Showing posts from April, 2024

Cuckoo & Whitethroats

I spent the early afternoon at Bystock Woods, then I popped down to Orcombe and walked to Sandy Bay. Birds of note at Bystock and the adjacent common were Willow Warbler and Dartford Warbler; a reasonable number of Chiffchaff and Blackcap were also singing. I heard a Cuckoo calling somewhere towards Withycombe Raleigh Common. This is the second year running that I've heard a Cuckoo in this area. Here is a photo that I took in the spring of 2023. I wonder if it is the same bird? Will it find a mate? The walk from Orcombe to Sandy Bay was productive. Lots of Chiffchaff  (11+) singing along with at least 3 Willow Warbler . 3+ Whitethroat were singing from the bushes along the coast path. I saw and heard one Lesser Whitethroat in the cliff-top bushes before the WWII lookout. Sadly the bird did not show long enough for a photo. Also in this stretch of vegetation was a singing Garden Warbler , poorly photographed here: A pair of Long-tailed Tit  were also actively feeding in these

Swallows & Wheatears

I visited Orcombe today (via Gore Lane) to catch up on the spring birds I missed while out of the country! Two Wheatear  were seen today, one in the cattle field and the other at the top of a tree on the cliffs (see image). Other birds seen were 2  Swallow  hawking over the dung field crops, 3+ Skylark  singing, two Shelduck  and 2 Mallard  in the cattle field. 3+ Chiffchaff  were in song in the hedgerows and cliff bushes. A Blackcap was singing in the bushes by the WWII lookout, 5+ vocal Great Black-backed Gull  patrolling over the cliffs. A pair of Peregrine Falcon were displaying over the cliffs.

Tobago Holiday 2024

  At Easter 2024, Siân and I spent two weeks on holiday on the Caribbean island of Tobago (27 th March to 9 th April). Although not specifically a birding trip, I did spend some of the holiday exploring the area local to our hotel in South-West Tobago and a day in the central Main Ridge Rainforest Reserve. I also spent half a day on the island of Little Tobago at the North-East end of the main island, a protected seabird reserve. I am not a photographer, so the images accompanying this blog are essentially ‘record shots’ of some of the birds I encountered using my Nikon B700 bridge camera. Some birds were very obliging; others were far trickier to get images of! I always try to leave the birds undisturbed and let them come to me. The hotel grounds I’ve never been to Tobago before, and the only time we have visited the Caribbean was Grand Cayman 24 years ago on our honeymoon. When I am on holiday in a new location, I try to get to know the commoner local species as quickly as po