Wednesday 21 December 2011

Image of 2011 (final Poll)

Here are a final 'Top Twenty' selections, a few favourite pictures (in no particular order) taken during 2011. This includes the top three Shropshire birds - congratulations to the WAXWING struggling to swallow that rose hip with a Lapwing, Dotterel and Hobby three way tie behind.
You will find an voting box to the right, to keep things simple, check the FIVE pictures you like most! (click thumbs to open a larger image) FIVE votes maximum only please! (Only one voter is possible per PC sorry!)

I will let this poll run until December 31st and then YOUR No 1 Picture of the Year will be declared on New Years Day....

Have a fantastic Christmas and here's wishing everyone great birding in 2012!

Picture 1 - Waxwing - Shrewsbury (January)

Picture 2 - Mediterranean Gull - Mumbles (February)

Picture 3 - Mealy Redpoll - Rainton Meadows (March)

Picture 4 - Cirl Bunting - Broadsands Bay (March)

Picture 5 - Lapwings - Venus Pool (March)

Picture 6 - Common Sandpiper - Lochindorb (May)

Picture 7 - Red Grouse - Lochindorb (May)

Picture 8 - Dunlin - Chanonry Point (May)

Picture 9 - Sandwich Tern - Cemlyn Bay (May)

Picture 10 - Dotterel - Longmynd (May)

Picture 11 - Red footed Falcon - Ledbury (June)

Picture 12 - White-throated Robin - Hartlepool Headland (June)

Picture 13 - Red-footed Falcon - Horsey (June)

Picture 14 - Bittern - Titchwell (June)

Picture 15 - Hobby eating Dragonfly - Chelmarsh (September)

Picture 16 - Sabine's Gull - Belvide (September)

Picture 17 - American Black Tern - Covenham Reservoir (September)

Picture 18 - Arctic Skua - Titchwell (September)

Picture 19 - Black-tailed Godwit - Cley Marshes (September)

Picture 20 - Squacco Heron - Attenborough (October)

Sunday 18 December 2011

Mumbles - Med Gull aging

A visit to watch Gemma swim down in Swansea gave me a late afternoon chance to sneak over to the Mumbles and find me a Med Gull or two or three..... Always a good range of ages here and they didn't disappoint!

First Winter Med with juvenile plumage still evident and dark bill with a pale base. As in all these Gulls, black 'mask' behind the eye.

Second winter with black bands on the wing tips, bill now becoming pale with a black subterminal band.

The next Gull is a subadult third Winter - legs still dark and bill hasn't quite fully matured. Black marks on the wing tips.

This Gull has well developed plumage but the bill is a little pale and the legs dark. I would say this is a third Winter rather than full Adult.

No doubt about this classic adult Winter bird - fully mature plumage and deep red bill with subterminal black band.

As the sun dropped lower, in the sharply contrsting light, even Black-headed Gulls look good in close up portrait!

Quite a lot of action packed into a 40 minute late afternoon spell, who says Gulls aren't interesting?

Saturday 17 December 2011

Chelmarsh - Diver here for the Winter?

A planned trip to Notts for the showy Rough-legged Buzzard saw the hands of fate take a turn.... I was loading the car when I notice a couple of egg like swellings on the side wall of the front nearside tyre. A blow out waiting to happen, I thought? Glad you haven't been anywhere near a motorway said the type fitter! So, whilst I was going to be safe on the roads, I'd lost too much time to drive far today!

Chelmarsh beckoned, I still needed Water Rail for the year and it took about 30 mins before one scuttled in front of the vegetation on the far side of the now flooded scrape!

Was the Red throated Diver stiull there? I scanned the res from the causeway for about 20 mins and ghad all but given up when it popped up from under the near bank!

Another dive and then off.....

It was working a circuit of this end and eventually came back in a bit of sunshine!

I checked out the Gull roost next and from a distane, an interesting 'white headed' Herring type caught my eye. I encountered the same bird at closer quarters and you can imagine what went through my mind in a nano-second ?????? Caspian! (Dodgy record shot through branches of that moment....)

Or is it?? Answers on a post card or comment box on what you see.....

Thursday 15 December 2011

Tundra Bean Goose - here for the Winter?

I'd better not tempt fate but it could be a great start to 2012 if our now 'resident' local megas hang on....

Th etUndra Bean Goose was on the mud at the end of the island at lunchtime today with those bright orange erm mud stained legs on show!

Sunday 11 December 2011

Image of 2011 (Shropshire)

(Please Note - current posts during December will appear further below - after these Picture of the Year selections)

It's that time again - the annual end of year picture accumulation. It's been another successful year for me on the UK birding front despite 'not listing' and 230 species so far, can't be bad! The Shropshire count despite the influx of 'lifers' is a little down, but still respectable 163 a few more birds to come?? :-)

I've selected below a selection - of twenty favourite pictures (in no particular order) taken in Shropshire during 2011. You can simply select your favourite photo(s) from the assembly - always interesting for me to see which is the most popular!

You will find an voting box to the right, for this first round simply check the FIVE pictures you like most! (click thumbs to open a larger image) Five votes maximum only please! (Only one voter is possible per PC sorry!)

I will let this poll run until December 20th and then, the top three pictures will be included with more photos taken elsewhere in the UK during 2011. Voting will then begin again over the Christmas period with YOUR No 1 Picture of the Year being declared on New Years Day....

Picture 1 - Waxwing - Shrewsbury (January)

Picture 2 - Goosander - Shrewsbury (January)

Picture 3 - Lapwings - Venus Pool (March)

Picture 4 - Northern Wheatear - Titterstone Clee (April)

Picture 5 - Ring Ouzel - Longmynd (April)

Picture 6 - Grasshopper Warbler - Longmynd (April)

Picture 7 - Dotterel - Longmynd (May)

Picture 8 - Spotted Flycatchers - Venus Pool (June)

Picture 9 - Little Owl - Haughmond (June)

Picture 10 - Sparrowhawk - Shrewsbury (August)

Picture 11 - Green Woodpecker - Venus Pool (August)

Picture 12 - Hobby eating Dragonfly - Chelmarsh (September)

Picture 13 - Hobby flight - Chelmarsh (September)

Picture 14 - Ruff - Chelmarsh (September)

Picture 15 - Steppe Shrike - Wall Farm (November)

Picture 16 - Red throated Diver - Chelmarsh (November)

Picture 17 - Mandarin - Highley (October)

Picture 18 - Desert Wheatear - Titterstone Clee (November)

Picture 19 - Yellow legged Gull - Priorslee Lake (November)

Picture 20 - Desert Wheatear on stones - Titterstone Clee (November)