An early start on the road to get the ross's, the run was a good one until i turned off the M6 and then got lost. Dont ever use AA route planner, none of the info i printed off meant anything as to the actual road, turn right at the lights take the 2nd exit..... never bloody again. Eventually i got there and as predicted it rained but it looked like clearing as they said. There was no sign of the ross's so i moved up and down the coast in the hope of tracking it down. I met up with 3 blokes from Northamptonshire and we set about looking for it. Then came news on the pager of it being seen only just where we'd been, so back to the cars and we then saw some birders watching it in Grannys bay.

Over the next couple of hours it was to give good views to us all and was very photogenic giving everyone at least a couple of decent shots. At one stage whilst i was kneeling on the grass photographing, it calmly walked past me just a couple of feet away, what a lovely bird it was. What i noticed was how dark the eye was in viewing it, it didnt really matter whether the sun was shinning into it or not, the wings were long and dragged in the mud like a cape sometimes when it found itself in softer terrain, and the pink flush was evident too. A cracking little beauty and a new tick for me aswell, i wasnt bothered about the journey home now.

**MEGA** Winterton. Norfolk.**MEGA**

**** BLACK LARK****
Monday 21st April 2008.
After some time searching the Black Lark was found and showing atop a ridge on a track through the grasses. It gave good views (not close enough for better shots) when not disappearing into the grass, and really stood out due to its size. After a short spell it moved into the grass and did not re-appear. It was not seen to fly off and could not be located again, presumably moving out of sight and below the ridge away from everyones view and probably heading north along the dunes. A cracking twitch though.

London - Fairlop Water & Essex - Waltham Abbey April 2008

Despite being seen the evening before and a start around first light, the four Black necked grebes at Fairlop had departed. There were quite a few swallow feeding over the main lake with a couple of sand martins and a pair of linnet in the car park, the female watched collecting dried out mashed paper from the tarmac and taking it back to construct a nest in a nearby hedge.

So after the disappointment of not connecting with the grebes, my dad and i travelled to waltham abbey to see if we could find any nightingales before heading home. At sewardstone, around Knights pit we heard one calling but it was too well hidden as usual and so we moved onto Fishers green where a couple had been seen a few days previous. After a wait we heard at least two birds and saw one which although elusive did show for a few seconds.

Abberton Reservoir. 2008.

I took Sarah to see the Slavonian grebes that had been frequenting Abberton and after a short while looking we eventually found one bird which showed close in enough for good views to appreciate the stunning plumage but not great for photographing, but i grabbed a couple of record shots.
We eventually located a second slavonian but this stayed further out towards the middle of the reservoir seemingly accompanying a group of tufted duck. For the remainder of our stay viewing from the causeway the grebes remained further towards the centre of the reservoir giving distant views.
A female Scaup was viewed with a tufted duck but kept its distance at all times. And the male shovelers proved a wash of colour when in the glare of the sun, changing the tones of the head feathering as it turned from side to side.

I started to check some local areas and manure heaps for early yellow wagtails and wheatears. After a couple of visits i had only seen 1 yellow wag' but the corn buntings were still grouped together numbering 8+. A couple of pied wagtails put in a few appearances. All in all fairly quiet but still early.

Bird Ringing. Bedfordshire April 2008.

Myself and Sarah joined the bird ringing team from the Lodge RSPB at a nearby location to see what they could catch and ring. Unfortunately we missed the willow warblers and blackcap caught before we arrived, but over the next couple of hours some nice common species were photographed in the hand and a good experience in studying the finer points of the birds makeup.

Also a moth trap was put up the night before but only 3 moths were caught being an Early grey, Red chestnut, and Powdered quaker. I will join them again on the next veture so as to get some photographs for them and hopefully something good will turn up in one of the bags.

Dungeness. Kent.2008.

*** MEGA ***
**Dark Eyed Junco**

*** MEGA *** MEGA *** MEGA ***

Dark Eyed Junco

An early morning start to get round the 25' in the hope the dark eyed junco was still present at Dungeness. After a bloody cold wait, fairly short as it goes, it was located and good views albeit restricted and in a shaded area were had. A new species was in the bag, i waited a few hours to get a decent shot and called it a day after about five hours. It could hold up in the shrub/bushes for some time but would return to the pile of seed put out. At one time it was heard calling whilst perched up in a conifer, an almost clicking note which stood out from the dunnock and chaffinch calling nearby. A cracking little bird and well worth getting up early for.

Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire. 2008.

Meadow pipit
Rock pipit
Rock pipit

I wanted to try and catch up with the Rock pipit that had been frequenting here. I had only seen this species a couple of times and not photographed one since taking up photography. On arrival i saw my first yellow wagtail of the year albeit briefly on the wet grass. The rock pipit was found amongst some meadow pipits but eventually parted from them and fed alone along the waters edge, giving some good close views and totally unwary of myself, the only time it moved from my location was when it was harrased by the pied wagtails in the vacinity.

Roxton.Bedfordshire.April 2008.

I took a walk around the lakes and weir along with Sarah. Amongst the black headed gulls i picked out a little gull which gave good views before heading off s/w. Waders included a pair of oystercatcher and redshank. Along the river footpath heading towards the weir we found a lovely drake mandarin, but around the weir we only saw 2 kingfisher and unfortunately no grey wags'.

Dunwich Heath. April 2008.

The aim of this trip was to try and get some shots of the dartford warblers, but they proved elusive and didnt stay perched for long. The wind was quite strong still which didnt help when they alighted a shrub or bush. The best photographic subject turned out to be a muntjac deer which posed for some time.(see the link to my gallery page)

Whilst walking around the heath area a ringtail hen harrier got up from some long grass literally yards away.