One of a flock of 120 feeding on berries on a large housing estate in
Sheffield South Yorkshire. Memorable also for the scary residents on
the housing estate or maybe we just caught them on a bad day.
4th January 2017
What a pleasant surprise when three were found on a pig farm at Middleton
Stoney in Oxfordshire.They are still rare in Oxfordshire but are now slowly
infiltrating southern England. Long may it continue.
9th January 2017
|Male Rose coloured Starling|
Spent the entire winter in a tiny back garden at Crawley in Sussex, moulting
from juvenile to adult plumage in the process and eventually started singing.
11th January 2017
|Juvenile Pacific Diver|
The North American version of our Black throated Diver and very rare
here.It decided to spend some time on a lake in Northumberland before
flying back to the sea.
22nd January 2017
|Juvenile Glaucous Gull|
One of two hanging around North Shields Fish Quay just down the road from
the Pacific Diver. I lured it in with a large bag of chips. Hang the expense!
22nd January 2017
An arch skulker that after a two hour wait crept out of its marshy home for
all of five minutes on Pinkhill Reserve at Farmoor Reservoir in Oxfordshire
30th January 2017
|Goosander-male and female|
I found these two quietly fishing in the heart of Oxford at the University Parks
12th February 2017
This tiny finch, not a native of Britain, took up temporary residence at
Newhaven Tidemills in Sussex and even began to sing towards the end
of its long stay.
13th February 2017
These appealing waders spend their entire winter on Newhaven East Pier.They
were only a few hundred metres from the Serin so made a nice bonus to my day
beside the seaside.
13th February 2017
A North American vagrant that found itself making landfall on the wrong side
of the Atlantic in Shetland. I and my twitching buddy Clackers made the long
trip north to see it. Thankfully we were successful.
21st February 2017
|Juvenile Iceland Gull|
After seeing the Killdeer we went to Lerwick Harbour and lured this bird in with
a loaf of sliced bread purchased from a nearby shop.
21st February 2017
|Male Ring necked Duck|
A transatlantic vagrant that we twitched on our way back south from Shetland
this time frequenting a small lochan on the mainland at Pitlochry in Perthshire
22nd February 2017
They are usually very shy but for once this bird at Calvert in
Buckinghamshire decided to stand in the open for thirty minutes
We made the most of the opportunity.This pose brings a whole
new slant to the phrase 'pear shaped'!
7th March 2017
They flock in their hundreds every year to a pre breeding assembly
at Hayling Oyster Beds in Hampshire. For me they are one of the
most attractive of gulls with a ghostly white and pale grey plumage
11th March 2017
One of many that gather at RSPB's Otmoor Reserve in Oxfordshire where seed
is put down for them, as well as other finches and buntings, on which to feed on
through the winter months
23rd March 2017
|Male Black Grouse|
Required a middle of the night departure to get to the Berwyn Moutains in Wales
before dawn and to be in place to watch them lekking. It was all over in two hours
3rd April 2017
|Male Yellow Wagtail|
I always look forward to their arrival at Farmoor Reservoir's grassy banks in
the Spring.Their yellow plumage is so bright it almost glows in some lights.
16th April 2017
|Immature Bonaparte's Gull|
Another rare North American species on the wrong side of the pond. It stayed
for a few weeks at Farmoor Reservoir to the delight of one and all as it mugged
Great crested Grebes for fish.
22nd April 2017
This bird spent two days singing in a small park in the dubious surroundings of
Banbury in Oxfordshire. It is a rare bird for the county but they do breed in the
adjacent county of Gloucestershire.
26th April 2017
Everyone loves them and this was one of thousands breeding on the Isle of May
in the Firth of Forth, Scotland.
7th May 2017
|Female Citrine Wagtail|
On our way back from Scotland I stopped to look at this rare vagrant spending
a couple of days feeding in a large muddy puddle at Lynemouth on the coast of
9th May 2017
One of ten species of warblers that can be found on RSPB's Otmoor Reserve
in Spring.This one was singing lustily and without fear in the early morning
and is one of my favourite pictures
30th May 2017
|Male Common Cuckoo|
This bird knew no fear either and would allow close approach as it came
in to a branch baited with mealworms on Thursley Common in Surrey.
