Tuesday, 31 December 2013

41st British Tick of the year..

Brunnich's Guillemot, a bird I did not expect to see any time soon especially on the south coast of England. We arrived at Portland around 1 o'clock and it gave great views for the time we were their, unfortunately I got rubbish photos because of the rain but I am not complaining a great end to the year.

(Brunnich's Guillemot - Harry Murphy)

(Brunnich's Guillemot - Harry Murphy)

Sunday, 22 December 2013


When I was offered a seat to go and see the Patrington Ivory Gull I could not resist. The next day we set of and got their after 8 and the the Ivory was on show waddling around the rocks but a bit distant. We had to wait another 4 hours until it finally got hungry and fed on the dead fish left by visiting birders. For the next 5 minutes it gave brilliant views as it picked at the salmon and mackerel before flying back out to the Humber, winter birding at its best!

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

Monday, 16 December 2013


Because it is the end of a fantastic year I have decided to do a write up on everything that has happened.

The top 5!

5. The Kilnsea Great Snipe

Found on Saturday 14th September when I was looking for Bonaparte's Gull at Whitburn. The next day myself Michael and Andrew headed down and got there for first light and the Great Snipe put on a unbelievable show for the time we were there. For the remainder of its stay it showed stupidly well in the ditch opposite the caravan park often walking over peoples shoes, unfortunately it was killed days later by a predator, a sad end to a unbelievable bird.

(Great Snipe - Harry Murphy)

4. Pacific Swift

The news broke of this absolute mega just as myself and Andrew Kinghorn crossed the Dartford bridge to twitch a Black Kite in Kent, for some unknown reason we spent the next 4 hours in Faversham looking for a Black Kite that had obviously gone while the first twitchable Pacific Swift since 1993 was hawking insects over Trimley marshes just 2 hours away, yes I know very stupid. But fortunately after a nervous car drive and a long, long, long walk we finally connected with this stunning bird.

(Pacific Swift - Josh Jones)

3. Hermit Thrush

Set of at 22:30 on Tuesday 29th October and arrived at Porthgwarra 6 am the following morning. By 9 am it was looking like a big dip until someone located it in the small wood next to the car park and what a bird it was, absolutely stunning. One I will remember for a very long time.

(Hermit Thrush - Lisle Gwynn)

2. Bridled Tern

This bird was difficult to connect with for me at first, On the 6th of July I searched some of the Northumberland coast but it was inconveniently relocated at Saltholme the place I visit every week and we missed it by a short period of time because of a accident on the A19. On the 17th I finally got this magnificent tern back on the Inner Farne where it gave brilliant views with the surrounding Arctic, Sandwich, Roseate and Common Terns.

(Bridled Tern - Harry Murphy)

1. Ivory Gulls!

On the 7th December three of us set of from Hartlepool to Seahouses to see this dream bird and as soon as we got to the golf course the Ivory Gull stood out like a sore thumb and gave mega views and not long after another Ivory joined the original!!! Both birds then headed to the beach at Beadnell. absolutely brilliant, so unexpected and a great end to the year!

(Ivory Gull no.1 - Harry Murphy)

The rest of the year...
* = British Tick 

Bean Goose
Cleveland Cowpen Marsh, A. f. rossicus, 15th February (A. Kinghorn)

Green-winged Teal
Cleveland Saltholme RSPB, male, 2nd January.

Blue-winged Teal*
Lincolnshire Boultham Mere, three, adult female,Juvenile, 21st September (A. Kinghorn, K. Lawrence, T. Middleton, M. Murphy) 

Ferruginous Duck*
Oxfordshire Otmoor RSPB, adult male, 29th March (A. Kinghorn, T. Middleton, M. Murphy)

Lesser Scaup
Cleveland Saltholme RSPB, adult male, 3rd April.

Surf Scoter
Yorkshire Filey, adult male, 29th June (A.Kinghorn)

Lady Amherst's Pheasant*
Bedfordshire 29th March (A. Kinghorn, T. Middleton, M. Murphy)

Night Heron*
Yorkshire Old Moor RSPB, first summer, 17th August (A. Kinghorn, M. Murphy, J. Robson)

Great White Egret
Somerset Ham Wall RSPB, three adults, 4th April (A.Kinghorn, T. Middleton, K. Lawrence, M. Murphy)
Cleveland Cowpen Marsh, adult, 27th May also seen Saltholme RSPB, 30th May. Dormans Pool, immature/non breeding, 30th May.

