Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Coal Tits

As detailed below I finally caught up with Coal Tits in good light and in the open. I took lots and lots of pictures and the results of some are pleasing.
Even in decent light some pictures under the canopy of the trees are dark and difficult, not enough light or too much but in the open the light was good and even for good shots.
Yes, I was slightly cheating the bird feeders are just out of shot.
I had a great hour taking pictures, the birds ate every single sunflower heart (I left some more seed for them).
I hope you like the results.
Merry Christmas to all visitors to my blog.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008


Yesterday was a beautiful day here and I was able to get out for the first time in some while.
I have always wanted to get good shots of Coal Tits and never been successful until yesterday. They never stop still long enough for me, the light has never been right etc. Anyway I was very fortunate yesterday as there was a good number of birds at the High Moor Feeding Station in Wykeham Forest, I was on my own and so I was able to spend a good time photographing them and they will be the subject of my next posting.
On Saturday we had seen a good couple of hundred Fieldfare at the back of Snainton just up the road, looked for them Sunday no where to be seen. I was tempted to go back yesterday but I spent so long with the Coal Tits that I thought I had better return home before Sue & Len arrived for Christmas.
How lucky to see a flock of birds in the pasture in front of Bedale Grange Farm, I pulled up on the grass verge and moved over to the passenger seat to view a good number of Fieldfare. They were a bit distant but as good as I have managed to date with my camera lens. They are a favourite bird of mine and I hope to get closer still to them soon. I managed about twenty shots before they flew off to the far side of the pasture.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

9 Birds, a Butterfly, Hedgehog and Demoiselle - 2009 Calendar

I have produced a calendar of pictures which have all been taken in the last 12 months.

Featured birds include Turnstone, Red Kite, Crossbill, Greylag, Tree Sparrow, Song Thrush, Wren, Jackdaw and Greenfinch. Along with a Hedgehog, Small Copper Butterfly and a Banded Demoiselle.

The Calendars are on 170g glossy paper and have a wire binding and D shaped hanger with a card backing.

Not for profit I am selling the Calendars at cost plus £1 shared between Scarborough Field Naturalist Society and the PDSA. Calendars are £4.50 each (plus £1.00 postage and packing where necessary - uk only).

If you are interested please email me on and I will send you a payment address. I promise to mail as soon as I have received the print run.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Aldborough Beach

Pied Wagtail


Juvenille Herring Gull

Final postings from Suffolk. The photographs were taken the car of some birds on the shingle beach at Aldborough and the birds there.

It's great to find birds fairly close to hand and when you focus on them they immediately look sharp and the ridges of shingle behind are out of focus.

I like Pied Wagtails and there was some on the farm where we stayed at Iken. I think the bird pictured looks nice on the shingle beach.

It may seem strange but I usually end up disappointed with my Jackdaw shots, the birds eyes often look odd, however I am happy with these results and particularly like the pebble in the mouth of one bird.

I also liked the juvenille Herring Gull sitting on the top of a shingle bank with crashing surf in the wind behind.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Distant Views (& the near and far of it)

Two firsts on our recent trip to Suffolk.

Firstly within half an hour of arriving at Minsmere we had a Great Grey Shrike, a first for us so we were well pleased, a little too far off for pictures but good views in the scope.

The second first was a definite sighting of an otter. Think I have seen the tail end disappearing into the river before but this one was boldly walking where no man would up the mud flats of the Alde Estuary before submerging into the water. A little distant so the photos are record shots but really memorable.

On Dunwich Heath we came to a point where you can look into a clearing in the forest and lo and behold there was a magnificent stag sat sunning himself with a fine set of many point antlers. Again a record shot. On Dunwich Heath at this time of year you hear the stags bellowing and the crashing of antlers and if you are lucky views of the herd.

In the woods at Minsmere two sets of female and their calfs were sheltering in the trees eating acorns close to the public areas. Not in the least bothered by people, no doubt shying away from those males.

Muntjac also in this area.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Alde Estuary, Suffolk

Alde Estuary



Black Tailed Godwit

We have just had a lovely week at the above location stying in accommodation at the side of the estuary just below Snape. The weather was glorious although windy Wednesday and colder the back half of the week it was nice and bright and we only had occasional showers.

By far the best birding was on the doorstep only two or three minutes walk to the shore of the estuary. The first morning was foggy but very atmospheric with boats in the thick fog and the plaintiff calls of waders.

There was good numbers of Curlew and Redshank. There was a small number of Advocets and the numbers of Black tailed Godwit seemed to grow through the week.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

New Departures

Sorry for the lack of recent posts, I am still putting the house back together after the recent rewire. Thanks to those who have looked for posts recently.
I am departing to Suffolk for a break and hope to have plenty of pictures for some posts in 10 days time.
Another new departure was to take pictures at the wedding of a friends daughter. The bride looked beautiful the groom handsome on a beautiful day. Good luck to Joy and Ru for a fantastic future.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Common Lizard

Emerging from the heather

To show its size

Something different today when I was fortunate enough to get pictures of one of our reptiles the Common Lizard. It was I think the first one we have seen this year and not where I expected to see one, on the fence rail in front of one of the seats at Raptor View Point, Wykeham Forest.

A nice sunny morning early on it was getting quite misty by late morning spoiling possible sightings of raptors.

This was a quick visit before going home to strip the wallpapere off the longe, we are in the middle of a rewire!

Anyway the lizard appeared on the rail to the left of us out the top of the heather bush, it went back down the bush once before coming onto the rail again. I took some pictures at distance before moving nearer but I was surprised it did not move off as usually the slightest movement they detect and they are gone. Perhaps being on the fence rail helped.

I did think this lizard was one of the biggest we have seen.

There was a lot of grasses and grass heads between the lens and the lizard but it was nice to get pictures today before picking up the wallpaper scraper.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Great Black Backed Gull

Yesterday we had a walk between Rooks Lane, Burniston and the Long Nab Observation Station, now an Observation post for Scarborough Birders formerly the Scarborough Ornithological Society in search of the Marsh Harriers that had been present in the area for 4 or 5 days.

No joy with the cream crowns (Marsh Harriers) a pair of Kestrel are present in the area and worthy of a return in good light. Yesterday was'nt good light, what a surprise!

Gulls were holding up well in the breeze though over the cliff tops and I was delighted to see these Great Black Backed Gulls in flight.

Gulls I find very difficult particularly though the years to adulthood. Reading the field guide and viewing the photos though I seem to have caught the white wing tips which is diagnostic of the Gt. Black Backed.

Today we have been to Fairburn Ings, nothing out of the ordinary to see, still very nice but we had hoped for the Black Necked Grebe that has been present recently spurning the one at Scaling Dam, Danby as the forecast was for possible rain to the North. Of course no Black Necked Grebe at Fairburn at least for our eyes, I bet the same species was showing gloriously at Danby! And guess what, a Marsh Harrier flew past Lin Dyke Hide at Fairburn when there was only me and Pat there. It's all pot luck really.