Thursday 31 August 2017

Venus Pool - Southern Hawker and passenger!

A funny thing happened as I was walking up to the car park today!  I noticed a male Southern Hawker flying nearby and even better, it landed in one of the wild roses. It was quite high up and only a side on angle was possible but at least I was carrying the 500mm lens...

Inching a bit closer...

Then suddenly, I noticed something else flying in, a shield bug! And amazingly it landed on the Hawkers wing!! Squatters rights or what?

All I needed was an aphid to land on the shield bug! The food chain in reverse :-)

Tighter crop...

Well Shield Bugs do feed on other small insects but surely this was a mouthful too far!! The pair flew off immediately out of site and I have no doubt the squatter was evicted!

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Venus Pool - a lucky 13 Black-tailed Godwits!

Not a lot happening today and I was just about to leave when this little lot dropped in! (Two of them anyway)

At first, I couldn't fit them all in the frame but here's five of a flock of  thirteen Black-tailed Godwits...

Doubling that up, here's ten together!

And finally, got all thirteen (is that meant to be unlucky?)  as they settled in for a communal preen!

Eventually something spooked them and off they went!

Evening view of another three which dropped in during the evening!

It might not be 'quality' but certainly a good 'quantity' to keep spirits up :-)

Friday 25 August 2017

Brown Moss - Wood Sandpiper

It's a great year for Wood Sandpipers and the three I've seen locally during 2017 have all been distant. An obliging individual at Brown Moss was about to come a little closer today...

The reserve is a dog walkers paradise but that worked to my advantage, having followed a couple of dogs with their owners, the track passes fairly close to the shallow muddy scrape. Into the morning light however...

Never mind, a whole lot better than the VP birds!

The Wood Sand was making steady progress, I walked back to where the light was more favourable. It was more distant from here but showing well.  I had a group of Heifers in between me and the bird, the perfect screen! Standing its ground here as a Buzzard passed over!

And the busy feeding again - stealth personified!

The day was to get better after checking out the meres and Wood Lane, brief views of a juv Marsh Harrier at Wall Farm was my reward after a manic dash there. It was quite distant, briefly showing in the area the Steppe Grey Shrike favoured and was then gone before I could get the lens on it :-(

Thursday 24 August 2017

Great White Egret - Flight special

'Always go back' has always been a mantra of mine and with a reasonably showy Shropshire Great White Egret on offer (only my 2nd shire bird over many year) I decided to have another afternoon session after the Wood Sands got in the way yesterday!

Distant to start off with and useful comparison shots?

And then it started flying about, flushed be Herons ad nauseum, I wasn't complaining!

A brief moment of peace to go fishing!

But I didn't see it catch a single fish!

Then off again...

I learnt a piece of good advice? It's not a good idea to stand under the flight path of a Great White Egret!!

Job done and towards the end of the afternoon, I noticed another decent local bird!

The two in the frame shot was about to become commonplace!

Tittenley Pool - Egyptian Goose

Towards the end of the afternoon, I suddenly became aware of an Egyptian Goose also on the pool! These can be pretty aggressive birds but seemed to get along fine with a number of species!

Maybe the GWE thought twice about it?

Who ate all the pies?

My favourite of the lot and a shot not to be repeated in a hurry!

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Garganey - Longstone Pool

News of a Shropshire Great White Egret had given me itchy feet for fuelling the year list so I'd brought the drive home 'forward'! I'd decided to give it until 11.00 just in case a mega emerged on the route but it was quiet in Cornwall and all points North! The only bird of note I saw was this juv Garganey on Longstone Pool, just outside Marazion, never closer than 100m away!

Thinking ahead, there ought to be a local one, somewhere??

Tittenley Pool - Great White Egret!!

There had been no news of the Great White Egret, found the previous day in the North of the County but I decided to chance it anyway and headed straight there...

Yessss, despite what's happening elsewhere, this is still a mega in the county and whilst distant on arrival late afternoon, it was the Little and Large show!

Eventually, they both got spooked by something and flew across the far bank of the pool...

Before briefly landing!

Then off again!!

And so was I... My phone alerted me to TWO Wood Sandpipers at VP - and I need that for a patch tick!!!