Wednesday 23 December 2015

Stubbers Green - consolation YLG

Gulls have been pretty low on my radar of late but with two adult Caspian Gulls putting in an appearance the previous day, I thought it was worth a look see? Guess what, not a sniff in fact very few large gulls and never more than 60 counting the Black-heads as well! Freezing wind toowhich always seems to be in your face here!
Mind you there was a sort of consolation with this 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull, quite a stunner :-)

Better than nowt!

Monday 21 December 2015

Venus Pool - Christmas travellers

Not a lot happening at Venus Pool apart from the impressive duck presence: 172 Teal , 96 Wigeon, 24 Shoveler, 10 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 2 Shelduck and 2 female Goldeneye.....

There were two Canada Geese - snoozing and not mingling with the regular locals. I could see they were sporting darvic rings and just to prove these things 'work' you could read the letters from nearly every angle!

So, where have CAVP (how appropriate) and CATL come from.....

They are part of a project in the lake district and were ringed at Lake Windermere whilst in moult 178 days ago! And they have flown 197km to spend some time in Shropshire! It's an interesting project, raising lots of questions: How long they will stay? Are there others here? Where do others go? Will they return to Windermere (for the tourist handouts) ?
They are not everyone's favourite bird although thee was a huge outcry which stopped the intended cull in 2012.  I had assumed the feral flocks stayed faithful to one general area but these two are clearly serious travellers!

So, don't ignore the geese and while checking though them all, Greylags 'n all - you might even pick up a Barnacle, White-front, Pink-foot or Bean!

Read more about it here..... Goose ringing in lake district

And if you spot one here's a quick link to report colour ringed birds! Link to BTO colour rings return

Sunday 20 December 2015

Wall Heath - Hoopoe

Hoopoes are fantastic birds but I hadn't rushed to see this particular arrival, sensing it would be hard work in the long grass - how right I was!
After a couple hours wait, I decided to abandon a stake out of the area it traditionally favoured (but didn't today) and joined the gallery up the hill where it was showing on and off in thick grass. Well at least a couple of record shots were achieved!

And eventually, just before 4 o'clock it did return to the enclosure posts (with light fading bady). Making a statement on behalf of the anti-dog fouling community!

And a single shot as it briefly perched on the barbed wire across the field!

Oh well, better than nothing after a freezing 4 to 5 hours vigil....

Saturday 19 December 2015

Bird / Image of 2015

Here are a few favourite pictures of mine (in no particular order) taken during 2015.  A bit of a mixture - favourite birds and images. For various reasons, its been my quietest year for such a long time!
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- any more wont be counted!  (Only one voter is possible per PC!)

I will let this poll run until December 31st and then YOUR No 1 Picture of the Year will be declared the following day....

Have a fantastic Christmas everyone and here's wishing everyone great birding in 2016! With batteries recharged I shall be out and about in the field a lot more!! Not yearlisting tho :-) 

Picture 1 - Hen Harrier - Venus Pool Shropshire (February)

Picture 2 - Red-throated Pipit - Ludworth Moor (May)

Picture 3 - White-tailed Eagle - Mull (May)

Picture 4 - Corncrake - Iona (May)

Picture 5 - Red Grouse - Lochindorb (May)

Picture 6 - King Eider - Ythan estuary (May)

Picture 7 - Cretzschmars Bunting - Bardsey Island  (June)

Picture 8 - Melodious Warbler - Hampton in Arden (June)

Picture 9 - Puffin - Farne Islands (July)

Picture 10 - Arctic Terns - Farne Islands (July)

Picture 11 - Red-footed Falcon - Chatterley Whitfield (July)

Picture 12 - Great Skua - Isles of Scilly (August)

Picture 13 - European Storm Petrel - Isles of Scilly (August)

Picture 14 - Fea's Petrel - Isles of Scilly (August)

Picture 15 - Great Shearwater - Isles of Scilly (August)

Picture 16 - Pectoral Sandpiper - St Marys (October)

Picture 17 - Red-flanked Bluetail - St Agnes (October)

Picture 18 - Hudsonian Whimbrel - Tresco (October)

Picture 19 - Northern Wheatear - St Marys (October)

Picture 20 - Rose-coloured Starling- Lands End (October)

Picture 21 -  Kingfisher - Venus Pool (November)

Picture 22 -  Brambling - Venus Pool (December)

Picture 23 - Egyptian Goose - Venus Pool (December)

Monday 7 December 2015

Venus Pool - Egyptian Goose

Not a lot happening at Venus Pool with the higher water levels attracting a good number of duck and as usual, even more geese! A surprise was in store however when a lone Egyptian Goose sneaked in, landing on the middle island. It snoozed for about 40 minutes, had a quick preen before emerging from the vegetation....

Wandered down to the waters edge....

Before heading downwind......

Something rather surly about these characters!

So everything else kept their heads down!

I could see what was going to happen, so got ready to catch the flight shot out (having missed the flight shot in!)

Here we go.....

Skipping the water.....

Settling into level flight in front of me!

Before climbing high and heading south east, I don't think a return is on the cards!

Sunday 6 December 2015

Bramblings part 2

The dark head and brighter plumage of a male Brambling takes some beating and a couple of sequences here to demonstrate their beauty :-)

The head will eventually turn completely black in summer plumage, pale fringes to the feathers creeate the spotty appearance.

Another individual with paler tip to the bill...

Again, stunning seen in close up!

It's not just about the rares! Might just spend a few more hours patch birding?