2010, Graciosa. Also seen on 2011 and 2012 summer pelagics.
Wilson's Petrel, 2011 (Richard Bonser)
Wilson's Petrel 2009
Loggerhead Turtle- commonly encountered
Blue Shark
Sperm Whale
Common Dolphin (Gareth Knass)



Azores Bullfinch Extension
Saturday 31st August
Arrive Sao Miguel

Sunday 1st September 
Azores Bullfinch twitch and Sao Miguel birding. Evening flight to Terceira
Arrive Tercira

Graciosa Pelagics
Monday 2nd September
Cabo da Praia Quarry for yank waders in morning and then Ferry crossing to Graciosa in afternoon

Tuesday 3rd September
Graciosa Pelagic

Wednesday 4th September
Graciosa Pelagic

Thursday 5th September
Graciosa Pelagic

Friday 6th September
Morning pelagic and then flight to either home or Santa Maria for Whale Shark trip

Whale Shark Trip
Saturday 7th September
Santa Maria Pelagic in search of Whale Shark and seabirds

Sunday 8th September
Santa Maria Pelagic

Monday 9th September
Santa Maria Pelagic

Tuesday 10th September
Santa Maria Pelagic

Wednesday 11th September
Depart Santa Maria

Terceira and Graciosa Pelagic, 1st to 6th September for Monteiro's and 'Grant's Petrel' , seabirds and cetaceans 
£688 not including international flight

Sao Miguel (Azores Bullfinch), Terceira and Graciosa Pelagic as above, 31st August to 6th September
£1282 including international flight
£988 not including international flight

Whale Shark Exploration Trip
£600 in additon to one of above options

To book a place please contact Ian at Azores Choice:

Places are limited to 10-12 people on a first come first serve basis.

Sunday 13 January 2013

Rotherhithe and Beyond

River View 
The most confiding Shoveler I've ever seen- in Southwark Park
'Northern' Herring Gull
Rich B, John A and an incinerator pretty similar to what we are going to get at Beddington
Met up with Richard today to have a look round his patch around the old Surrey Docks, Crossness and Dartford. We dipped on Waxwings, Caspian Gull and Med Gull but had a handful of Yellow-legged Gulls and good to meet up and see the birding sites on this part of the Thames.
Went to Beddington yesterday and saw bugger all there too.

Thursday 10 January 2013

Iceland and Glauc

Glaucous Gull
Iceland Gull
Its not everyday that you get both of these Arctic Gulls together so today was pretty good. Stayed out with Roy to watch the roosting flocks come and go. About 15-20,000 gulls, 2000+ Jackdaw, 2000+ Ring-necked Parakeet and a few hundred Starling.