Friday 1 December 2023

Meole Brace - Waxwings at last

It was looking as if Shropshire was being totally blanked by Waxwings as sightings in the Midlands concentrated on our neighbours. Eventually the first day of our Meteorological winter wore them down and in they poured (well one did) eventually increasing to three by late afternoon...

Here's a few close up pics of Waxwings doing what Waxwings do! Those berries will soon be gone...

The look out!

The pick a berry sequence...

Select a juicy one...

Show it off...

And toss it down the hatch!

Repeat many times...

Yessssssssss, they are finally here!

Thursday 30 November 2023

Venus Pool - Wood Duck

A quick session at VP turned up a surprise visitor in the form of this male Wood Duck.  I reckon having taken a few pics, this one is still worthy of a post. They brighten up the day :-)

Move over Mandarin, this fella is more dapper than you?

Even got some 'droplets' for the occasion!

Which didn't last for long as it flew off behind the middle island...

This one is the probably the long stayer on the patch now and then. Whatever next? 

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Venus Pool - Jack Snipe encore

Virtually a month since first being found, the Venus Pool Jack Snipe is still present and todays appearance was the closest of all. I make no apology for using him in a series of comparison / close up images...

Waking up from a snooze and in danger of getting stomped!

Phew, near miss...

Head on crown pattern firmly etched for those moments in the vegetation!

Size isn't everything but no doubt which is the Jack here!!

Them legs are rarely on view!

Exit stage right...

We shall miss him but for now, just enjoy the moment...

Monday 27 November 2023

Venus Pool - Dunlin

The weather was ideal with low cloud and drizzle - wader conditions and three Dunlin had dropped in to share their approval!

Isn't it annoying when one constantly has their back to you!!

Ahhh that's better...

A move / wait to the Memorial hide gave marginally better views :-)

Are November sightings unusual? I checked back in my database, it appears I've seen Dunlin in every month of the year within Shropshire! Never plentiful but nice to know they are always a possibility!

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Long Mynd - Snow Bumtings

A nice find for Geoff Hall - three Snow Buntings at the Long Mynd on the 20th and luckily they were still showing well today despite every passing bike and car flushing them! As time went on, they became more mobile (well they just had to be feeding on the verge!!)

Do you come here often?

Females first...

But the star of the show was this male and the chilly conditions were soon forgotten!

Running along...

And never far from the verge!

They were either close together or well apart and I didn't have my shorter zoom lens...

Here's the trio with the the tail of the smart male just clipped!

I suppose we will be getting real snow before long??

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Venus Pool - Black tailed Godwit invasion

It was early afternoon and something extraordinary was brewing at Venus Pool as Simon Twigger put the news out that a huge flock of 300+? Black-tailed Godwits had just dropped in...

I hightailed it over immediately and this was the sight that welcomed me!!

I quickly realised that 700mm of long lens (see below) were never going to tell the story so downsized to my 100-400m zoom lens!

Even then, to try and get them all in the frame was night on impossible?

An antisocial Crow added flight to the spectacle and there were three or four practice departures...

They always seemed to drift back!

Eventually, just after 4pm  a more determined departure seemed to be in the 'offing' :-)

I'd managed to keep up with the departing Godwits so that they were all (hopefully) in the field of view'. I printed out this image and using a highlighter once each bird was ticked (to avoid duplication) eventually got a total of 285!

I sent the image top Tom Lowe, hoping I'd missed some and steer the count towards 300? Proving how good this method worked however, Tom got exactly the same count of 285. And a much neater result by doing his count on screen!  Thanks Tom!

To put counts into perspective, the previous highest tally was 68 on 11th June 2006 and I can still remember how amazing the buzz was at the time. We move on, will an outrageous mega flock eclipse this one...

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Venus Pool - Jack Snipe take 2

Just over a week had passed and after no further sightings the Jack Snipe was once again showing well - in brilliant sunshine!

Looking so much better for it, proudly showing off its (ID shot) dark crown stripe

Before having a walkabout whilst bob bob bobbing along...

The best foot forward favourite :-)

Friday 3 November 2023

Venus Pool - female Pintail

I thought I'd give the 'local birds' a place in the blog for a chance and for once the female Pintail which has normally skulked, showed well!

She called!

and preened

Then paddled a bit closer...

I think I like this angle!!