Sunday, 31 May 2009

Willow Warbler

A couple of pictures today from Dalby Forest of a Willow Warbler high up top of a conifer tree where I manged one or two shots.

I have suddenly got to grips with the call of this species this year, the call is everywhere. They are not easy to photograph though (for me thus far) usually being hidden from view, mid height in the scrub.

This one was up top a bit high and slightly distant but at least I managed a picture or two.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Sky Lark

Pictured at Filey Country Park last Thursday evening in great evening light.

Canon 40D, Sigma 50-500mm lens at 500mm, f6.3
Their song everywhere there was lots of these birds in the grassed areas at the top of the cliffs.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Bolton Abbey, N Yorks

Female Mandarin Duck

Male Mandarin Duck

record shot of Pied Flycatcher

Today we have been to Bolton Abbey in the hope of seeing Pied Flycatchers for the first time, last year I saw pictures from this site of the bird and as we were too late when we visited Carmarthenshire last year I was eager for a lifer.

We crossed the river by the priory ruins and set off not knowing where the nest boxes for the bird might be. Eventually a couple said where they had seen them further on just before you come out of the woods at Barden Bridge but a few hundred yards on we had our first sightings.

We came across three pairs, a great little bird. Pictures were difficult below the tree canopy, into the sun, trying to focus between the tees and boughs so my best is a record shot.

After crossing Barden Bridge a pair of Mandarin Ducks were moving down river, I managed to get in front of them and get some shots when they were away from the river bank but in the circumstances I was disappointed with the results, I definitely needed to lug the tripod around which for once I had declined to do!
Also seen Goosander, Chafinch, Blackbird, Black Headed Gull, Blackcap, Mallards.
We had reports of Spotted Flyctcher and Common Redstart but not for us today.
Bolton Abbey and the River Wharfe is a great place, particularly on a beautiful day like today.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Short Eared Owl

Last night we travel up to Danby Beacon again, 3rd try this year for Dotterel, they had been sighted since Monday and were there yesterday morning but by Wednesday evening seemed to have gone (no sightings today).

After heavy showers traveling up from Scarborough the weather was fine with some sunlight between the clouds. After a search of about an hour we drove slowly back to the south of the beacon and on towards Whitby for a fish supper.

What delight and great fortune to find a SEO flying towards the road and landing on a fence post maybe a couple of hundred yards away. I managed to get out the car and take some shots from behind the car before moving to the front of the car for more. The light was dull it was about quater past eight but we were delighted to see this magnificent bird at close quarters. High ISO used yet agin!

Monday, 18 May 2009


Typical Island Grouping

Yep, flight shot!

We had four hours at Blacktoft Sands RSPB on Saturday before visiting a relative at nearby Scunthorpe.

Whilst we had heavy showers during the visit we also had sunny intervals. I took loads of shots mostly flight shots but most were rubbish, too distant, too dark, whatever.

Whilst we have seen plenty of Avocets at the reserve before, I think they had 90+ birds last year, we must have been at slightly different times before as certainly far more birds were sitting on eggs on the islands than we have seen before. The eggs looked to be left haphazardly, and the birds left them at times to return later.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


A selection of shots from Sunday of a pair of Wheatear, first I got the female, and as I moved nearer that bird disappeared and to my delight the male appeared on the topof the soil heap.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Little Ringed Plover

A few more shots of this species from Saltholme RSPB taken on Sunday. They were taken in poor light at extremely high ISO, yes those ripples on the water pools are rain as we sat the downpour out in a hide.

Turtle Doves

record shot of Turtle Dove

We certainly have Turtle Doves back in the area.

I read tonight on Scarborough Birders site (see my web link) that one is in town feeding with Collared Doves.

However, we had a short walk tonight in Dalby Forest in the same area that we saw these birds last year and immediately saw three. There are plenty more around 'prrring' but elusive. The picture is purely a record shot.

Also Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Bullfinch and Wood Pigeon in the area tonight.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Saltholme RSPB

There's nothing like a bit of spontaneity we went up to Danby Beacon, North York Moors this morning but no Dotterel have been seen yet and it was cloudy and raining so we decided to travel on to Saltholme even though I only vaguely knew where it was , get over the river to the North Bank I thought.

We managed to find the reserve without to much trouble which today had a Great White Egret present.

First we went to the Wildlife Watch Point! No doubt named for the families the reserve is aiming to attract. I must say the facilities, visitor centre are great and staff welcoming and helpful, advising where the GW Egret was , etc. Food in the cafe looks good, next time we will not have a pack up, we had just a cappuccino today.

Oh yes, Wildlife Watch Point had three Little Ringed Plover nearby, flying around and coming close to the hide. It poured with rain whilst in there hence the rain on the birds back!

We then went to Paddy's Pool Hide and saw the GW Egret, distant but unusually stood out in the open. Great views of Common Tern on the spit.

Finally Saltholme Pools Hide, on the walk down Swallows and Swifts were very low over head due to the rain.

From the hide a Grey Heron was very close, it is an ill bird with I think a broken wing but as the picture shows managing to feed.

Out side the hide on the route back a pair of Wheatear, giving great close up views and a pair of Yellow Wagtail with a stonking bright yellow male.

This is an early posting as I cannot resist putting out more of each species in the forthcoming days.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Field of Delights

On Saturady we had a brief look in at Seamer Tip Pools before going out down lanes close to home. Going down the first road, I backed up after spotting some hares and turned into an open gateway where we must have spent nearly half an hour admiring five hares.

Not doing anything exceptional just lazying around, stretching out munching. Photography nigh on impossible as I had driven straight on to the gate opening. A few shots were manged leaning out of the window, trying to hold the camera steady, the edges of some shots had shadows from the car pillar.

We had to move on when a farmer wished to access his field, only a small field but it held the hares, two Pheasants and two Red Legged Partridges.
Later I photographed the Reed Bunting from the car window.