Thursday, 30 December 2010

Picture of 2010 (UK Final Poll)

(Please Note - current posts during December will appear further below -after the Picture of the Year selections) Just one day to get your votes in, it's neck and neck between the Snow Bunting and Nightigale......

Here are a final 'Top Twenty' selections, a few favourite pictures (in no particular order) taken during 2010. This includes the top three Shropshire birds - congratulations to the FIELDFARE who just pipped the Black-tailed Godwit and a four way tie for third place, it was a close run thing though! I've also sneaked a Waxwing image in which missed the last round :-)

You will find an voting box to the right, to keep things simple and by popular request simply check the FIVE pictures you like most! (click thumbs to open a larger image) FIVE votes maximum only please! (Only one voter is possible per PC sorry!)

I will let this poll run until December 31st and then YOUR No 1 Picture of the Year will be declared on New Years Day....

Have a fantastic Christmas and here's wishing everyone great birding in 2011!

Picture 1 - Black Kite - Gigrin (January)

Picture 2 - Snow Bunting - Kinmel Bay (February)

Picture 3 - Fieldfare - Priorslee (January)

Picture 4 - Short-eared Owl- Whixall Moss (March)

Picture 5 - Cirl Bunting - Broadsands Bay (March)

Picture 6 - Dartford Warbler - Arne (May)

Picture 7 - Redshank - Wallasey (March)

Picture 8 - Slavonian Grebe - Grimley (March)

Picture 9 - Nightingale - Little Paxton (April)

Picture 10 - Hoopoe - Clayhanger Moss (May)

Picture 11 - Oriental Pratincole - Frampton Marsh (May)

Picture 12 - Garganey - Radipole (May)

Picture 13 - Black-tailed Godwit - Venus Pool (July)

Picture 14 - Leach's Storm Petrel - New Brighton (September)

Picture 15 - Glossy Ibis - Avonmouth (September)

Picture 16 - Spotted Sandpiper - Exminster (September)

Picture 17 - Pallas's Warbler - Burnham Overy (October)

Picture 18 - Northern Wheatear - Holkham (October)

Picture 19 - Green Heron - Heligan (October)

Picture 20 - Pied-billed Grebe - Hollingworth Reservoir (November)

Picture 21 - Waxwing - Newport (December)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Cound - Bewick's and Whoopers

What a start to the day! Bewick's Swans have been conspicuous by their absence from the County for a number of years! Apart from Yvonne's flyover last year, it must be five years since the last report on terra firma, at Tern Hill (and I didn't get there!)

I was heading East and checking the kale field near Cound..... The 3 Whooper Swans were still there!

Something made me park up at the other end of the field to check the rest of the flock which were slightly hidden from the first gateway - there were more? - Wait a minute, these were smaller with short necks - Bewick's Swans!! Initially, I only picked out this group of 3 adults and 2 juveniles....

The count was 'upped' to 8 with these three adults....

A nice family portrait, after waiting ages for them to settle down in this pose (and having given up on the Whooper wandering off!)!

Eventually joined by all three Whoopers, a pity I couldn't fit all 11 Swans in!!

What a late Christmas present! Yet another bird for the County lists - both for this year (172) and life (203) ticks! :-) :-) :-)

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Boxing Day - Bridgnorth area bash

Ice iand snow still everywhere!! The end is nigh though as milder weather is expected by the end of the week! I had to have one last go at the frozen conditions, a sore throat and a -10'C start are not the best combination though.....

My weekly look at Chelmarsh was due and a check of the snow covered fields just before the Riverside Inn turned up three Whooper Swans with a big flock of Mute Swans and Canada Geese, feasting on some kind of leafy crop (kale?) under the snow. Here's one of them.....

Chelmarsh reservoir was completely frozen over - the first time I've seen this. The 'clear' bit in the picture is ice not covered by snow!

The scrape was similarly covered but the stream running through ensures there is a little open water!

A shame they were well distant but I could see that two male Common Pheasants squaring up to each other were likely to get their handbags out?

They did eventually - just a shame they couldn't have performed a little closer but what a monumental waste of energy! The following three images represents 0.3 of a second!

Finally, I thought my luck was going to be in as a 'Snipe' flew in.... Sadly, no Jack, just a Common Snipe but with the icy margin background to the water - not to be sniffed at - an image or two beckoned!

At least one foot can be kept warm, tucked up in the plumage!

I'm not sure I'd fancy immersing my head in the icy water for tasty morsels in the mud......

Just a pose or two......

A close up to finish. After the entry of another occupant to the hide, it was the last I saw of him.....

I checked out the River Severn where it was visible from the road on the way back to Bridgnorth. Nothing of note but loads of ducks, Goosanders etc, no sign of the Red-crested Pochard which had been seen in this area recently!

After parking up in the town, I walked downstream through Wellmeadow, a couple of icy riverscapes.....

A good number of Gulls including this first Winter Common Gull.....

Little Grebe.....

A very showy male Goosander, catching a Ruffe...

Then trying to align it for a smooth passage of those spiny fins - down the hatch....

Plus drake Manadarin....

A really nice walk - enjoyed every minute!