Saturday 31 December 2016

Waxwings in the gutter!

There are plenty of Waxwings about and Dave Chapman has put some major hours in locating suitable trees and at least two small flocks were pinned down to bring the new year in for him!  I joined him for an hour or so as they fed on Lancaster road, spending more time in nearby trees than on the berries! (This is a post which nearly got forgotten!! Excuse the copyright caption, I can't be bothered to amend from 2017!!)

A useful aid to get youngsters counting, maybe I could write a children's book?

Here's 16 of the 19 in this flock!

I didn't even attempt to photograph them on the berries, an awful 'twiggy' tree and awful light! But just like Crossbills, a bird's gotta drink to aid the digestion...

Lets start with three?

There's actually four in this one below!

Didn't believe me eh?

Yep, definitely four!

Wait a minute, make that seven!

Crikey 11 of them down at once...

And with shutter speeds well below 1/100 sec you can expect some 'unusual' camera back moments ... like this blurry flight shot! Make that three...

May I wish you all a happy waxwing new year....

Friday 30 December 2016

Welshpool - more Waxwings!!

I was just defrosting the car with Waxwings on my mind, when I had a call from Dave Chapman... he was thinking likewise! And after he'd exhausted local possibilities, news of a small flock in Welshpool (Marc Hughes found these!) seemed like a good idea to check out and he picked me up...

It's only just over the border and eventually, with just a little bit of luck and nous we were on them! Always an awkward situation, pointing camera lenses out of the car at the Sorbus trees but we engaged with the locals who had no problem! Shame about the light though, pretty gloomy, high ISO and low shutter speeds!! The dark background initially seemed a complete waste of time but it was effective and the pics are growing on me :-)

In amongst the twigs and clutter...

A flash of wing :-)

And then the lone clump with a clean background! Which is a front door!!

Picking berries...

And swallowing them!

Back to the clutter...

 Two for the price of one here!

To finish off, another clean branch and a close up.....

... News came out from Martyn Owen that there was small flock in St Michaels St. Shrewsbury!! Despite dropping everything and firing back they were nowhere to be seen! But that's Waxwings for you :-)

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Image of 2016 (UK)

Congratulations to the Kingfishers! - voted most popular Shropshire and together with the Whoopers and Hen Harrier, they can now do battle with another assortment from throughout the UK! I make no excuse for including plenty of images from the Isles of Scilly, my favourite destination where great birds and images just kept coming....

You will find an voting box to the right, to keep things simple, select the FIVE pictures you like most! (click thumbs to open a larger image) As ever it's FIVE votes maximum only please

This poll will run until December 31st and YOUR No 1 Picture of the Year will bring 2017 in....

Have a fantastic Christmas everyone and here's wishing everyone great birding in 2017! 

Picture 1 - Whooper Swans - Edgerley, Shropshire (January)

Picture 2 - Ring-necked Duck - Ham Wall (April)

Picture 3 - Kentish Plover - Audenshaw Reservoir (April)

Picture 4 - Cuckoo - Laggan, Scotland (May)

Picture 5 - Kingfishers - Venus Pool (July)

Picture 6 - Western Swamphen - Minsmere (August)

Picture 7 - European Storm Petrel - Scilly Pelagic (August)

Picture 8 - Icterine Warbler - St Mary's  (August)

Picture 9 - Cory's Shearwater in big sea - Scilly Pelagics (August)

Picture 10 - Great Shearwater - Scilly Pelagics (August)

Picture 11 - Dalmatian Pelican - Restronguet Creek (August)

Picture 12 - Buff-breasted Sandpiper - St Mary's (October)

Picture 13 - American Golden Plover - St Mary's (October)

Picture 14 - Caspian Tern - St Mary's (October)

Picture 15 - Jack Snipe - St Mary's (October)

Picture 16 - Grey Heron - St Mary's (October)

Picture 17 - Yellow-browed Warbler - St Marys (October)

Picture 18 - Western Subalpine Warbler - St Mary's (October)

Picture 19 - Eastern Yellow Wagtail - St Mary's (October)

Picture 20 - Wryneck - St Marys (October)

Picture 21 - Snow Bunting - St Mary's (October)

Picture 22 -  Eastern Black Redstart - Skinningrove (November)

Picture 23 -  Lesser Yellowlegs - Cheddar Reservoir (November)

Picture 24 -  Hen Harrier - Shropshire (November)

Picture 25 - Dusky Thrush - Beeley (December)