Sunday, 20 November 2011

Thieving Basta*ds!!

Well getting home on Thursday I found out that my home had been burgled!!
The bastards took 2 computers, smashed my tv and ripped my leather sofa. So at the present my updates will be limited due to no computers!...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Saxons are coming!?!...AEH1 Black-headed Gull @ WCPS last week!

Last week I got some better shots of the Yellow colour ringed Black-headed Gull (AEH1) in the car park at Watermead CP South, but due to me having Man flu last week, this first time I have been able to post the photos!
The bird was rung in  Leese/Stolzenau, Kreis Nienburg, Niedersachsen, Germany, which is in Lower Saxony and had migrated 690km west.

Here is a link of were the Gull was rung:,+Kreis+Nienburg,+Niedersachsen,+Germany&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=4p_DTpaUKIO78gOdgc2VCw&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=3&ved=0CBcQ_AUoAg

Yasmin - 'Finish Line' (Freemasons Pegasus Club Mix)

Monday, 7 November 2011

Just like Buses!?! Another Caspian Gull@ Watermead CP South!!

Record shot of the Adult Caspian Gull!

With a couple of hours spare yesterday morning I nipped over to Watermead CP South as usual to check the gulls.
I have noticed over the last few weeks that for some reason the gulls numbers increase over the weekend. It's probably due to most of  the tips closed and plenty of food around the car park!?
Well checking the main island I noticed straight away that it had another Adult Caspian Gull on it!!
This was the third sighting of a Caspian Gull in just over a week, so I have now found the second, third and fourth record for the city.
With it still being a description species for VC55, I took a few record shots of the bird from the nearby shoreline and let a few people know of the sighting.
Looking at the Casper I thought it looked very much like the bird I had found the previous year, so it maybe a returning bird?
With Caspian and Yellow-legged Gull now firmly ticked off on the city list it would be nice if we could now have a Med Gull or even something more rarer like a Bonaparte's Gull?... he's hoping!
Adult Caspian Gull@Watermead CP South again!

FAITHLESS - Not Going Home (Eric Prydz Remix) [CD Rip]

Pet Shop Boys Paninaro Original HD

Classic track from the late 80's!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Another colour-ringed Gull@ WCPS

Here is a couple shots of another colour ringed Gull, Juvenile Herring Gull (H7C7) which has been around the country park for the last few weeks. I finally got to read the code on the ring a couple of days ago and it looks like the Herring Gull was ringed in Germany and possible on the famous Helgoland island!?!
I will update you more info on the Herring Gull when I get it...

Another Casper at WCPS!

Ok you wait years for one to turn up and then you have two turn up in a week! What are talking about Dave?... Well yesterday after finishing the early shift at the General I was down again at Watermead CP South to check on the Gulls in the car park and to see if any large Gulls were on the island.
Not much in the car park except for courting Asian couples, the odd dope smoker and the long staying V028 and JAN4 ringed Black-headed Heads!
On the main island I noticed a good number of Lesser Black-backed GullsHerring Gulls and what looked like a 1st winter Caspian Gull!?!
Well to cut a long story short, I took a few shots of the bird and when I got home I did a bit of research on the net. Please see the photos attached: Comments are welcome on the ID of the bird!

1st Winter Caspian Gull on the main island@ Watermead!
1st Winter Caspian Gull@Watermead CP South (on the left)
The casper is the one next to the goose!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Faithless - Insomnia (Monster Mix)

This is for all the people who couldn't sleep last night minus the fact the clocks went back a hour!!

Colour-ringed Gulls @ Watermead CP South.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been recording the number of colour ringed Gulls at Watermead CP South car park. 
As of yesterday I had found at least seven birds which included six Black-headed Gulls and a Juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull.
The Black-headed Gulls numbers were: JAN4 white (from Norway), VO28 red AND V192 red (from Denmark), N322yellow (from Spain), AEH1yellow (from Germany?), E4HM white (from Holland?).
The Lesser BB Gull has been a bit more difficult due to the fact that I have only seen it on the island at Watermead CP South and I cannot read the number on the red ring but it looks like 1YMH?!
So as it's now the Gull season, hopefully I will find more discoveries in the next few months...
Black-headed Gull: V192 (from Denmark).
Black-headed Gull: V028 (from Denmark).
Black-headed Gull: N322 (from Spain).

