Craigs UK Bird Photos




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W/E 12th Feb...

Posted by meg33 on February 12, 2011 at 2:37 PM Comments comments (0)

12th Feb. The Lakes and Leighton Moss.

Had the day out birding. A good start after only a few hundred yards from the house a very nice Barn Owl. Next stop Waterhead but no sign of the regular Otters....Juv Long-tailed duck still.


Onto Sizergh Castle for 2 lovely Hawfinch, these are always worth a look. Light wasnt great as usual. record shot below.


After a while i decided to make the trip down to Leighton Moss, although it wasnt very productive. highlights were greenshank, Little Egret and a couple of hundred Black-tailed godwit.


Little egret

Black-tailed godwit



Work  Isel Bridge

2 peregrine

2 Buzzad

3 GS Woodpecker



11th Feb Soddy Gap

88 Goosander

1 Oyk

8 Goldeneye

19 Wigeon

9 Tufties.






6th Feb Soggy Soddy

Posted by meg33 on February 6, 2011 at 7:39 AM Comments comments (0)

Pouring with rain yet again but needed to get out. So I got all me water proofs on and had an hour n half around Soddy Gap 

1 Jack Snipe*

1 Common Snipe

1 Grey Heron

3 Meadow Pipit

1 Singing Skylark

26 Goosander*

22 Teal

8 Tufted Duck

11 Goldeneye (Very good Number here!)*

1 Drake Pochard

20 Wigeon

2 Canada Geese.


4th Feb Workington


I was at Workington pier 10am-1130

Counted 263 Cormorant in the inner Harbour, and at the very least another 200 flying South.

Very misty conditions but seemed like hundreds of Guillemots going south, only to come north again. 3 Gannet south and a few Kittiwake's south.

Stumpy the med gull still

A 1st winter med gull at Siddick pond and 7 Whooper Swan.

29th January Cleveland and Durham.

Posted by meg33 on January 30, 2011 at 9:33 AM Comments comments (0)

Decided to have another dig at the Arctic Redpoll over in Durham but decided to leave them till last and get some birding done first.

First stop was Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park for the long staying drake Ring-necked duck..On arriving it was showing well because the pond was 3/4 frozen leaving limited but plenty of space for the good number of wildfowl. Gadwall, Goldeneye Tufties and Pochard were here along with other commoner stuff and the cracking Ring-necked duck...More pics here.

Next Stop was the landfill site where I immediately picked up a first winter Iceland Gull record shot below....


Then a few Argentatus Herring Gulls, including this brute....


From here there was little else so moved around slightly, I checked a group of Gulls in the fields next to the tip, nothing but Herring and GBB Gull but eventually a First winter Glaucous Gull appeared from a dip and flew off towards the tip...Bonus...A quick stop of at .......for a nice group of Common and Grey Seal...

It was now getting on a bit so decided to make my way to Rainton Meadows Hoping to see Arctic Redpoll after dipping a coupe of weeks back.

Arriving on site I was lucky enough to see Snowball the only adult Arctic (coues) Redpoll through someone scope... I got set up looked at the bird for 5 seconds before it flew off......BINGO! I waited around a little longer and a first winter Arctic Redpoll put in a few appearances landing on feeders giving me the opportunity for a couple of Record shots...Id not seen Arctic Redpoll since id found one many many years ago...

Arctic Redpoll with Common Redpoll

The Common/Mealy Redpoll's are always good value, I'm sure there were more Common Redpoll than there were Lesser Redpoll today....

By 1530 id hit my target species so decided to call it a day and bugger off home...Success at last...

Local w/e 28th January

Posted by meg33 on January 30, 2011 at 9:21 AM Comments comments (0)


Soddy gap

2 mute Swan, 11 Wigeon, 19 Teal and 25 Mallard.


Few Red-throated Divers and stumpy the Med gull.

Siddick Ponds

Water rail and good flight views of Bittern, continued to show in thick

cover for 20 min....


