Craigs UK Bird Photos




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20th-21st April Soddy Gap

Posted by meg33 on April 28, 2011 at 4:44 PM Comments comments (1)

Late evening at Soddy Gap proved productive....

1 Green Sandpiper

1 Common Sandpiper, 1st for year.

3 pairs at least Grey Partridge.

4 reeling Groppers

18 Goosander


21st April

Green sandpiper Still,

Common Sandpiper

2 Sedge Warbler, 1st for year. 

3 Gropper.

17th April Cumbria

Posted by meg33 on April 17, 2011 at 7:26 AM Comments comments (0)

Been very busy birding last few weekends so today i did some local Stuff, Id been covering Soddy gap all week but its been quiet. So it was nice to start hearing the Grasshopper Warblers singing again, This time 4 Birds were singing from various parts of the Site with 1 Showing well. A Goldcrest and Wheatear also briefly but not a lot else really.

Next onto Whitehaven where the adult Yellow legged gull was still knocking about.

Finished at St bees. Now it was surprisingly quiet with a dozen or so Wheatear about and 3 Hooded type Crows, 2 Hoodie X and 1 Full Hoodie. Other than that very quiet.. still not a bad mornings work.

16th April Nortumberland Black Scoter

Posted by meg33 on April 17, 2011 at 6:46 AM Comments comments (0)

A quick note to say nice Views of Female Ring Ouzel at Work Today and a Tree pipit flew over Maryport when i was there..2 Year tick's.

Now its Friday and there's an American Black Scoter at Bamburgh in Northumberland, Do i risk going tomorrow or do i make the most of the light nights and go tonight. rach said Tonight and lets stop overnight...What a good decision this would turn out to be...

So by 5pm we were on our way to Northumberland, and by 7-15 we were on site and scanning the Scoter flock from Stag too a few minutes to find but there it is what a cracker...LIFER!!!! It was getting dark so i didn't get time for much else.

Next morning i was awake about 6 so decided to make an early start for better views of the Scoter...this turned out to be a great Decision. At about 730am ish whilst watching the Black Scoter a Bloody White tailed Sea eagle green wing tagged bird came in off the sea and landed a bit further up the coast on the beach WOW WOW WOW. I walked back to the car to drive up and follow it up the coast...a tree pipit flew over. I managed to see the eagle on the deck although distant, it wasn't long before it got up and carried on flying north out of view.

This is it i promise.

After watching this cracking bird, i picked rach up from travel lodge and headed for Holy Island, tide was due in at 12 so we had a quick walk around the west part of the island past the castle including char ends, Just a Whimbrel of any note really... Hundred and Hundreds of Seal mind. Oh also good numbers of Waders..

We then went back to The Black Scoter to see if i could get any pics of the bird... the birds were much further out at high tide and i just couldn't manage anything decent. Other observations were long tailed duck, Eider, Puffin and to complete the set of Scoters 2 Velvet!!! 1 shown below.

Another shot of the Black Scoter Below.

We had Lunch on the beach and watched the Black Scoter for some time in the sun.. wonderful. We then headed home using the coastal road and stopping at various places on the way, Including Cresswell pond where a Colour ringed Avocet, Yellow and White wagtails were showing. After this it was home time... and absolutely superb day....


11th April Leighton Moss

Posted by meg33 on April 12, 2011 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Started off early before work at soddy Gap where my earliest ever Grasshopper warbler was singing, 2 Swallow, 2 Sand martin and 2 Wheatear, Nice start to the day.

Well then work was cancelled at the last minute, and seeing as i was already now at Ambleside i decided id have the day at Leighton Moss. What a day it was... I found out that a Great White egret was around but from the Lower hide...yup furthest one away, so on a i trudged (in the rain), but it was to be worth it as the Great white egret was showing pretty well and i managed to watch the bird for a good while. It even caught a huge Pike and swallowed it whole... you tube Video Here

3 Marsh harrier showed well and attempted to mate, and 4 buzzards put on a good show, with the male Marsh attacking them.


Next was Lillians hide where a Cracking 2nd Summer Med gull was showing well and making a right racket. Vid Here

 After my fill of this bird i nipped to Grisedale hide for drake and female Garganey, although the heat haze was bad and the sun was straight into the hide so viewing was difficult. 2 nice birds though. 2 Sedge Warbler were singing from here too.