Monday, 24 October 2011

City Challenge update: Get In 125 species!!

Following on with the sighting of the Caspian Gull @ Watermead CP South yesterday, more birds were added to my city year list over the last week. These came in form of a calling Water Rails in the reed bed near the mammoth viewpoint. Up to three Crossbills calling over the mammoth on the 20th and 22nd, two Yellow-legged Gulls (Fourth-winter bird and an adult) on the main lake and of course the Caspian Gull yesterday!
With these sightings I am now on 125 species for the city boundaries!?! 

Casper3 WCPS 231011

Casper3 WCPS 231011 by davidearlgray
Casper3 WCPS 231011, a photo by davidearlgray on Flickr.

Another shot of the Casper @Watermead CP South. This is only the second record for the city!

Casper1 WCPS 231011

Casper1 WCPS 231011 by davidearlgray
Casper1 WCPS 231011, a photo by davidearlgray on Flickr.

Here is a shot of the adult Caspian Gull I found @Watermead CP South yesterday.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

City Challenge update: 121 species!!

Back from Shetland and over the last week I have been vis-migging from the Mammoth viewpoint at Watermead CP South.
The highlights and additions to the city list have included Golden Plover, Brambling and best of all a Rock Pipit which has hung around the park for last few days. So my total has now broken through the 120 mark and is currently on 121 species for the city!
Full details of the vis-migging from  the mammoth can be view here:

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Nights, Shetland and city list!

Ok sorry for the slow updates on the bird sightings but i'm currently on nights at the general hospital!
Any way I'm off to Shetland for nine days this weekend, and if we find anything good I will try and put the news out ASAP!? This year I will be staying at Cunningsburgh with Mr Green, Mr Hagley and Mr Potts and this year we will be ringing in the garden! (The target species this year will be Yellow-browed Warbler in the hand).
Also thanks to Mark Skev for letting me know that I had forgotten to include 3 species on my city list. So now my city list stands at 117 species. The latest bird to be put on the list was a brief Turtle Dove over Watermead CP South whilst vis-migging from the Mammoth with Mr Hague on the 18th.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Stone Roses - Fools Gold

Nightmares On Wax - Finer (Alex Gopher Mix)

Faithless - Feelin' Good feat. Dido

Vis-migging from the Mammoth this morning!

Following a report from Spurn bird observatory yesterday evening of 20,000+ Meadow Pipits migrating south!! I was up at the Mammoth viewpoint, Watermead CP South from 7.00am.
Well over the two hours I was at the viewpoint I had a good movement of Meadow Pipits(182 birds),Swallows and Martins. However the highlight of the early morning was of 2 Common Swifts slowly drifting south around 8.00am!
The full count can be seen at:

Monday, 12 September 2011

Photos of the Juvenile Arctic Tern at WCPS.

Here is a few photos of the Juvenile Arctic Tern at Watermead CP South.

City Challenge update and Arctic Terns!

Over the last week I have added another species for the City year list in the form of two sightings of a couple of Ravens (113) over Watermead CP South and Birstall Meadows.
Other birds of note over the last week at Watermead have included two twitchable Arctic Terns (Adult and Juvenile) and a brief flock of 7 Ruffs on the island yesterday (These birds were later relocated on the Rectory marsh at Cossington Meadows LRWT).
With the weather looking good for Seabirds over the next few days I will try and check the Soar Valleys sites on a regular basis hoping for a sighting of a Sabine's Gull or even a Skua sp!?
 Photos of the Adult Arctic Tern!

And finally I am counting down the days until my annual trip to Shetland (19days from today!), and this year I will be staying in Cunningsburgh.

Monday, 29 August 2011

City Challenge update: 112 species!!

A quick update on the city challenge over the weekend. I added two species for the list in the form of Tawny Owl calling near my garden by Western Park on Friday/Saturday night. Then seeing a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker fly-by at again Western Park whilst waiting for Colin Green to pick up to go to London to see the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley!!

