The Crazy Mix- Birds and People

Thumbnail image for The Crazy Mix- Birds and People by MartinGarner 26 January 2011

I have had some interesting encounters in recent days. Some scary. Some wonderful. And they are all around observations in  the strange middle ground where humans and birds meet. The photo of feathers above was one such case. But just  for fun- can you identify the bird species– even to age and sex? I found this individual with a broken wing having hit some (man-made) overhead power lines. Its could just about […]

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Slaty-backed Gull in Britain?

Thumbnail image for Slaty-backed Gull in Britain? by MartinGarner 14 January 2011

A Potential First. A WOW factor adult gull was seen and photographed today by Dominic Mitchell. I think it really looks very cool! A little frustratingly he didn’t manage to see the wing pattern – but surely you feel it will show a full white ‘string of pearls’. The upperpart tone is at the paler end and will, I guess, get much […]

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Get out more Martin!

Thumbnail image for Get out more Martin! by MartinGarner 5 January 2011

Sheffield in northern England is well known for its former steelworks. Its where I live with my wife, Sharon and my 2 teenage daughters, Emily and Abigail. 4 years ago we moved to live on the edge of the former industrial heartland. Old warehouses, narrow streets, new blocks of flats. Maybe you can understand why […]

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Mystery Christmas Bird

Thumbnail image for Mystery Christmas Bird by MartinGarner 23 December 2010

How do you follow a post like Rich’s Christmas Quetzal’s. I can’t. So I thought I would lower the tone and move into Birdquiz mode. It’s wildfowl season, at least that’s what I will be looking at over Christmas into 2011. So here’s an example of the errr… something wildfowlish. Here are photos of a  bird I have only seen once- […]

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Snow Birding

Thumbnail image for Snow Birding by MartinGarner 14 December 2010

I like the Snow! But then I did spend 8 childhood years in Canada, 2 of them in Brandon, Manitoba where temperatures reached down to -40 degrees. Cold- you have no idea! The door would be open to a 9 foot wall of  white- snow drift. Cars would clunk down the road each morning, on […]

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What’s your Christmas BIRD?

Thumbnail image for What’s your Christmas BIRD? by MartinGarner 8 December 2010

In the UK we will soon be besieged with Christmas cards. THE bird species which will be more in evidence than any other will be the European Robin. Not the Robin of North America (Turdus migratorius), but a much smaller cuter -looking, super aggressive chat. Often known as the gardeners  friend, our resident British birds are often quite tame. However we are invaded each autumn […]

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What my neighbour is teaching me about birds

Thumbnail image for What my neighbour is teaching me about birds by MartinGarner 30 November 2010

Top photo: Crossbill (vocal type unknown), Bashkino, Moscow region, Russia. 17th November 2007. Sergey Yeliseev. Bird sound is a fascinating aspect of our interest in birds. The longer I have been birding the more I realise that the majority of the time, it is bird calls and song that attract my attention, often well before the […]

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Live with the Mystery…

Thumbnail image for Live with the Mystery… by MartinGarner 23 November 2010

Someone recently repeated back to me a strap-line I like to use: “Always Discovering”. Well I have really been enjoying November 2010 on the discoveries front. In order to ‘do’ discovery, we also have to admit that the stuff we don’t know is greater than what we do know. We must learn to Live with the Mystery. Despite a plethora of books, and  illustration, birds remain a treasure trove of […]

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Hitchhiking Bunting

by MartinGarner 16 November 2010
Thumbnail image for Hitchhiking Bunting

Snow Bunting breaking the rules! My family owns a caravan at Sandy Beaches, Spurn. The Snow Bunting above hung out by my caravan; without ME being there. The second bit is the most important. Sandy Beaches is a generic sounding place for a small holiday ‘van park. Spurn however  is often rated as the best place for migration […]

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Russian Grey Shrike OK with you?

Thumbnail image for Russian Grey Shrike OK with you? by MartinGarner 8 November 2010

What’s in  a name Sorry. Was supposed to post last week and just got swamped! Went to do something on Redpolls, to find Rebecca beat me too it and did a much better job! Multi-authored blogs eh? Anyway, back now. Last friday 5th November I went to see a Great Grey Shrike, only about 15 minutes drive from my […]

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What and Wow

Thumbnail image for What and Wow by MartinGarner 30 October 2010

2 Words vital to Birding I was 11 years old. A (Barn) Swallow was nesting under some eaves at our house in Northern England. I watched, mesmerised as it collected mud on our road to add to the nest structure. Amazing tail streamers in flight, iridescent colours. It captured my imagination. It was a big WOW! Then my Dad told me […]

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