Spot the Bittern



Working near Crummock water today when a Green Sandpiper flew over calling. Green Woodpecker Yaffling too.


Working in Borrowdale where I  had 120 pinks going north (27th) and 70+ going north (28th), same flight line roughly same time 9-15am

Work w/e 22nd January

Posted by meg33 on January 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM Comments comments (0)

A fruitful week in the way of year ticks at least. Ive been Walling in the Buttermere valley and Loweswater so its always nice to see Red squirrel's, Marsh tit, flushed a Woodcock, Green Woodpeckers yaffling and some superb Crossbills, including birds in full song.....a Barn Owl flew along the road early one morning.......


Today i visited Knock in East Cumbria for a very elusive Great Grey Shrike, I managed to find this bird a couple of times first thing but after that nothing...A really bad Record Shot below.

Great Grey Shrike 

In Appleby a Nordic type Jackdaw by the River and on the way home near Temple Sowerby on A66 a field full of Geese and Swans. 69 Whoopers,6 Mutes, 5 Pinkfeet and 290 Greylags.

Geese and Swans

Norfolk January

Posted by meg33 on January 18, 2011 at 3:08 PM Comments comments (0)

Day 1

I Left Derbyshire, where id stopped overnight, early this morning only to find hordes of traffic going through Nottingham and then Lorry's everywhere all the way to Norfolk, it had been a horrendous journey. I did pick up 7 waxwing on the A52 however. First stop was Wolfreton for the Golden Pheasant (cough), after giving it 45 min there was no sign, first time id dipped here in a long time. On I went to Thornham Harbour for the Amazing Juv Northern Harrier. I stood here for nearly 3 hours with no luck!!! Oh shit! I did have a flyover Lapland Bunting, Barn Owls and Spotted Redshank and a load of year ticks!!!

Spotted Redshank

So I decided to finish the day off at titchwell and what a smart move that was. The Norther Harrier was showing exceptionally well from here and showed well along side a Hen Harrier giving great Comparisons between the two species. The Northern Harrier was amazingly different, the under-wing especially, very very Rufus. The White Rump seemed to wrap around more so than on the Hen and the hooded appearance was noted. Some say the white rump was brighter but in comparison with the Hen I didn't think there was much difference. Alone I can see why people thought so as the bird was so dark making the white rump look brighter. I could also see from here Pale and Dark Belled Brent Geese

Brent Geese

After my fill of the Harriers I visited Titchwell's new Hide, Its well, problematic at best, the floors wooden and rocks when people walk by, no good if your trying to take pics, looks like something out of star wars and I can see will get very busy and if people don't open the windows then viewing will be difficult. The birds were Good though...8 Shorelark, 50 Twite, Avocets and plenty of Wildfowl


-------                                                                Twite

I managed to find an Adult Med Gull too. Finished the day by watching the Northern Harrier fly over very close to roost in the marsh....

Accommodation I thought may have been a problem but managed to book myself into the Lifeboat inn overlooking Thornham Harbour with a sea view at a Reduced no what's coming!


Day 2

Woke up to hear Tawny Owl and Grey Partridge, finally when it got light I could see a Harrier hunting not far from my accommodation, True to form it was the Northern Harrier, favoring the reed bed viewable from my window, ( yes you new it was coming)The trailing leg was was gonna be a good day. Barn Owl too was floating around.

Spent this morning once again at Titchwell, new species were Female Scaup and Water pipit, I then spent a little time sea watching, which was fairly unproductive, a Great Norther Diver spent a little time on the sea, 3000 or so Common Scoter, with a few Eider and Merganser. A Lapland bunting flew over again and there were plenty of waders on the beach.

On the walk back someone had reported some Waxwings over one of the hides, and as I arrived at the visitor center low and behold I could here 1 calling, the waxwing was sat in one of the trees near to the visitor center but not for very long.

Next I visited Chosley Barn where just 1 Corn Bunting was present.