 Finally finished at Eric Morecombe hide where i finally found 2 Summer plumaged Spotted Redshank and 3 Ruff, along with 2000 at least Black-tailed Godwit,

 oh nearly Forgot the 20 Avocets. Finishing off nicely with 5 White Wagtails. What a great Day 

Rufous Turtle dove

Posted by meg33 on April 12, 2011 at 11:02 AM Comments comments (0)

Well i finally Succumbed to the long staying Rufous Oriental Turtle Dove, id heard it was to be the last weekend for viewing, (as it was only viewed from Steves Kitchen Window). It wasn't a normal twitch, as it was in the comfort of steves kitchen...and thanks to steve.

Anyway, i Finished work on the Friday and headed to Derby-shire to stop at the folks, dipping Hawfinch at Sizergh on the Way. Next morning i was up n alert by 5am...Rach decided she wasn't coming and pretended to play dead..typical. So on i went on my own and by 7am i was outside steves door in a cue of 3...ooooo nice n quite...Then just by chance Roy From Cumbria turned up too what a small world, it was nice to chat with Roy. Steve opend his door at 7-30am and gave us the important spiel. Between 730 and 830 the bird should appear on cue.....errr nope not on this day...We were starting to panic it was now 9.05. Shit its not coming today BUT then Yes there it was sat in the a Tree, by now the kitchen was full and it was hard to move around. Eventually the bird showed really really nicely and what a stunner, much larger than i imagined probably same size if not bigger that a Collard dove. to accompany the dove were upto 12 Cracking 10-30 we had our fill and the bird was drifting away to neighbours garden and there were only 3 of us left so steve decided it was his breakfast time.well deserved too. So it was time to head off. Pics Here

Not to waste the rest of This stunning day...don't get many ;-) I visited the cracking Reserve Brandon Marsh, if not full of people taking pics of Canada geese and the like...there had been a Spotted Crake around but i was unable to find it. A couple of Nice year ticks in the way of Little ringed plovers.

There wasn't much else bird wise, but a nice grass snake sunning itself on a log and a couple of Brimstone Butterflies... Nice day.

On the way home i nipped into Carsington Water to see if there were many migrants. Only migrant of note was a singing Redstart, a Ruddy duck was nice too. Time for Home...


3rd April St bees

Posted by meg33 on April 3, 2011 at 2:26 PM Comments comments (0)

Brilliant day in west Cumbria, now I don't say that too often

Soddy started poor, with nothing new to add to yesterdays sightings. X2 Willow Warbler


At St Bees, 1 Male Redstart was a great bird to find,, now there not rare but a great record  especially on passage.

8 Wheatear probably more around site.

11 Twite including color ringed bird (red white yellow) was really nice surprise.

i managed to find both a Hooded Crow and a HoodedXCarrion Crow by lighthouse, i think these are both long staying birds, as Ive seen these both many times before although never together, its also possible that the x is its offspring from last year????

A Stonechat was my first of the year and have been very thin on the ground.

8 Puffin and 5 Black Guillemot are always a bonus.

2 Raven were in the area long with 3 Swallow, a possible Painted lady butterfly and a  Rock pipit in lighthouse garden.

Razorbills showed nicely in the sun.

Decided to have dinner at Whitehaven Harbour where there were many more gulls present than on my previous trip including the Adult Yellow Legged Gull still. What a cracker..and the sun was out.

Finished the day at broughton bridge where it was nice to get my first House Martin of the year with 20+ Sand Martin.  

Osprey! 2nd April

Posted by meg33 on April 2, 2011 at 2:47 PM Comments comments (0)

Started off at Soddy Gap

Bit rough this morning but

7 Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler Singing, Willow warbler full week earlier than last year and 2 weeks previous years before that.

Redpoll, 3 Buzzard,1 Raven, 2 Stock Dove  Herring and LBB Gulls, usual wildfowl and a few Skylark.

Then i moved onto Bassenthwaite lake to see if there were any Ospreys about, i wasnt to be disapointed. I Watched a male Osprey fly from the south of Bassenthwaite lake to catch a fish then circle high. Then in the same scope view a Goshawk put on a small display.

Plenty of hirundines high up probably all Sandmartin,, 1 did shine blue in the sun so could have been a Swallow.

Upto 8 Common Buzzard, Red brestend merg, loads of teal, tufted and wigeon but surprisingly NO pochard, 14 Ferel Barnacle, Geese flew over, 250 Cormorant, 1 GG Grebe and a little grebe.


Osprey...well you get the idea.

Ireland and White Winged Scoter

Posted by meg33 on March 30, 2011 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Thanks to Tristan Chris and Especially Derek Charles i was invited over to Ireland for what was a long staying White Winged Scoter (Stejneger's) a first for Ireland with no records from the Uk. It was going to be a Grueling weekend but with great birds and company......

our first stop was to dip the Lesser Scaup in Scotland at Milton loch and then a quick look at Bishop Burn, Good views of Pintail obtained....

