Friday, 16 March 2018

Priorslee lake - Kittiwake

I was busy and couldn't get over to Priorslee lake on Tuesday when Reevesy found an adult Kittiwake there. He picked up another or the same bird again today so it would have been rude not to go and check it out...

It was initially about 100m off the dam on arrival but paddled closer...

And closer... (the sun nearly peeked out here!)

 Back to the gloom and eventually some 40m or so away!

It all came to an abrupt end when the Mute Swans started some argy bargy but I was hankering after a flight shot!

Quite distinct upperwing marks pattern if anyone got a picture of Tuesday's bird??

Keep 'em coming!

Monday, 12 March 2018

Venus Pool - Avocet

An Avocet on passage is always a treat in Shropshire and I believe this to be only the second record at VP in recent years and surely the earliest yet in the county? The light and weather were horrendous, in fact - prefect wader conditions! You can't have it all...

It was sat in thigh deep water, out in the middle, on arrival and didn't much apart from this wing stretch!

I could sense what was coming and shortly after it flew...

Landing on a slightly nearer small patch of mud...

Never near enough however!!

After a brief feed...

It relocated back to the middle of the pool...

Needless to say, it was gone the following day!!

Looking back in my archive, the first VP record was back on 26th April 2008 and you can look back to a very showy bird in much better light here ...

Monday, 5 March 2018

Venus Pool - Pintail

Before the Shortie livened up the day, a rather obliging drake Pintail caught my attention on the pool...

Parading on one of the exposed patches of mud...

Then an all angles display!

Before having a wash...

Followed by the obligatory wing flap!

Not an everyday performance from one of these...

Venus Pool - Short-eared Owl

Lucky Jim eh? Give yourself a couple of months off and yesssssss, patch tick at the first attempt?? It wasn't quite like that, I'd been down a couple of times since the hide makeover, totally underwhelmed but have to admit, I did feel my luck was in today...

It nearly ended in tears after bumping into Geoff Holmes who with 'John' (sorry didn't know your surname) had witnessed a Short-eared Owl being flushed by a tractor taking the tops off the arable field crop! It had flown high but then appeared to drop on the north end of the reserve! Geoff and I checked the viewable hedges / marsh whilst John made his way to the north end via the fen hide. What we didn't realise was 1) He refound it 2) He assumed we had seen it too! We hadn't and eventually (30 mins later), found the right vantage point and we were on it -  tucked away on a fence post amongst some saplings and almost impossible to view! But once you knew where it was....

"It's behind the Teal in flight" :-)

At this stage a decent image to secure the ID was needed and with a bit of luck, after moving up the access road, we found a gap in the hedge from which much clearer views were obtained - despite the annoying branches which were totally impossible to avoid!

It didn't do much, clearly alert and not budging from the post!

In fact it was still rooted to the post at 6.15 when the light had totally gone and rain was falling, Dave C and me called it a day...

Friday, 2 March 2018

Garden Fieldfare

With so much going on of late, it's so easy to ignore things under your very nose! Like this single Fieldfare in my garden who clearly had no other food locally than the frost blitzed Pyracantha berries!

You sort of got the impression that they didn't look inviting?

But if the snow sticks around, this is all I've got?

Akin to taking a rather nasty medicine...

At least it got me pointing a camera at something again!!

Only a Fieldfare but they are smart birds and almost unheard of in my garden!  Hopefully something more exciting locally soon?

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy Hawfinch New Year!!

The Hawfinch irruption continues to dominate the birding scene both locally and nationally and hereon the blog! Firstly with one of the St Agnes birds being voted favourite image for the year...

My favourite from Whitcliffe in late December...

Plus the best from a couple of churchyards on New Years Day..

 Long may they continue to dominate the scene!! A quickfire tour of Polemere VP and route in between during the afternoon produced 55 species with nothing of note. Sparrowhawk seemed particularly evident, blitzing through small flocks at four locations and it's so easy to go through a day without seeing one!

Friday, 29 December 2017

Image of 2017 (UK)

Congratulations to the Wood Warbler! - voted most popular Shropshire image and together with the Black Tern and Night Heron, they can now do battle with another assortment from throughout the UK! I make no excuse for including plenty of images from the Isles of Scilly, my favourite destination where great birds and images just kept coming....

You will find an voting box to the right (NB on mobile phones, you need to select website view to see the voting boxes. Select the FIVE pictures you like most! (click thumbs to open a larger image)

This poll will run until December 31st and YOUR No 1 Picture of the Year will bring 2018 in....

Have a fantastic Christmas everyone and here's wishing everyone great birding in 2018! 

Picture 1 - Black Tern, Colemere (April)

Picture 2 - Night Heron - Shrewsbury (April)

Picture 3 - Wood Warbler - Clunton Coppice (May)

Picture 4 - Great Crested Grebe - Belvide (May)

Picture 5 - Spotted Sandpiper - Belvide (May)

Picture 6 - Slavonian Grebe - Scotland (May)

Picture 7 - Black-throated Diver -Lochindorb (May)

Picture 8 - Bee eaters - East Leake  (June)

Picture 9 - Manx Shearwater - Scilly Pelagics (August)

Picture 10 - Balearic Shearwater - Scilly Pelagics (August)

Picture 11 - Great Shearwater - Scilly Pelagics (August)

Picture 12 - Cory's Shearwater- Scilly Pelagics (August)

Picture 13 - Great Skua - Scilly Pelagics (August)

Picture 14 - Wilson's Storm Petrel - Scilly Pelagics (August)

Picture 15 - Sabine's Gull - Scilly Pelagics (August)

Picture 16 - Woodchat Shrike - Chipping Sodbury (September)

Picture 17 - American Golden Plover - St Marys (October)

Picture 18 - Cedar Waxwing - St Agnes (October)

Picture 19 - Hawfinch - St Agnes (October)

Picture 20 - Rock Thrush (Pwll Du)  (October)