Sunday, 29 March 2009

Great Crested Grebe

More shots from Radipole. The GC Grebe were quite close, albeit in poor light.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The easy and difficult side of Radipole RSPB

Visited Radipole today, grey light but bird photography can be easy near the visitor centre where the birds are very people friendly.

Great Crested Grebe were close things were easy, but Cetti's Warbler! We heard them everywhere today but they did not seem to raise their heads. Not in our view certainly.

I had forgot about the Hooded Merganser at Radipole but having been told the 'hotspots' to find it we went and had a look and I got some record shots. We then had a coffee returned to the car park and the Merganser was in another hotspot, under the footbridge by the visitor centre, feet from the end of the lens!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


We have returned to Dorset and today visited Arne one of our favourite reserves in beautiful bright light.

We saw the usual suspects together with 3 Dartford Warblers, whilst they were close, one dropped into the heather 20' from us but did not re-emerge in the fairly windy conditions.

Sika Deer were out in the open on the far side of the estuary but on leaving the hide there was a small group in the trees.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

First Chifchaff of the year - Wykeham Forest

An early morning walk in Wykeham Forest was rewarded with RedLegged Partridge, Skylarks, Chaffinch, Yellow Hammer, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Coal Tit, Blue & Great Tit.

We saw a good number of Hares in different locations and ended up with male Bull Finch, Siskin and our first Chiffchaff of the year very high in the trees but its call a dead give away.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Friday Sites 2 & 3

Moving on from Scarborough's Castle Headland I popped into the Holbeck Hill Car Park to see the Mediteranean Gulls. One bird was regularly taking the bread along with the Black Headed Gulls.
On the Rocks below Holbeck Hill I photographed a Meadow Pipit.
I then went to Seamer Tip Pools. There was 6 Tufted Ducks, Wigeon, Mallard, Greylag Geese and lots of various gulls on the large pool.
Skylark are present in the area but difficult to spot amongst loads of Pied Wagtails. I thought I saw one earlier but on top of the electricity sub station and then on temporary builders fencing was the confirmation Grey Wagtail! Very strange.

Friday, 13 March 2009


A day off work enabled me to get down to Scarborough Castle Headland reasonably early, well ok it was after eight 'O' clock.

I was not disappointed after a few minutes looking up while still in the car there was a Peregrine returning to the cliff face holding onto a carcass that was well opened up and bloody.

I thought the Peregrine would not be going anywhere for a while and for ten minutes that was true but I was surprised to see it take off again carcass in its talons and circle out over the sea. The other Peregrinne went to meet it, I was looking through my viewfinder (no pictures) but was sure there was a pass or attempted pass.

The Peregrine then came back into the headland with the carcase held below, that's when I obtained the pictures. I am not sure what happened but it was great watching.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Water What!

A good day at Top Hill yesterday, we had a bit of everything torrential rain, snow, sleet, brilliant sunshine.

The notices in the visitor centre seemed to suggest that there was not a lot about. A volunteer warden said on arrival that Water Vole were busy under South Lagoon Hide so that's where we made off before lunch.

Peering into the rushes something was seen. Waiting and scanning eventually more movement, name was half right but not Voles, Water Rail. It moved accross in front of me fleetingly into the open and having been spooked took flight a few feet forward into short cut reeds never to be seen again. Only record shots in difficult light (straight at me) but a great sighting as it skulked into the reeds. This bird (or at least a Water Rail at THL) has been seen out in the open but this was a more satisfying traditional type of sighting.

Later in the day, late afternoon and pictured the Little Grebe again in South Lagoon in tremendous late afternoon sun. Distant shots but nice in the lighting. Did you know they smoke cigars (see large version, F11 of first two Grebe shots)!

Distant Gadwell too.
Another highlight was 3 Roe Deer on water pools near to South East Marsh Hide(1) .

Thursday, 5 March 2009

End of the Pier

Following on from my previous posting looking for Purple Sandpiper the sole find was this lone Turnstone.
I thought people farther afield from Scarborough might like to see the recent sculpture addition beyond the lighthouse of a 'bathing belle'. I cannot remember the proper name for the piece. What do you think, please let me know.

The turnstone was a bonus heading away from the light tower, hope you like it, perhaps the composition is all wrong but I like it with the small 'dandelion flower'.

The only problem is that this is the second year running I have taken pictures of Turnstone at Scarborogh Harbour only to find one of the birds had one foot. Perhaps this is the same bird and I am going round in circles, the harbour is certainly a dangerous place with lots of fishing nets etc., I suspect that its discarded fishing lines and bait. If this is the case its a great pity for the sake of taking home what you came with.