Asterix in Britain - Rugby Match (legendado PT)

More from Asterix in Britain! Love this part!

The Roman Invasion & Tea!!!!

From the film: Asterix in Britain!
Love this!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Wales vs New Zealand Haka and Response (whole video)

Although the Rugby World Cup is only a month away and New Zealand are the bookies favourites, here is one of the best responses I have every see to the Haka!
Viva Cymru!!!

City Challenge update: 110 target passed! + a bit of vis-migging.

Well yesterday I hit my target of 110 species in the city. The bird to pass the target was a Spotted Flycatcher at Watermead CP South! Cheers to Ken and Dave for finding it.
Earlier in the morning myself and John Hague had another session of vis-migging from the mammoth. Although it was pretty quiet movement wise, we did record Yellow Wagtail, Hobby, 2 Little Egrets and small numbers of Swallows, Martins and Swifts moving through the valley.

Monday, 1 August 2011

City Challenge update: Dunlin and Black Tern!

Juvenile Black Tern at Watermead CP Birstall (also seen at WCPS earlier!)
Over the last week I have increased my city year list by two in the form of a Juvenile Black Tern at Watermead CP South and a Dunlin yesterday at the same site. My city list is now 109 species and just one off my target of 110. Over the coming weeks and the vis-migging season starting yesterday I'm hoping for a few more ticks from the mammoth viewpoint!

Ps: Also it looks like I might be getting back my stolen scope and tripod sooner than later, as the stupid girl tried to sell it on ebay and it is now in the hands of the local police!! 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Mull of Galloway RSPB

Here is a few photos of the Mull of Galloway RSPB on a lovely sunny day!
Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

                Mull of Galloway fog horn (Good for looking for  Black Guilemots and Puffins!)
Mull of Galloway headland looking towards Luce Bay!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Dumfries and Galloway trip

Just over a week ago I was in Dumfries and Galloway visiting my brother Tim's family and enjoying the scenery of this very under rated part of Scotland.
The village me and my dad were based at was Garlieston, famous for building the Mulberry Harbours for the D-Day landing in WW2 and my brother house/shop is in Whithorn, famous for the location of the cult British Horror movie "The Wicker Man"
Wildlife highlights over the week included seeing Minke Whales and the usual seabirds (Black Guilemots,Puffins,Guilemots,Kittewakes etc...) off Mull of Galloway RSPB
A wild Osprey over the Silver Flowe NNR whilst looking for Azure Hawker! and british butterfly ticks in the form of Scotch Argus, Large Heath and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary at Cairnsmore of Fleet NNR and Silver Flows.
It was also nice to see breeding Pied Flycatchers and Wood Warblers at Wood of Cree RSPB
So if you have the chance to go to Dumfries and Galloway, I would go as the wildlife and culture of the place is great!

Knapweed Broomrape in Leicestershire!

Knapweed Broomrape
1st for Leicestershire!
Cheers to Mark Skevington for finding these plants at Narborough Bog last week.
Although these Broomrapes do occur at a few sites in Rutland, this is a MEGA plant for Leicestershire (1st record?).
Knapweed Broomrape

Saturday, 9 July 2011

City Challenge update: Black-tailed Godwits

Day off from work yesterday and I checked out a few sites in Rutland for some orchids and unusual flowers for most of the day (See the next post).
However in the evening I found 6 Black-tailed Godwits feeding at Birstall Meadows!GET IN!!another tick for the city list. With these birds I am now on 106 for the year.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Hybrid Orchid in NW Leicestershire!

I'm currently in Scotland spending a week in Dumfries and Galloway! But here is a couple of photos of a hybrid orchid I found in NW Leicestershire.
Any suggestions of the parentage of the orchid would be welcome!
Hybrid Orchid (Southern Marsh Orchid x ?)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Stolen Kowa Scope!

