Thursday, 30 April 2009

Egyptian Goose

We had a trip out tonight in the car with the intention of walking but the dark skies (lame excuse) meant we stayed in the car.

The first stopping point down a nearby lane produced an Egyptian Goose with 2 Greylags. More Greylags dropped in and they increased in numbers to 9. Also in the same field, two hares, pheasants, Red Legged Partridge, Stock Doves, Chaffinch and a Yellow Hammer.

Further down the lane a Blackcap, loads of Cowslips adorning the grass verges.

We saw lots of hares in different locations, well in excess of 20.

A Barn Owl quartering the fields came straight at me, in the light I had the camera at a ridiculous ISO3200 so the pictures have gone through Neat Imaging software. I also missed the nearest shots as the lens would not focus quick enough and the capture rate ground to a halt!

Live and learn, one day I will be there in good light.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Shopping Trip

No birding today as we have family visiting, it is a beautiful morning in Scarborough.

A strange experience yesterday. I never thought I would be outside IKEA waiting for it to open! I never thought about it but we planned to go to IKEA and then birding, the store does not open until 10.00am so we joined the crowd outside at 9:50 for a short wait. Get inside and the tannoy announces from 2 May they will open at 9:00.

We then went to Fairburn Ings on a glorious day, we had one heavy down pour whilst in a hide but the sun then came out again.

At the side of Cut Hide a Grey Heron was very close but behind blowing Willow. These were my best shots, zoomed and cropped a bit. Typically I could not focus when a decent sized fish hung from its bill, I tried all focusing methods, manual, spot, partial, centre weighted average, etc.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Water Edge Ducks

Just a few shots from Sunday of a Tufted Duck and Mallard that I particularly like.
The second Mallard shot seems a Diver sort of pose!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Waters Edge Country Park

We paid our first visit to this site yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it aided by glorious sunny weather. It seems so long since that was the case.

There was a dozen Redshank on the river side, Willow Warblers calling, can you ever see them ?

A number of Swallows were flying over a tile/brick works and one stopped to rest on the gable of a wooden shed. i got some shots that I was pleased about but the light was probably slightly to the rear of the bird and a little harsh! You can never win, I need to get out earlier in the day.

Ducks and Geese at the visitor centre were easy to picture, but in glorious light, I might post one or two pictures later.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Gadwell Mania

We visited Top Hill yesterday and first of all took a walk up the side of the 'D' Resevoir towards the canal lock as a Whooper Swan had been up there a couple of days previous but there was no sightings. There were some Pink Feet amongst the Greylag Geese.

Loads of Willow Warblers singing, and fleeting glimpses, all these leaves coming out are going to make things difficult very soon in this respect.

A lot of effort is being made to improve facilities on the reserve with a new hide going in on North Marsh quite soon.

Loads of Gadwell on South Lagoon and they all seemed to be paired up I took some shots showing the Maroon feathers on the Drake.

It was quite a different story on South Marsh where a Drake Gadwell was really looking after his partner but all the other Drakes were really agitated and this led to continual skirmishes and escape flights!

Friday, 10 April 2009

Cliff Top Pickings

We visited Bempton Cliffs RSPB, East Yorkshire today and the weather was better than anticipated. Beside the usual sea birds, Gannet, Kitiwake, Fulmar, Guillemot, Razorbill and Puffin I was lucky enough to get some shots of a Kestrel sat peering down from a cliff ledge.
I had earlier photographed a Kestrel, a little distant but this was a far better opportunity, thanks to the gentleman who told me about the nearness of the bird.
A good day to day, we went to Seamer Tip Pools this morning and I found a pair of Little Ringed Plover.
We then went to Bempton and saw Willow Warbler near the visitors centre before proceeding to the cliff face, plenty of Sky Larks in the meadows at the top of the cliffs and the sound together with that of the Meadow Pipits is lovely.
On the way back we went to Filey Dams YWT, nothing exciting until looking at a Little Grebe nearing summer plumage I was able to point out that immediately behind on an island to the main pool was a Water Vole. The first we have manged to see at the reserve.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Thundering In

A few more pictures from Radipole of a Mute Swan that flew in straight at where we stood on the board walk at the side of open water.
Totally fearless the swan, the humans unsure whether it would take us out. The Swan of course judged it to perfection pulling up immediately at the side of the timber walk way.

Also stills of a head shot of another Mute Swan present.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Harwood Dale Lake & Ravenscar

Having intended to go out of the Scarborough area today we had a change of plan and stayed local and we are well pleased we did.

We decided to go out to Harwood Dale and Ravenscar. Stopping in Hackness to view the lake and found to Cormorants on the far bank with Canada Geese. What luck though as two drake Mandarins dropped down onto the water.

We then stopped to view Harwood Dale lake on what was already a glorious morning at 10:30am. Canada Goose, Greylag, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Wigeon, Lapwing an Oyster Catcher, Grey Heron and then the pair of Garganey that have been present a few days swam out of the far left corner of the water and over to the far bank. Whilst views are distant in the scope a great sight. Then a bonus of female Goosander and Pink Footed Goose. Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail on the grass between us and the lake. Great viewing on a beautiful morning.

Too many cars/dog walkers so straight past Harwood Dale Forest to Stoupe Brow and Ravenscar. Nothing seen at the former but a walk to the place where Adders were seen last year at Ravenscar produced two basking in the sun. Little seen of the heads and the grasses were troublesome for focusing but nice to see, one mediocre picture shows the snakes head markings.

In the area I got close to a lovely male Chaffinch and female Stonechat for pictures (a pair present). Also Linnets, Robin and Magpie.
Great time before worrying about football!