That Was the Month That Was

Major life disruptions the past few weeks have kept this blog quiet. Lesser of these have been business trips to Milton Keynes, which have netted regular red kite sightings and bizarrely crossbills over the Stacey Bushes trading estate north of the town.

Then, I’m on the move again – this time back to North Somerset and Clevedon. I’ve had it with sharing for a while, so I’m forking out for Continue reading

The Drought Bird

Steven's Creek
Steven’s Creek in Cupertino © Gordon Shukwit

Being unable to identify California species didn’t stop me from having a stab, with embarrassing results sometimes. After a visit to Stevens Creek on April 26th, 2001 I posted:

“Near the start of the Lookout Trail this evening a very rich song came from within a tree. I can’t begin to describe it but it was way beyond anything I was expecting. I couldn’t trace the bird and then the song stopped. On starting to walk past, I noticed Continue reading

Southern Grey Shrike, Tenerife

Teide from El Fraile
Teide from El Fraile

In preparing for my Peru trip, I’ve discovered another lifer to take me up to 1,091, but not the American species you might think. It turns out that the shrike I saw at El Fraile in the Canary Islands was not great grey (Lanius excubitor) as my Collins suggested but at the very least L. meridionalis.

I say this because there’s doubt about whether the species is even this Iberian version of our northern bird. Some would split the complex further into Continue reading

Barn Swallow, New Cut

Not exactly the Bristol mega I’d previously posted but yesterday afternoon’s bird became my 50th species for the patch. It’s hard to imagine where swallows might be breeding around here and, given their propensity for two or three broods, they’re not likely to be migrating back yet: even the swifts are still present. Flying over the western end of the New Cut put this bird close to Ashton Court which I suppose may be the right habitat for bringing up youngsters.

Another highlight was an uncommon Continue reading

Normandy Marsh, Lymington

If coming in by train, don’t bother travelling on to the end of the line at Lymington Quay. Stop at the Town station and try to hug the left bank of the river, heading south. A detour into the High Street will be worthwhile to pick up water and other comestibles; otherwise you’re at the mercy of the mercenaries that follow.

You’ll then pass acres of marina, which have gobbled up the original habitat in the pursuit of Continue reading