Saturday, 10 April 2021

Venus Pool - Osprey

OK, here's the Osprey... Whilst the Pied Flycatcher was skulking another bird took centre stage at approx midday.. I looked up and the unmistakable shape of an Osprey was gliding in from the east...



Shame about the white sky although this early pic was the inly one with a bit of contrast!







It circled the pool a few times and then started to lock onto a fish or two...




Mostly ending with an aborted hover / dive...




I don't think I shall ever tire of watching this mesmerising display!


From where I was standing, the pool wasn't visible! But I have it on good authority that a fish was duly caught and the Osprey headed east to tuck in...


Venus Pool - Pied Flycatcher!!

He must be 'lost' Pied Flycatchers are as scarce as Hen's Teeth at Venus Pool and this was my first, a long awaited Patch tick... Well done Simon Twigger and thanks for the heads up!! Just wished he had stayed longer in the catkins!


He did come a little closer...

And another insect bites the dust...


You little beauty!


Thank you for stopping by!


Thursday, 21 January 2021

On this day (Jan 21st)... 2013 - White-fronts, GWT and Redshank in snow!

This flashback #Onthisday in 2013 was an incredible session featuring White-fronted Goose, Green-winged Teal and Redshank all in the snow!

Quite a session at Polemere today, it's rare for me to stay more than 20 mins and I ended up there for five hours! It will probably take 5 days to go through all the images and I'm up to me eyes with talks and other things but keep looking back.... there are plenty more images to come!

The skulking Green-winged |Teal decided to skulk no more - maybe due to the fox having a nap near it's usual haunt :-)


Now that's what I call not skulking !



A Redshank was showing particularly well too (when it wasn't hidden by the hedge!)


Underlit quite nicely from the snow.


Not an everyday sight!


Again, there's more.... these conditions don't occur very often but are worth every minute spent out in them!

Saving the best until last. I couldn't have dreamt that the Teal would be upstaged but unbelievably... it was!! My serious 'Shropshire' bogey goose was about to get cooked - not just by one but two little stunners :-)

Yes, County tick and Tunnock's teacake down the hatch after I'd decided to scan the Geese in the field adjacent to the horse paddock. First one.... then another, smaller Grey Goose with distinctive barring on the belly, eventually heads popping up and yesssss - White fronts!


Many more to sort but here's a couple to be going on with.....

Eventually they flew the short distance down to the water....




Plus a bit of foraging in the snow....


What a seriously good day!!

Monday, 18 January 2021

On this day (Jan 18th)... 2011 - Waxwings!

On this day (January 18th 2011) I spent my lunch break photographing Waxwings!!

Talk about being in the right place at the right time! I was just leaving work for lunch when I got a text reporting 'Waxwings at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital' the previous day. Now for those of you who don't know where I work, my office is within 200m of where they were seen! 

Walking to the car, what should fly overhead.... a small flock of Waxwings, eventually at least a dozen and quite obliging they were too! They were feeding on rose hips, quite astonishing to watch these giant fruits being forced down 









Down it goes...... 



The digestion phase was carried out on the small trees nearby and quite a change to have one or two on the same 'level'.....


 


They were pretty close too! 




A final burst was reserved for one bird nicely perche with a distant grassy bank behind. Gone are the distracting tangle of twigs and branches normally encountered.... 



Wonder if I'll ever tire of them?

Sunday, 17 January 2021

On this day (Jan 17th)... 2010 - Black Kite!

 On January 17th 2010, I was in search of the 2010 Black Kite at Gigrin Farm...


A late morning diversion for one of my bogey birds - Bean Goose, turned out to be another Runner Bean! Or even a 'has bean' with not even a Canada in sight - just a flock of Mute Swans on the fields by Baskerville Hall near Hay on Wye.... Onwards to Gigrin farm then and surely the Black Kite wouldn't disappoint? Following the cold snap, Red Kites are present here in the 100's and the biggest problem for photography would be isolating individual birds out from the crowd? The feeding frenzy began - even as the meat was unloaded!! 

 
Whilst the Black Kite was my ultimate aim, you just couldn't ignore the impressive sight of 100's of Red Kites diving and feeding some 50m away! 


Always nice to see the upperwing seen here to contrast with one particular Gigrin bird..... 


A very pale 'White' Red Kite - a partly leucistic bird - not as pale as some clones but by far the easiest bird to pick out.....

 

Then at last, it all came good - a one and only chance to nail the Black Kite - a quick burst as it collected some food before disappearing over the back of the hides.... 

  

It did return later but by now the light had gone and very difficult to capture against the milky white sky.... 

  
A bonus shot in one of the trees adjacent to the feeding station to end the day!!

 

Saturday, 16 January 2021

On this day (Jan 16th)... 2014 - Yellow-legged Gulls!

January normally means Gull watching but I'll have to be content with previous posts for now! Depite being relatively common locally (Telford) their 'smartness' always stands out...


Still no white-winger on offer but a creditable 5 Yellow-legged Gulls (3 ad / 2 3rd w) in a frantic 'in/out' pre-roost wash today! I managed to pause the scan to catch three of them.....

Two adults....




Plus a 3rd Winter....


Classy gulls which still stand out amongst the hordes of now  'white-headed' Herring Gulls!

Friday, 15 January 2021

On this day (Jan 15th)... 2012 - Short-eared Owls!

Probably some of the best moments I've had with Short-eared Owls on this day back in 2012...

It doesn't necessarily pay off to return to the scene of a good day's birding but I took the chance an even better display would be on the cards today! I'd decided to try a change of tactic by sitting in the car away from the main gallery and hoping for a 'fly past'? Four hours later at 3.30, it had been a complete no show and whilst nearly nodding off, I was beginning to question the decision..... Then, at 3.40, one Shortie got up and started to hunt. It wasn't long before it was looming larger in the viewfinder (a few cropped images on the closer images).

Ever nearer......Eyes gleaming in the warm glow of the setting sun!Eventually it was quartering right in front of me, I missed a lot (it was not easy from the car to keep up with such a fast manoeuvreable subject with a 500mm lens!) I'll settle for these though?What a moment :-)Finally, moving into the direction of the light as the sun set....

Good night!