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  1. Mark Newsome

    Walrus in Ireland

    Lazy sensationalism from many areas of the media, trying to create a story of the Walrus having a sleep on a iceberg and waking up off Ireland... eg...
  2. Mark Newsome

    Flight Identification of European Passerines and Select Landbirds, an Illustrated and Photographic Guide authored by Tomasz Cofta.

    I got a copy last week. It's a bit of an odd book, some excellent info contained, but there are some sections that I find myself just skipping over (eg very similar warblers). I guess it depends a bit on your location and the type of species you're going to encounter as to what parts of the...
  3. Mark Newsome

    Best way to get documentation photos seawatching

    There are many variables in this subject - money is a big one. If you have the cash, getting a more distant but very sharp image using a DSLR with 500 or 600mm lens would be preferable to a blurred larger image from digiscoping/inferior camera. But not everyone has a few grand to buy such a...
  4. Mark Newsome

    Flight Identification of European Passerines and Select Landbirds, an Illustrated and Photographic Guide authored by Tomasz Cofta.

    Interesting that sonograms are included. As someone with a keen interest in nocmig, this could be a very useful feature, esp if these are included for the majority of species covered (philip1947 - could you confirm this?). There are no English language guides extensively covering nocturnal...
  5. Mark Newsome

    Where will you go birding once the virus restrictions are over?

    At home in UK, I'm desperate to see the sea! Although I live only 7 miles away, I've not been to the coast since lockdown, and as an avid seawatcher, I'm missing seabirds and east coast migration so much... For foreign travel, I'm booked on the West Pacific Odyssey next April. Who knows whether...
  6. Mark Newsome

    Dragonfly sp. from Tobago

    Thanks for the suggestion - good shout. Clearly not an adult male, but I'll look into the possibilities with female/imm types. Mark
  7. Mark Newsome

    Dragonfly sp. from Tobago

    Has anyone got an ID for this dragonfly, taken in Tobago? Only photo I'm afraid (trying to get IDs for random photos taken from past holidays). I've failed to find a match with an image search on the 'net and haven't got access to the field guide covering this area. Mark
  8. Mark Newsome

    Visiting Goa in early November

    A large section on the top of Baga Hill has been cleared for development. I wouldn't say there are no birds there now, but it's a shadow of its former self and the chance of seeing something scarcer than your standard village scrub birds is much reduced. Backwoods now have 'proper'...
  9. Mark Newsome

    Plans for new Whitburn Coastal Consevation Centre

    Back on subject... as a birder at Whitburn CP, I can't see a lot wrong with this development. But its much more from a public interpretation/local environment angle rather than having a benefit for birds/wildlife (or birders). There are routes shown in the links to feedback about the proposals...
  10. Mark Newsome

    Oman/Red Sea cruise

    There are several repositioning cruises in April which go from Dubai/Muscat in Oman, along the Omani coast, up the Red Sea and into the Med (and vice versa in November). £1300 for 2 weeks with Tui/Marella cruises. In theory, there should should be some very nice seabirds and cetaceans...
  11. Mark Newsome

    Madeira in august

    Everyone's experiences at the Zino's colony are different. I was there in June last year and it was a utterly magical night. We picked a night with a nearly full moon and there were no problems with fog/cloud. The result was that you could easily see birds with the naked eye, even followed a few...
  12. Mark Newsome

    Goa Winter 2018-2019

    A few sightings from last few days (from Paul Willoughby's Bird Holidays group): 200 Amur Falcons in one flock over Pilerne Lake, displaying Legge's Hawk-eagle at Tamdi Surla, Yellow Bittern and Red Avadavats at Shirgao, Painted storks, Oriental Dwarf kingfisher and 2 Black-naped orioles at...
  13. Mark Newsome

    Goa Winter 2018-2019

    Red-billed Tropicbird photo'd offshore in last few days.
  14. Mark Newsome

    Goa Winter 2018-2019

    Not heard of too much out of the ordinary so far this season, but there is some nice video on Facebook of a Malayan Night Heron walking around out in the open at Mollem (Bhagwan Mahaveer sanctuary). A scarce bird in the state with most sightings being just after the monsoon and in the south...
  15. Mark Newsome

    Black Turnstones near Venice, California?

    Not sure about July, but I was in Venice Beach in early September a couple of years back. Black Turnstones were easy enough along the main beach; just walk along the tideline between Venice Beach pier and Santa Monica pier, and check around the rocky outcrops. Also Surfbirds, Western Willett...
  16. Mark Newsome

    Orcas in North-east England

    No further definite news either way from this area. Things descended into confusion yesterday when birders arrived at Crimdon to find no-one knew anything about the sighting (its a popular public place so you'd have thought there would be first hand accounts), and subsequent 2nd hand reports at...
  17. Mark Newsome

    Orcas in North-east England

    Following the report of a pod of Orcas 6 miles off the Northumberland coast on 7 May, presumably the same group has been reported off Crimdon Dene, County Durham today. Reports say they have been chasing seals right up to the shoreline directly infront of the Crimdon beach car park, NZ482371...
  18. Mark Newsome

    South Georgia now Rat free

    I've just returned from the Atlantic Odyssey trip which included 3 days at South Georgia. The results from the eradication are already obvious. South Georgia Pipit was scarce and almost confined to offshore islands at the height of the problem but it has now quickly spread to many areas of the...
  19. Mark Newsome

    Goa in June?

    I've visited Goa at the end of August/early September (primarily for landbased seawatching) and the temerature was fine. Hot and occasional heavy showers but not unbearable. June would be a little more humid as it could be at the peak of the monsoon downpours, but rain is generally intense and...
  20. Mark Newsome

    Goa Winter 2017 - 2018

    There are many options for hotels and price ranges, depends on how much you're willing to pay. It's maybe better to think of areas which would be suitable, and then check the hotel options available. North of Arpora - hotels like Marinha Dourada, Sun Village, Maizons, Lazy Lagoon all decent...
  21. Mark Newsome

    Handbook of Western Palearctic birds

    Agreed. Although I'm sure this will be a fantastic book to browse and reference, the price will also be a limiting factor. Full price of £150 for the 2 volumes of passerines. A return for their investment is needed, but I wonder how many will actually be sold. With the wealth of other in-depth...
  22. Mark Newsome

    Goa Winter 2017 - 2018

    That is real shame. It used to be such a hugely productive unpopulated area where you could just wander around for hours undisturbed. Full of birds. I remember on my first one or two trips, I saw Jungle Cat, Golden Jackal and Indian Grey Mongoose as well as the birds. Leopards were reported on...
  23. Mark Newsome

    Goa Winter 2017 - 2018

    Oriental Scops? You mean Indian Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena)? An adult type Eastern Imperial Eagle was photo'd at Socorro Plateau yesterday; very few sightings in Goa. Also recently, Avocet and Streaked Weavers at Carambolim. Mark
  24. Mark Newsome

    Goa Winter 2017 - 2018

    An adult Black-legged Kittiwake has been seen and photographed at Morjim a few days ago (not sure whether still there). 13 years (almost to do the day) since the first in Goa, also at Morjim. At least a couple of other records in Goa in the last few years, quite remarkable for such a rare bird...
  25. Mark Newsome

    Goa Winter 2017 - 2018

    A full review of the birds of Goa has been undertaken by Pronoy Baidya & Mandar Bhagat, and the paper/checklist has just been published in Indian Birds. A great read and fantastic background work by the authors. Available here: http://www.indianbirds.in/ This issue also has a feature on the...
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