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  1. 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
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. Mark Newsome

    Goa Winter 2017 - 2018

    Although not quite into tourist season, it'll be good to get a new thread underway as a resource for people to share their sightings. One good bird present in recent days is an immature Indian Skimmer at Agassim (on the Zuari river). This will prove rather popular if it stays for the winter...
  5. Mark Newsome

    Effect of hurricanes on bird populations

    With the devastaing hurricanes currently hitting the Caribbean, what is the likely effect on the bird populations, particularly landbirds on some of the smaller islands? The news has terrible images of the destruction on Barbuda, and Antigua/Barbuda holds its own endemic warbler: Barbuda Warbler...
  6. Mark Newsome

    Lesser Whitethroat, Goa, India - althaea or blythi?

    Attached is an image from the Goa Facebook page by Vedang Saunt. The two forms of Lesser Whitethroat recorded in Goa are Siberian, L.c.blythi (regular sightings of occasional wintering birds shwoing typical blythi features) and Hume's, L.c.althaea (in checklists, never seen a suitable candidate...
  7. Mark Newsome

    Oriental (Crested) Honey-buzzard, Goa ?

    Seen near Backwoods camp, Goa on 3 Feb. 2016. There were thoughts of a sub-adult Bonelli's Eagle when it flew over, but I suspect it is just an immature (female) Oriental Honey-buzzard. Any thoughts? Mark
  8. Mark Newsome

    roblems with downloading from Google Play Books

    I've just purchased the 'Birds of the Indian Subcontinent' (Inskipp) from Play Books. It works fine when connected to wi-fi (great book, even better with all the embedded calls/songs), but as I'm going to India in a couple of days, I want to download to use it offline. It starts to download...
  9. Mark Newsome

    Skua sp., Goa

    The attached photos were posted on a Goa Facebook page by Arabinda Pal, taken off the Dona Paula coast in Goa on 11 Jan. No other photos/description. Arctic and Pomarine Skuas are scarce in Goa, mainly autumn migrants with odd records in winter. No records of other skuas, although Brown and...
  10. Mark Newsome

    Goa 2016

    Anybody been out in Goa recently, or heading there soon? I'm there in late January and early February, can't wait! Recent sightings (from Goa Facebook groups) include Greater Flamingo at Morjim and presumably same bird later on the R.Zuari, Grey-headed Lapwing nr Panjim, plus the usual...
  11. Mark Newsome

    Beware of Ireland's killer giant 'seagulls'...

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/giant-seagulls-attacking-and-killing-ewes-in-kerry-1.2293784 The gulls in Ireland have killed two fully grown sheep, used their claws in vicious attacks and gored lambs to death. Blimey.. don't think even BWP mentions all that. Reading all that...
  12. Mark Newsome

    Nightjar sp., Goa, India

    Attached photo was taken by Marvelyn Dias at Goa Uni campus in late October last year. I was initially thinking it could be a Sykes's Nightjar (no confirmed record for Goa as far as I am aware), but perhaps its just a Savanna (a locally common breeding species). Does anyone have experience of...
  13. Mark Newsome

    Dragonfly, Goa, India

    Anyone have knowledge of Indian odonata? This was taken at Maem Lake, Goa, a couple of weeks ago. I've tracked down most dragonflies I saw via various web sites, but I'm struggling with this one. Thanks in advance. Mark
  14. Mark Newsome

    Greater Spotted vs Steppe Eagle, Goa

    There was some disagreement over this adult Aquila eagle in Goa last week, being split between Greater Spotted and Steppe. Any thoughts based on structure/wing formula? Sorry, no further images available as it was a brief fly-over. Mark
  15. Mark Newsome

    Goa winter 2013-14

    It's getting to the time of year when birders head to Goa for a relaxing winter break. I'm going for 2 weeks, flying out on 1 November, being joined by Paul Hindess for the second week. I'm really looking forward to getting back after missing last winter. I'll put site and bird sightings updates...
  16. Mark Newsome

    ID of large falcon, Durham

    An escape I know, but has anyone thoughts on this large falcon reported near East Boldon, Durham? http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8425/7723674548_fce89dc493_z.jpg http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8285/7719191952_b50e900d73_z.jpg Not my photos, so I don't think any further shots/details are...
  17. Mark Newsome

    Masked Boobys on Cape Verde

    I've been sent a link to a report from a trip to Boa Vista in January 2012: http://birdblog.merseyblogs.co.uk/archives/2012/01/cape-verdes-tro.html This mentions several Masked Boobys on Ilheu de Curral Velho (and shows a photo of them). This seems to be a vagrant to Cape Verde and is a hard...
  18. Mark Newsome

    The Birds of Durham - new county avifauna

    A new county avifauna has just been published, covering County Durham (VC66, between Tyne and Tees). The book has been completed as part of a non-profit making project - the "Birds of Durham Heritage Project". The project’s aim was to 'bring the wildlife of today to the people of tomorrow'...
  19. Mark Newsome

    Plover sp, Co Durham, 24 May

    Any thoughts on this rather poor video of a plover sp., taken on a County Durham beach on 24 May? No further plumage details of the bird known, other than what the video shows. http://youtu.be/Tm3hYsHrOyk Mark
  20. Mark Newsome

    Goshawk vs Sparrowhawk

    Any thoughts on this photo of an out-of-range Goshawk, taken as it displayed over Rainton Meadows, County Durham, last week. (photo linked from observer, Durham thread of BF) http://www.birdforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=374360&d=1331842196 Despite the overall apparent bulk and 'fluffed...
  21. Mark Newsome

    Brian Unwin RIP

    Many BF members will have known or had communication with Brian Unwin over the years, or read his articles in local newspapers or Birdwatching magazine. Brian sadly passed away on 29 December following a long fight against cancer of the oesophagus. For anyone in the north-east wanting to pay...
  22. Mark Newsome

    Unusual growth on Med Gulls

    Any idea what this growth is on these Med Gulls? One photo taken on 3 August and one on 11 November, but could be the same bird involved. I have also seen photos of a Black-headed Gull with an almost identical attachment (in Norway). I've never noticed it myself on any gull species previously...
  23. Mark Newsome

    Severn Barrage plans shelved

    Fantastic news for the birds and wildlife of the Severn Estuary: http://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/gwt/gwt.nsf/WEBARTICLE?OpenForm&id=91D20CDA58F4A9AA802577C0003C9156 Mark
  24. Mark Newsome

    Cetaceans in Ligurian Sea

    I've just done a couple of ferry crossings from Nice to Bastia (Corsica) and back and found this to be an excellent cheap way to see a few cetaceans. Nice to Bastia (21/05/10): 2 Fin Whales seen close to the boat about 2 hours out of Nice. Bastia to Nice (24/05/10): 4 Fin Whales, 2...
  25. Mark Newsome

    Escaped Finch species, Co Durham

    Has anyone got any ideas what this is? Seen visiting a birdtable in Durham this morning. Obviously an escapee, but I haven't come up with any ID yet. Thanks.