Sunday, 24 June 2018

Red-crested Pochard localy is rather scarce and just about annual. Last year Bowers Marsh saw a female and this year the same site produced thisvery fine but always distant drake.

Taken from the southern path by standing on the 'gull watching' log and straining to see over the top of the reedbed. This side of this site really does need an elevated viewing mound to see the best spots which have birds. Shame the RSPB keep ignoring local birders.

Butterflies of South Essex

We have some good Butterflies locally and a very pleasant walk around Belfairs Woods on Saturday resulted in excellent views of White Admiral, Purple Hairstreak and a few remaining Heath Fritillaries. Still looking foreard to the day we start getting Purple Emperors and Silver-washed Fritillaries floating up and down the woodland rides.

Nearby Benfleet Downs is a hotspot for White-letter Hairstreaks and about six were seen on and around the usual Bramble patches whilst Marbled Whites and Esex Skippers were in the grassland.

A very pleasant day with the butties.

More Hawk Moths

Added two more Hawk Moths to the years tally in the garden. From just two traps run this summer I have caught Lime, Poplar, Elephant, Privet and Eyed. Hawk Moths with several of Elephant and Privet caught. Always stunner.

Slow Summer Birding

Only managed a limited amount of birding in recent weeks but have included visits to Bowers Marsh to see the drake Red-crested Pochard which is a local scarcity and Wallasea Island where Carn Bunting and Avocets were plentiful. Summer = slow birding

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Rosy Pastor, Pink Stink, Rosy Starling or Rose-coloured Starling

As per the title of the post there are many names for Rose-coloured Starling but do any really do justice to the bird that was seen in Rayleigh today?

In the morning it was seen in rather grey conditions whilst a return visit in the evening in much improved light resulted in some nice images. A full suite of these will eventually be posted on my website but in the meantime a few here included here.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Israel April - May 2018 : The Best of the Best

Raptors aside what were the star birds of the trip? As usual its always a tricky thing to pick out favourites but I think these really do stand head and shoulders above the rest

Corncrake : This super tame bird showing down to a few feet in Ofira Park

Pharaoh Eagle Owl : Yotvata Fields. I've tried many times previously to get this fella and it really performed this year showing well on both of the visits.

European Bee-eater : This was a really good year for this species with many being seen on virtually every day of the trip with a couple showing exceptionally close.

Western Rock Nuthatch : The most wanted to see bird of the far north of the country we eventually located a nesting pair near the Mt. Hermon entrance gate.

Black-headed Bunting : Many superb singing males were the at the superb Valley of Tears and the Calandra Lark performed their song and display flight near Tel Shifon. Superb birding in the north.

Whats better, a Black Scrub Robin at Lotan or a Rufous Scrub Robin running around your feet at Samar. I just love these Robins.

Of course the Honey Buzzards that showed eceptionally well at Neot Semadar Sewage Pools as well.

I can't wait to return to this superb birding this country has to offer.

Israel April - May 2018 : Raptors

So I've now been back from Israel a few weeks and been trawling through my many many images and will post a collection of some of my favourites. The main reason for another late April trip was to see the Honey Buzzard passage again in full swing but unfortunately the weather this year meant the Honey's didn't perform to their usual outstanding norm. Still had a few good views plus a couple of hybird Crested x European Honey Buzzards in the mix.