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 [email protected] 

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

http://garrybagnell.webs.com/jokes.htm

 

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

http://garrybagnell.webs.com/11ltstinttwitch.htm

 

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

 

House Crow  (Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th Sept 2010)

Getting my 500th British & Irish Bird was obviously on the cards for 2010, so when RBA mega'd House Crow on Sunday 12th September 2010 at 21:15 phone calls had to be made.

The first person I rang was Lee Evans, he couldn't go on Monday (he had a date with a King Eider in Suffolk) but he could go on Tuesday. Then I rang Chris Heard (he was woken by the pager mega'ng), he was also fine on going Tuesday. I couldn’t get hold of John Lees that night, so I left a message for him to ring me.

On Monday at 8:06am, I was kindly greeted with a text from Mark Commody stating that “Indian House Crow showing very well at Kennedy pier Cobh this morning”. I then shared the news with RBA and then made my way to work My boss agreed to allow me to have Tuesday and Wednesday off as annual leave.

John Lees rang me to say he has booked 2 days of his annual leave, but needed to be back at work by 3am Thursday.

This restriction didn’t suit everybody ..so pager adverts went out…lack of interest thankfully  forced us all to travel in one car. During the Monday, it transpired that only 4 British travelled (Chris Batty, Stuart Piner, James Hanlon and Steve Webb) for the Crow. The only other British and Irish record of 1974 stayed  2 whole years and was only seen by a couple of birders including a 14 year old boy called Killian Mullarney.

I got home at 5:45pm, packed my rucksack with a few essentials (toothpaste, bins, scope, new Collins field guide, credit card, hammer, masking tape etc. John arrived 15 minutes earlier than schedule and had the pleasure of watching me nibbling on Kim’s breasts….well I was actually munching chicken breasts,...married men are allowed to dream aren’t they?

At 6:30pm, John & I left my home in Crawley. This occasion we opted to take John’s car. We got to Little Chalfont at 8pm, and Lee jumps in and takes us on scenic route to Chris’s house in Maidenhead.

At 8:30pm, team is fully assembled and we now embark on the 5hour journey to Fishguard.

During the journey it becomes fairly obviously, it’s going to be very difficult to arrive in Fishguard in one piece….The wind was buffeting the car constantly; and John’s car was consequently drifting between lanes 1, 2 and 3 without turning the wheel.

I pulled into a service station on Junction 36 of the M4 (Shell at Rhondda) and parked next to the air and water machine. Lee operated the air machine and I was on cap duty. The PSI should be at least 32 on each tyre, but each tyre was only registering slighty over 20. Phew we should all be safe soon.

John, Chris & I popped into to this Service Station shop to buy some supplies. The service station had a Coffee section, with stools and small tables. Most of the stools were occupied with lorry drivers with their tongues hanging out….I’ve been to many service stations over my 43 years but how many service stations do the staff pop over for a chat when not serving? This one had a slim girl with luxuriously long blonde hair and little makeup. Whilst I was decided what size red bull to buy, I noticed she left the till unattended and glided over and sat on a stool opposite a seated lorry driver. The lorry driver moved his coffee from the small table section as this girls massive breasts were now resting on the table and covering most of the tables surface area …so there you go, some lorry drivers can be very considerate creatures.

 We boarded the ferry at 02:30 and I immediately tried to find a place to lay my sleeping bag. I found a nice flat section off the floor near the lifts. All I need to do now, is arrange all my pocessions in such a position that if anyone tries nicking them during the night..it will wake me up instantly.. I can then grab my trusty hammer and bash the assailant on the bonse. Kids don’t try this yourself, you might get locked up and when you get released, the bird will probably be gone.

The Ferry Captain wakes everybody up with the tannoy 20 minutes before you the Ferry docks. I then got up and I wandered aimlessly around the Ferry trying to find the others. I cannot believe my eyes ...is that 3 of Premierships finest I can see before me. Yeah I spot Brett Richards, John Regan & Tony Ford. They decided to take their car on the ferry on a day return basis for just £170. I do hope our trip works out cheaper than this, as one of my passengers moods will change for the worse if he shells out more pennies than anyone else. Lee please don’t worry I’m not going mention any names.

In the Ferry terminal Lee makes a beeline for the Car rental desk and gets the cheapest vehicle Budget has in stock. Which happens to a 7 seater 4 by 4. Fantastic news, I am so use to squeezing 4-5 adults into a Metro, with scopes, rucksacks, sleeping bags and picnic hampers…you normally end up getting someone like Chris sitting on your lap.

We leave Rosslare at 07:15 and we make our way west to Cobh. At 08:34 Mark Carmody kindly texts me that the House Crow is still present. This news makes John Lees burst into song. He starts wailing out pre war songs totally out of tune. I guess everybody knows now, why I have to carry masking tape in the car!!

 We arrived at Cobh at 11:00, where Chris and Lee simultaneously spot the House Crow perched on a small ledge in the Square. Lee parks the Car, and we all bowl out and join the assembled crowd. The crowd now includes Steve Gantlett, Neil Alford, Mel Billington, the three we met on the Ferry and an English guy now living in Ireland called Phil Davis.

Once I clapped eyes on my 500th wild Bird for Britain & Ireland. I stripped off and wore my Orange T-shirt, complete with logo (see below). I asked Phil to take a group shot, but he refused, due to the T-shirt’s wording...so John got the short straw of being camera man for the day.

I would like to point out the following:- I love the Irish, I love your accent, I love your kindness, I love your Country, I love your birds. The most enjoyable bit of keeping a British & Irish list is twitching birds in your magnificently equipped country.

So I would now like to apologize for the wording on my T-Shirt.  It should have stated Britain & Ireland for sure. The T-shirt was an idea I got when a football player I admire got the leading goal scoring accolade for his club, he celebrated by revealing his achievement printed on his T-shirt.

It has taken me 12 years to see 500 birds…I’ve upset (more than once) nearly every important person in my life, just to satisfy my listing passion.

 

 Lee and me enjoying my big moment.

.. 

 

 

 What a beautiful place Cobh is. We had an Irish breakfast in Cobh and on the way back to Ferry we stopped at Ballycotton and Tacumshin. Got home at 7:30am Wednesday morning. My share of the trip was £65 plus food.

 

Boring Stuff

FERRY 

The Fishguard – Rosslare Ferry runs daily and a day return costs £26 (per person) plus a £2 booking fee. If you miss the return you’ve got to buy a new ticket. The Stena Ferry goes twice a day from Fishguard (02:45d-6:15a) & (14:30d-18:00a) and twice from Rosslare (09:00d-12:30a) & (21:15d-00:30a)

 CAR PARKING AT FISHGUARD

The  Ferry Car Park charge £7 for 24 hours and £18 for upto 3 days. Alternatively you can park the near the Tesco on the approach road. which is only a 20 minute walk from the Ferry Terminal.

 The journey to Cobh takes approx 2 hours ,50 minutes and is 117 miles long.  The majority of the journey in is on the N25.