World’s sandpipers include species known to migrate through region

Our Fine Feathered Friends

SolitarySandpiper-One Photo by Bryan Stevens • Migrating shorebirds, such as this Solitary Sandpiper, add to shorebird diversity in the landlocked state of Tennessee as they migrate through each spring and fall.

As spring migration wanes, it’s a good time to reflect on what birds this seasonal phenomenon brought within viewing distance. In recent weeks I have seen grosbeaks, warblers, vireos, orioles, flycatchers, hummingbirds and more. Another family of migrating birds doesn’t attract quite as much attention from backyard birders, probably due to the fact that shorebirds are not usually considered birds likely to drop by a yard for a brief visit.

Throughout April and May I saw a few different shorebirds, most of them belonging to a group of birds labeled as sandpipers. The most common was the spotted sandpiper. This robin-sized bird belongs to the genus, Actitis, which consists of only one other species, the common sandpiper of Europe and…

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An overnight in the Peak District National Park

SzimiStyle Birding

This time I travelled up north to the Lake District National Park what is another never visited region of England for me. Prior to the Saturday afternoon photo shoots in New Brighton, I spent the overnight in the moorlands near the picturesque Hathersage village, fought with the annoying midges(?), slept a few a hours in the car, but it was worth. The scenery and birdlife are just spectacular and the lack of anthropogenic noises made this stay really memorable. Despite choosing a wrong walking shoe, and the massive blister on my toe, I trekked about 11 miles combined.

First I trekked from the Ford car park to the High Neb then at the western side of Stanage Edge I walked back to the car. The tranquillity of the moors with the song of Eurasian Curlews was just something I have always been long for. I wasn’t prepared to write a novel…

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Birding from Nottingham to Norfolk and a bit of camera testing

SzimiStyle Birding

Early morning we drove to the Holme Pierpoint National Watersports Centre near Colwick for finding a long staying first winter Spotted Sandpiper. It too a while figuring out where the bird was located but after all we found it at the White Water Rapids. It was a very confiding bird and often walked toward us when we sat down at the edge of the rapids. It was actively feeling and flew only short distances. On the way back to the carpark we enjoyed very close views of a adult female Long-tailed Duck.

Most of the time it was foraging but later it regurgitated this larvae. Sony RX10 IV. © Gyorgy Szimuly

The Rapids became very busy upon our arrival. iPhone 7 Plus © Gyorgy Szimuly

My previous encounter of the Spotted Sandpiper in England wasn’t as detailed and satisfactory as this one. Sony RX10 IV. © Gyorgy Szimuly

All…

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Curlew land

SzimiStyle Birding

After a brief sleep in the car, I drove to the Ford car park and back again to the Upper Burbage Bridge at 3AM looking for night birds. Luckily I saw a Tawny Owl sitting on the drystone wall along the road but didn’t allow me to take any photos. Two Short-eared Owls and Little Owl with singing Ring Ouzels in twilight were the highlights of the dark.

The morning was very misty on the plateau of but it was still very enjoyable to walk. I took a 5.6 km trek from the eastern part of Stanage Edge to the White Path Moss. Apart from some sleeping climbers on the cliffs, I didn’t see a single human what was more than delightful for me.

Territorial Eurasian Curlew near its breeding site. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

On the plateau, I found a family of Red Grouse with eight chicks…

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May – A month of Birding. Part 2 – Johannesburg to Orapa

roncorylus

We left Johannesburg and drove to the Botswana border, crossing at Martin’s Drift.  Ann and Althea had joined us for the first week of our journey.  The roads in Botswana are excellent – a testimony to the wealth derived from the country’s booming diamond mining – and our journey onwards to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary was uneventful.  On arrival, however, Renee found that she must have dropped her binoculars and one of the prisms had shifted.  A trip to Serowe allowed us to buy a new pair, but they were not that great!

Khama offers good birding and there were great views of the many White Rhinos, especially in the setting sun, when they were framed with the dust they kicked up. The camp is basic, but comfortable, and we spent two nights there, notching up another lifer, in the form of a Tinkling Cisticola.

We spent a night just…

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