On the ferry, Eider, Guillemots, Black Guillemots, Common Scoter and a few Divers, mainly Red-throated.

Derek picked us up after deembarking the ferry to make our first short journey to Co Louth for a Lesser Whitethroat, this was no usual LW however. This was a putative Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat, very rare in uk and ireland. This bird was amazingly visiting a feeder in a birders front garden in the middle of the town of Drogheda and the birder and his wife didnt mind us being there and offed the gang a cuppa and some cake...thanks. The bird appeard briefly on  a couple of occasions whilst we were there. Hooded Crow over and Blackcap were additions to the site.

Record shot of Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat.

It was then onto our grueling 5-6 hour drive to our BnB in Kerry ready for the early start for the Scoter.

Next morning it was onto Rossbeigh for the search for the Stejneger’s Scoter. We checked the favouerd areas but were strugglin... Then super Derek picked up a Female Surf Scoter and within a couple of seconds i was on the bird too...Bonus. We all moved down to the beach again when we picked up the Stejneger’s Scoter in flight landed on the sea and gave us nice scope views for a few minuets. It then headed off back further out to sea. We moved to the cliff road to search for it again, picking up Nordic Jackdaw, Chough and Great Nothern Diver. We did manage to find both scoters again and really scrutinise both scoters...A Brilliant start to the day.

Record shot of Stejneger’s Scoter furthest left.

Record shot of Female Surf scote....just see what it is....

We made our way to Galway but the birds went a little down hill dipping Spoonbill, Black Duck, and Forsters Tern on the way, but getting good views of an Adult Ring billed Gull, the curse has lifted ....

Also Pale Bellied Brents and Great Northern Divers are always great value, loads more Hooded Crows too.

Our last day was a good one again, after breakfast we headed again for nimmos pier as we did last night, but unfortunatly lack of any decent gulls, 10 Sandwich tern were a nice addition. We then headed back towards Norther Island and our Ferry, but not before checking various sites for ducks and gulls. We Got to sligo where we picked up a cracking first Winter Kumliens Gull and a really stricking gull.

We then headed forDrumcliffe for hazy views of a Taverners canada Goose, unfortunatly looking into the sun but worthy views if not MORE CRAP pictures...

Then onto Aghagallon Co.Antrim for a superb Snow goose with Neck ringed Greylags, 4 Pinkfeet a couple of Barnacle geese and some Whooper Swans.

Finally seeing some cracking Ruddy ducks.


Back to the ferry and Home...thanks guys for an enjoyable trip..

24th and 30th March Soddy gap

Posted by meg33 on March 30, 2011 at 10:36 AM Comments comments (0)

30th March Soddy gap

An awful wet day made today very difficult, optics continually wet making searching and photography very hard. A lot of effort for little reward... AGAIN!

Chiffchaff were my first of the year on site, same date as last year, a single Sandmartin was also first this year but a couple of days late...10 Goosander was normal, 18 Tufties,

6 Teal, Redpoll singing, A few gulls including Black headed and Lesser Black back...

I then moved onto Whitehaven Harbour just to check if the Adult Yellow Legged gull was still present, unfortunately it wasn't, there were very few gulls in fact.

Then onto St Bees for 5 Wheatear,

1 Goldcrest was promising, but how wrong could i have been.

Onto the sea and cliffs, 3 Puffin were excellent value and thousands of Guillemots and Razorbills, including Bridled Guillemot.

2 Black Guillemot, Herring Gulls, Jackdaws and Fulmars

Never had a Raven!!!!

Wet through i headed home, at least i get time to update me Blog!


24th March Soddy Gap

1 Pinkfoot with Greylags and Canadas.


 Teal, Goldeneye, Tufted duck, Wigeon and Goosander

2 Buzzard and 30+ Snipe.

Good to see still so many frogs after the hard winter.

23rd March Isel Bridge

Posted by meg33 on March 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM Comments comments (0)

Working at Isel bridge and what a cracking little spot, Highlight was a singing LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GREEN WOODPECKER and the usual GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER....

My first CHIFFCHAFFS of the year (x3) and a Juv COMMON CROSSBILL being fed by parents. A SWALLOW was my earliest ever record i think!




W/e 20th March

Posted by meg33 on March 20, 2011 at 7:04 AM Comments comments (0)

Sorry not updated lately....

20th March Adult Yellow legged Gull

Tristan found an Adult yellow legged gull in Whitehaven Yesterday so decided to have a look this morning before the place got busy. Fortunately it was still present, unfortunately it was p*ssing it down...Rare here in the Spring.


