Wednesday 31 January 2024

Venus Pool - Egyptian Goose x 11

After the Pink foot (and shopping) was sorted, I was off to Venus Pool and glad I did! There were  Egyptian Geese seemingly everywhere! They soon settled down into small groups and it was easy to count reliably eleven. Dave Chapman had seen the same number in a previous roost recently so it all tallied!

Like western gun slingers, always on the look out for a fight or trouble...

Are you looking at me?!  Yeah... yeah...

Some close up opportunities...

They are not everybody's cup of tea but amusing to watch!

Polemere - Pink footed Goose

It's been a productive month of birding and the last day of January was to produce TWO interesting targets! First off was an obliging Pink-footed Goose at Polemere and a thankyou to Tony Evans for getting the news out early (a good excuse for getting the shopping done later).

The dark head of the 'Pink' and pink band on the bill make it an easy find, no matter how many other geese were present.

Fingers crossed it would come closer?

It certainly did!

And then touched down in the shallows...

The natives weren't exactly accommodating!

The whole session took only 30 mins!

The second highlight was to be another breed of Goose setting a Patch record count...

Coming up soon...

Monday 29 January 2024

Battlefield - Cattle Egret x 7

An interesting video was posted by someone from the Battlefield falconry centre? They had spotted several white blobs on the field adjacent to the farm shop! Nice to see they had correctly identified them as Cattle Egrets!

I reported them as negative on arrival initially but after a walk around I finally found them in the same Field and the slope of the field had hid them!

Here's the magnificent seven...

Looks like someone had beaten me to it with a very natural hide?!

Splitting up into groups of 3 or four...

But always distant in appalling light!

They need to rustle up four more to beat the current best Shropshire count of 10!

Friday 26 January 2024

Venus Pool - Stonechats

 A showy male Stonechat...  

with a standoffish female at Venus Pool today...

Sunday 21 January 2024

Nesscliffe - Waxwings

Anthony Griffiths had reported 20 Waxwings feeding on the A5 traffic Island near Nesscliffe the previous day. I must admit I was put off the location whilst I was trying to get some useful images of the Green-winged Teal? It all turned out nicely when the two Daves got the news out 'still there' today...

Here's the location, pretty dangerous and no-one was tempted to leave the footpath thank goodness!

Here's all 20 perched on the left hand tree...

And these nine looked OK considering the white sky!

I decided to wait for the Waxies to be feeding, at least the darker background helped!

Here's an assortment flying and feeding away nicely!

I'll settle for them given the weather!!

Polemere - Green winged Teal

Polemere has a good track record for Ducks and news, courtesy of Richard Vernon, came out of a Green-winged Teal there today! Despite the horrendous light, it would have been rude to ignore it...

Once in the hide, it was probably the most distant Teal but after being spooked a couple of times, it relocated to the 'near' side of the hedgerow!

Despite the occasional spat with male Teal, the GWT was very cooperative in providing a Eurasian Teal for comparison!  The white vertical bar (not the strongest I've seen) seemed adequate enough and the deeper coloured wash of the breast spot on! 

There was complete absence of a white horizontal stripe! The green stripe on the head was bordered only faintly by the buff border and restricted to below the eye.

More of the same here...

The back and flanks are only finely vermiculated...

He posed for this final image quite nicely 

Looks a good un :-)

Friday 19 January 2024

Venus Pool - Peregrine!

I had a quick session at VP mid afternoon hoping for something unusual on the ice-ridden pool? The usual selection was all I got, interestingly however they all pitched into the water just as Dave Chapman spotted the reason - "Peregrine". Given the encounter lasted seconds, we were lucky (or just ready)  both of us got some images :-)

There it was... 


Going (and thanks for the upperwing shot!

About to be gone!

It's a 2CY male bird and probably the same one which was hanging around in Nov / Dec

Monday 15 January 2024

Venus Pool - Shelducks

I usually think 'no' to Shelduck but stunning light led me into temptation! A smart male in front of me...

Then out of the corner of my eye, I spotted two in flight!

Locked on, and I couldn't decide which ones to use?

So here's most of the burst!

Smart birds indeed :-)

Sunday 14 January 2024

Venus Pool - Goldeneyes

I finally picked a lucky moment with the Goldeneye today and there were three on view! I checked my database and the most recent records for Venus Pool came from 1st January 2016 - 23 March... 

Two coming much closer!

This female was the most obliging...

The other two?

The fun came to an abrupt end when the two showy birds too flight!

Let's hope it isn't going to be another long winter wait and a Smew is long overdue!