Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Old Town Churchyard, St. Mary's - Wryneck

Finally caught up with the Wryneck which had been see regularly depleting the ant populations in the stone walls! A confiding bird...




Creeping in and out of the many nooks and crannies!



And nearly giving the 180' head swivel...


Two close portraits to finish...



A perfect end to the day and made up for the glimpses of the nearby Melodious Warbler which didn't result in images...

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Longstone, St. Mary's - Rustic Bunting take 2!!

Frustrated by poor views the previous day, I had a second try for the Rustic Bunting which was working a circuit that included the same field! Patience is a virtue and after 30 mins or so it worked (but I've left these pics until the end of the post!)

Here it is quietly feeding in the short turf...




And perhaps the most satisfying image from this series?


Cos, the nearer it got - the water bowser was in the field of view!!




So forget about them... I've left the first appearance until last, undoubtedly the best views of the day as it perched for 30 secs or so in a tree overlooking the field!




Wow that will do nicely!

Monday, 30 September 2019

Longstone, St. Mary's - Rustic Bunting!!

Another gateway twitch, this time at Longstone for a Rustic Bunting - at last a lifer, the first one this year too! Setting the scene...


Rain splashed and looking more like a painting than a photograph, the views were generally difficult!


But eventually things improved, once it headed in the direction of the gate!


That's more like it!


And whilst this is the best I could do, I'll certainly settle for it! Not everyone was so lucky!


What's gonna be the next one...

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Tresco - Helipad scarcities

The highlight of a day on Tresco with Ian Grant was undoubtedly an Ortolan Bunting, paired up with a Short-toed Lark and generally either on or very near to the Helipad...


Knowing it was likely to be a fair yomp for the day, I was only carrying the 100-400mm lens so couldn't expect much in the way of detail but here's the Lark...


And the Ortolan...


There were plenty of new birds for the trip, including Whinchat, Common Redstart, Whitethroat, Dunlin, Greenshank, Redshank etc...

But they were all nearly upstaged by a lucky find on some raised heathland behind the tennis courts - a Red-veined Darter Dragonfly!


A dash to the airport beckons on return to St Mary's!

Airfield, St. Mary's - Dotterel and co.

Returning from Tresco, the day was not done as a rather showy Dotterel had been reported amongst a few other good birds! Taking the step count over 20,000 were, in order of seeing them...

My worst ever blog-pic of a Snow Bunting! It was hunkered down in the wind and I needed to move on!


And after the Shropshire mindblower, a rather distant Lapland Bunting!


There were also, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover and despite a Peregrine spooking most of the birds, the Dotterel showed really well!


Even got a ruffle!



Yes, showing nicely in the evening light...




This was 'somehow' my first Dot on Scilly - well overdue I reckon!

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Garrison, St. Marys - Blue Rock Thrush

My third attempt for the particularly elusive Blue Rock Thrush hoping to improve on the brief sighting on Thursday! It was the issue in being in the wrong place at the wrong time once more but eventually after walking the whole length of the Garrision (twice) a stake out near Morning Point at least provided some record shots!

Having seen it pop up on a rock throught the bins, I sensed it was moments away from departure?  In fact it was about three seconds roughly!


Take off...


Going...


Going...


Gone!

Friday, 27 September 2019

Porthellick, St Mary's - Garganey

A pretty lean day after devoting much of it to the Blue Rock Thrush which went AWOL during the afternoon! Thank goodness I went to Porthellick first where the Garganey reported first thing was still there!

Nearly always in the company of a Teal, making a nice comparison...



Initially in front of the Seaward hide...




It soon relocated in front of the Stephen Sussex hide where it briefly parade on the mud in all it's finery!


Yes, the afternoon was all downhill... I'm gonna have a hard time relying on the BRT for images!!

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Long Mynd - Lapland Bunting!!!

Wow, what a bird! One that simply everyone needed for their county list and a showy little stunner! Well done John Reeves for having a plan and sticking to it, and thanks to Dave C for the timely call!

It was faithful to a short stretch of the Shropshire Way near Robin Hooh Butts car park and despite all their efforts, Mountain Bikers, Walkers, Every man / woman and their dog... nothing was going to shift it - even if it did have to fly around for a short while!

Favouring the edge of the path, where most of the seed was presumably?




And despite the low morning sun being a bit of a problem, it was giving some amazing opportunities!


I guess this is the sort of shot everyone went home with?


But as morning turned into afternoon, despite the sun being high in the sky, the light became somewhat crippling!


And whilst my back took some persuading, the low angle played dividends!




Finally a pic which summed up what the bird was up to and how many of these tiny morsels were needed?


Plus enough time to take a video or two...  What a magic day!


Monday, 9 September 2019

Venus Pool - Common Tern

A bit of 'weather' today helping deliver a Common Tern to the pool (thanks for getting the news out John Martin) and I spent an hour or so trying to get a respectable pic or two given the conditions.

It helps to have the protection of the bigger guys after being harried almost skua like by the Black-headed Gulls!







Periods of flight were interspersed with rests on one of the small islands and then a plunge or two.



Circle and try again...



There were waders too: juv Little Ringed Plover plus the 2 Common Sandpipers