Wednesday 27 February 2013

Horsehay - another White Winger

Monday and Tuesday were quiet affairs but a decent gull gathering today was capped by a new bird for me - a 2nd Winter Glaucous Gull - presumably the same Gull that Tom picked out at Candles last Friday :-)

And the sun was shining for the first time in weeks! Difficult to keep the highlights against darker water but just about managed it :-)

A pretty cool garden tick?

Friday 22 February 2013

Horsehay and Candles - more White wingers!

If yesterday was a cracking day, today was even better! An unproductive Priorslee lake saw me heading off to Horsehay where Iceland 'Cutie Pie' had been showing well for Tom most of the morning!

He had gone over to Candles and guess what, the Iceland dropped back into Horsehay a minute or so after arriving!

Angelic wingflap....

A text from Tom had me starting the engine, a Glauc was showing :-) The gulls are constantly mobile of course and the only white winger evident on arrival was 'ugly' Iceland!

Eventually, one of the Glaucous Gull came into view and even better, it was the pale bird I was hoping for! Our first views were simply wings showing above the seething mass of foraging Gulls!

We know you're in there.......

Eventually it showed much better. Always distant sadly....

But I'll settle for this, for new.......

Three white wingers today then :-) Tom had FOUR with yet another Glauc at Candles.....

Thursday 21 February 2013

Priorslee and Horsehay - Iceland Duo

Nice to be able to get some birding done again and with hopes of connecting with a Glauc, I managed not one but two white wingers in the Telford area - both 2nd Winter Iceland Gulls - I'm not complaining :-)

The first Iceland was at Priorslee lake, where Dawn Balmer and I had brief views. It was pretty mobile and soon relocated to the jetty on the far side! Plenty of 'record quality' shots!

The nearest it came was a brief hop onto one of the buoys!

There was a bit of contrast to the primary tips, noticeable on the water and even more so when looking at the flight images. Kumleins is always a possibility....

The primary markings don't appear to be strong enough and depending upon the lighting, pretty constant in shade along all the primaries (or darker on the inner ones!)

Farewell to the 'ugly bugger' then and I moved on to Horsehay, where a really cute Iceland Gull was waiting!

One or two wing flaps....

It settled down alongside an odd Herring Gull with Caspianesque eye and bill. The mantle shade and size were all wrong though (Tom had seen this same birds at Candles too - short legged!)

With at least two birds about, they need to be differentiated and what better than a descriptive term?

'Cutie Pie',  the sweetest Iceland you ever did see.....

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Horsehay - 4w Caspo!

Buildwas was quiet and I went on to spend an hour at Candles watching distant Gulls, with nothing of note found.  Horsehay pool wasn't much better until this dropped in...

On the water, all the boxes were ticked for Caspian Gull, I had it down as an adult as it cruised up and down mid-pool....

A brief wash and wingflap, revealed a few brown flecks in the upperwing plumage, knocking it down to 4th Winter. It's yet another Caspo for the Shropshire Winter of Gull Content :-) Has there been one like it?

Never mind - as it drifted closer - one serioussly classy Gull :-)

Maybe the last one I will see for a week or so as a busy period of talks on the plant scene looms.....

Venus Pool - Buzzard in action

A quick in and out look at VP was extended by the juv Buzzard sat on a fence post by the car park!

I was hoping for an action flight shot..... but I got action of a different kind!

Amazing how that stuff manages to wrap itself around the fence post :-)

Then on to Horsehay with hopes of a decent Gull?

Thursday 7 February 2013

Winter Visitors / Candles Iceland :-)

An interesting day!! Spent five hours of the morning with a team filming  'Winter Visitors' for the 'County Channel'! What's that, I sense you thinking? It's an online TV channel for which Shropshire is a pilot site....It turned into n adventure on camera, bit of publicity for the site and of course the SOS :-)

The final edited film just 5 mins long is now live, check out here (Winter visitors) :-)  Let me know what you think :-)

Seriously.... Venus Pool has given me so many great moments and the SOS put a lot of effort into making it the superb reserve is, I thought it was time to personally put something back in (as if it's not already on the birding map already!)....

Ben Waddams putting DA to shame!

Crikey, where's the make up dept! (it was taken using a phone in what felt like sub-zero temps!!)

Hmm, I wonder what the edited 6 mins or so documentary will look like????

 It was a pretty good experience with a great team and we had a few laughs along the way ......


There was more excitement to come when I joined Kris and Tom at Candles early afternoon :-)

I was hoping for one of the Glaucous Gulls seen the previous day but settled quite happily for a juv Iceland Gull :-)

Taking on all the Herrings.....

Then posing nicely (albeit distantly)!

There was also a potentially 'new' 1st Winter Caspian Gull. Again quite distant and serious record shot territory but looked good to Tom, Kris and me whilst we await any dissent from more Gull Gurus....

A lovely setting, where's the camera crew when you need them!

Saturday 2 February 2013

Venus Pool - White fronts again!

I never did get around to finally sorting the Polemere White-front sequence and it's all on hold now as I wade through a sea of talks following a few days spent in Ireland on plant duty!

Thanks to Helen, I managed to get up close and personal with a certain couple of White-fronted Geese at VP!

I will try and sort more but don't know when I've been so busy!!