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Abberton Reservoir - Canvasback

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The autumn that keeps on giving. There is no way I would have predicted that canvasback would be the next new bird I see in the UK. It didn't start particularly well though. Arriving at the Billet Farm watchpoint at around 10am and a large congregation of twitchy twitchers had already assembled in a kind of queuing system that would have satisfied many. I was a bit miffed as from my vantage point, I could only see a narrow band of water. No chance of seeing anything really. So I left, and headed for the causeway. It was grey, and rain had started to fall. All a bit bleak but Abberton is actually very nice and having parked at the Layer de la Haye causeway, got chatting to a couple of birders and well, it was all very convivial.  Not really knowing what to do, coffee and cake at the visitor centre beckoned. This was all very enjoyable, not much birding really, just nice views across the reservoir. The common pochard flock was out of view behind the spit distantly from the visitor c

Linford Lakes - Little crake

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Cheekily messaged the boss to say that I needed to take the morning off, and headed up to Linford Lakes to see the little crake that appeared briefly after a 45 minute wait, disappeared, then reappeared providing slightly better views then disappeared again. Unfortunately I had to head back but was great to catch up with it and a really excellent record for Bucks.

Stodmarsh NNR - Solitary Sandpiper

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Fully appreciating that at times, the solitary sandpiper had been difficult to catch up with, it was with some relief that after entering the Reedbed hide at Stodmarsh, this rare American wader flew onto the marshy fringes of the pool around five minutes after I had arrived. It was a real treat to watch it plodding around the shallow margins beautifully illuminated in the morning sun.

Magical Flamborough Head

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A truly exceptional day of what has been an exceptional autumn up and down the country. This time a trek up to Flamborough Head where over the previous days, an assemblage of eastern vagrants had gathered along the headland. Having to wait till Sunday, the early part of the morning was extremely wet, persistent heavy rain falling from leaden skies made for a rather forlorn hour or so. Gratefully, the weather was forecast to improve and by around 10.30am, the rain had relented somewhat, and it was time to go. The ground was sodden due to the extreme rainfall over previous days. The entire coastal path was reduced to a sludge. Embracing the conditions, I ploughed through the quagmire and headed for the bunting. Rain was still in the air, and the track down to the red-headed bunting had turned to a mud-bath. It was hilarious. The bird showed, quite well actually sitting along the fenceline in the company of the local reed bunting , yellowhammer and tree sparrow . A first-winter bird, apa

Glossy Ibis - Herts

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 My first glossy ibis in Herts at Stanstead Innings on a gloomy evening.

Scillies 2023 - Day 9

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So today was hometime - and what a few days it had been seeing some great birds with a few enjoyable socials which make Scillies in October a fabulous experience. But it was not over. I'd decided to head out at first light from Longstones and make my way down toward Old Town. Within the first half hour of light, the pallid harrier had been seen again flying over the Garrison and through Lower Moors. Weighed down with my camera and bins, I stuck on the afterburners (an awkward jog) and made my way down the Old Town Road. By the time I'd arrived, the bird had disappeared (apparently over Rosehill) once again and an agonising wait by the ISBG hide proved fruitless so I headed off for a search that might bring me something interesting. Smashing through the Standing Stones field, I checked my messages. The pallid harrier was at Shooters Pool. Legging it through the Moors, the organised scrum meant a short agonising wait before I established my position to the right of the screen wi