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  1. Julian Bell

    Bat ID

    I'm not much good at bats. On a number of occasions I have seen various bat species offshore (North Sea and Baltic). In late August / early September I had a few bats onboard a vessel I was working on in the Baltic. Here is a picture of one of them that dropped down on deck right in front of me...
  2. Julian Bell

    Bird migration offshore in the Mediterranean, October 2020

    Another trip offshore, this time between mainland Spain and the Balearics in late October 2020. Black Redstarts the most regular migrant onboard the vessel I was working on. Starlings, Blackcaps, Cattle Egret and more all heading for Mallorca for the winter. More details here for anyone interested.
  3. Julian Bell

    Fieldfares bathing in seawater

    In October I came across a large number of Fieldfare on an island in Oslofjord. Nothing unusual about that but many of them were down at the waters edge bathing - but this was seawater not freshwater. Anyone else seen other passerines bathing in seawater?
  4. Julian Bell

    Raja Ampat, Indonesia, November 2019

    This is something of a long shot as the head of the bird is not visible. However, the tail looks quite distinctive and the field guide only shows tails from the side. Additional info is that the bird had a white / pale throat and probably also a dark crown. It was high up in the canopy and fed...
  5. Julian Bell

    Triller, Bali, November 2019

    I do not currently have my Indonesian field guide with me but seem to remember that most, if not all, of the Trillers that should occur on Bali have a white supercillium which this bird clearly does not. I am struggling to view the OBC database which I would normally use for ID assistance...
  6. Julian Bell

    Offshore east of Argentina - spinetail?

    This bird turned up on a vessel several hundred km east of Argentina in November 2018, it lived onboard for at least a few days, eating insects that had also landed on the vessel. Very active, bouncing and jumping about.... It looks like a spinetail of some sort, but I thought these were not...
  7. Julian Bell

    Sewatching hides

    (Tried to reply to an old thread on this subject but it wasn't possible) After many years a seawatching hide has been built and will soon be ready for use at Skogsøy, near Bergen, Norway. Well known for the spring migration of Yellow-billed loons (or White-billed Divers as I still call...
  8. Julian Bell

    Empidonax flycatcher

    Saw this thing in early November on a vessel a few hundred km east of Argentina - a long way from land. I'm thinking an Empidonax of some sort.....
  9. Julian Bell

    That time of year again.

    White-billed Divers on the move again, lower numbers so far compared to recent years. 10 on 30.04 and 6 on 29.04. Here is a picture which may be unique taken 30.04 at Skogsøy, SW Norway - three species of diver. From right to left: an adult White-billed Diver, a Red-throated Diver, a 2cy Great...
  10. Julian Bell

    Owl near Darjeeling, India

    I photographed this owl at night using crazy ISO values and long exposures, then even tried flash. The bird had an almost nightjar like jizz in flight. It sat on top of this tree, flew off to catch stuff and returned to the same perch repeatedly. I am thinking along the lines of Brown Hawk Owl.
  11. Julian Bell

    Thrush near Darjeeling, India, November 2017

    Helm's Birds of the Indian Subcontinent and OBC archives have not helped me nail this thrush photographed not far from Darjeeeling, India in November 2017. Any ideas?
  12. Julian Bell

    Fieldfare on the move

    Record numbers of Fieldfare have been recorded further north in Norway this winter. A bumper rowan berry crop kept them there in large numbers. It seems like the berries are running out and there have been days during the last couple of weeks where I could have believed it was the height of...
  13. Julian Bell

    Otter with flatfish, cuts on it's tail seem to be made by Crows

    I filmed this Otter from my terrace (SW Norway) - it came ashore with a large flatfish. Interesting enough in its own right but look at what the Hooded Crows are doing - pecking the Otter's tail to get it to move so they can grab morsels. https://youtu.be/0DbIPtvMJ_A Is it possible the...
  14. Julian Bell

    Woodstar, Chugchilan, Ecuador, Nov 2016

    I'm regretting not buying both volumes of the "Birds of Northern South America".....I bought the plates volume with a view of having less to carry in the rucksack. This bird is obviously a female Woodstar of some sort, I'm thinking White-bellied but as Purple-throated is similar I am...
  15. Julian Bell

    Hemispingus #2?. Chugchilan, Ecuador, Nov 2016

    Is this one of the Hemispinguses?
  16. Julian Bell

    Seedeater, Chugchilan, Ecuador, Nov 2016

    Is this a female or juvenile Band-tailed Seedeater? There were adult male Band-tailed nearby along with some other species. The field guide says band-tailed should have grey underparts but this bird does not seem grey underneath.
  17. Julian Bell

    Hemispingus?. Chugchilan, Ecuador, Nov 2016

    Is this some kind of Hemispingus?. Picture taken near Chugchilan, Ecuador.
  18. Julian Bell

    Chugchilan, Ecuador, 26 November 2016

    This bird has me at a loss. I've ploughed through the plates in "Birds of Northern South America" a number of times without coming up with anything that fits. This was my first time in Ecuador and this bird seemed quite common at various places in the "Quilitoa loop". Is it possibly some kind...
  19. Julian Bell

    Hummingbird, Quito, Ecuador

    After identifying the vast majority of what I saw in the Galapagos I am now back in Ecuador. Date is 25.11.2016 Of the various species I saw in the hotel garden in downtown Quito on the first morning only this one is not 100%. I'm thinking Green-crowned Brilliant....
  20. Julian Bell

    Three species from Guayacil, Ecuador

    I've just returned from a trip to Ecuador and have started to go through some of the pictures I took. Here a a few birds that are giving me a headache - all from the first hour or so of birding. All these images are taken with a point and pray superzoom. 1532 and 1539 are the same species...
  21. Julian Bell

    For those awaiting the rush of migrants from Scandinavia

    I've just returned from a week in the uplands of eastern Norway, where temperatures remain high and there is plenty of food - berries, seeds and lots of insects. Thrushes are flocking and preparing to move but as there is still plenty of food they may well not be moving for a while yet...
  22. Julian Bell

    Territorial behaviour and nest prospecting on migration in the North Sea

    I had an interesting experience with various migrants offshore in the Danish sector in late May 2016. Three species of hirundines all inspected various areas of the vessel for potential nest sites. I have not seen this activity before despite experiencing many falls of migrants offshore over...
  23. Julian Bell

    Be like a birder

    I've tried to combine some recent birding irritations with one of the latest Facebook crazes. I've made a series of "Be like a birder" pictures, some may find them vaguely amusing / topical.... Here is one of them, the rest are here.
  24. Julian Bell

    Squirrel-like mammal in Sri LankA

    I saw many of this very small squirrel like animal (smaller than Palm Squirrel) and very active. The locals seem to call it "bird squirrel"..... Didn't find it in a list of mammals that occur in Sri Lanka (Wikipedia). Picture was taken in Galway Land National Park, Sri Lanka, November 2015
  25. Julian Bell

    Oriental Honey Buzzard? Horton Plains, Sri Lanka, November 2015

    Hopefully one of the last species I need a little help with. Is Oriental Honey Buzzard a likely candidate?