Garry Bagnell's Birding adventures



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Recent trips in Sussex

Posted on May 19, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Old Lodge

Posted on May 4, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Hudsonian Godwit at Meare Heath, Somerset 25th April 2015

Posted on May 4, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Hudsonian Godwit - 3rd for Britain

Posted on May 3, 2015 at 4:45 PM

This Mega turned up at a very inconvenient time for me. I was in the middle of going to the local shop for Milk and then taking my daughter Georgie to a Swimming Gala in Horsham.

I asked my wife whether it was possible if she could take Georgie to the gala on Saturday and I would take her on Sunday. She agreed. I got the milk, took it home and left home at 9;15am and arrived at Meare Heath, Somerset at 12:00pm. The 120 space car park was full. I waited for someone to leave and them walked as fast I could to the admiring crowd. The Godwit was sleep on arrival. I stayed with the Godwit until 2:45pm. By this time it flew a short distance and fed with a large flock of Black-tailed Godwit. Other good birds noted included Wood Sand and Greenshank.

Got home at 6pm to find out that my daughters only swim on Saturday was DQ'd as she failed to touch with both hands on her 100m breast stroke race. Trip cost me £25 in diesel.

Little Bustard right on cue

Posted on January 2, 2015 at 4:20 AM

Little Bustard is a bird most British Twitchers dream of.

Reason being the last twitchable one was from the magic1996. This had mouth watering birds including:- Double-crested Cormorant, Little Bustard, Caspian Plover, Great Knot, Long-toed Stint, Cedar Waxwing, Spanish Sparrow  & Indigo Bunting

My first BIG year of twitching was in 1996 and due to the ease of getting new birds I didn't leave the south east with out the exception of day trip to East Anglia. That year I added 22 lifers.with birds such as American Coot at Stodmarsh, Little Bittern at Epsom Stew Ponds, Golden Orioles (yes plural) at Lakenheath

Anyway fast forward to 30th December 2014. News breaks of a Little Bustard at East Guideford, East Sussex (Alan Parker). A few keen souls search the following day without any success. Then another Little Bustard is found at Fraisthorpe, East Yorkshire (Kevin Bernard).

Very fortunately I had a free day on the 1st January 2015. Just had to stay tee total at my Mother-in-llaws new years eve party. I left the party at midnight and went back home to meet John Lees and George Kinnard for a 1am departure. Picked up John Benham at Leatherhead at 1:30am and two hours later we had a lattee at Roadchef Watford Gap.

We arrived at Fraisthorpe at 7am. Car park was already full so we had to park along access track to car park. I tried to have kip before venturing out of the car into the darkness. But too many people were chatting outside the car to make this possible. Once daylight broke it took about 30 minutes for the Little Bustard to be located. It was sat in the middle of a kale field.

See if you recognise anyone in the crowd shots:-




The Little Bustard never really did much all day. It occasionally eat a few insects on the Kale, moved a couple of meters and tried to close it's eyes regularly. We would liked to have seen the Little Bustard fly, and see its amazing wing pattern.

We left the Bustard in peace at 10:30am and went to see Johnny Holidays Blyth's Pipit. Got hope at 19:30pm. The estimated petrol cost of Brighton to Yorkshire and back was £100. So not a bad day out for £25 each and very nice to see over 1000 twitchers enjoying the New Year.

Sadly the next day the Little Bustard was not seen, with approximately 100 people left disappointed. I don't think the Little Bustard ever left the site and probably died in its sleep.



Happy New Year PEEPS!

Posted on December 30, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Just like to wish everybody that visits my website a happy new year.


Sorry for the lack of posting on here during 2014.

It was a combination of lack of birds, patio & lawn construction, computer problems and lack of motivation on my part.

Anyway 2015 is almost here and a liitle bustard was found in sussex today. So I'm hoping my first post will be me putting a Little Bustard on my British List. Fingers crossed.

