Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Belvide - Spots before my eyes!!

I resisted temptation the previous day, thinking it might be a distant proposition but with images trickling out and clearly, this Spotted Sandpiper in summer plumage, could be an obliging bird, I just had to get a dental appointment out of the way and it was all systems go....

I made the mistake of wearing wellies too, the path was as dry as a bone and my reward after the mile plus yomp to the East End was a blister! Never mind, it was distantly on view from the hide (c100m) on the far side of the bunded scrape so things could only get better!

And they did! After two close calls, Spotty walked around the bund and flew across to the spit you can see mid right of picture, it was now less than 25m away!

Wow, the last time I had seen one of these fully spotted was back in 2012 (in New England) and the UK juvs I've seen have never been awe inspiring! This one certainly was... a distinctly infectious look if ever there was one...

Happily feeding and creeping closer all the time!

Plenty of small insects / invertebrates, just the ticket for a passage wader...

Ahhh, just loving these head on moments :-)

An then the closest approach...

Just about close enough for a tighter crop!

But I'll settle for all and any of these!!

There was a brief distraction earlier in the morning when this Great Crested Grebe took on more than he could chew? Or did he... we shall have to see what happened in another post!

Thanks to Steve Nuttall and the Belvide team for allowing access, the site shows what good reserve management is all about! I'm seriously tempted to renew my WMBC membership now that Spring at Venus Reservoir has become a pretty pointless venue! I'll hopefully change my view come the late Summer / Autumn once some mud finally appears there but we shall see?

A reminder of better times :-) VP 15th May 2013

VP 15th May 2017....

At least the Ducks, Coots and Moorhens are happy?

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Bridges - Flycatchers

A mid morning walk along the road near the youth hostel at Bridges produced at least two pairs of Spotted Flycatcher and there was another one (?two) thro the gate to the brook. They weren't posing, constantly mobile and I was in a hurry so record shots only...

A female Pied Flycatcher showing nicely plus another two males along the road..

Dipper too :-) Spot Fly must be my last summer visitor on the list, which is going to be hard work from now!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Isombridge - Grey Partridge and Co!

A final hour of daylight spent in this haven of agricultural 'good practice' was spent with Grey Partridge in mind. There were other species occupying this niche to enjoy!

Like this smart male Yellow Wagtail...

Or several Corn Bunting! In fact, with the car window open, it was rare not to hear them every 100m or so!

Belting out the familiar burst of song...

But finally, the object of my desire... keeping a weather eye on a good year to keep a yearlist tempts you to do this :-) Grey Partridge aren't that easy nowadays!

Wait a minute, we have a pair!

Showing nicely despite the evening gloom..

All this with a couple of miles of urban Telford!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Morfa Madryn - Citrine Wagtail

A much needed lifer Citrine Wagtail which was well within range over at Morfa Madryn NR, a mile or so down the coast path from Llanfairfechan. It had shown briefly really well the previous day but was now favouring a pool, often disappearing behind vegetation but giving tantalising tickable views...

And when in view it was backlit!

Oh well, mustn't grumble, it could all so easily have moved on and at least it was a smart female! The prominent yellow supercilium and underparts showing nicely here...

Grey upperparts and pronounced wing bars complete the picture :-)

It's on the list and there's ten more to go,,,

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Longmynd - Dots before my eyes!

The bird race was at Venus Reservoir was going nowhere and when a late morning tweet announced there were two Dotterel on the Longmynd (well done Dave Pearce!), it was a no-brainer where I should be....

A lovely pair showing really well despite the torrential 'drizzle'!

Female first

Busy feeding...

And posing :-)

The male was a bit more lively!

Eventually walking right up to me!

Or even flying up to me!

I'm not entirely convinced that Dotterel like pouring rain!

But it's soon ruffled off...

The day was going to take yet another twist - an Avocet!! At Wood Lane... I'm on my way

Wood Lane - Avocet!!

It's entirely possible, non-locals might be wondering what the fuss is all about? Avocets are tricky Shropshire birds, annual at best, every other year more likely! And Wood Lane is surely the most likely space for them to settle in one day??

A not entirely inspiring start, fast asleep on the far side of the scrape!

Eventually waking up...

And walking my way :-)

I'll spare you the bits in between! Closer all the time and feeding like crazy, this bird wont be here much longer?

Showing off those stunning legs!

Job done I think, couldn't be any closer...

Quite a day! Shame about the bird race although 68 species in a morning is pretty good going, thanks to everyone concerned for helping out!