Just before my mapa course (work related) yesterday I found out that my Citroen C2 Loeb had been broken into and found that my TomTom Sat Nav, Kowa 773 scope, Manfrotto tripod with a Gitzo head and North Face coat had been stolen.
Pissed off was putting it lightly!!
So if you are offered a newish Kowa 773 angled scope with a 30x wide-angle eyepiece can you contact me or Leicestershire Police.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Bee Orchids in NE Leics

Check out one of my favourite orchid sites in Leicestershire over the weekend and found good numbers of Bee Orchids and the rare form Var. chlorantha in the usual place. I also found at least 20+ Pyramidal Orchids but these plants were still in bud.
Bee Orchid
I will be keeping an eye on this site for the next couple of weeks and will probably do a proper count of the Bee Orchids next weekend.
 "Var.chlorantha" Bee Orchid

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Fecking White Throated Robin OMFL! GET IN!!

As the words say above, White-throated Robin on my fucking list!! Yesterday in the company of Neil Hagley and Allen Pocock we twitched the Robin which had been found the previous day at Hartlepool Headland.
Leaving Leicester just after 5.45am, it wasn't long when the magic words came over my birdnet twitter feed that the bird was still there! So the wacky races began as travelled up to Hartlepool.
I did suggest some breakfast, but wise words from Allen and Neil postponed this idea,until of course we saw the bird.
Arriving at Hartlepool just after 8.00am, within a only a couple minutes we had ticked the Robin in the smaller bowling green as feed on a variety of insects. At the same time we met up with the Pie Man AKA Mark Reeder  who had just arrived via Spain and not much sleep!
Over the next hour the Robin moved between the Bowling Greens and the famous Doctor's garden.
With the garden open to the twitching masses for a small fee, it wasn't long before the Robin performed for the masses as it feed on the lawn.
As the Robin was quite mobile, it was a nightmare to digiscope but I did get a couple of shots via Mark's Nikon DSLR.
At about the same time, a supposed Sun newspaper photographer took a photo of the twitching crowd in the garden and if you click on the link: you can see me in the bottom photo with Mark Reeder next to the birder in bike leathers!!
With everybody happy with the crippling views, a quick seawatch off the headland and a visit to the new Saltholme RSPB reserve for a sleeping Spoonbill, we got back to Leicester just after 3.30pm.

With tiredness getting the better of me, I had a quick power nap and then off to twitch the Savi's Warbler at Rutty with Allen and Ben Croxtall, but hey that another story.....

White-throated Robin Hartlepool Headland via Mark Reeder's camera!!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Leicestershire Orchids: Frog Orchids

Frog Orchid
Here is a couple of photos of the six Frog Orchids I found last Friday at Merry's Meadows LRWT.
Frog Orchid

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

City challenge update: Hobby and a Collared Flycatcher OMFL!

On Sunday after finishing my early shift at the General I checked out Watermead CP South and noted at least one Hobby hunting over the pits. With this sighting my city year list is now on 104.
Whilst at this site my Birdnet pager mega'd to inform me of a Collared Flycatcher at Holme NWT, Norfolk.
I was reluctant to go due to Sunday evening traffic, but as Neil Hagley texted me about the bird, I saw the light and we decided to twitch the bird.
Cutting the long story short, myself and Neil were on-site by 7pm and ticking the bird off by 7.10pm. Get In Collared Flycatcher OMFL!!
Although I have probably missed the mobile White-tailed Eagle in Lincolnshire (That's another story and it's getting personal now!!), the sighting of this fantastic bird now puts me three short of 450 BOU!!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

City Challenge update: Spotted Redshank!! 3rd May 2011.

Here is the latest update on the city year list: Spotted Redshank OMFL!! 
With the morning off before work in the afternoon, I checked out the usual Soar Valley sites. Sightings included the Temminck's Stint and Wood Sandpiper at Wanlip Meadows LRWT and a mobile Black Tern at Watermead CP North.
It wasn't until I got to Birstall Meadows that I struck gold, when I found a Spotted Redshank feeding on the floods! GET IN! 103 for the city year list!
As usual I sent a few texts around and phoned John Hague about the bird.
This was only the second time I had seen Spotted Redshank down the Soar Valley, so really a bit of mega for the site!
With a few more easy ticks to come, I am now targeting to get at least 115 species for my year list!?!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Temminck's Stint at Wanlip Meadows LRWT

Here is a couple of digishots of the Temminck's Stint at Wanlip Meadows LRWT I saw yesterday.
I think this is the eighth bird to be recorded on the scrape at Wanlip in the last ten years, so you can say Wanlip Meadows has a bit of a track record for attracting these little waders!!
Record shot of the Temminck's at Wanlip!
Better record shot of the Temminck's Stint at Wanlip Meadows LRWT!

