Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Mumbles - Meds still about!

I thought they would have departed by now..... In my bid to escape the Starling plague, I had a couple of days down in Swansea with Gemma. It would have been rude not check out the local Med Gull haunts while I was there?

A few were still there including this adult now sporting summer finery - a more attractive UK gull would be hard to find!

Other ages  present too!

Monday, 25 March 2013

My whitewashed front drive - again!

Don't worry, this isn't going to become a serial event and the novelty is wearing off already! Thousands of Starlings mean many thousands of droppings and just like a good bomb crew, they are pretty good at pinpointing cars and windows!

"YOUR birds are back again"!  "I hope you're going to clean my car tomorrow after they made such a mess of it", moaned Kate!

She has a point!

On and on they come....

I tried a change of angle at the end of the close.....

There goes the neighbourhood, at least one house has now gone on the market!!

MY birds??? I will never,  ever blog starlings again! It seems to encourage them :-( It's back to decent birds and rarities from now on

Sunday, 24 March 2013

My front drive - Starling roost

Grounded down by snow, bogged down still sorting too many images and early evening I sensed 'movement' out of the front window..... The sky was going dark too.... dogs were howling, blackbirds were alarm calling  - was it the end of the world........!!

I watched enthralled. Wait a minute,  common birds aren't supposed to be interesting are they! (Well, I must confess I'm not the slightest bit interested in the comings and goings of those bloody Canada Geese!)  Eventually, I just had to try and capture the spectacle with my wide angle lens!

You have to bear in mind, these are snapshots - a small part of a much bigger spectacle. I'm going to guesstimate at least 20,000 Starlings - the woooosh of wings, the pitter patter of droppings

It happened a few years ago when (as now) they were using the confers lining the nearby railway track as a roost.

A few of the neighbours came out too - what's going on - where have they come from - why are they doing this..... I don't really care - all I know is that it was the most amazing sight to behold - jaw dropping in fact!

Rob's gonna take a look tomorrow evening and help me to count every single one :-) Wonder if Andy's got a big enought net?

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Venus Pool - Curlew etc

It's been a busy week for me and with the Thetford Otters finally uploaded (check two posts below) I spent a couple of hours at a quiet Venus Pool this afternoon!

I was hoping for a Little Ringed Plover? A White Wag maybe - all I got was the usual wildfowl and briefly in then straight out..... Curlew!

I might add some ducks to the post :-)

Oh and the Dipper of course!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Thetford - Black-bellied Dipper

A bumper Saturday in Norfolk was followed by a multiple card filling session in Thetford with the Black-belled Dipper....

This was virtually the last image I took!

Here's the full story...... The Dipper spent most of the day at the edge of the reedbed, just downstream of the bridge, everyone was viewing from either the bridge of right had back

Here it is!

Just about as busy a Dipper I have ever seen, constantly feeding - mainly underwater and this always meant a short flight back to it's favourite stick. My first mission was to try and get a flight shot or two?

Well, sort of record shots, never really got the one I was looking for!

Next, was trying to capture the various victims of those underwater forays!

Proudly showing me this catch!

Always cleaning up the larvae before consumption!

A nice cleaned up grub!

Then, later in the day (after the Otter shoot) it took up residence below the bridge....

Which was where we came in!!

Thetford - Otters!

While the Dipper was fun, I knew that Otters were a real possibility today? The possibility turned into a  reality :-)

It started with 'work' a free range Chicken takeaway  :-(

Sweet cuddly cute mammals?? Not so!! Just about as vicious a killing machine there is  - the chicken was probably dead before being dragged underwater, just to make sure.....

Then both Otter pups tucked into lunch.

Despite picking the darkest corner possible, this ended up quite an atmospheric shot!

Just like after a big Sunday lunch - it was time for 'rest'

40 winks and it was time for 'play'......

Not perfect by any means but this has to be one of the 'luckiest' shots of the day - it was like photographing dolphins except there were two of them and you hadn't a clue where they would (ever so briefly) break the surface!

A few more images from a really memorable session!

Just to remind you - those teeth bite as at least one wildlife presenter found out!!

A chicken a day does help you work, rest and play! That could be a good advertising slogan?

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Salthouse - snow and stones

A White-tailed Eagle for starters the previous day (when the shutter didn't click fro anything worthwhile) was followed by a typical day of Norfolk birding. Yes, there was 'nothing about' but some really worthwhile birds here and there! Starting at Salthouse where a mobile flock of unobliging Snow Buntings gave themselves up every now and then?

 Just twice actually!

Here they come....

Just briefly, individuals posing.....

Maybe it was the large (now resident!) flock of Turnstones which deterred them from settling down?

So attention was turned to them to ease the boredom!

They turn cameras too!