Twitchers Revisited


Snipe are very common residents here and breed in huge numbers. Their numbers are further enhanced at this time of year with passage migrants. They’re in practically every bit of boggy ground and there’s a lot of boggy ground!

A very wet individual from today’s curtailed birding effort. V. windy and heavy rain


Indeed, there are always frequent sightings on passage and always good to see!


Today’s jaunt revealed lots of new birds in. Fieldfare finally arrived, in large numbers along with some decent flocks of Brambling and many other common migrants.

The best find was three Black Redstarts, amazingly all in the same place. One 1st Winter Male, 1 Female and one Adult Male.

The birds were very flighty and getting close for pics was nigh on impossible, but here’s a couple of record shots.


Adult Male


Here’s a rather better shot of an adult male that I took in the Atlas mountains in Morocco in 2006


Still lots of common migrants around today and a Woodcock, which was the first one I’ve sen on here.

Immature Great Northern Diver in the bay at Houbie this morning


Nice couple of garden birds today

Black Redstart (diferent bird to the 3 others I saw elsewhere on 24th)

and, yet another Yellow-Browed Warbler


But, the scarcest bird I found today was…

Wood Pigeon! Only the second one I’ve seen since moving here


Been following some ‘tagged’ cuckoos on their migration route to Africa.

Cuckoo ‘Peckham’ has just covered a remarkable 1000 miles south, across the Sahara in 50 hours. Nearly 500 miles per day!


No quite Astra speed,but a plucky effort


Today’s effort was hard work. Strong North-Westerlies overnight seem to have cleared out most of the common migrants from yesterday. Fields that held large flocks of Brambling and Chaffinch are now all but bare. Even Redwing numbers are well down on the last few days.

A couple of arrivals from the North seem to have settled - Barnacle Geese - not common here, by any means

Everything else seemed to be taking shelter from 50mph Westerlies. Even the Starlings were hiding.

Very common breeding birds here, but slightly different to the mainland birds. These are ‘Shetland’ Starling (sub-species - zetlandicus)


Call me picky, but shouldn’t some part of this bird, even if it was just a very small part, be either black or red ?



This is a first winter male, so not yet black, but will be by spring, ready for the breeding season. The red bit is the tail, which you can just about make out in my crappy picture. Red start - start being an old word meaning tail.


Starlings do get about a bit. They’re noisy, gregarious and fab.


One got down our chimney once. That was about as far from ‘fab’ as it’s possible to be. To be fair the bird didn’t seem exactly pleased about it either.



I love starlings - real characters. We had one that got the neighbours phone tone to perfection and made her life a misery. Priceless.


A Brilliant Starling

taken in Tanzania


Despite decreasing numbers in the last couple of days, still a lot of Redwings about

plenty of Twite too


Some great images here


Hard work today. Very cold NNW wind has cleared all but the Winter residents out. Purple Sandpiper was a nice little find, although they’re by no means scarce in Winter.

Ringed Plovers still here in decent numbers

and the ubiquitous resident Hooded Crows

With these winds, I would expect to see Snow Buntings tomorrow :crossed_fingers:


Looks like autumn migration is all but over. That’s not to say that something rare won’t turn up, but migration in general seems to have dwindled to practically nothing.

The Northerlies didn’t bring in the expected influx of Snow Buntings, but there’s plenty of time for them yet. I did find a Lapland Bunting, unfortunately too far away for a meaningful pic.

So, it’s mainly winter residents left. Huge wintering flocks of Golden Plover are particularly nice to see, but they’ve all lost their black breasts that make them so attractive in Spring/Summer. Here’s just a couple of them