Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas

To all visitors to my Blog and followers a very Merry Christmas.

Festive 'Red' male Bullfinch pictured a couple of days ago, a bit too distant but more of that later. Have a good day.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Winter Snack

We went up to High Moor in Wykeham Forest on Saturday after some of the early snow on Thursday & Friday (before Saturday evenings deluge).

I don't know what has happened to the bird feeding station that was there (informal). All the remaining feeders were empty, perhaps unfortunately some older ladies who used to be regularly feeding the birds can no longer make it. However, the seed tray attached to the tree has gone, all you seem to get is people just parking up and going off, maybe biking much to the chagrin of anyone who might want to observe the birds. If only they parked to one side of the feeders.

In fairness it is hard to spot anymore that it is a feeding place for the birds. Why though would you go into the forest have a few bottles (lots of) larger, bag up all the rubbish and bottles and leave two bags of rubbish on the car park! No doubt the Forestry Commision have to clear this up.

Anyway a few seeds and nuts later and there were lots of Coal Tits flying in and a Robin (of course) and the odd Blue Tit, Great Tit.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Near & Far

Robin at Mereshead

Full side on view

Distant Pintail at Mereshead

Little Grebe at North Cave

A few shots from the last two weeks. The Robin sat steady and near to us in the hedgerow on the footpath at Mereshead. The Fieldfare and Redwings kept moving on and too far off.
On Friday last we visited Robert Fullers excellent current exhibition. As we left Fieldfare were below the car on the berry bushes but the road was too narrow to stop.
The Pintail shot is one of a few distant shots I manged at Mereshead.
After Robert's exhibition we went to North Cave YWT where of the few shots I managed a few were of the Little Grebe.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Mereshead RSPB

Barnacle Geese

Pink Footed Goose

Pink Footed Fly Over

Last Sunday after the wet Saturday we set off reasonably early from Dumfries 15 miles south west to Mereshead. Arriving at 8:15am it was a cracking morning, beautiful low (a bit difficult) sunlight.
We seemed to be the first there and hundreds of Barnacle Geese were in the field over the hedge from the car park, more geese were landing all the time. A bit distant for my lens but a great sight.
We managed to visit the two wetland hides in our two and a half hours on the reserve. It's a great place we could not stay long as we had to travel home but we hope to be back soon.
A couple of times hundreds of Barnacle Geese took to the air, by the time we left they were in a field nearer to the coastline. The visitor centre estimate was of 12,000+ Barnacle Geese on the reserve I think it said second highest count, not sure if that's ever. I managed a few shots as they went overhead.
Plenty of Fieldfare around eating on berry bushes but they moved off at every approach!
If you want to see Barnacle Geese visit this coast between October to March to see where the whole population of Svalbard Barnacle Geese winter.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Caverlock WWT

What does WWT stand for? Wild and Wet? We traveled to Dumfries & Galloway on Saturday, all the way in glorious sunshine, the whole journey through the North Pennines was fantastic. The last 30 miles though turned to rain and it was heavy rain on Saturday throughout our visit to this reserve.

Great day though, really enjoyed the visit. We traveled to see the Baranacle Geese and there was good numbers grazing on the meadows, I think the estimate was 7,000+, a little distant but great to see.

The Whooper Swans are pictured through the glass of the hide where they feed them twice daily, not great pictures, the best I could do in the conditions on the day. The Widgeon was also taken through the windows.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Black & White

Having missed out on the Red Flanked Bluetail two weeks ago in the picture sense I thought I would post this Magpie pictured at Filey Dams YWT. Photographed in good light close to the hide on main pool three weeks ago I was pleased with the pictures.

I did see the Bluetail, it was directly in front of me but all I saw on two occasions was the underside of its wings as it flew. I could not say I looked at the bird and took in its id features, I just saw the underside of its wings. This was on the Sunday when there was a large chasing pack after the bird. I can't say I enjoyed the experience really.

I also managed to slip on some mud and later noticed my hand hurting. Next day I had to go to A & E and have a ring cut off a badly swollen finger. It still hurts, the finger that is, whose said birdings safe!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Autumn Colours & why are Wifes always right!

A weekend of contrast this one, yesterday was lovely today!
We did go this morning to Filey Dams in search of a Jack Snipe that had been seen early morning but no joy in the heavy winds and rain. Yesterday by contrast was lovely and we had a nice walk around Harwood Dale where I pictured this wasps nests and beautiful fungi. There was plenty of small birds including Bull Finch and Gold Finch. We also saw a male common darter.
The only problem with the walk we do in Harwood is that it is a rectangle and the last leg for us is always back down the road. the locals will know this gives open views out towards the N Y Moors. Pat says, 'I wonder if there are any Fieldfare in the fields where we have seen them before'. No says I , 'I don't know why you are wasting your time looking' dismissing her theory that they return to the same fields.
Next thing is a flock of birds in the air landing in the top of a tree. Guess what Fieldfare, well you can imagine the comments, I am gutted.
I want to get close to Bull Finch & Fieldfare this season, any advice welcome.
Sorry, for the lack of recent postings due to family commitments, decorating, visitors etc. Hope to do much more photography now.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Greys in too!

Rock Dove

Wood Pigeon

Continuing the new season colours theme.

I always think grey goes with pink, so more from Sunday.

The Rock Dovewas at Bempton and the Wood Pigeon and Grey Heron at Filey Dams.

The young Heron was havinga field day catching fairly big fish in little or no water in the pool in front of the hide on main pool.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Pinks In

New season colours!

Great to see some Pink Footed Geese flying high over and around Filey Dams YWT yesterday, I made it 23 in the flock. We had seen and more correctly heard a flock whilst in Scotland but it was good to see these locally.

Unfortunately, they were never down on the deck, fairly high up in bright light but I think worth showing.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Scottish Blankety Blank

Half way up the beautiful Glen Roy

Wren at ISO1600!

Sorry, for the recent lack of posts but we have been away to the Scottish Highlands for a week.
Unfortunately, it was a very wet week and it prevented us getting to some of the places we hope. We had to mostly travel east 60 miles or so for fine weather, but the scenery is fantastic (my favourite place). Dalwhinnie Distillery was a nice diversion one day.

I had high hopes to see one or two of Scotland's special species, when ever we got the chance scouring the hill tops for a glimpse but we drew a blank, complete blank. Oh, we did see three Red Squirrels not being elusive in the tree tops but running across the road and sitting on fence posts.

I did manage this Wren shot nicely framed in the birch, can I call it a Scottish Wren!