Total Bird species for each European Country

Posted on August 7, 2014 at 1:35 PM
Rank Country Species 1st Russia 780 2nd Portugal (Inc Azores) 600 3rd United Kingdom 596 4th Spain 563 5th France 541 6th Italy 527 7th Germany 514 8th Kazakhstan 513 9th Sweden 501 10th Turkey 476 11th Norway 473 12th Ireland 464 13th Netherlands 463 14th Denmark 452 15th Finland 450 16th Poland 446 17th Greece 442 18th Belgium 436 19th Ukraine 425 20th Hungary 424 21st Austria 416 22nd Bulgaria 402 23rd Switzerland 397 24th Czech Republic 394 25th Malta 384 26th Romania 383 27th Serbia 381 28th Slovenia 376 29th Cyprus 374 30th Azerbaijan 371 31st Iceland 370 32nd Croatia 369 33rd Slovakia 364 34th Georgia 361 35th Armenia 359 36th Albania 353 37th Latvia 344 38th Lithuania 342 39th Estonia 339 40th Macedonia 335 41st Montenegro 330 42nd Belarus 317 43rd Bosnia and Herzegovina 316 44th Moldova 300 45th Luxembourg 289 46th Liechtenstein 247 47th Andorra 161 48th Monaco 107 49th San Marino 96

Patio's 'r' us

Posted on July 27, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Future British & Irish Lifer Predictions

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 6:15 PM



Welcome to my website

My Name is Garry Bagnell. I am 47 years old and I absolutely love watching Birds.

My main birding achievement was being featured in the hit BBC-4 documentary "Twitchers-A very British Obsession". It was broadcast TEN times and I loved the whole experience.

I do keep THREE Bird lists. The list I am most passionate about is my COMBINED BRITISH & IRISH LIST. My combined WEST & EAST SUSSEX LIST brings gives me a similar pleasure and can be found on the BUBO website. European family holidays have led me to keeping my third list, which is my WESTERN PALEARCTIC LIST. This list is kept on the NETFUGL website.

My website also contains a Blog, Twitching write ups, British & Irish Rare Birds Stats,Tweets on  my TITBITS page and Jokes

Also if you need to contact me my phone number is 07789 765163 or alternatively email me on 

NOTE:- You will only see comments from me on Facebook, Twitter, Birdforum ( Any rude remarks  or negative comments on other websites WILL NOT BE ME.  

Garry Bagnell Twitter



Summary of my Birding Life

1977 - Age 10 - Started watching birds in my parents garden, then went to local parks/ woodland. Become a YOC member. Went to the Crawley & Horsham RSPB group indoor meetings. They organised monthly outings, went on a few car & coach trips in the local area.

1981 - During my many bird watching trips I went to Arundel W.W.T. for a day’s bird watching with Mushaq Ahmed. He pointed out Peter Scott to me. I went over to chat to him and he kindly singed my bird book I had on me. On the 26th July I went to Gatwick Airport with a school friend called Martin Arter. I bought a Civil Aircraft Marking Book (CAM) and I spent the rest of the day ticking off planes in my CAM. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to give up Bird watching as Plane Spotting was going to occupy a lot of my spare time.

1989 - I remember watching the news and seeing lots of birdwatchers descending on Maidstone, Kent for a Golden-winged Warbler. I was thinking about going for it, but sadly never did. So I suppose this is now, my most sought after bird for my British Isles List. Will we ever get another chance?!

1990 - Bought a house with a girlfriend.

1992 - Discovered Birdline, and had another attempt at Birdwatching/Twitching. Restricted my Birding watching/Twitching to the Southeast of Britain. I also joined the local Crawley & Horsham R.S.P.B. group as treasurer. (Shame nobody mentioned the long staying '93 Blackpoll Warbler at Bewl to me, but the R.S.P.B. members I use to chat with weren't major twitchers).

1997 - Got married for the first time.

1998 - I resigned from the post of Crawley & Horsham R.S.P.B Group Treasurer after a 6 year period. I decided to Join two chess clubs:- Crawley & Coulsdon.

