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


'11 Family Holiday to Spain (Saturday 13th August to Wednesday 24th August)

 We booked flights with British Airways on 4th Sep 2010 flying from Heathrow to Malaga on 13th Aug 2011 and returning to Heathrow on 24th Aug 2011.  The flight cost us £613.40 for all four members of my family. A few weeks later, British Airways decided to move the flight from Heathrow to Gatwick. YYYYYYYYYYYYYIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

My wife Kim loves trawling the internet for holiday accommodation.  Kim found an apartment in Calahonda with shared pool for £770, we posted a deposit cheque to the English owner living in Essex. He quickly returned the cheque as he preferred the cheque being payable to his wife. No problem, I sent a new cheque off. My wife wanted to ask a few questions about the apartment by email and we didn’t always get replies. But he did send us an email on the 20th May 2011, it read:-

 “Today I have been informed by my manager who looks after the apartment in Spain that the apartment above mine has had a burst water pipe on its terrace which has leaked passed my ceiling which has caused extensive damage to my apartment.  It is in the hands of the insurance company & has been informed due the flooding it needs to dry out for at least 4 weeks before they can start replastering & renew damaged furniture etc.  I very sorry to inform you I have had to cancel all bookings for this.”

To be honest I was slightly relieved that this booking was cancelled as the owner also took the property off the Owners Direct website shortly after we paid the first deposit. We just had an horrible feeling inside something was going to go wrong with this booking. Back to the drawing board, my wife got straight back onto  http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/ and on the 30th May my wife found a Villa with its own pool including gas BBQ on the side of mountain in Frigiliana. It seemed to have everything the family wanted. A price of £747 was agreed with Michael Percy lindielove@hotmail.com on UK mobile +44 (0)7921 252 917 or Spanish mobile +34 609 530 107 http://www.elcastilloandalucia.com/


To get to the Villa a car is essential, so we hired a Fiat Polo from reservations@carhire3000.com for £227.

We landed at Malaga Airport on time at 10:30am and made our way to Goldcar hire on the basement of terminal 2. There were no queues for Hertz, Avis, Budget but Goldcar had 20 people in the queue and all we could was wait. 1.5 hours later we go served. Be warned: we got charged 80 euros for a full tank of fuel at the desk and this would have cost less than 60 euros if it was filled up in Malaga.

The journey from Airport to Villa is 50 minutes, and this is mainly a motorway. The sat nav got us to Frigiliana but not to the Villa, Mikes directions were needed for the last 10 minutes.

When we arrived at the Villa, I was bowled over. The property and scenery was totally beautiful. Mike and Linda (who also live at the property) led us to our living quarters.  Two bedrooms, kitchen and living room. During our 12 days at the Villa we had exclusive use of the pool and BBQ area.

I did all my birdwatching during the first 2 to 3 hours of daylight from the Villa and the five ledges that take you to the bottom of the mountain. I did go out on a Jeep Safari on the 23rd, and the few birds seen on this occasion were were all still within the Frigiliana region.


(1) Short-toed Eagle (2 @14th,1 @ 15th, 1 @ 18th, 1 @ 20th, 2 @ 23rd, 2 @ 24th)
(2) Booted Eagle (Pale morph 14th and 17th)
(3) Kestrel (2@ 16th, 22nd)
(4) Goshawk (1 @ 23rd)
(5) Pallid Swift (Daily)
(6) Red-rumped Swallow (Daily - maximum count 8)
(7) Barn Swallow (Daily)
(8) House Martin (Daily - maximum count 40)
(9) Crag Martin (3 @ nearby Frigiliana village)
(10) Woodpigeon (17th)
(11) Rock Dove (8 or so @ 18th
(12) Turtle Dove (2@ 16th, 2 @ 19th, 22nd)
(13) Collared Dove (nearby Frigiliana village)
(14) Bee-eater (Daily - maximum flock count size was 40)
(15) poss. Tawny Pipit (Brief view 14th)
(16) Grey Wagtail (1 @ nearby Frigiliana village)
(17) Hoopoe (19th)
(18) Thekla Lark (2@ 17th, 2 @ 18th)
(19) Woodchat Shrike (Juv 14th, Juv 17th, Juv 22nd)
(20) Blue Rock Thrush (Male Daily) (Imm 15th, Female: 17th, 22nd, 23rd and 2 males at nearby Frigiliana Village)
Thrush sp. (17th only - photos attached)
(21) Blackbird (Daily)
(22) Stonechat (1 pair Daily)
(23) Nightingale (19th, 2 @ 24th)
(24) Black Wheatear (2 @ nearby Frigiliana village)
(25) Spotted Flycatcher (Daily)
(26) Sardinian Warbler (Daily)
(27) Melodious Warbler (16th, 18th, 22nd, 24th)
(28) Cettis Warbler (Daily only seen on 22nd)
(29) Spectacled Warbler (17th)
(30) Wesern Bonellis Warbler (18th
(31) Blackcap (1pr @ 18th, 2 males @ 24th)
(32) Lesser Whitethroat (18th
(33) Garden Warbler (2 @ 19th, 3 @ 24th)
prob. Western Orphean Warbler (very brief view @24th)
(34) Chiffchaff (24th very brief view)
(35) Goldfinch (Daily)
(36) Chaffinch (16th, 2 @ 18th, 22nd)
(37) Serin (Daily)
(38) Greenfinch (22nd, 24th)
(39) Great Tit (16th, 17th, 22nd)
(40) Blue Tit (16th, 2 @17th)
(41) House Sparrow (Daily)
(42) Rock Sparrow (4+ @ 21st at nearby Compta village)
(43) Starling (Flock on 24th)

 If anyone is thinking about going to Malaga for a spot of Birdwatching. This location should be seriously considered as the Birding is absolutely fantastic. I would heavily recommend in staying at Mike and Linda's Villa. We cooked on the BBQ and ate outside everyday next to the pool. They are both very friendly and wll help make your holiday very enjoyable.


Bee-eater from Villa Balcony

Male Blue Rock Thrush from Villa Balcony

Red-rumped Sawllow from Villa Balcony

Very small Thrush sp. with small bill, and tail not extending past longest primary on closed wing. Probably a Immature Blue Rock Thrush, but I cannot rule out Rock Thrush.

Map of the Area

One of the two drivers from  http://www.lifeadventure.eu/ a jeep safari company. Well worth going on, they picked us up at 9:15am and brought us back at 4:00pm.


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