Thursday, 11 May 2017

Isombridge - Grey Partridge and Co!

A final hour of daylight spent in this haven of agricultural 'good practice' was spent with Grey Partridge in mind. There were other species occupying this niche to enjoy!

Like this smart male Yellow Wagtail...

Or several Corn Bunting! In fact, with the car window open, it was rare not to hear them every 100m or so!

Belting out the familiar burst of song...

But finally, the object of my desire... keeping a weather eye on a good year to keep a yearlist tempts you to do this :-) Grey Partridge aren't that easy nowadays!

Wait a minute, we have a pair!

Showing nicely despite the evening gloom..

All this with a couple of miles of urban Telford!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Longmynd - Dots before my eyes!

The bird race was at Venus Reservoir was going nowhere and when a late morning tweet announced there were two Dotterel on the Longmynd (well done Dave Pearce!), it was a no-brainer where I should be....

A lovely pair showing really well despite the torrential 'drizzle'!

Female first

Busy feeding...

And posing :-)

The male was a bit more lively!

Eventually walking right up to me!

Or even flying up to me!

I'm not entirely convinced that Dotterel like pouring rain!

But it's soon ruffled off...

The day was going to take yet another twist - an Avocet!! At Wood Lane... I'm on my way

Wood Lane - Avocet!!

It's entirely possible, non-locals might be wondering what the fuss is all about? Avocets are tricky Shropshire birds, annual at best, every other year more likely! And Wood Lane is surely the most likely space for them to settle in one day??

A not entirely inspiring start, fast asleep on the far side of the scrape!

Eventually waking up...

And walking my way :-)

I'll spare you the bits in between! Closer all the time and feeding like crazy, this bird wont be here much longer?

Showing off those stunning legs!

Job done I think, couldn't be any closer...

Quite a day! Shame about the bird race although 68 species in a morning is pretty good going, thanks to everyone concerned for helping out!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Clunton Coppice - Wood Warbler

Wood Warbler, the epitomy of a British woodland in Spring? Exploding into life courtesy of this energetic little songster. You can keep the dawn chorus, all the other birds pale into insignificance when this little guy gets going....

And to think he's just flown from almost non stop from equatorial Africa, still managing to be the smartest bird in the canopy!

When not singing, who could resist the subtle blend of green, yellow and white?

And not afraid to 'show well'...

But never mind the 'close ups'. If I never photograph one again, this quirky pose will do for me :-)

I'll be back next Spring... Trust me!

Bridges and Longmynd - Pied Fly etc

Heading to the South of the county, my first call was a Bridges. A Dipper soon made itself scarce but this smart Grey Wagtail was a different matter!

My first Pied Flycatchers of the year, several males and a couple of females were stubbornly in the canopy but at least one descended on the walk along the road - almost too close? 

Red Grouse on the Longmynd weren't new but this is the first to pop its head up and not disappear!

Another newcomer to the 2017 local list was Tree Pipit at Clunton Coppice....

Where I was about to be beguiled by my favourite woodland songster!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Whixall floods - waders hanging on

I was out all day on plant duty but that didn't stop me from seeing an early doors Black Tern at VP (it didn't stay long) and on return, checking Whixall floods where a couple more county year ticks were waiting! And Pleeeease excuse the dire record shots! What can you expect at 100m + distance?

It's only a Redshank! There will be more!

But you can never count on Ruff...

I walked onto the Moss until dusk, a Cuckoo seen in flight twice was my only reward!

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Colemere - Black Terns!!

The prospects for today were awesome, low cloud and a fresh south easterly wind (after a week or more of northerlies) ... it looked as if a cracking Ternsday was looming?? Question was, where to go? Not for the first time I put my faith misguidedly in an early start at Venus Pool,  but by 9.30, NOTHING! So I decided to head North and check the Meres. Colemere was my first destination and literally 10 mins came out from Rob Dowley... TWO Black Terns!

I joined him and spent the next few hours trying to do justice to these two beauties (not easy!) 

Over white water they looked awful so I concentrated on getting them against the distant green background and it was manual focus all the way!

Here we go, with head on opportunities within 50m!

This individual looks like it's primaries have seen better days! Looks like it's in moult which (according to an old paper I've just read) does happen in 2cy birds which (rarely) replace all their primaries in May?

And seemingly getting most of my attention!

Here's the other, neater bird - just as obliging!

And perhaps my favourite moment - once in a while, banking and briefly hovering...

First Hobby of the year over the trees and a Common Tern had also passed through 9.30ish and another (or the same bird) was present until mid afternoon too! A few record shots to follow...