                                                                  Corn Bunting

Had a look from Burham Overy Staith where someone pointed out a juv Rough legged buzzard, then I found an Adult sat in the bush's WOW! Days just getting better. I spotted another Hen Harrier from here too.

Then onto Wells for the 2 Red headed Smew and a Black Brant.


                                                                   Black Brant


Cley played host to a Drake American Wigeon and wonderfully 3 Bearded tits.

                                                               American Wigeon


 Last stop was to Salthouse car park where the locals were once again feeding the Snow Buntings, I wasn't to be disappointed with around 40 present. Whilst here fly over Ross's and Snow Goose although I fear both escapes, the Ross's Goose was with 6 Barnacle geese and the Snow goose was with Greylags...

Snow Bunting


Actually the day didn't finish there because it was now time to find accommodation again. So Sherringham it was, not before looking over the sea wall to see a Shag and a Purple Sandpiper.


In fact I just ended up booking the Lifeboat Inn again at Thornham, I felt I hadn't had my fill of Northern Harrier yet. After this I spent the evening with fish n chips on the Pier in Cromer.

Cromer Pier


Day 3

I was up and out before light so as to get prime spot for the Harrier, unfortunately today it was just a flyby, but did show well albeit at distant, along with Barn Owl.

Today was the last day and my final target species was the Lesser White Fronted Goose at Cantley Marsh. On the way I stopped to check any Pinkfooted goose flocks until a group flew over the car, I noticed 1 bird was much smaller, on viewing it through bins I could quite easily see it was a  wild Ross's goose or at least its got good credentials....Bonus!

On arriving at Cantley there was news the LW Goose was still present but a 3 mile walk was needed, not before trying to scope it from Burnt house lane, No Such luck...Nice views of 300 odd European White Fronted Geese and a few Bean Geese however.

                                                                   White fronted Geese

3 Chinese Water dear were a bonus and 7 Brown Hare together was nice. After walking the 3 miles or so the Lesser White fronted Goose was showing at 10 miles away or that's how it felt, at least I could see it through the scope. 80 Bean Geese could be seen too and surprisingly a Hooded crow. After my fill of the goose it was time to trudge the 3 mile back and head to Horsey mill for Common Cranes and Stubbs mill for the Crane roost. Nothing at all however they must have been split up and not be using the site tonight, still not the end of the world.. Stubbs mill was still worth the visit just for the 50+ Marsh Harrier's in the air at any one time and another 2 Hen Harriers, 1 this time being a nice Male.

                                                                  Stubbs Mill

Once it was dark it was time to head for home...What a weekend it had been......if I could have got some decent pictures of stuff the weekend would have been PERFECT, but I was just happy at getting all my target species and a load of Year ticks to boot...143 species so far.


Day 4

Once again stopped off at Derbyshire overnight and left early to try to find The 1st winter Red Breasted goose that had been present at Cleveleys near Blackpool, after a good search I gave up and decided to have a look from Pilling lane, this was a favored spot. I scoped a Goose flock on the sand to find the Red Breasted Goose here, although it was a long way away and in pouring rain, but I suppose the idea was just to see the damn thing which I could.....Just!. Finally stopped in at Waterhead Windermere where the Long-tailed duck was still present but no sign of RN Grebe or the smew...



Cumbria. 10th and 1tth January

Posted by meg33 on January 16, 2011 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

10th January

Tried to get to Windermere this morning but the Keswick to Ambleside road was

virtually impassible due to snow, I may have made it there but making it

back may have been different and the police were starting to turn people around.

So visited Bassenthwaite lake but the water was so choppy I couldn't see any wildfowl. 60+ Greenfinch however in trees by the A66 Lay-by.


Next stop was Parton near Whitehaven where i had 1 Fulmar and 1 Kittiwake, couldn't find any purple sands or med gulls


Workington had the Usual Med Gull (stumpy), and 300 Cormorant.


I Visited a couple more sites but nothing of note.


