Wednesday 29 December 2021

Venus Pool - Black-tailed Godwit

There's been a Black-tailed Godwit (now in its second week) and every time I've seen it, always hunkered down on the middle island... Thanks to a Sparrowhawk flushing the Lapwing flock, it took off with them, still distant but much better views!

The Great White Egret is now becoming almost daily in appearance, amongst another throng of Cormorants - counted 61 present today (after 67 present on Christmas eve)

Tuesday 28 December 2021

Venus Pool - Great White Egret

Another visit by presumably the same Great White Egret seen during the past couple of months and today in less than favourable light! A familiar pattern of behaviour with the local Heron...

Hmm looks quiet today, a few gulls and ducks?

Nope! Here comes the less than welcoming Heron!

Repeat several times...

Maybe I'll try again tomorrow?

Friday 24 December 2021

Venus Pool - hungry Cormorant

 It never fails to amaze me how 'fish eating' birds can pull off the impossible and swallow outrageous specimens! Like this Common Carp being casually tossed to it's doom by a Cormorant on Christmas eve at Venus Pool!

It's all a matter of stifling any 'fight' and then aligning the catch....

A stretchy gape and oesophagus plus willpower are all that's needed!

I counted 67 Cormorant today... Merry Christmas!!

Monday 15 November 2021

Whixall Floods - Grey Phalarope

My third Grey Phalarope in Shropshire didn't exactly prove to be a showy success on Sat 13th when it was truly a distant dot!! Two days later I jammed onto it much closer and some decent pics were at last forthcoming...

Plus a plethora of droplet pics, on this cruise past always smart to see! 

All that activity seemed to wear it out and a rest on the bank beckoned!

Shame about the light and white water!

Saturday 30 October 2021

Venus Pool - Great White Egret

Popped down to the ole Patch mid afternoon and nothing much was happening until... Yet another (or the same one I keep seeing there) Great White Egret!

And it was close, very close, I could only just fit him in the frame!

So a rufflle and close up head shot seemed appropriate?

As ever, the local Heron was having none of it... cue take off and flight shot!

And after returned to the same spot in front of the hide, you can guess what happened?

What you might call a very near miss in aviation terms...

Venus Pool - Yellow-legged Gull (2w)

After the adult Yellow-legged Gull seen in September here, nice to another one and this time a 2nd winter bird (looking remarkably similar to one seen by Dave Chapman the previous day). It was annoyingly always behind the small groups of Lesser BBs but eventually showed well...

With something unseen putting all the Lapwings up, it was soon time for flight shots!

Mostly underwing to start off with..

But eventually giving a clear view of the saddle, nearly fully mature and a feature quite distinctive against the mostly dark wings for this age of YLG...

A farewell bank as it left heading over towards the fishing pool...

Thursday 21 October 2021

Venus Pool - Whoopers vs Cormorant!

 The pool was nice and peaceful with the Whooper Swans either sleeping, feeding or cruising around. It all came to a sudden end when a Cormorant thought it would be clever to peck a Whooper Swan's foot?!

Seen in close up...

I personally don't think it was a very good idea! Watch the reaction....

Lucky for the Cormorant he dived just in time!!

The whole sequence only lasted two or three seconds...

Venus Pool - Whooper Happy Families

 In amongst the fifteen Whooper Swans present today, there were two family groups, who kept themselves separate. Family one had just the one juvenile...

Despite one of the parents straying out of the frame, you could detect the strong family bond.

Even when feeding!

The family with two juveniles stuck together more but once again, one of the parents was camera shy, keeping out of the frame!

The symmetrical lines had to be broken...

In the late afternoon sunlight, just finishing off feeding!

Swan life isn't always calm and leisurely however, as you will see in the next post!

Monday 18 October 2021

Venus Pool - Black-tailed Godwit

Apart from Lapwings and Sandpipers, Black-tailed Godwit has generally been the most likely wader to see at VP this year with a steady flow of them from late summer. Up until now, they had always been interesting as 'group shots' but today, one was obliging me in front of the hide - in cracking light!

And after burying its head in the water, time to expel anything non-nutritious, like water or mud!

The light was good too, for a change!

There's still time for something special to drop in?? Just...