Best bird you have seen!?

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  • Best bird you have seen!?
  • In a particularly harsh winter in the 80s (I was about 13) a male blackcap came into our garden to help himself to the seed bowl. I was ECSTATIC!

    Didn’t want to let him go so I shot him with my Webley Hurricane*

    *complete fabrication.


    Golden Eagle in flight, no more than 50 yards away from us, level with us – we were in the car coming through the glencoe pass. bloody fantastic


    In a particularly harsh winter in the 80s (I was about 13) a male blackcap came into our garden to help himself to the seed bowl. I was ECSTATIC!

    Didn’t want to let him go so I shot him with my Webley Hurricane*

    *complete fabrication.

    You spoilt a good wind up with the last bit.


    Saw a ground hornbill breaking into a tortoise in S. Africa – scary bird

    In the UK I love a Jay

    And a recent sighting of some Pheasants (beautiful creatures) in my local woods has got me dreaming of a night ride poaching expedition

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    Not sure how exotic any of this is considered to be but the encounters were memorable to me…

    Red Kite – Suddenly sprang into action from a tree and scared the bejesus out of me early one morning on the North Face Trail in Grizedale.

    Barn Owl – Swooped from a tree while I was on a night ride a few months ago and flew a little distance ahead of me in the beam of my head-light for what seemed like ages but was probably about 20secs

    Peregrine Falcon – I left a country lane and entered a favourite bit of single-track to find a cloud of feathers in front of me. A few feet over to the side a Peregrine legged-it leaving a decapitated pigeon on the ground!

    Humming Birds – Staying with a relative in California, humming birds regularly visit her garden and would hover around us while we sat reading/drinking in the sun.

    Do I have to be at work now? Why can’t I be experiencing the above for ever instead????


    higthepig – Tis a crowned crane, tanzania national bird.

    Rarest ive seen is a Pels Fishing owl, in the okovango delta. Im no birder watcher, but i picked up a load of stuff from the various conservation stuff ive done.

    A Great Spotted & a Lesser Spotted woodpecker in the same tree together. Lots of exotic stuff in Goa. A Barn Owl on a post by the road in Northumberland & no camera.


    Most unexpected was a female sparrowhawk, perched on the wall of my tiny back yard in the middle of Bristol. She was tucking in to a sparrow…


    Baby robin πŸ™‚

    My most favourite sighting was a barn owl flying lower then me alongside a motor way, I was in a car travelling up a slip road.

    Rarest was seeing a capercaillie when visiting the Loch Garten Osprey visitors centre. Also seeing 3 ospreys on the same tree sent me into a whirl of excitement.


    Peregrine Falcon catching and releasing a pidgen to teach it’s young how to hunt. Great site. Made all the better for being in the middle of Bath (they used to nest in South parade church).

    Waking up on a balcony in LA, humming birds litrally 2ft away from me. Lovely.

    Green Woodpecker as I rode along a Canal on my first decent ride since breaking my shoulder.. I’d never seen one before so was pretty chuffed.

    Seagulls – how dull?
    Thermalling along side me in an ASH-25 going up at 8knts near to Northampton. I enjoyed that .

    My ex was there when the Ospreys left Loch Garten for the year, and a Caper decided to have a nosey round the freshly vacated nest! Not seen one myself unfortunately πŸ™

    All my other favourites have already been mentioned above I think

    Sea Eagle being mobbed by gulls on Mull, Sparrowhawk swooping at the Coal Tits at Glenmore, lots of close ups of buzzards.

    I get a kick out of seeing skeins on geese approaching, I think the best was camping in Glen Truim and hearing them well before I saw them as they flew up the Glen.

    My favourite sighting was probably the snipe outside Shenavall bothy, I’d been standing for age listening to him and then saw him zig-zagging up and down over the ground.

    Three juvenile hen harriers above Rannoch Moor, they were literally shaking themselves like dogs after a viscious downpour which had maybe driven them to ground?

    From my folks house I have seen… Sea Eagles,Owls and my persoanl favourite Green woodpecker.

    Load of crossbills and the like too πŸ™‚

    Oyster catchers are lovely but not rare.


    Oooh, Osprey!

    Also, bluejay and red cardinal this year, although some of the woodpeckers are pretty cool.


    Ospreys would probably top my list, locally and north wales. Watched a heron being mobbed by a gang of gulls, for a big bird they can really fly, damn impressive.

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    Where i live (Chilterns) we have red kites visit our neighbour’s bird table. they look big enough on the air, but when they swoop down to some garden furniture 10 yards in front of you, they are B-I-G.

    Outside of the UK, seeing green and red macaws flying in tandem in Costa Rica was pretty special.
    Probably the most remarkable moment though was in 2010, on Cerro Catedral in Argentina/Northern Patagonia. my wife and I had walked from the Refugio near the top, up to the peak. From behind the ridge, a condor swept up on a thermal and hovered above us. I’d seen condors in Peru a few years before, but having a bird that size, eyeing you up to see of you’re edible from about 20 feet above you is a bit different to the usual human/wildlfe encounter!!