Bird Nest Orchid OMFL!!!!

Last Thursday after checking a few sites around the city with Mark Skevington for the City year list I some how ended up at Cloud Wood LRWT to see if any Early Purple Orchids were in flower?
Well to cut a long story short, I found at least 200+ Early Purple Orchids in the wood with most in flower.
Then checking out the Great Butterfly Orchids I found a few which were amazingly coming into bud! (at least three weeks early). Please with what I had seen I then suddenly noticed another orchid close to the path, which I knew straight away as Bird Nest Orchid!! To put this in context, Bird Nest Orchid hasn't been recorded in Vc 55 (Leicestershire and Rutland) for almost thirty years!! The last recorded sighting was in 1983 in the same wood.
Keeping calm I took a few record shots of the orchid, and then let a few people know of the sighting.
Getting back home I downloaded a few photos of the orchid and was more than happy after referencing the orchid on the net. So with Bird Nest Orchid finally ticked off my county orchid list, I can now say Bird Nest Orchid OMFL!!

If people would like to see this orchid, I am quite willing to show them the plant on a couple evenings this week if required.
Please contact me via the comments bit...
Bird Nest Orchid
Another shot of the Bird Nest Orchid

Friday, 22 April 2011

City Challenge update: What a day!!

Following news the previous evening of a Female Ring Ouzel at Aylestone Meadows and with my day off from work the first port of call was Aylestone Meadows.
Meeting up with Mark Andrews and Roger Davis on site it wasn't long before I increased my city year list in the form of a singing Lesser Whitethroat, a fly-by Red Kite (GET IN!!) and then finally the female Ring Ouzel as it flew across the horse paddocks by the King's Lock Cottage.
Pleased with the tally so far I then cycled through the Meadows hoping for a Gropper, but instead found a Garden Warbler singing near the Mill Lane Entrance (Another year tick!). A brief stop near the boardwalk resulted in no sign of the Groppers, so it was off to Watermead CP South.
Hoping for some Terns at Watermead, I slowly scannned around the main lake, when suddenly I noticed what looked like a smaller swan with the other Mute Swans. Hang about this is a Bewick's Swan I thought!! GET IN!! A Soar Valley tick and City tick to boot!
Phoning John Hague, Mark Skev and Birdnet I let them know of the sighting.
As I only had my bins with me at the time I cycled back home to pick up my scope and camera and a spot of lunch.
Whilst eating my lunch I got phone call from John to let me know that Ken Goodrich had found 2 Wood Sandpipers at Birstall Meadows!! 
So finishing my lunch it was off to Birstall Meadows.
Arriving on-site the two Wood Sandpipers were showing very well on the nearby shoreline, so as you can imagine I took a few record shots of the Sandpipers.
Wood Sandpiper at Birstall Meadows
Another shot of one of the Wood Sands at Birstall Meadows!
Happy with the shots I took of the Sandpipers I then nipped back to Watermead CP South to take photos of the Bewick's Swan.

More to follow shortly....

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

City Challenge update: Northern Wheatear!

Since returning from Slovenia last week, I have been checking out the Soar Valley for more ticks to my city list.
So from the previous weekend before Slovenia I have added the 8 Garganey, Shelduck, Whitethroat,Sedge and Reed Warbler at Watermead CP South.
Then added Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover at an undisclosed site in the city boundaries. This followed with Swallow, Common Sandpiper and Common Tern a couple of days later at Watermead South.
Then yesterday checking out Birstall Meadows I found a corking Male Wheatear feeding in the fields near the shoreline! So with these sightings I'm now on 90 species for my City list!!

Slovenia highlights: Butterflies

Here is a couple photos of two new species for me: Scarce Swallowtail and Weaver's Fritillary both seen at Lago di Doberdo on the Italian border.
Scarce Swallowtail
Another shot of the Swallowtail
Weaver's Fritillary
Another shot of the Frit!

Monday, 18 April 2011