I will try and keep up to date with pictures taken of birds in Shropshire and my trips out and about elsewhere..... I'll generally let the pics do the talking so brief notes will be the norm. Don't expect all images to be 'publication' quality! Record shots, habitats, anything that tells the story of an experience will all be posted here
Don't forget - nearly all the pictures will be 'thumbnails' - click on them to see a larger image.
This is not a specific site for what's about in Shropshire but you can guarantee if there is a decent bird about - I'll be there! See the other local links below as well.
Shropshire 2013 list
Knot, Turnstone, Common Tern, Kittiwake,Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Wood Warbler, Tree Pipit, Pied Flycatcher, Garden Warbler, Hobby, Reed Warbler, Mediterranean Gull, Grasshopper Warbler, Cuckoo, Grey Wagtail, Whinchat, Red Grouse, Bee-eater, Sedge Warbler, Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat, Swift, Willow Warbler, Corn Bunting, Whimbrel, Common Whitethroat, Common Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, House Martin, Peregrine, Arctic Tern, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Swallow, Sand Martin, Little Ringed Plover, Stonechat, Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Chiffchaff, Garganey, Mandarin, Golden Plover, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Glaucous Gull. Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, Iceland Gull, Barnacle Goose, Waxwing, White-fronted Goose, Redshank, Brambling, Dipper, Caspian Gull, Jay, Tree Sparrow, Pink-footed Goose, Bewicks's Swan, Whooper Swan, Brent Goose, Green-winged Teal, Hen Harrier, Pintail, Goldeneye, Yellow-legged Gull, Scaup, Water Rail, Red Kite, Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper.....
This site is devoted to my photographic activities whilst out birding - I never ever bird without a camera! My local patch (Venus Pool near Shrewsbury) is the focus but I'm not averse to going out and about... I'm a Canon user (7D/50D/40D) and habitually use a 500 f4 usually with 1.4 converter or 100-400 f5.6 when close or on the move. I have a 300mm f2.8 which is an awesome lens given a closer subject matter. Pictures are for sale or publication, all are copyright - please contact me for further details if you wish to use them. They form the background for a range of illustrated talks (see below) .....
If you like what you see here, why not book me to give an illustrated talk? All talks are digital presentations and suitable for a variety of organisations: bird/wildlife groups or camera/photographic clubs. The current list of available talks covering the theme of 'birds and nature' is:
Life on Venus
A look at the varied forms of wildlife which may be found at Venus pool during the year. The key birds and insects (dragonflies and butterflies) cover most of the talk but ‘occasional’ visitors and some wild flowers get a mention.
A Century at Venus Pool Now revamped, this is not a History talk but a collection of my favourite images from the reserve. My VP list is up to 150 species and the ‘Century’ refers to the 100+ species now photographed as decent portraits in their own right! Also featured are some of the most unforgettable moments I’ve witnessed!
Shropshire's Magnificent Peregrines The Peregrine falcon is surely one of the most charismatic of birds. A supreme flier and aerial predator, the species is now well established in numbers within the County. This talk looks at the habitats and progress through a typical breeding season, offering an insight into the secret life of this magnificent bird. (Please note that images featured during the breeding season were all taken under schedule 1 licence)
A Shropshire Birders year I keep a County yearlist every year and aim to see at least 160 species (with as many as possible photographed!) This talk is based around the highlights of the past few years plus some of my regular photographic activities. It takes you around many of the main birdwatching areas, the best times to go and what you might find there. Shropshire is certainly not one of the best Counties for migrants and rarities but expect a few surprises.
Out and About – a special year 2008 was a phenomenal year featuring opportunistic travels to all parts of the UK, record breaking numbers of local birds, rarities and a twitch or two. The excitement is condensed into a single presentation, the ups and downs, some exhilarating bird watching moments and an attempt to see 250 species in a year without really trying (much).
Shropshire Wildlife A brief look at the wildlife to be found at several key reserves and sites within the County of Shropshire. Birds, butterflies and dragonflies are the key players with a scattering of other interesting guests and a flower or two!
