Monday 27 November 2023

Venus Pool - Dunlin

The weather was ideal with low cloud and drizzle - wader conditions and three Dunlin had dropped in to share their approval!

Isn't it annoying when one constantly has their back to you!!

Ahhh that's better...

A move / wait to the Memorial hide gave marginally better views :-)

Are November sightings unusual? I checked back in my database, it appears I've seen Dunlin in every month of the year within Shropshire! Never plentiful but nice to know they are always a possibility!

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Long Mynd - Snow Bumtings

A nice find for Geoff Hall - three Snow Buntings at the Long Mynd on the 20th and luckily they were still showing well today despite every passing bike and car flushing them! As time went on, they became more mobile (well they just had to be feeding on the verge!!)

Do you come here often?

Females first...

But the star of the show was this male and the chilly conditions were soon forgotten!

Running along...

And never far from the verge!

They were either close together or well apart and I didn't have my shorter zoom lens...

Here's the trio with the the tail of the smart male just clipped!

I suppose we will be getting real snow before long??

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Venus Pool - Black tailed Godwit invasion

It was early afternoon and something extraordinary was brewing at Venus Pool as Simon Twigger put the news out that a huge flock of 300+? Black-tailed Godwits had just dropped in...

I hightailed it over immediately and this was the sight that welcomed me!!

I quickly realised that 700mm of long lens (see below) were never going to tell the story so downsized to my 100-400m zoom lens!

Even then, to try and get them all in the frame was night on impossible?

An antisocial Crow added flight to the spectacle and there were three or four practice departures...

They always seemed to drift back!

Eventually, just after 4pm  a more determined departure seemed to be in the 'offing' :-)

I'd managed to keep up with the departing Godwits so that they were all (hopefully) in the field of view'. I printed out this image and using a highlighter once each bird was ticked (to avoid duplication) eventually got a total of 285!

I sent the image top Tom Lowe, hoping I'd missed some and steer the count towards 300? Proving how good this method worked however, Tom got exactly the same count of 285. And a much neater result by doing his count on screen!  Thanks Tom!

To put counts into perspective, the previous highest tally was 68 on 11th June 2006 and I can still remember how amazing the buzz was at the time. We move on, will an outrageous mega flock eclipse this one...

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Venus Pool - Jack Snipe take 2

Just over a week had passed and after no further sightings the Jack Snipe was once again showing well - in brilliant sunshine!

Looking so much better for it, proudly showing off its (ID shot) dark crown stripe

Before having a walkabout whilst bob bob bobbing along...

The best foot forward favourite :-)

Friday 3 November 2023

Venus Pool - female Pintail

I thought I'd give the 'local birds' a place in the blog for a chance and for once the female Pintail which has normally skulked, showed well!

She called!

and preened

Then paddled a bit closer...

I think I like this angle!!

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Venus Pool - Egyptian Geese

Bit of an influx of Egyptian Geese today with eight present! Five in one frame was the maximum possible...

This one seemed to be prospecting whilst calling heeeelp!!

Whilst others got into a flap!

Farewell for the time being!

Pink feet next??!

Monday 30 October 2023

Venus Pool - Jack Snipe

 An excellent surprise at Venus Pool today with a Jack Snipe present and for once showing well! 

Well sort of? A change of hide was indicated...

That's better but the short bill would be nice...

Woken from his snooze, no complaints now!

Some size comparisons?

With a Common Snipe towering over him...

Note the head pattern, the solid dark central crown stripe of Jack Snipe compared to the pale narrow equivalent of Common Snipe! Sorted!

Take your pick :-)

Nice to have a patch 'photographed' bird rather than a flushed one in Feb 2017!!