    Let me see

    5 years ago on the back road from Fernie to Whitefish 12 Bald eagles fighting over an elk roadkill carcass – made the few ravens there look tiny

    3 years ago on a salmon spawning river near Nelson BC upto 7 ospreys at any one time feeding on dying salmon – the salmon were a most spectacular red too

    But my favourite really is year in year out for the last 20 years watching the baby kestrels faltering flights on the huge mill roof opposite my bedroom window – I look forward to this every year

    Hen Harrier on Kingly Vale
    Little owl on Hayling Island ,nearly rode over it
    Kingfishers used to use my rods as a perch when i was ‘carpist’
    Barn Owls , Kestrels, Buzzards , Kites pretty much weekly . The joy of an early morning commute .

    Magpie. It’s proper shit round here.

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    Sea Eagles at Calgary on Mull, a tawny owl flying parallel for a hundred metres or so when out night riding in Moray, Golden Eagles soaring above Glen Feshie and dotterel on the shoulder of one of the hills in Glen Affric have been the best I’ve seen in the UK.

    Outside Britain vultures in the north of Mallorca were pretty amazing and I always loved seeing Kea in New Zealand. Though fairly common, I liked the gallus Alpine parrot.


    non tyrannical, not mental, sensible female, only from a distance and she was taken πŸ˜₯


    Dartford Warbler in New Forest. Young baby nearly got hypothermia whilst I watched endlessly.

    Barn Owl over our pond in the garden.

    Vulture VERY close in the Picos de Europa.

    Kites at Nant yr Arian are a bonus after MTBing.

    Hornbills in Sri Lanka. If you are seriously into birds Sri Lanka is a must


    I have to say that I really do love birds, although if I’m honest my favourites are seagulls. For thier size they are very agile fliers and very successful.

    When you watch birds in flight it’s not hard too see their relationship with their primordial kin.

    Hard to imagine the kind of determination it would take to achieve natural or unassisted flight, a truly remarkable species.


    I saw a Norweign Blue parrot once, I think it was dead but It may have been resting after a long squawk.


    Difficult choice – tops are

    Seeing two kingfishers together – bright blue blurs like flying jewels.

    Ptarmigan on Skye – mother did the injured act, trying to lead me away from the little ones.

    Being among of the biggest colonies of Puffins in Iceland [the country not the shop, though Icelandic supermarkets do sell them on the food counters]

    and very successful.

    When you watch birds in flight it’s not hard too see their relationship with their primordial kin.

    Hard to imagine the kind of determination it would take to achieve natural or unassisted flight, a truly remarkable species.

    You what?

    A humming bird.


    The ultra rare Meer Sparrow

    Meer Sparrows by SGMTB, on Flickr


    Roast chicken last Sunday πŸ˜†


    Pel’s fishing owl in botswana


    A nuthatch(couple of years ago) and today loads of Mandarin ducks,both at Compstall nr Stockport.

    When I lived in Oz a Pelican in the local park.

    some eagles in the Rocky Mountains somewhere near Kamloops. Hard to tell what kind of eagles they were, (a) I was driving and (b) they were very high up.

    In UK, other than the bird garden at Lotherton Hall near Leeds, probably a kingfisher on the river Aire in Shipley, or perhaps a jay just across the road from me.


    15-20 Eagles above Croix de Fer on our last day in the Alps.

    Bright sunshine and a compact camera meant pretty poor pics but seemed to be Golden Eagles from the location, pics and memory. Would actually say Royal or Imperial pics matched better but location didn’t seem to match.

    Amazing site with them no more than 20 feet above us at some points. The sheep around seemed to be gathering in pretty close to each other too!

    Saw a Marmot that days too, was pretty amazing wildlife.

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    Always been loads of Kestrels and Barn Owls round here, but recently I’ve seen loads of Kites (or maybe just the same Kite loads of times) whhile riding in Wakerley Woods.

    Never seen it, but it’s pretty clear from its leftovers that there’s at least one Sparrowhawk resident somewhere near the playing field I walk the dogs in.

    slainte πŸ™‚ rob


    a “white” red kite at NantyArian was pretty cool

    I’m sure I saw a Condor once. Lotherton Hall bird garden near Garforth.

    BIG bugger whatever it was!


    Golden eagle flew alongside the truck in Mongolia, no more than 8 feet away, looking at us for a few seconds, then flew over the top to the other side, then off it went. Pretty cool, one of those moments where you can’t get the camera in time.

    Needs a pic of a Hoopoe.

    Amazing bird, especially their rather odd flight characteristics!

    Oh, and….

    Bouncing boobies….. πŸ™‚

    Almost got take out by a crash landing swan this morning in the park. Mistook the tarmac for water. Full on Lancaster bomber crash land and somersault. (Phoned SSPCA as it looked like i felt after my last big stack)


    [/url]I quite liked this little fellow that I saw in Oz, called a Splendid Fairy Wren. Had to be quick to get a photo.

    And I liked this Crested Tern too.

    Some of my other bird photos here if you are interested:

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    Red Kite in Wales, with a buzzard trying but failing to mob it: didn’t get close.
    Osprey fishing in N Scotland, gull trying but failing to steal catch.
    A Wren teaching young to feed on the ground, then alarm calling because a rat was near, again Scotland.

    And further afield…
    Humming bird, Grand Canyon, investigated my red baseball cap. It sounded like a low-flying motor bike.
    Albatross, S Atlantic, effortlessly riding the waves for free.
    Cassowary, Papua New Guinea, the most evil-looking thing, I was glad it was in a cage in a zoo.

    Arctic Terns getting aggresive in Iceland. They hurt.

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