Thursday, 22 December 2011

Grin for John!

John Marchant (Lakes uber-lister), Neil Calbrade and I (both Lakes low-listers) headed out for the penultimate lunchtime Lakes wander of the year earlier today. As Neil isn't in tomorrow, we made a special effort to find the/a Jack Snipe, to no avail. In fact - and against all the odds - the only one of us who got a Lakes tick was John, when a Peregrine flew over and had a half-hearted go at a Mallard! Heard-only Crossbill and a male Goosander were the other highlights.

Merry Christmas to all TEAL Cuppers, and everyone who has been following the action this year! Only 9 days to go...

Sunday, 11 December 2011


Not sure how many times I've squelched round the likely-looking spots this year but it finally paid off today as a Jack Snipe shot out from under my feet! Great bird, and the list moves on to 143 (mine to 130).

Cryptically-patterned waders were the order of the day; a couple of Snipe and a Woodcock were in the same area as the Jack Snipe. The other highlights of a 60-species haul were 4 Goosander and 2 Little Egret.

Thursday, 1 December 2011


"It's all gone quiet." said Roobarb. "Too quiet." said Custard. So here's something to make a noise about after a 2 week lull in TEAL blogging:

All pics courtesy of Dave Leech

First seen in Jeff and Alison Kew's garden (easily the most nyger-rich spot in Thetford, if not the whole of East Anglia) on 23 November, caught and ringed by Dave and I at the Nunnery Lakes on 26 November.

Shame the rest of it wasn't as white as its head! See comment below as to why it should be described as leucistic (as opposed to a 'partial albino'), and for more information about plumage aberrations in birds, this detailed article in Dutch Birding.