Purple Heron*
Northumberland East Chevington NR, adult, 4th May (A. Kinghorn)

Glossy Ibis
Cleveland Hartlepool, first-winter, 27th October.

Cleveland Saltholme RSPB, 2nd summer, 19th & 20th July.

Pied-billed Grebe*
Somerset Ham Wall RSPB, male in song, 4th April (A.Kinghorn, T. Middleton, K. Lawrence, M. Murphy)

Spotted Crake*
Northumberland East Chevington, Juvinile, 24th August (A. Kinghorn, K. Lawrence)

Norfolk Stubs Mill, twenty five, 16th November (A. Kinghorn, J. Bucknall, K. Lawrence, M. Murphy)

Semipalmated Plover*
Hampshire Hayling Island, Juvinile, 19th October (A. Kinghorn, M. Murphy)

Stilt Sandpiper*
Cheshire Neumann's Flash, adult, 1st September (A. Kinghorn)

Pectoral Sandpiper
Cleveland Saltholme RSPB, adult, 18th May. Saltholme RSPB, adult, 25th, 26th & 27th July

Red-necked Phalarope*
Cleveland Scaling Dam, adult male, 31st May (J. Regan)

Great Snipe*
Yorkshire Kilnsea, 15th September (A. Kinghorn, M. Murphy)

Brunnich's Guillemot*
Dorset Portland Harbour, 28th December (H. Mitchell et al)

Bridled Tern*
Northumberland Inner Farne, adult, 17th July (M. Sidwell)

Ivory Gull*
Northumberland Seahouses, two juveniles, 7th December (C. Bell, R. Stephenson)
Yorkshire Patrington Haven, juvenile, 21st December (A. Kinghorn, M. Murphy)

Caspian Gull
Cleveland Cowpen Bewley tip, second-winter, 5th January (A. Kinghorn, M.Murphy) Cowpen Bewley tip, second-winter, 12th January (D. Foster, A. Kinghorn, M. Murphy) Seaton Common, third-winter, 9th March (D. Foster, A. Kinghorn, M. Murphy)

Iceland Gull
Cleveland Hartlepool Headland, first-winter, 8th December.

Glaucous Gull
Cleveland Seaton Common, first-winter 15th & 22nd February, 9th & 23rd March (A. Kinghorn) Seaton Common, first-winter, 9th March (D. Foster, A. Kinghorn, M. Murphy)

Pallid Swift*
Cleveland Hartlepool Headland, 19th & 20th October (A. Kinghorn, M. Murphy)

Pacific Swift*
Suffolk Trimley Marshes, 17th June (A. Kinghorn)

Cleveland South Gare, 15th May. Hartlepool Headland, 7th September (C. Bell et al)

Isabelline Shrike*
Yorkshire Flamborough Head, first-winter, 17th October.

Red-backed Shrike
Cleveland Seaton Common, female, 12th May. South Gare, male, 21st May. Heargreaves Quarry, male, 1st June (A. Kinghorn) Cowpen Bewley WP, male, 1st June (A. Kinghorn et al) Seaton Common, juvenile, 7th September (C. Bell et al)
Durham Whitburn CP, juvenile, 26th August (A. Kinghorn, T. Middleton)

Lesser Grey Shrike*
Northumberland Long Nanny, first-winter, 24th November (G. Bagnell et al)

Greenish Warbler
Durham Marsden Quarry, 26th August (A. Kinghorn, T. Middleton) Whitburn CP, 28th August.

Arctic Warbler
Durham Whitburn CP, 26th August (A. Kinghorn, T. Middleton)

Yellow-browed Warbler
Borders St Abb's Head, two, 28th September (K. Hall, M. Murphy, G. Randall)
Cleveland South Gare, three, 25th September. Old Cemetery, Hartlepool, 29th September (M. Sidwell) Hartlepool Headland, 29th September & 5th October.
Durham Whitburn CP, 28th September, trapped (C. Bell et al)

Dusky Warbler*
Cleveland Old Cemetery Rd, Hartlepool. 26th & 28th October.

