Thursday, 16 May 2019

Whixall Floods - Grey Plovers!!

Two Grey Plovers in pristine summer plumage turned up at Whixall Floods yesterday, viewed from the Canal. Luckily they were still there today!


One was spooked by fighting Geese and flew much nearer!




Tricky light but who cares, stunning birds!


A very tricky bird for 'Shropshire' and the plumage, the perfect bonus!

Friday, 10 May 2019

Noneley - Little Stint!!

A talk the previous evening meant I had no chance of seeing the Little Stint on the nearly dried out flash at Noneley. Luckily, it stayed overnight and I was up early to savour a (now) prized bird to enter Shropshire airspace. The last one I'd seen in Shropshire was back in September 2010 at the Mire Lake, back in the day they were near annual birds!

I wont bore you with lots of distant images, it was the best part of 100m away!


But looked good for size comparison against a Ringed Plover!


How times change...

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Venus Pool - Black Terns

The forecast screamed 'Terns' and duly delivered several reports, Arctic, Common but prominent amongst them were a number of Black Terns. Having failed at VP on the early shift I went over to the Meres only to find a partial clear out? There were none at Colemere and only 2 at White Mere but I had to hastily abandon a more thorough search with the news ... 'Black Tern at VP'! It didn't take me long to get back there!

With the rain was still pouring down... Perfect :-)



Eventually easing, with conditions becoming more enjoyable and less of a problem for the equipment!



Even more so, when one Black Tern became two and they were clearly in no mood to leave!!


I was shooting with manual focus and deleted probably 80% of these from the camera back views!


The banking head on moments are always a dependable angle to catch.








But it's nice to appreciate Black Terns from all angles. A final trilogy which I'll happily settle with,  considering the conditions!






Waders coming in over the next few days, I hope??

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Venus Pool - flighty LRP

It would be fair to say I had time to kill during the All Dayer. Despite the total absence of Lapwing, 2 Little Ringed Plovers were present and they were in display mode! The male was showing his aerobatic prowess, so I took on the challenge of capturing him...

Never mind the underwing!


Getting the banking upperwing was the prize?




And keeping focussed against a busy background a challenge for the tracking!




Distant crops but what the heck, a heat seeking missile would struggle to lock onto this guy!

Speaking of which... He was ready - dropping chaff!





Venus Pool - Egyptian Goose

Part one of a VP Big day review... The first bird on the list, roosting overnight was Egyptian Goose, not a great surprise as the pair concerned have been in the area for quite a while!


I also captured the moment they decided to relocate in the nearby field...


Not exactly 'synchro' flight?


That's more like it?




They were also the last bird seen, roosting on one of the islands on the pool...

Friday, 3 May 2019

Long Mynd - Dotterel reprise

An early start and fortunately the Long Mynd was quiet (the lull before the Bank Holiday storm!) The Dotterel pair in the mown Bracken stubble adjacent to the Burway were showing really well, just a shame the sun never shone!

The female first, the most confiding of the pair...




Moving in the right direction!




Followed by short runs here and there in search of food...




The male was more stand offish but eventually strode in close...


Still seems to be developing into summer plumage...



Probably the most 'open' view possible in this habitat!






I even remembered to capture a short video clip of the female so here she is tapping her feet and scurrying around looking for worms!




Thursday, 2 May 2019

Long Mynd - Dots before the eyes!

It had to happen, early May is prime time Dotterel to pass through the county and this pair were spot on with their timing! Found by Meirug Garbutt in a mown section of bracken stubble near to the top of the burway...

The weather was atrocious, with torrential downpours with an occasional dry spell to get the camera out! A couple of shots of the quietly attractive male...

 



And ditto for the crowd pleasing female?




It's not often in the bird world that a female outshines the male but Dotterel buck the trend. And do you know what, tomorrows going to be drier? Guess where I'll be...

Monday, 29 April 2019

Yellow Wagtail - a turn of the head

Wagtails, wagtails everywhere with the Channel and possible flava dominating attention. Let's not overlook how amazing a male flavissima Yellow Wagtail looks?


But it really does take a turn of the head?




That's better :-)

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Colemere - Arctic Tern

Despite being out of the county all day Saturday, I managed to call in at White Mere and witness the 9 Arctic Terns present there, very distant in pouring rain! They had all cleared out today but after checking the meres, I called in at Colemere and right on cue there was a single Arctic Tern waiting for me!

It was an Arctic on fluttery flight jizz and structure, the solid dark trailing edge was there too!


The only odd thing about it was a black tip to the bill...




This can occur in 2cy Arctics or maybe not quite lost the all black 'winter' bill? It was giving a cracking display over the water!




Dive dive dive... Very short legs obvious and even more so when perched on a buoy.




The Meres are working their magic for now but wouldn't a wrecked seabird be a better prize?