Thursday, 31 October 2013

Gronant - Grey Phalarope

A long scary Halloween session was spent up to my knees in water in a reed bed! Unlike previous Grey Phalarope encounters, this was hard work with an awkward bird........

It was tucked up in the eastern corner of the pool, against the far reed-bed so the only way to get vaguely close was to go walk in - so glad I had put my wellies on!!

The 'Spinner' was not the least bit concerned and spent the next few hours constantly spinning around dipping for countless numbers of tiny insects. I never saw anything of any size get caught - it must be a hard life feasting on such meagre offerings!

A lot of 'samey' images were produced with nothing to touch the memorable Crosby Grey Phalarope of a few years ago but it's always a nice bird to see / photograph. It's sometime easier to dump the best here than agonise for too long, so here are a few to wade through!

Video would best to capture the spinning/ feeding antics! The odd wave gave a bit of interest with the bird crashing through.....

My favourite of this section....

A wingflap and brief hover......

There was one moment when disturbed by a Gull, a flight shot emerged too :-)

And I'll leave it there.......

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Whixall Moss - Kestrel

Having been out and about on the local scene, I can confirm that it's pretty grim and the only place which looks to have a prospect of something turning up is on  the Whixall Moss floods!

Two Ruff were present on Sunday and a single bird was still on show today, cue record shot....

Despite the poor light, the temptation of a  female Kestrel hovering nearby was too much to resist! Variations on a theme, when hovering it doesn't move much.....

A  subtle bit of motion blur helps to convey just how motionless the head and tail remain

Enough's enough! I really do have to escape from the confines of Shropshire.......

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Kingfisher miscellany

I took this particular Kingfisher 'hover' shot today - it was a one and only from a very brief appearance!

Rather than just posting one image, I finally got around to sorting images 'promised' back in September!! Luckily no-one ever nags me, I get there in the end - here is a small selection.....

Simply posing?

A fish is needed to add a bit of interest!

Close enough for a close up crop!

Having added a fish - lets take it a step further with some landing action.....

Not enough 'blue' on show?

It's all happening in these two shots - footwork as well!

That's almost certainly the last of Kingfishers for 2013!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Scilly - Where's Dave?

The local birding scene is as dead as it is possible to be, so.........This post may be lost on many of you but no apologies for another retrospective jaunt down Scilly memory lane! Remember that childrens book series which kept you amused as a youngster (or much older child) 'Where's Wally!'  Sorry that should read 'Where's Whalley'......Here's my Scilly version inspired by that larger than life, hirsute birder, life and soul from the potteries - none other than Dave Blakeman......

I'll probably keep adding to this as there are a few scenic or irreverent images from Scilly cluttering up my hard drive which might as well get an outing?

There will be at least  two, maybe three pictures which feature Dave - send a stamp addressed email stating 'which ones' and you could be in with a chance of a perfect day out with none other than Dave himself!!!!

Yes, the prize is a days birding at the Britannia stadium (a lucky runner up will get a whole weekend there!) Famed for its resident gulls, corvids and starlings picking at the remains of pies.... Dave will lead you to the birds - you just have to keep yourself out of trouble and identify them!

Oh and if Stoke are playing at home and absent mindedly get the wrong colours out, Dave will ensure you are treated to unrivalled hospitality! An overnight stay in North Staffs infirmary is the least you can expect from the locals and your ambulance will be waiting to speed you there :-)

Here we go, here we go, here we go..... 'Where's Dave........ (NB beware the Doppelganger!)

This bunch of hopefuls aren't the least bit interested in a Grey-cheeked Thrush! They are of course looking for Dave :-)

With nothing better to do than wait for the bird to show again, birders resorted to making stone piles in the nearby bay to relieve the boredom!

The daily road block on Penninis - amazing how such a little bird can cause such a snarl up!

20 birders with long lenses were released after questioning. Well that is a children's playground on the left of the picture......

A Red-breasted Fly refused to give itself up to this line of waiting observers!

Has anyone see Dave yet - maybe in the Scillonian??

Maybe the old sea dog weighed anchor on a pelagic?

Where we treated to the delights of fresh Sushi

Plus leftovers from 'The great bake off'

Gotta show this one again!!

One sure fire way to nearly wreck a camera!!

More pelagic fun - when the birding is quiet - let's go fishing?

Flying Mackerel.......

A small load of Pollack!!

Sora next stop.......

OMG - not ANOTHER Dolphin!

Transport is everything, some like to get there quickly......

Whilst other adopt the slow and steady approach!

An impromptu sale of telescopes at Higher Moors - any offers?

You've got to keep fuelled and it wasn't just flapjacks!

OMG the most amazing Apfel Strudel and ice cream, courtesy of the Kaffeehaus

John and Leigh look impressed!

The Snrops / Staffs alliance!

A couple of Whalleys if ever I saw them - oops a giveaway!

Time for a cup of PG Tips? It's probably in the brambles at your feet?

Have you seen Dave?

Black Redstart learning the ropes....

There's probably more.........