19th March Kielder Water

Today was looking to be a nice clear day so though id try to go see some Goshawk displaying around Kielder Water. By the time we arrived it had gone cloudy but undeterred we walked along the north end Viaduct. We were lucky to see a family of Crossbill from the pines, mum dad and 1 juv. Bad record shot of the juvenile.

And one of the Adults...


Whilst watching the Crossbill a very nice Male Goshawk flew across, giving us a nice closeup view. Buzzards seem to be everywhere and my first Migrant of the spring in the form of a Sand Martin.......

We had lunch in the pub overlooking kielder where i could see a Goshawk dive bombing a Buzzard then a little later from same area another or same showing but distantly. I then managed to read a ring on the Leg of an Oystercatcher, just waiting on results... More Crossbill and Buzzards from here. We saw little else after and headed home.



14th March

I had a day around the solway, but the only highlight for the day was a Drake Green Winged teal at Campfield Marsh. 50+ Sanderling at Crosscanonby. Boooooo.

i did take some shots of a Kestrel.


13th March

Rach n I Decided to have a trip out to Bassenthwaite lake, 275 Cormorant, 2 Drake Red breasted Merg, 3 Goosander, 3 Pairs of Great crested Grebe, all displaying, 10 Feral Barnacle, Plenty of Goldeneye and Tufted Duck.

Then we moved onto Borrowdale but still very quiet. Just 60+ Feral Barnacle Geese feeding in the fields. A Calling Tawny Owl was about the highlight..


12th March

Had a couple hours around Workington Siddick and Soddy, very very quiet, only highlight if you can call it that was the usual Med gull. Looking rather smart now.

W/E March 11th

Posted by meg33 on March 11, 2011 at 9:51 AM Comments comments (0)

Been Working in Derbyshire, on the way down year tick in the form of a Red Kite. Other stuff were nice views of Red Grouse, Buzzard, Raven and some Mountain Hare.




6th March Soddy Gap

Nice morning, birds singing but still nothing special.

1 Shelduck

20 Tufties

23 Lapwing

150+ Pinkfeet North

6 Teal

8 Wigeon

2 Mute swan

15 Canada Geese

2 Greylag

Skylark, Tree Sparrow, Yellow Hammer, Chaffinch all Singing..

Soddy etc

Posted by meg33 on February 27, 2011 at 11:57 AM Comments comments (0)

26th Feb

Soddy gap very quiet again.

22 Teal, 18 Wigeon, 8 Goosander, 6 Tufted duck, 4 Coot and 2 Goldeneye.

Group of 300 Common gull flew over 70 dropped into bath, along came a few larger gulls too 9 Lesser BB Gull, 6 Herring gull, also 17 Black headed gull.

A weird looking Carrion Crow with pure white secondary's but black primaries.

Reed bunting, Tree Sparrow, Skylark

4 Curlew, 17 Lapwing, 3 Oystercatcher.


24th February

Walk along the beach from Maryport to Workington produced  4 adult ~Med gulls on the beach opp Flimby Rugby pitch. 1 had Metal ring but too far away to read.


Also on the Beach a group of Dunlin, Sanderling and 6 Grey Plover.

110 Goosander Siddick ponds


55 Goosander Soddy Gap



Posted by meg33 on February 23, 2011 at 12:06 PM Comments comments (0)

23rd February.

Waterhead Ambleside..very short video of one of the cubs...

W/E 20th Feb Local

Posted by meg33 on February 20, 2011 at 12:04 PM Comments comments (0)

This week i be mainly in Cumbria....


20th Feb

Spent the morning walking around Ennerdale with no reward!


Siddick ponds..

Good views of Bittern and Otter


7 Whooper swan

2 Pochard


Then moved onto Workington

Stumpy the med gull still

Purple Sandpiper.


Finished my day off by walking part of the Coastal walk between Flimby and Workington

50+ Sanderling

150 Curlew with 3 Bar-tailed Godwit

Loads of BH Gulls, few Herring, Greater BB, Lesser BB, Common Gull.


Feb 19th

Spent another day watching the otters at Waterhead near Ambleside. The long-tailed duck was still present.


Feb 13th

Soddy gap early morn...

62 Goosander

8 Tufted duck

16 Teal

1 Pochard

5 Goldeneye

6 Coot

17 Wigeon

2 Mute swan


Siddick ponds

7 Whooper Swan

4 Goldeneye

8 Goosander

Very few gulls.



Didn't spend long here.

Very few Cormorant in Harbour but larger groups going south

Plenty of Guillemots moving

1 Goosander

2 Rock pipit..

Never noticed Stumpy the Med Gull.