Saturday, 8 February 2020

South Shropshire - Goshawk

A second encounter of the year with Goshawk in South Shropshire was memorable due to extended views and even an image or two, albeit 100m + distance!

Beady orange eye standing out despite the distance...

Retracing its flight path...

Final image shows the pale underwing and bulging secondaries nicely..

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Colemere - Scaup

Old habits die hard but with January over, the need to see all the better winter visitors like this drake Scaup still persists. Dave Chapman and I chanced the Sunday morning free range dog mayhem at Colemere for distant views (it never strayed from the middle of the Mere!)

There was not much more to show from the morning.  The Whixall floods Little Egret was still in town but the Cetti's kept its head down in the freshening breeze!

Venus Pool - Sparrowhawk

It's not very often I sit in the feeder hide and after 20mins or so both Dave and I were getting itchy feet. I'd actually got out of my seat and heading for the door, when...

This 2CY Sparrowhawk scattered all the small birds in the area!

Not a look I would care to receive, if I was a small bird!

And whilst agonising how I was going to fit head and tail into the frame? A sideways shuffle helped!

Taking the weight off his foot!

Now is this a flight shot of 100% concentrated Blue Tit or Great Tit?

Or both??

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Venus Pool - Red-crested Pochard pair

A nice surprise today was a pair of Red-crested Pochard found on the adjacent fishing pool but easily observed from the oak tree at the top of the causeway!... Just a narrow stretch of shallow water between the poolside bushes and they steamed into it nicely!

The drake in all it's finery, plus a bit of weed...

Wonder if they are the pair which were briefly seen on New Years Day at Trench Middle Pool?

Friday, 24 January 2020

Venus Pool - Bewick's Swan up close!

A chance visit to Venus Pool demonstrated that lady luck had not deserted me yet? It was well before roost time but there was the Bewick's Swan, sitting near the willow island? And a few minutes later, as I sat smiling with Dave,  the swan was steaming over the water to the island in front of  the memorial hide! The light was terrible but a patch of dark water nearby was our only hope?

Nearly there!

Then inching onto the submerged margin...

For a stretch and a preen!

 Eventually ending up with a wing flap finale!

Here's a different camera angle!

Finally, a stern look...

And as it was so close, how about a close up?

Not a new bird for the January list of course but a Barn Owl in the headlights on 22nd eve near Church Stretton kept it inching onwards to 102...

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Melverley Floods - Whoopers etc!

Seem to be striking lucky lately and an afternoon in the Melverley Floods turned out well with Whooper Swans showing well albeit at distance! There were 23 visible (and maybe more nearby) including two family groups which flew in during the afternoon...

First things first, another new bird for the year - Tree Sparrow (here's 2) amongst the hedgerows, feeding with House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Yellowhammer...

Another Great White Egret too, this is one of TWO present. The second bird was only seen at great distance!

The best views of the Whooper Swans were during arrivals...

A bit of 'out of beat' synchro flight from parent with juv....

 And as this group finished their taxi to the far side of the water, a flash of yellow was in view!

More to come...

Melverley Floods - Whooper Swan JZH

It was late afternoon and urged on by the territorial Mute Swans, a small group of four Whooper Swans opted to move on and keep the peace! We all seemed to spot the flash of a yellow once airborne and I think we all locked onto this individual in the hope of having a legible image?

Whatever, departing swans  always make for interesting action!

An having locked onto the ringed bird, now much closer, the ring was clearly visible on zooming in...

See what I mean! Nice one JZH!

Rings always have the potential to tell a story and for JZH it's a fairly short one for now. Initially ringed as an adult on 13th Jan 2018 in mid Wales at Llyn Mawr, it's hopefully going to be seen again? Even better back at it's breeding grounds?