North Norfolk here I come
A premier location featuring some of the UK’s most fantastic birding sites. A seasonal look at the main reserves, the birds you are likely to see and some of the highlights of my visits to the area. Expect plenty of quality birds!!
Birding through a lens Apart from my trusty pair of binoculars and scope, I always carry my camera with me on my birding travels throughout the UK. This talk takes a look at what’s involved in bird photography, numerous localities and of course – plenty of interesting birds!
Nature in focus A similar talk to 'Birding through a lens' but dealing with a wide variety of wildlife found in the UK. The technical side of things, equipment and technique, where to go etc will be dealt with here. Ideal where the need is a bias towards 'photography'.
A Winter weekend in Vancouver Well, a bit longer than that actually! This talk covers the events of a trip to the Vancouver area and Vancouver island in Feb/Mar 2008. Whilst this is the wrong time of year for seeing migrants, a good chance to see resident birds and plenty of wildfowl. I was on a lecture tour and these are the moments spent birding in this fantastic west coast area of Canada!
*** New for 2011 ***
Close to the edge with wild Peregrines A follow up talk on this most charismatic bird of prey and is recommended after first enjoying 'Shropshire's Magnificent Peregrines'. Using images (taken under schedule 1 licence) the focus is on the 2010 breeding season capturing the development of chicks from day 1 to fledging. Whilst one particular family of birds is followed through the breeding season, there are some intimate moments in the development of other Peregrines. It features a look at ringing activities and how this will hopefully tell us more about their movements following fledging.
Another year birding in Shropshire Following up on the popularity of 'A Shropshire Birder's Year' this is another look at birds and birding within the County of Shropshire. The same seasonal approach but with a different range of birds commonly found including yet more rarities and excitement! Geese and Winter wildfowl start the year off before Spring arrivals and another breeding season. More local rarities including Dotterel and Wryneck plus an engaging pair of Blue-headed Wagtails. Terns featured strongly in 2010 and seven species will be on show including the infamous Venus Pool Whiskered Tern. A spectacular finale will feature the December Waxwing invasion! Birding in Shropshire can be hard work but it can certainly produce some really good birds!
Identity Crisis Many birds fall into the 'is it or isn't it' category and this talk looks at a good number of birds which can be easily misidentified or 'mixed up' with similar species. Using images to note the key identification criteria, in theory at least, it should be possible to correctly identify those problem birds, with some - even from a distance. Black or Bar-tailed Godwits, Spotted or Common Redshank, Whimbrel or Curlew, Willow Warbler or Chiffchaff, Arctic or Common Tern, Common/Spotted/Green/Wood Sandpipers, Common or Jack Snipe etc. A few Gulls featured may help to dispel their mystery? There will be a few more problem birds and many more identity problems to solve....
Out and about - A Brilliant Birding Year! The second in my 'out and about' series concentrating on my birding trips and adventures during 2009, covering 1,000's of miles in the UK. The year started off with some amazing Waxwings and great Gulls before repeated trips to Devon provided an expensive Penduline Tit (find out why) amongst a whole host of local specialties like Cirl Bunting. A late May trip to Scottish Highlands turned up most of the key local birds. After a few 'Summer specials'. Autumn kicked off with a local Purple Heron plus a Cornish Baird's Sandpiper. There will be lots more fantastic birds (not just rarities!) and great locations featured in between all of these - selected from the highlights of the year.....
Butterflies, Dragons and Damsels of Shropshire
Visitors to my blog or Shropshire Odonata pages cannot fail to be aware that for two or three months of the Summer, I spend a lot of time chasing insects! Concentrating on Butterflies, Dragonflies and Damselflies, this talk is a colourful presentation of the best moments watching these amazing insects within Shropshire. The emphasis is on their lifestyle, flight periods and the habitats they are found in (including gardens) plus tips on identification. The importance of fieldcraft and the best approach to watching them, with tips on photography is covered. The talk is geared for a ‘general’ audience with an interest in nature and will feature in excess of 60 species (not bad for Shropshire!) The talk ends as usual with a new audio visual finale.