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  1. Pete Mella

    CONFUSED! Teals

    There's a certain type of birder that hangs round all flagship reserves that knows a little bit, but likes to play the expert to people who are less experienced than them. They'll make huge mistakes, but say it so authoritatively that people presume they know what they're talking about. When...
  2. Pete Mella

    Mandarin Duck

    Quite a few in Sheffield now too, with a quite major population just over the border on the River Derwent in Derbys.
  3. Pete Mella


    How long does it generally make people wait before it shows? May get chance to get down at the weekend (if it's still there) but may not have a lot of time to hang about.
  4. Pete Mella

    What yellow bird is this in Leeds Guiseley?

    100% siskin, they are quite small birds.
  5. Pete Mella

    Tawny Owl confirmation (Pic)

    If you're serious about learning about the birds in your area, you really need to check out the local information networks... Having a scan at the recent sightings there will give you a good idea of the kind of things you can expect to see, when and where.
  6. Pete Mella

    Tawny Owl confirmation (Pic)

    Definitely a SEO (among other things, a Tawny has all-dark eyes). A nice find - SEOs are quite a lot less common than Tawnies. Tawnies are much harder to see, though, as they hunt after dark, but are very common in north Sheffield in most woodland. The best chance of seeing a Tawny Owl is...
  7. Pete Mella

    Yorkshire Birding

    Filey's probably a good bet in November, always chance auks, divers, grebes, seaducks, etc. Parking is at the Country Park, but be aware the walk down to the Brigg from there is really not too advisable... ;) The sea's scope-able from the cliff tops.
  8. Pete Mella

    Yorkshire Birding

    As other have said, it's probably not the best time of year to make a big journey there (although it's always worth a look). If you did go, then if you fancied a quick detour I always find the fields near the Boston Lake car park at Hatfield Moors quite reliable for Grey Partridge (but not...
  9. Pete Mella

    What Winter Visitors to Look Out For..?

    You're in Hillsborough aren't you if I remember right? In which case Hillsborough Park gets good counts Goosander, and chance of Redwing and Fieldfare (and Waxwing in the right years). If it's a Waxwing Winter, Hammerton Road police station is also worth a look for them. The best place I know...
  10. Pete Mella

    LBBG or YLG UK

    LBBG - mantle's way too dark for YLG.
  11. Pete Mella

    New Bird and question about scopes

    I had some Bushnell H20s for ages and they were absolutely fine with my specs - not the greatest bins but good value for money.
  12. Pete Mella

    Aquatic warbler?

    It would be unlikely for an aquatic warbler to be eating fruit, as it's an insect-eater. Also, even if it was a warbler, have you ruled out the far-commoner Sedge Warbler?
  13. Pete Mella

    Birdlist for (South) Yorkshire - What Next?!

    So it is - missed that. Plenty of HMs in the Hillsborough area, just a matter of time...
  14. Pete Mella

    Birdlist for (South) Yorkshire - What Next?!

    In which case you're very near a lot of that stuff. I'll send you a PM at some point with some specific locations. As I say, there's a nailed on spot for Green Woodpecker near there.
  15. Pete Mella

    Tick criteria for you?

    It's all down to what you feel comfortable with, and what you consider your list to be. Is it a list of birds you've had the skill to ID? Is it a list of birds you know you've seen (including those IDed by others?). Is it a list of birds you've recorded (in which case certain heard-onlies would...
  16. Pete Mella


    Gannets are rare away from the coast, but sometimes get swept inland during bad weather.
  17. Pete Mella

    Birdlist for (South) Yorkshire - What Next?!

    Marsh Tit is actually really uncommon in this area, I've never seen one nearer to me than Nottinghamshire, although there are sites in Derbys too.
  18. Pete Mella

    Lack of Wood Warblers

    Had at least six in Wharncliffe Wood in Sheffield this year, including confirmed breeding. They seem to be doing well in some places and not others.
  19. Pete Mella

    Birdlist for (South) Yorkshire - What Next?!

    OK, and the rest... Jay - very common in woodland Lesser Black-backed Gull - probably the most common large gull in urban Sheffield Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - a few sites but takes some finding Lesser Whitethroat - fairly common around the E side of the area Linnet - very common in...
  20. Pete Mella

    Birdlist for (South) Yorkshire - What Next?!

    Where abouts are you? I can get you a Green Woodpecker dead easy on my local patch in the Wharncliffe Area Others I'd say, cross reffing with my Yorks list: Avocet - breed at Old Moor Barn Owl - Old Moor Black-tailed Godwit - Old Moor Bittern - Old Moor/Potteric Blackcap - Common everywhere...
  21. Pete Mella

    Yorkshire Birding

    I don't know your neck of the woods, but they're not particularly uncommon breeders in the Sheffield area, occupying 26% of Tetrads with confirmed breeding in 40 in the 2003-08 Breeding Atlas. This is a significant rise on the previous Atlas from '85.
  22. Pete Mella

    I.D is this a tree pipit ? ?

    Sure is a Tree Pipit - flank streaks thinner than chest, shorter hindclaw than MP.
  23. Pete Mella

    Birds of prey in bonnie Scotland

    It sounds like you haven't got time and need more of a "smash and grab", but if you need Puffin, Arctic Tern etc a boat trip to the Farnes from Seahouses would do it! If you really found yourself with hours to spare, a trip further south to Amble would get you a trip to Coquet Island where...
  24. Pete Mella

    Can someone point me in the direction of a list of regular rarities please?

    Little Egret seems an odd one to see on a rarity list now! ;) I've got six on your "to get" list (including the Lesser Whitefront at Buckenham Marshes!), and I've got a <300 life total. To me the easiest there is Caspian Gull - I've had two, and they're fairly regular in the gull roosts around...
  25. Pete Mella

    Hen Harriers go missing ... again

    All very good, but I'm sure many English gamekeepers will be very well aware of these schemes, and are still more wont to reach for the rifle rather than raid the freezer for some chickens. I would love for the wider shooting community to act like this and find pragmatic, legal ways to minimise...