1999 - Whilst working at National Grid on a year’s contract, I met Neil Howes and he showed me his Nationwide Birding Notebook. I was amazed at how many birds Neil had seen and how far he travels to see them. It made me think if I should get back into Birding/Twitching and give up the Plane Spotting. For the time being I decided to juggle both hobbies. I went to Scillies for the first time (absolutely loved it) and during my 3 day stay I found a Richard's Pipit, Ortolan Bunting (very brief view) .My Dad died of cancer during the year, so my wife and I decided to move in with mum and and help her out financially.

2000 - Big changes were made to to my life this year. Gave up Plane Spotting (a hobby I had for 19 years), smoking (17 year addiction),left my first wife and gave her the house.

2002 - I met Kim in June and decided to give up playing competitive Chess as it was not fair to Birdwatch and spend weekends playing in Chess Tournaments. During my 4 year Chess career, I achieved a chess grade of 87 (BCF) and it was still rising. I also played Chess for Sussex in the U125(BCF) division. I also got 2nd and 3rd position in some Chess tournaments.

2003 - Got married for the 2nd time to Kim. Started to twitch Ireland...please don't mention the 2000 Blue-winged Warbler that now really hurts.

2004 - My daughter "Georgie" was born. New British Birds were becoming less and less frequent, so I turned my attention to local birdwatching, which started by listing the bird species I see at Weir Wood Reservoir.

2005 - This year on 3rd March a very good friend of mine died, his name was James Havers. He died at the age of 39, whilst eating a meal at Gatwick Airport with Birding friend Andrew Bashford. James was an exceptional good birdwatcher who spent much of his short life doing bird survey work in the Crawley and Horsham area. He took me to see many scarce breeding birds he had found in the region, and he also showed me a wintering Little Bunting found in Ifield Church, Crawley '94.

2008 - Started playing darts at the Fountain Pub in Roffey.

2009 - I formed a Darts Team at the White Knight in Crawley and I decided to stop playing at the Fountain. On the 2nd August my Mother sadly died from Cancer at St. Catherines Hospice. The 6th September my family & I left Rusper and moved into my Mum's house. Since then we have spent £40k on house improvements. During the year I was selected to be filmed for a BBC4 documentary called Twitchers- A very British tradition. (Should be televised on 3rd November 2010).

2010 - Twitchers: A very British Obsession was broadcast on the 1st November on BBC-4. The programme was about twitching birds in Britain and featured Brett Richards, Craig Family, Lee Evans and myself.

2011 - Seeing Sabine's Gull at Brighton Marina on the 15th September is my 300th BOU species for the combined West & East Sussx County List.

2013 - Seeing Wilson's Warbler on 21st September on Dursey Island, County Cork might turn out to be my 500th British & Irish Lifer (BOU/ IRBC basis).  This is dependant on Elegant Tern, Slaty-back-Gull, Alder Fly & Long-toed Stint getting accepted. I met up with a Washington Post journalist & photographer who met me and John Lees in Norfolk. He took photograhs of John and I enjoying my 300th British year tick (BOU), which happened to be a Shore Lark. The article was published in Denver Post, Washington Post and Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday 15th December. The article was portrayed how competitve birdwatchers are in the UK compared to the US.


Latest Updates

Jokes - Five Minute Management Course added 13th January 2012


Long-toed Stint photo added 23rd January 2012 with a few words


Website that reciprocate my website link

Sussex Ornithological society Best website in Sussex

Penny Clarke Penny's hot birding and life

Paul Herrieven Brough Birder

Ross Newham Bald Birder

Steve Nuttal Belvide Birding

MQ Spurn blog

Barry Hunt Barry Birder

Rob Stokes Kent birding adventures

Widerscope Nick, Seth, Danny & Sam

Michael Booker  Sussex Birders

Other good places to check out

Weir Wood  Friends of Weir Wood Official Site

Mark Reeder of birds & pies

John Hague Drunkenbirder

Pete Antrobus Pods World

Gunnar Engblom Birding Blogs

Mr Black Reservoircatz

Serious stuff

British Birds Official magazine of the BBRC

BBRC Official website

BUBO Popular listing website

Netfugl Western Palearctic listing

Surfbirds Great photos and forum

Birdforum Main discussion forum

Rare Bird Alert Best pager in Britain

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Since 11th Feb 2012