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 garrybagnell35@googlemail.com 

NOTE:- You will only see comments from me on Facebook, Twitter, Birdforum and.here (www.britishislestwitching.com 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



Newest Members

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


free counters

Since 11th Feb 2012


Glaucous-winged Gull Twitch (Saturday 3rd to Sunday 4th March)

Do you go now?……..Do you go tomorrow?…….Do you ignore it?…..Do you see what others are doing?……Do you start crying?

I choose the sensible option of….start crying?

I left work at midday Wednesday with flu, and went straight home to bed. I stayed in the bed room for 48 hours. I did not eat, I did not smile, I did not sh* etc during that time. But I did get a call from the "Legend in his own lifetime". He warned me that the pager was just about to Mega "Glaucous-winged Gull in Camarthens".

Anyway you have to go for "First for Britains", don’t you? Even when there are major birds in Cornwall.

From midday Friday to 1am Saturday morning, I finally had my arm-twisted and I reluctantly agreed to drive the family hearse without the coffin to Wales. Loads of space for Chris Heard’s HI-NRG tape collection, Ian Barnard’s press photography kit bag, Christian Melgar’s waterproof clothing range, and I had enough space for a Kit Kat and my Box Brownie.

I left at 1am on Satuday 3rd April with Christian & Ian. I picked up Chris in Maidenhead at about 2am and arrived in Camarthens at 7am.

On route we stopped at a service station and I couldn’t believe how many birders we knew popped in for a sh?t and a chat. Famous sh?tters included Ron King, Simon King, John Archer, Steve Webb, Richard Fairbanks, Dave & John Cooper, John King, One-eyed Bill and his monocular etc etc.

At 7am we was really expecting a capacity crowd, but there was only about 20-30 cars there. Chris, Christian & I stayed in the car. Whilst Ian starting birding??? (I think chatting).

I got about an hours sleep on arrival and then tried to find the bird on the Estuary from the Car Park. Never really managed to find anything worthwhile as chatting got the better of me during the day. The number of birders soon rose to about 300 as the day unfolded.

I must recommend the Café, just over the Railway Bridge in Ferryside. For ١.50 you get a Full Welsh Breakfast and a cup of Coffee with a picture of an Anchor floating in it. And the same Coffee stayed warm the whole 4 hours I was in the Café.

By 2pm, people started get bored. Some people went for the Pacific Diver, some people went home, some people saw flocks of Goshawks, while others saw none. The only peple seem to still be looking for the Glaucous-winged Gull was one-eyed Bill and his monocular and "Les Holiwell"

Then all of a sudden someone shouts "They’ve got it". People start shouting, screaming and a Carnival atmosphere starts. Les Holiwell is the man of the day to get the Glaucous-winged Gull in view in his scope first.

I first ran to my car and helped "Sleepy Chris" out of his lair and tell him the good news. I then started to speed walk towards the Carnival procession.

15 minutes later I arrived at the epi-centre and a Crowd in excess of 200 birders were watching the Glaucous-winged Gull. It was distant, but some birders could see its blue-leg ring and some of the salient features. I was happy to be able to rule out Glaucous Gull from my view, so I also happily ticked it off.

I watched the Gull for a further 5 minutes and then it flew out of view.

What a reliet, we all thought we was going to "dip" and we didn’t. Who needs drugs for a quick fix…just get a pager…..and your troubles will be over.

We left the area at 5pm and made our way to Cornwall. Some of us had a nice view of Richard Bonsers Bare Bum has his chauffeur overtook us on the inside and gave us a wave with his middle figure. This was somewhere on the M5 near Exeter.

We arrived in the Bodmin area at 10:45pm and easily found a vacant B&B. I shared a room with Chris quiet as a mouse Heard??!!

I wish…..noisy bugger! I could still hear Chris snoring 16 metres away in a soundproof toilet

We all left the B&B at 5:05am and made our way to the Gyr Falcon at Stepper Point near Padstow. On arrival at the Car park was about 15 cars. Rain was extremely heavy and the only waterproof jacket was my fluorescent Coat. I knew it was not going to be popular, but I had no choice if I wanted to stay dry.

We had brilliant views of Gyr sitting on a stone fence. We stayed on site for about 3 hours and one of the Passengers got so wet he had to take his trousers off and wear shorts for the rest of the day. Wolf whistles could be heard all over town.

Birds seen in Cornwall included White-billed Diver, Spotted Sandpiper, Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat (sames as recent Aberdeen University bird from DNA analysis…no chance…..someone’s definitely made a bo bo there).

Got home Sunday at 10:15pm, what a great trip. 㿈 each.

Only low light was having my naked bottom being pinched in a public toilet cubicle near Exeter. Any ideas who it was?


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