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  1. J

    Raptor, Landes, France

    Didn't actually get eyes on this one in the field. Picked it up way too late as it wheeled away fast, heading behind buildings/trees. Bins were too far to reach but I snapped off these prize-winners in the couple of seconds I did have. Without bins, first thought was osprey long wings, lots of...
  2. J

    Hedge Flailing

    It seems to be the season for flailing at the moment and I realised I don't actually know why it's done and what the thinking behind it is. Apart from how it looks (terrible) I can only imagine that thrashing a hedge back to a tiny two foot wide dead-wood box renders it ecologically useless. I...
  3. J

    RFI - Loire region of France

    Hi, We're looking at a quick September break to the Loire region of France, probably around Tours. I've found a couple of useful BF threads on the area, but it doesn't hurt to ask again. What can we expect, bird wise? Are there any sites we should or shouldn't visit? And what's access to land...
  4. J

    Diver, Dungeness

    I don't often see divers and am not so confident with them, even if seen fairly well. I have my suspicions with this one - that it's a black throated, heading towards summer plumage - but would appreciate confirmation from these utterly fantastic photos. Seen on the water b the fishing boats...
  5. J

    Canon 60D

    Hi. I'm by no means a good photographer, but am considering an upgrade from my 500D. Having previously been told by a friend that his 40D was excellent I've been looking at that "range". Is the 60D worth the money for the difference I'd see from my current camera? I've read a couple of things...
  6. J

    Yellow wagtail, Suffolk

    This was at Sutton Common in Suffolk yesterday, with a few "normal" yellow wagtails. I've never really given yellow wagtails much thought before, beyond "oh, there's a yellow wagtail", but the overall colours and the grey/blue head and mantle stood out for me. As far as I'm aware, "British"...
  7. J

    Long-tailed duck hybrids

    A first year male long-tailed duck has spent the winter at Abberton, Essex. In the last few days it's been seen calling and displaying to female tufted ducks and acting aggressively towards the male tufties. I've found a few examples of long-tails pairing up with other ducks, but other than a...
  8. J

    Apparent lack of migrants...

    I know I'm not the only person locally to have noticed the near total lack of "common" birds like whitethroats this year and I've been getting a serious impression via twitter/the internet that it's not just a local thing. It's all anecdotal stuff, of course, and I'm well aware that the plural...
  9. J

    Cairngorms, May

    A friend and I are staying in Braemar for a couple of nights in mid May, with another night yet to be booked somewhere. We're flying to and from Aberdeen, hiring and dropping a car off at the airport. One of the days will be spent in the Glen Muick/Lochnagar area and on the other days we plan...
  10. J

    Pipit, UK

    Earlier today. I should know these things better than I do. My excuse is that they're so much easier in the field when they're walking around and not sat still in a crap photo.
  11. J

    Second hand lenses

    Hi all, A couple of questions about buying lenses second hand. Is the saving worth buying second hand? If so, where would you recommend buying them from? Is it worth finding one in a shop, rather than online? Anybody had any issues with second hand? I'm looking to buy the Canon 100-400 -...
  12. J

    Skuas, Norfolk

    Hi all, These were off the north Norfolk coast last weekend. There were around 4 skuas present, and I shot these bursts after I realised how much I know about skua ID - precisely bugger all. I have my thoughts as to their IDs but it would be good to get some thoughts from people more...
  13. J

    Basic southern California birds

    Hi all, Recently back from a stay in San Diego, and have some (very basic) questions. All seen around central San Diego, from Balboa park out to Point Loma/Ocean Beach. 1: I assume red-tailed hawk, seen over Balboa Park. 2: Dark eyed junco? 3: Got this one down as a song sparrow. 4: Not sure...
  14. J

    San Diego, late October.

    Hi all, general info request - I'm spending a week in central San Diego in late October and will set aside a couple of days to head out and go birding. Are there any sites near to the city worth visiting? Anywhere I should avoid? What should I expect in late October? I've got absolutely zero...
  15. J

    Norfolk Harrier

    Hi all Had a brief glimpse of this ringtail harrier this afternoon in deepest eastern Norfolk. I've got it down as either a late hen harrier or an early monties. I observed for about twenty seconds then snapped a few shots as it departed. The flight was relatively bouncy, yet purposeful - not...
  16. J

    Mull, mid-late April

    Hi all, bit of a vague one here. I'm staying with a friend on Mull for a few days at the and of April, and I'd appreciate any and all wildlife-related suggestions. I don't know the island that well, so I don't really know what's available in terms of birds. I'm not even that sure what species...
  17. J

    Partial corpse ID, charente-maritime, France

    Stumbled across this a few days ago in a coastal mixed/mainly coniferous forest in the Charente-Maritime region of mid west France. I forgot to use anything as a size indicator. Any ideas?
  18. J

    Redpoll sp, London/essex, UK

    Hi all, Found a flock of 18 redpoll in the local park I watch every once in a while - completely unexpected. Two questions. One; making sure I've not cocked up and that I'm right about them being redpoll and two; if so, what type? If I'm wrong on question one, ignore this thread...:) Found in...
  19. J

    public transport and walk to martin mere

    Hi all. Bit of an odd question, I suppose. Got a spare day tomorrow, weather looks nice, so I was thinking of heading to Martin Mere. Thing is, I don't drive (was waaay too lazy when I lived at home) and I live in Liverpool. Train to Southport then New Lane is easy enough, which is only about a...
  20. J

    Bunting? Wirral, UK

    Went across the (muddy) Langfields behind Hoylake today, after that cattle egret. It wasn't there, but there were bucket loads of Wheatear, a handful of waders, a few white wags and this. I've got it down as a Corn Bunting, and I can't think what else it would be. There were two, I heard no...