West Sussex

G. away skiing so early start to Farlington Marshes. Very cold, some rain, but mostly bright and clear. Trying out the Canon SX50…

What’s that over there on the grass?
Looks like it’s some Brent Geese…
Yep… Definitely Brents!

A tagged Blackwit…

blackwit_0438 blackwits_0441

A nice bright Greenfinch…



Also of note, a number of RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, and my first CHIFF-CHAFF of the year.

Later to Pucks Cottage, Knutbourne… A nice tagged GREENSHANK…

greenshank_0462 greenshank_0457

In the afternoon a twitched (via birdguides) GREAT GREY SHRIKE, shot at pretty extreme range…

gg_shrike_0469 gg_shrike_0468

and a (too far to photograph) juvenile BLACK-NECKED GREBE. Both at Watersfield, W. Sussex, near Pulbourgh. Went to Pulbourgh Brookes after, but not but much happening, except for more Chiff Chaffs heard, and a Bullfinch “just seen”, but not by me.

Thursley Common

Misty clear cold moring. Couple of Dartford Warblers + Hundred of Fieldfare over and stopping off – very definite vismig, wave after wave.

***GREAT GREY SHRIKE*** – getting mobbed by Redpoll

***WOODLARK*** – crest and eye stripe clearly visible + short tail

IMG_1757_dart_warb IMG_1765_g_g_shrike IMG_1770_g_g_shrike IMG_1775_woodlark



4am start to meet Alan ‘Biggest Twitch’ Davies. Drive to Worlds End (between Llnangollen and Wrexham) for dawn lekking¬†***BLACK GROUSE***. Various leks, on very near road with 5 or 6 grouse. Amazing looking birds doing the full lekking behaviour. Later worked down valley for *Winchat, Cuckoo, redstart, M&F Pied Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, *Garden Warbler, *Siskin, *Grey Wagtail.

Then to Llangollen where ***DIPPER*** easily viewed from bridge. Adult feeding juvenile. Lots of dipping – ‘flys’ underwater in strong current. Also *Mandarin.

Breaskfast back along A5. Feeder at Cafe *Yellowhammer, *Lesser Redpoll, ‘Brown’ or leucistic¬†Chaffinch.

Clacaenog forest area, didn’t find Goshawk, did find ***TREE PIPET*** – bigger, strong eyestripe & wing bar, call distinctive.

To Capel Curig, just south by river ***WOOD WARBLER*** Great clear views. Bigger, bright green, clean white, unmistakable, Beautiful bird. *Common Sandpiper, Pied Flycatcher.

Then to ‘Ogwen Cottage’ along old road in the rain, eventually for ***RINGED OUZEL*** Grass slopes among rocks, bigger than Blackbird otherwise looks and behaves v. similar. Good clear views ending in a flypast.

Long. very tired drive home to London.


IMG_1342_1000Staying in converted church Capel Curig (airbnb) – OK, not amazing, bit weird as family home and they had photographer doing shoot of their daughter in the afternoon and freinds over for dinner party in evening. Location great – ideal for mountain walking some other time.

5am start, Weather v. windy + hard rain.

Caerhun Chruch yard:
Single, female, not seen well (straight-on, light behind, but beak unmistakable)

Great Orme lashing with rain, so on to Aber Falls:
*Redstart / *Wheatear / *Raven / *Mistlethrush / *Willow Warbler / *Cuckoo

Back to Great Orme:
*Jackdaw / *Peregrine / *Chough / *Guillemot / *Cormorant / *Shag / *Razorbill / *Coal Tit

Penychant Nature Reserve (Conwy Mountain):
**PIED FLYCATCHER** – F. seen well in the right kind of woodland / *Chiffchaff

Finished the day with a walk up mountain near Capel Curig