Anyone with enough patience was guaranteed superb point blank views
4th June 2017
|Male Common Redstart|
This bird had a nest with young nearby in a silver birch so found the mealworms
a very convenient source of food for its young and entertained us as we awaited
the cuckoo's arrival on Thursley Common
4th June 2017
|Arctic Skua dark morph|
A family visit to Handa Island in Sutherland allowed me to get close up to
a bird I normally only ever see on seawatches as they migrate north to their
breeding grounds. Here it was - now on its breeding ground!
15th June 2017
Probably the commonest of the five hairstreak species in Britain they are still
elusive and well worth making the effort to see.This one was in BBOWT's
Finemere Wood Reserve near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.
25th June 2017
|Silver Spotted Skipper|
One of the latest butterflies to emerge each year. The colony at Aston Rowant NNR
in Oxfordshire is the northernmost colony in Britain where to find this delicate, very
fast flying and sun loving butterfly
17th July 2017
In some years they are prolific in others I hardly see any.This year
was pretty mediocre but this one visited our buddleias for a few days
in Kingham, Oxfordshire
27th July 2017
|Hummingbird Hawk Moth|
I have always wanted to get close enough to photo one and my chance came this
summer as one visited our flowering buddleia bushes in Kingham, Oxfordshire
for a few days in summer.
12th August 2017
Another rare North American wader that after giving us the runaround finally
showed itself exceptionally well on the meanders at Cuckmere Haven in Sussex
5th September 2017
|Juvenile Grey Phalarope|
This bird was part of a small influx into Oxfordshire this autumn, with this one
spending a couple of days at Grimsbury Reservoir, Banbury in Oxfordshire.
12th September 2017
A very showy individual at Wells Woods in Norfolk that brought
a fitting finale to a fantastic day as I saw a Pallas's Grasshopper
Warbler at nearby Burnham Overy earlier the same day.18th September 2017
|Male Greater Scaup|
A less than annual visitor to Farmoor Reservoir this male was still in
eclipse plumage but provided additional interest for birders as it was
present at the same time as the Red necked Phalarope.
21st September 2017
Something of a novelty. This bird was more white than black but otherwise was
no different to all the other hundreds of Coot that were on Farmoor Reservoir at
24th September 2017
Farmoor Reservoir annually plays host to waders on their return
autumn migration from the Arctic and Turnstones are often still
in their very colourful breeding plumage when they arrive here,
as are these two, present for just the one day.
What great views of this shy bird at Hornchurch Country Park in Essex.
For a crake it showed amazingly well before disappearing into the reeds
and sedge after fifteen minutes, not to be seen again that day.
27th September 2017
|Juvenile Long tailed Skua|
Heading to Shetland I stopped off at Goswick Golf Course in Northumberland
to watch this ridiculously confiding bird catching worms on the golf greens and
1st October 2017
|Buff bellied Pipit|
Another rare transatlantic vagrant which, on a quiet birding day in Shetland
caused quite a twitch at Grutness on Mainland
5th October 2017
|Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll|
They are called 'snowballs' and for good reason.Absolutely delighted
to see this bird which showed itself at a small croft at Skaw on the
Island of Unst, Shetland for an hour or so.
6th September 2017
|Olive backed Pipit|
Another displaced migrant from Asia. It was present for just one day hiding in
grass on some waste ground on Unst, Shetland. I love its bubble gum pink legs
7th October 2017
Most of these found in October on Shetland are considered to be
the Asian sub species blythi. This one was skulking in the long
grass at Skaw on Unst, Shetland
8th October 2017
These very much replace the Linnet on Shetland, being the Linnet's close
northern relative.They are always nice to see as they are both uncommon
and rarely seen in southern England.
8th October 2017
|Red flanked Bluetail|
Another vagrant from the East but breeding as close as Finland.This one was
very confiding and gave excellent views and photo opportunities in an isolated
farmyard on Mainland, Shetland.
9th October 2017
A very late bird on the RSPB's Otmoor Reserve in Oxfordshire that really should
have left for its winter home in southern Africa a lot earlier.
30th October 2017
Found at Eastbourne Sussex, these are rare so far south but this bird was totally
fearless of anyone and allowed us exceptionally close views as it swam about
in the marina.
4th December 2017
Every year come a hard frost or snow and Fieldfares descend on our fallen
apples to tide them over the lean times.They are a very beautiful thrush and
always welcome visitors to the garden.