30 July 2013

Back to the bumbles

 This one is called David,...

... and this one is called Lloyd.

David,... Lloyd. You can all see what I did there. Well done me.

29 July 2013


Loads of bumblebees out front at the mo, including a couple this evening that looked like this. Not a particularly elongated face,...

 ... a longish tongue, basically buff and black,...

... and really diddy with a gingery tail. I assume these are old (washed-out/knackered) Bombus pratorum workers, but if someone would like to confirm or deny feel free to leave a comment.

28 July 2013

Not so white

"Shocking to see Shasta devoid of snow...guess that it is just another cinder block mountain, after all." ~ Debbie Viess via CALBIRDS
Mount Shasta (aka 'White Mountain'), northern California, June 2008. Sounds like it looks very different this year.

23 July 2013

Pushing the envelope

My new 'Most-favouritist-shot-of-a-twitch-that-I've-taken-EVER!'

It took ages to find a close Narky Tern with its head at exactly the right angle but, if you squint, you can make out, reflected in this birds eye, a line of olive-clad, socially dubious funksters soaking up the Bridled Tern (you may have to click on the picture for the full-size version).  Unfortunately, the time and Herculean effort necessary to conceive and realise this artistic masterpiece meant I missed out when the Bridled performed its most adjacent flypast; stuck with a lens at its closest focusing distance, I totally missed the shot so efficiently bagged by TC (see yesterday's post). 

PS. Up until this point my 'Most-favouritist-shot-of-a-twitch-that-I've-taken-EVER!' was that seen here.

22 July 2013

To the open arms of the sea

Popped up to Northumberland, pootled out to the Farnes and, after an interminable wait, lasting something approaching a whole 15 British minutes, slipped Bridled onto my 'Birds I have seen' list. And there it will reside, rattling about between Sooty and Little until Grey-backed/Spectacled and Aleutian can be wedged alongside.

Bridled beauty (image courtesy of Thomas Chinnick Photography Ltd), I missed this shot buggering about with narky terns (more of which tomorrow). 

The bird hung around for the next two and a half hours, mostly loafing on the foreshore with its Roseate, Common, Sandwich and Arctic cousins.  Given the surroundings and avian company, it seemed rude to cut and run after a Rock Thrush and flog ourselves silly up to Aberdeenshire and back,... so we didn't.  And, as so often happens, the Moirai rewarded restraint in the face of temptation with a little gift,... the sighting of the day, if not year,...


Robson Green, presumably ecstatic having successfully bagged the Bridled Tern (once again, image courtesy of Thomas Chinnick Photography Ltd). Did you know that Robson & Jerome's 1995 version of 'Unchained Melody' sold 1.86 million copies and is the 9th biggest selling UK single of all time. It sold more records than John Lennon's 'Imagine'. Chicken. Oriental. 

  Unbridled Guillemot, a bit like a northern penguin but more likely to be covered in polyisobutene than chocolate.

11 July 2013

Illegal trapping of birds (part 3)

Have been waiting for the information to be uploaded to the Gwent Police website to blog about this,...

On Monday another instance of illegal bird trapping was discovered at the Newport Wetlands.  A number of dead birds were found in a net erected at the eastern end of the Uskmouth reedbeds near the end of Farmfield Lane (from which the fetid little souls who did this probably gained access). This is an almost identical location to the illegally erected net found in November 2009 (as mentioned here) and surely suggests the same self-interested, ignorant turds are involved.

The following is taken verbatim from the Gwent Police website on which there are also a number of photographs (see here), if anyone has seen anything suspicious, please take the time to report it.

Appeal for information - illegal trapping of wild birds

We are appealing for information following the discovery of illegally erected ‘mist nets’ at Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve. The nets are used to catch birds such as Finches, which are then sold on. Other birds which become trapped in the nets are sometimes left to die.

Tom Dalrymple of Natural Resources Wales, who own and manage the reserve in partnership with Newport City Council and RSPB Cymru said: "It's very sad that these illegal trappers, not only attempt to take birds from the wild, but appear to have left some birds to die slowly in the net".

Anyone with any information about the nets, or who may have seen anything suspicious at Newport Wetlands in the last week is asked to ring Gwent Police by calling 101 quoting Log 272 08/07/13.

NB. The Goldcliff Ringing Group operate on the Newport Wetlands Reserve as part of the BTO Ringing Scheme but are friendly, approachable chaps (well mostly) and, should you see their nets set, will always be close by and happy to explain what is going on. However, there are stolen or otherwise nefariously obtained mist-nets in circulation (e.g. see here for a semi-local case of net theft) so keep 'em peeled and, if you see anything suspicious, please report it ASAP.

10 July 2013


The shiny shiny Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splllllllendens

05 July 2013

"Beyond this all had been chaos"

Another week of nightly ramblings,... all the usual birds plus Glow-worms and, during daylight hours, Silver-studded Blues, Keeled Skimmers, Water Vole, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Pre-dawn, dew and, where moments before there had been nothing but whirling whirring blackness, the renowned heath. In the middle distance prime nuggle habitat.

A member of the many tribes of roaming therianthropes.