Wednesday 31 December 2014

Oooops on the Sunbirds

I had forgot about this superb looking bird the Scarlet-Chested Sunbird that I saw and photographed , so that makes it seven seen and six photographed !

Silly me lol

Scarlet-Chested Sunbird ( Chalcomitra senegalensis )

A very Happy New Year to all of my readers from the King & I


Some of the most spectacular birds to see in the Gambia were the Sunbirds and I was lucky enough to see six of them and I managed to photograph these five  , my guide told me that the hardest one to see was the Green-Headed Sunbird so I was very pleased to get a shot of one , the only one that I did`nt manage to get a shot of was the Brown Sunbird .

Beautiful Sunbird ( Cinnyris pulchellus )

Green-Headed Sunbird ( Cyanomitra verticalis )

Variable Sunbird ( Cinnyris venustus )

Splendid Sunbird ( Cinnyris coccinigastrus )

Copper Sunbird ( Cinnyris cupreus )

Sunday 28 December 2014

Black Brant

An hour spent at Darts Farm this morning got me 300+ Dark Bellied Brent Goose and in with them again was there American cousin the Black Brant that showed quite well at times , also seen were 2 Egyptian Geese , 50+ Northern Lapwing , a Common Kingfisher , 2 Mistle Thrush and a Common Raven .
There was no sign of any of the Penduline Tits in the reed bed today but four Common Chiffchaff showed quite well !

Black Brant ( Branta bernicla nigricans ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Gambia Revisited

Here are some pictures of the three species of Parrot that you can see in Gambia , with the much sought after Brown-Necked Parrot the hardest one to see , the other two showed quite regular with the smart looking Senegal Parrot seen most days along with the Rose-ringed Parakeet the bird that has now taken over the parks around London !

A very Merry Christmas to all of my readers !

Rose-ringed Parakeet ( Psittacula krameri )

Senegal Parrot ( Poicephalus senegalus )

Brown-Necked Parrot ( Poicephalus robustus )

Monday 22 December 2014

Woodpeckers of Gambia

Now I have to admit that Woodpeckers are my favourite specie of birds !! and I had my fingers crossed of seeing as many of the eight different one`s that I could maybe see in Gambia while I was there , but as it turned out I only managed to see three of them ! with the Grey Woodpecker being the most common , the diminutive Cardinal Woodpecker and the very hard to see let alone photograph Buff-Spotted Woodpecker as they are always deep in the forest , so in the end I was quite pleased with what I saw .

Cardinal Woodpecker ( Dendropicos fusescens )

Grey Woodpecker ( Dendropicos goertae )

Buff-Spotted Woodpecker ( Campethera nivosa )

Sunday 21 December 2014

Water Rail

Another early morning look at the Clyst Estuary got me numerous Common Redshank , 2 Spotted Redshank , 1 Common Greenshank , 20+Dunlin , 2 Grey Plover and a single Pied Avocet and on Bowling Green Marsh there were 3 Water Rail with one of the showing quite well just inside of the gate that leads to the viewing platform .

Water Rail . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Saturday 20 December 2014

Spotted Redshank

A look from the hide at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham this morning got me numerous Eurasian Wigeon and Northern Shoveler , 20+ Common Teal , 3 Gadwall and 3 male Northern Pintail , I then walked down to the viewing platform and just inside the gate I came across a Water Rail , I then had a look from the viewing platform at the Clyst Estuary but the only bird seen of any note was this winter plumaged Spotted Redshank .

Spotted Redshank ( Tringa erythropus ) . The Clyst Estuary . Topsham . Devon

Thursday 18 December 2014

Great Grey Shrike

This morning I had another look around Darts Farm in Topsham but there was not a lot showing today , with 200-300 Dark Bellied Brent Geese and in with them were 2 Pale Bellied Brent Geese  , but no sign of the Black Brant today , a juvenile Peregrine Falcon flew through putting them all to flight towards the Exe Estuary, a Eurasian Sparrowhawk then dashed in and grabbed a finch from the feeders and flew off again with its dinner , Common Kingfisher put in an appearance as did a pair of Common Stonechat and a European Green Woodpecker but that was about it for today .
Later in the afternoon I went up to Aylesbeare Common to look for the Great Grey Shrike that has been covering a large area of commons and was lucky enough to find it sat out in the open for a short while .. so not to bad a day !

So sad to hear about the death of local birder John Woodland who I have had the pleasure to have known for many years , he was always there to give you help when needed and a true gentleman ...R I P John !

Great Grey Shrike ( Lanius excubitor ) . Aylesbeare Common . Devon

Tuesday 16 December 2014


Four of us made a trip up to Somerset today to try and see the birds around Breen Down , with our first stop being at Breen Down Farm to look for some reported Twite a bird that is not seen very easy in the South West of Britain , and we were lucky enough to see four of them and I managed to get this shot of one showing the nice pink rump , I know its not a great shot but it is the first time that I have managed to photograph one making it 813 different birds photographed in the world so it was great day for me !
Out on the Axe Estuary Saltmarsh 3 Short-Eared Owl`s were nice birds for the day and also seen in the area were Peregrine Falcon , Eurasian Sparrowhawk and a female Western Marsh Harrier and as we were walking back to the car a smart Black Redstart was showing around the houses in Breen Down Cove .

Twite ( Carduelis flavirostris ) . Breen Down Farm . Somerset

Short-Eared Owl ( Asio flammeus ) . The Axe Estuary Saltmarsh . Somerset

Black Redstart ( Phoenicurus ochruros ) . Breen Down Cove . Somerset

Monday 15 December 2014

Lucky me !!

I heard news today that there was some Penduline Tits showing on Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham so I decided to go and look for them but on the way I decided to have a look at Darts Farm because it looks very good for them there also , and as I was walking towards the hide I saw some movement in the reed mace and on closer inspection I found an Adult and two Juvenile Penduline Tit`s , I fired off a few shots and put the news out on them but the birds were only on show for 25 minutes and then flew off high towards the Exe Estuary .
Also seen today was the Black Brant that was in with a large flock of Dark Bellied Brent Geese and 3 Pale Bellied Brent Geese , 2 Common Chiffchaff , a Siberian Chiffchaff , 2 Common Stonechat and a Common Kingfisher , so not a bad days birding !!

Peduline Tit ( Adult ) ( Remiz pendulinus ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Penduline Tit ( Juvenile ) ( Remiz pendulinus ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Common Chiffchaff ( Phylloscopus collybita ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Stork Photo`s

Just a few Stork photo`s from my Gambian trip , the Woolly-Necked Stork and the Yellow-Billed Stork are native to the Gambia but White Stork is a vagrant and only usually seen in small numbers !
But the day that we crossed the River Gambia and went further up river towards the Kaur wetlands for the Egyptian Plover we came across an amazing site of well over 200 White Storks we stopped the car and just watched them flying over our heads , my guide Sainey Barry then phoned up all the other guides to put the news out of this rare site in the Gambia .

Yellow-Billed Stork ( Mycteria ibis )

White Stork ( Ciconia ciconia )

Woolly-Necked Stork ( Ciconia episcopus )