11th January

Managed to get to Windermere and Waterhead today and watched a Red-necked

grebe for 5 min before a boat cruiser past and I never saw it again.

The 1st winter Long-tailed duck was showing well, Good scope views at least.


I then found a nice Red head Smew on the far bank.

Other stuff were goldeneye, Pochard, Little grebe 8, Mute swan, Cormorant

and Mallard.


Finished off at Crosscanonby for high tide. A Few Wigeon and Goosander, But 156

Red-throated Diver, 44 Great crested Grebe and 16 Guillemots.

The water was flat calm which made watching easier.

Ive never seen so many Grey Seal In cumbria they were everywhere, I counted

at least 23 Grey seal and 4 porpoise.

Soddy Gap 9th January

Posted by meg33 on January 9, 2011 at 8:22 AM Comments comments (0)

Now once again Soddy had been frozen solid for weeks now, so id been neglecting it....i realise why again now...

A stroll around the whole site this morning, didn't produce an awful lot.

70 Lesser Redpoll, no mealy's, 30 Siskin and 2 Greenfinch in a mixed flock.

35 Goldfinch

2 Tree sparrow

2 Yellow Hammer

2 Goldcrest

2 Bullfinch

1 Reed Bunting

18 Fieldfare with 5 Redwing.

1 Raven

2 Common buzzard.

 I suppose it was worth it for the year ticks i saw...Raven and Yellowhammer

Durham 8th January

Posted by meg33 on January 9, 2011 at 7:38 AM Comments comments (1)

We had planned to have the day over at Rainton Meadows in Durham looking for the 3 Arctic Redpolls that had been reported the last couple of weeks. On the drive over there i noticed 10 Waxwings in a tree by Wigton Bypass, id found 3 here a few days before. Good Start. When we got to Rainton we heard a couple of birds had been seen but had all flew off. A long  wait produced a Willow Tit, year tick and something id not seen at all last year and a nice selection of Mealys/Common Redpoll, all varying in colours, with some Lessers too. The Arctic was Called a few times as 2 Very Pale mealys were causing some confusion, i think some people went away however ticking Arctics when they were the two Pale Mealys. After some time it was time to call it a day and go look for something else...first dip of the year... here's a pictures of the two pale Mealys being claimed as Arctic and confusing a lot of folk, along with a couple of normal Mealy Redpoll.






Id found out about a couple of Owl sites so before heading home we decided to visit these. I wasn't to be disappointed a nice Long eared Owl showed well and 2 Tawny Owls showed well. Always nice to see so early on in the year. Tawny Owl Below.

------- Long eared Owl below

After a little while we left them in piece and headed for home, OK we missed the target species but all in all not a bad day. 


January 7th Med Gulls..

Posted by meg33 on January 7, 2011 at 12:46 PM Comments comments (0)

Started at Crosscanonby,

8 Sanderling, 4 Bar-tailed godwit, 200+ Goosander and a few Wigeon and Great

crested grebe, just 2 Red throated Divers.

Allonby 32 Sanderling.

Maryport Harbour 1 Rock Pipit.

Flimby rugby pitch adult Med Gull.

Siddick ponds a Different Adult Med gull, 2 Drake Pochard and a Drake Goldeneye.

At Workington Usual very long staying now 3rd Winter Med gull still, been here since its first winter.


2 Shag, loads of Auks, mainly Guillemot with a few Razorbill, 6 Red-Throated diver, 1 Red-Breasted merganser, 2 Rock Pipit. 

Mammals included a few Grey seal not sure how many 3-6? and 2 Porpoise.

5th January Black Grouse.

Posted by meg33 on January 6, 2011 at 1:39 PM Comments comments (0)

So back to work with a bang. A Day in Middleton in teesdale provided the opportunity to go see the Black Grouse at Langdon Beck. On the way to work via Brough a nice selection of birds including Red Grouse and a female Merlin sat on a post. At dinner i went to see the Black Grouse, usually ive seen 20+ birds here but today only 3. Still i only needed to see 1.. Where were the rest though, hope the harsh winter hasn't effected them.

