Sunday, 25 January 2015

More from Poole

Here's a few more images from Poole, Dorset.
 Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-headed & Mediterranean Gulls et al
Paul Morton (Sound Approach) & TUB

A Rich Poole

Spent a fantastic day last Friday in and around Poole Harbour, Dorset in the company of Paul Morton of the Sound Approach 

The idea was for me to attend a boat trip into the harbour with a bunch of local school kids before being shown the delights of urban Poole for a forthcoming Bird Watching Magazine article. The harbour in the morning was totally mesmerising. It was freezing but the light was amazing and the waters like a mill pond.
 The harbour in the am
 A passing Shag
 An Adult Shag
 A younger bird
On dry land there were a host of interesting species many of which were quite approachable. The urban Spoonbill was particularly surprising.
 Mute Swan
 Spotted Redshank
 Spotted Redshank taking a swim
 A ridiculously close Spoonbill
 Little Egret
Grazing Brent Geese

Friday, 9 January 2015

The Urban Birding Challenge

 TUB & Doug Gochfeld - one of the founders of UBC

There's a great new challenge being put to the world's cities. It's one that got me really excited the moment it came to my attention. The brainchild of my American urban birding buddy Doug Gochfeld and some of his friends, The Urban Birding Challenge is all about getting cities around the world to compete against each other in a Big Year to see as many species as possible.

At least a dozen cities have already signed up for it including New York (Doug's stomping ground), Lima, Toronto and Miami. There are loads more cities on the verge of involvement including the likes of Jerusalem, Singapore, Paris and Beijing. All records of birds will be fed into eBird, the online checklist program who will monitor the grand totals. If cities don't input their lists on eBird then they won't be counted. It's as simple as that. Of course, there needs to be a level playing field. London for example, will not be able to live with Beijing or Nairobi in a straight head-to-head. So, there will be a handicap system put in place that will take into consideration the particular city's official bird list total.

What I love about The Urban Birding Challenge is the fact that it is so easy to get involved. You just go birding and record your list on eBird. Of course, once things start heating up I'm sure that people will be going out as often as possible urban birding to get their city up in the stakes.

I am registered as a supporter and taking the lead with London but if you would like to involve your city simply register your interest at

It's really easy to get involved, you don't need to be an expert and it will be great fun. Plus, The Urban Birding Challenge will be a great way to promote urban birding!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

A bit more from Extremadura

A few more of the birds I've seen during my short break in Extremadura.
 Female Stonechat
 Male Sardinian Warbler
 Black Vulture
 Meadow Pipit
Male Spanish Sparrow