Welcome to the website of Len Poxon, a wildlife enthusiast and amateur photographer from the town of Chorley in the county of Lancashire in England. In this site I have set out photographs and blogs of the trips I have made in the local area, elsewhere in the Uk and on trips abroad. Please click on the titles of the photos below to take you to the index pages of my photographs which link up to my Flickr Albums, or click on the titles above or the Blogs/trip reports on the right.
Myself, my wife and two friends (all non-birders (except me)) flew out from Manchester Airport at 11:15 on Sunday 10th. Feb. We arrived in T2 at Singapore’s Changi airport at 11:15 uk time (a 12 hr flight after favourable tail winds). Then a quick transfer to T3 via the sky train (monorail) and 45 minutes after arriving we were airborne again. However whilst taxi-ing on the runway I spotted 3 Cattle Egrets, a single Lark species and 6 House Crows.
We arrived in Auckland, New Zealand at 00:55 local time on Tuesday 12th. Feb (11:55 am Monday UK time) after a further 7 hour flight and at around 2 am we checked into our hotel. I struggled to get to sleep and got up at 6:30 am, by 6:45 it was light and I spotted my first NZ birds through the hotel window, firstly a feral pigeon and then 8 or so Mallard, followed by my first NZ endemic, a Red-Billed Gull*. During breakfast at a local cafe I spotted European House Sparrows and a Blackbird. Later in the morning we went to the Skytower (the tallest building in Auckland) at the base of the tower were several Welcome Swallow.
In the afternoon we took the ‘hop-on/hop-off bus’ that took us on a route that passed the docks and along the shore to the east of the city to Bastion Point, before turning south to the Auckland museum. Along the shore I noted Variable Oystercatcher*, Black-Backed Gull and the ever present Red-Billed Gull. Whilst my wife and friends visited the museum I took a walk around the adjacent Domain park (including the Wintergarden).
Here I saw, a pair of Australian Magpies, Feral Pigeon, Red-Billed Gull, Mallard, Blackbird, House Sparrow, Song Thrush, Myna (aka Indian or Common Mynah), Grey Duck & Grey Duck/Mallard hybrids, Tui*, Stichbird*, probable Fantail* heard, Eastern Rosella heard. Other wildlife included Monarch, Long Tailed Blue and White Butterfly, a brief glimpse of a large dragonfly and a Common Redcoat Damselfly.
Day 1 (in NZ) – species totals were 16 birds (including 5 endemics marked *); 2 Odonata and 3 Lepidoptera.
This trip was to attend the wedding of my niece Elaine and her husband to be Scott. We flew out on Saturday 6th. October arriving in late evening and returned in the early hours of Sunday 14th. October. The hotel was the Athena Beach Hotel in Kato Paphos, about 1.25 miles south of Paphos harbour.
Day 1 – 7th. Oct – up early (6:40) and out with my son and brother in law for a pre-breakfast walk along the seashore path towards Paphos Harbour. The first wildlife seen were House Sparrows in the palm trees around the hotel, quickly followed by Hooded Crows which also favoured the shore area near the hotels. Next we saw a Kingfisher (f) on a landing stage which flew north and stopped at various rocks along the coast to look for its breakfast.
that had a spike consisting of white flowers was spotted next, this proved to be Sea Squill (Urginea maritima). The next bird I saw appeared at first to be a wading bird which flew parallel to the shore before landing several hundred yards away behind a chain link fence. Whilst I went off in search of it my companions made a more leisurely pace and missed it! I got within a 100 m trained my camera on it, just made out a long beak before it flew away behind a hoarding. It was a Hoopoe, my only sighting of the week. When they caught me up it transpired that I had missed a Wheatear that was on the rocks by the shore. We never reached the harbour but had to turn back to rendezvous for breakfast with the rest of the party.
Later that morning on a short walk with my wife along the footway by the shore we spotted a number of Red-veined Darter Dragonflies, both male and female
and 6+ Starred Agama Lizards.
After lunch my son, brother-in-law and myself set off along the coastal path again, this time to the east. Here we saw a single Clouded Yellow Butterfly, 2 or 3 tiny blue butterflies which turned out to be the African Grass Blue and 2 or 3 smaller lizards, the Schreiber’s Fringe-fingered Lizard.
Following recent reports on the Birdguides website I went to Baxter’s Lane St. Helens yesterday (26.10.18) to try my luck. The bird, which was a juvenile was still there. It was very confiding and came to within 4ft. of a group of appreciative birders/photographers to eat some mealworms.