Year list to-date 92.

3rd January Dumfries and Galloway

Posted by meg33 on January 3, 2011 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (0)

There had been a Bewick Swan at Caerlaverock WWT for a few days so i thought id go take a look. On the way here i checked through any geese and swans on the way, nothing special unfortunately. 10 Buzzards on the way were a Bonus. On arriving at WWT i was told the Swan was on the whooper pond so i rushed to go see it. The hide was packed due to the11am feed and the Bewick was no where to be fact it had not been seen at all today.....WWT come on get ya facts straight...

A good selection of ducks however and good numbers of Whooper Swan. Next i took a stroll to the other hides. Things of note were Ring tailed Hen Harrier, Female Merlin, Kestrel, and some Roe Deer, i missed the Peregrine.

I returned to the center and went up the Tower hide, Barnacle geese were in evidence, a Peregrine put in a brief appearance and a Tree sparrow were around the feeders. I gave up with the Bewick Swan and after chatting with a few friends i headed home........

However on the way home i stopped to check a small group of Whoopers, which id checked that morning, just not very carefully. I got the scope out and low and Behold hiding in the long grass 3 Whoopers and the BEWICK beauty!!!!!! Very poor shots sorry, its the bird on the right!


I made a call to Tristan and Chris who were in the area to tell them and a group of Scottish birders turned up. They had been searching for this swan too...everyone arrive and that's when the action Started... A Male Merlin shot across followed by a Male Hen Harrier and a Male Sparrowhawk was seen running through the grass in front of the Swans. All within a few minutes of each other...I saw another bird of prey which looked quiet large but it was brief so dismissed it as probably the Merlin looking big? After half hour it was time to leave.

I got back to Carlisle when i spotted something else, 11 Waxwing in Kingstown Carlisle, in a small Allotment. These showed nicely along with the Blackbirds, Redwing and  Fieldfare. A good finish to the day. Back to Work Tomorrow.




2nd January Sea Watching Crosscanonby

Posted by meg33 on January 3, 2011 at 12:27 PM Comments comments (0)

Seeing as the Lakes are still frozen i thought id have another look on the sea. Today it was much clearer and very calm. The High tide made the birds a bit closer....

236 Goosander

12 Great crested Grebe

2 lone pinks, + 9 North

15 Red throated diver

9 tuftie's

1 goldeneye

Groups of Wigeon and Mallard.


In the afternoon i had a trip to Burgh Marsh near Carlisle to see the long staying Ross's goose. I didn't bother seeing it last year as Origins unknown, however i needed something to do. On arriving there was no sign but after about 3-4 minutes it flew in with a few thousand Barnacle geese. There wasn't anything else in the barnies.


Had a look through the Teal on north Plain Scrape but nothing of note. 1 Brambling however in the fields beside the scrape and a Peregrine sat on a branch on Beach.

On the way home i spotted my first Waxwing of the year (3). These were by the footbridge crossing the bypass Wigton. 

I finished the day at Siddick Ponds hoping for Bittern, there was one clattering around the reeds in front of me but i never got to see it. A Barn Owl and a Water rail were a bonus...

Happy New Year

Posted by meg33 on January 3, 2011 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Well Start of a new Year list, didn't want to rush into things however so started off at Bassenthwate Lake. The far side of Bass lake was unfrozen, by the river so all the Dusk were here..

1 Female Scaup still

1 Male Pintail

Rafts of tuftie's

4 Pochard


Little grebe

50 Goosander

Mute swan



Kestrel and 2 Buzzard


My first bird of the New year However was House Sparrow.

Bou Year list

Posted by meg33 on December 31, 2010 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

My Year list Finishes on a measly 232 but then ive Twitched very little this year, so probably not too bad really.  (not that it matters too much, its the enjoyment of seeing some good stuff and scarce stuff) ;-) Honest