Saturday 31 August 2013

Neumann's Flash - Stilt Sandpiper

Another lifer and a wader too :-) It all came together after  missing the initial ''news' and I guess that was no bad thing as the initial crowds had dispersed :-)

Number one hide still had very few vantage points but it was asleep about 100m away on arrival and by the time I'd worked my way to the front row, it woke up! Still a bit sleepy judging by the mayhem going on around it! The small size and structure can all be seen here too courtesy of the lapwing.  The long neck, slightly decurved longish bill and of course those long legs!

It's an adult moulting into winter plumage and the barring on the undersides whilst fading can just about be seen

One last look.... Can the next one be little closer?

Venus Pool - subbuteo spectacular

The day started with a County year bird - Ruff, three of them on Whixall flood (thanks Martyn!)  I'll spare you the awful record shots! An obliging Greenshank at VP duly followed.....

Pausing for a breather....

A Hobby had been on form apparently during the morning. I decided to sit it out patiently - would it reappear? With 'splash!!' it did, presumably misjudging a Brown Hawker and getting a little wet!

It was then action all the way! Banking flight near enough on one occasion for close cropping!

The upperwing angle and my favourite 'attitude' with tail fanned :-)

Of course, it was catching plenty of Hawker dragonflies....

And consuming them on the wing....

Amazing moments and none finer than this adult bird streaking head on towards you!

The last moment many a dragonfly was to see.......

The session was cut slightly short when I learnt there was a Stilt Sandpiper lurking at Neumann's Flash in Cheshire? Sorry Hobby, you will have to wait for another day!

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Venus Pool - Greenshank

A few more record shots of Greenshank, seen virtually daily lately but not much else!

Calling just before another quick departure.....

Monday 19 August 2013

Venus Pool - Green sandpiper action

It doesn't seem possible to conjure up a blog relating to Green Sandpipers but they were in good form today! And there were some other participants.....

Here's two of the five present.

Confirming that they are longer leggeed and larger than a Common!

This is what preening is all about, the post wash feather ruffle......

Then flying off for action?

Seen from another angle :-)

Now unbelievably, one of the Green sands was not catching insects or invertebrates. It was, wait for it..... catching fish!!

or trying to :-) Fish instinctively know what's going on!

Nearly got one there!

There were quite a few Sand Martins over the water and they livened up somewhat when this Hobby had a couple of loops chasing them before shooting over the hide in a manner reminiscent of that Tornado!

And why can't the Lapwings just get along with each other?

It's all in an afternoons work.....

Saturday 17 August 2013

Shropshire - Terns etc

A bit of a dank drizzly day was forecast and the heavy rain for later in the day was spot on! Seemed perfect for a Tern or two and Venus Pool came good with an adult Common Tern, present all morning

 Wood Lane then produced the goods with a juvenile Arctic Tern grounded and flying around periodically in the rain.

Here's a couple of Kingfisher  images to brighten up proceedings (taken the previous day) a very brief encounter......

About to be gone......

Thursday 15 August 2013

Venus Pool - fish on the menu

 It was back to reality and somewhat drive-lagged from the 400 miles of the previous day, I managed to check out VP in the afternoon. A Greenshank was there on arrival but didn't hang about!

With nothing else happening and eyes getting heavier, I noticed a couple of Cormorants steaming closer and memories of a shoot some 5 years ago came flooding back......

No-one photographs Cormorants do they, even their mother wouldn't describe them as pretty?

But they are very efficient fishing machines and I was determined to catch the action on surfacing? With such tiny little fish on the menu, I can tell you this wasn't easy!

I did say small.....

Full frontal shots do not make them look any more endearing?

And despite their small size, fish are still slippery customers......

There was a Heron fishing nearby too and things became a little easier......

The strike!

Trust me, there is a fish there!

It's still there and a lovely shape to the droplets?

First of many!!

Welcome home - not an Eagle in sight :-(