Western Bonellis Warbler*
Cleveland Hartlepool Headland.15th & 20th October.

Iberian Chiffchaff*
Durham Boldon Flats NR, male in song, 24th April (J. Regan)
Yorkshire Flamborough Head, 27th April (G. Randall)

Barred Warbler*
Cleveland Hartlepool Headland, 28th September (C. Bell)

Subalpine Warbler*
Northumberland Druridge Pools, first-winter male, S. c. albistriata, 4th October (A. Kinghorn)

Sardinian Warbler*
Borders St Abb's Head, male, 28th September (K. Hall, M. Murphy, G. Randall)

Booted Warbler*
Northumberland Hadston Carrs, 24th August (A. Kinghorn, K. Lawrence)

Rose-coloured Starling*
Cornwall Marazion, first-winter, 30th October (G. Joynt, S. Keightley et al)
Norfolk Caister-on-Sea, first-winter, 17th November (J. Bucknall, A. Kinghorn, K. Lawrence, M. Murphy)

Hermit Thrush*
Cornwall Porthgwarra, 30th October (G. Joynt, S. Keightley et al)

Thrush Nightingale*
Cleveland Hartlepool Headland, 19th May.

Cleveland South Gare, adult male, L. s. svecica, 15th May (J. Regan et al)

Siberian Stonechat*
Yorkshire Scalby Mills, first-winter, 17th October.

Pied Wheatear*
Nottinghamshire Collingham Gravel Pits, female, 10th November (A. Kinghorn)

Richards Pipit*
Cleveland Spion Kop Cemetery, 4th November (C. Bell)
Durham Whitburn, three, 28th September (K. Hall, G. Randall, M. Murphy et al)

Yorkshire Flamborough, male, 16th November (J. Bucknall, A. Kinghorn, K. Lawrence, M. Murphy)

Two-barred Crossbill*
Yorkshire Broomhead Reservoir, two, adult female and juvenile, 17th August (A. Kinghorn, M. Murphy, J. Robson)

Parrot Crossbill*
Norfolk Holt, three, one male and two females. 17th November (J. Bucknall, A. Kinghorn, K. Lawrence, M. Murphy)

Little Bunting*
Durham Elba Park, male in song, 11th April.

(Western Bonelli's Warbler - Martyn Sidwell)

(Thrush Nightingale - Martyn Sidwell)

(Wryneck - Martyn Sidwell)

(Iberian Chiffchaff - Martyn Sidwell)

(Bluethroat - Martyn Sidwell)

(Little Bunting - Martyn Sidwell)

(Yellow-browed Warbler - Harry Murphy)

(Pallid Swift - Martyn Sidwell)

(Siberian Stonechat - Martin Garner)

(Lesser Grey Shrike - Harry Murphy)

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

Sunday, 8 December 2013

White Winged Weekend

Saturday morning started off taking photos of Pigeons and Herring Gulls at Hartlepool Marina, and ended taking photos of one of the best birds I have ever seen. Just after lunch time the news broke of an IVORY GULL at Seahouses so three of us set of strait away and got their just before two. The bird played ball instantly and gave unbelievable views. It then flew straight over our heads and just as we thought it couldn't get any better it was joined by another one! 2 IVORY GULLS IN THE AIR AT ONCE!!!! Along with a large wave of expletives, absolutely unbelievable!

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Ivory Gull - Harry Murphy)

We then located the pair on the beach near Beadnell before they flew of north at 15:45 to roost with the black heads.

The next day I was back at Hartlepool to see the 1st winter Iceland Gull which gave good views in the fish Quay and the Newburn Med Gull finished the weekend of nicely.

(Iceland Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Iceland Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Iceland Gull - Harry Murphy)

Monday, 2 December 2013

Med Gull...

 Some pictures of a local Mediterranean Gull from the weekend.

(Mediterranean Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Mediterranean Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Mediterranean Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Mediterranean Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Mediterranean Gull - Harry Murphy)

(Mediterranean Gull - Harry Murphy)