Saturday, 28 February 2015

Venus Pool - Hen Harrier take 2

It's my birthday today with 100+ Yellowhammer, 30 + Reed Buntings etc invited to a party in the crop field.... The star guest was of course the ringtail (female) Hen Harrier which put in a couple of appearances early afternoon!

Despite the overcast conditions, a sight I could never tire of seeing here!

Dropping in every now and then....

And coming ever closer!

The closest approach :-)

The Corn Bunting count was up to 17 today and here's some of the flock perched up!

A male Sparrowhawk and Merlin firing through the field as well, completed a brilliant day - happy birthday indeed :-) Just a shame Craig (Midlands Birder) and friends had to settle for brief distant views late afternoon!

Friday, 27 February 2015

Venus Pool - Hen Harrier

I've been mega busy with talks and non-birding activities this month but got myself spurred into action when I realised the ringtail Hen Harrier at VP was not just a flukey flyover. Arriving early afternoon, it wasn't long before it was seen but took quite a while to get some record shots....

They did come eventually!

When it was in view, always pretty mobile!

Sometimes landing, seemingly observing the 100+ Yellowhammer, Reed Buntings plus a couple of Corn Buntings feeding on the seed amongst the spent crop.

The following sequence is not good news if you are a small passerine trapped in the endless tangle of stems!

A succession of hops and pounces.....

Culminated in this Reed Bunting (if you look closely) being plucked out by the the right talon.....

The Harrier then flew off for its late afternoon snack!

There's life (and death) in the old patch yet! With more time now becoming available, I might just be putting a few hours in and with a few good birds under my belt - that VP year list may just become the target for 2015? 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Trench Pool - 1st winter Caspian Gull

Joined the Scilly Spider this afternoon in the hope of the possible Thayers candidate dropping in again? It didn't happen but at least we had a 1st winter Caspian Gull - present for most of the time late afternoon....

I picked it up as an 'interesting' gull flying in!

It certainly was.....

The centre of attention.....

Eventually settling down quite close on the ice!

That will do nicely.....