Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

I was fortunate enough to see this Kestrel perched atop a tree in a pasture on the road leading down to Snettisham Beach. Having grabbed some shots from the car I managed to get out and cross the road, get some more shots and then move slightly closer down the fence line and for once it did not fly off!

This is a male and was sat at the very top on a slender perch. The bird was actually swaying quite dramatically in the wind so the outcome is quite satisfying. All handheld.

The male and female Kestrels are of similar size the main difference being in the pattern on the wings and the male has a bluish grey head and red-brown upperparts whilst the female has a brown head and tail.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Black Tailed Godwit (Limosa Limosa)

I pictured this Black Tailed Godwit close to the footpath at
Titchwell RSPB when we visted on 21 March after the trip to

A great day seeing these two prime reserves and there offerings.

Where were the Brent? Well at first I did not see them but at the
eastern side of the reserve I counted eleven, not many compared
to the numbers we saw elsewhere in Norfolk at Cley, Holme Dunes,
Brancaster but more of that later.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Snettisham RSPB

This Ringed Plover did'nt fly off, at first!

Incoming Greylag


Oyster Catchers and Knot, with Avocet in the foreground

I have just started working through some of my pictures from this last week.

Last Sunday we visited the RSPB reserve at Snettisham for the first time arriving before 8:00am on a glorious sunny morning, the first shot of the lakes was taken a bit towards the sun but the aim is to give you an idea of the place.

There was lots of Oyster Catchers, Knot flying over the estuary and loads of grey geese but also a few Brent and a small number of Barnacles flew in.

We did the circular walk of the reserve in wonderful weather. We aim to come back when they have a high tide and the thousands of knot on the estuary flock close to the hides in one of the great birding spectaculars. In the meantime we got a small taster from Sanctuary hide with a flock of tightly knit knot (try saying that repeatedly) in the middle of a semi circle of Oyster Catchers.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha coccinea)

Height up to 4cm
Width up to 5cm

This striking looking fungus with its bright red colour is almost impossible to miss. As its name suggests it is cup shaped, but tends to flatten with age.

The Scarlet Elf Cap is a saprophyte and grows on dead wood. The favoured growing conditions are damp areas and hence often grow in association with mosses.
This uncommon fungus is seen between the months of December to April.

The above text is copied from the internet. I was told about the whereabouts of this fungi by my father-in laws lady friend and took a quick look this morning. The picture was handheld and is not great but it is a striking fungi.

The fungi is directly off the board walk in Forge Valley. If you park in the Old Mans Mouth car park and cross the foot bridge, turn right and after a few yards you will see many examples of this vivid fungi.

I am now away until Sunday 28 March when I hope to have something to post. Have a good week.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

It's a Frogs life!!!

On Sunday we had a walk in Harwood Dale, no birds but we did see plenty of Frogs in the 'goldfish pond' and new pool created by the Forestry Commission. We also saw a Newt in a ditch by the forestry track and I saw a Common Lizard.

The pictures below were mating frogs in a large puddle by the track.

In the new pool

This shows the size of the smaller mail on top of the female

From above, if you look carefully you can see it's a couple

At 1000 sec, bluer tinge rather than other shots at 500sec

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Geat Tit (Parus major)

With extremely varied multiple calls at this time of year,
they can be confusing (the calls), there is nothing confusing
about this big bold aggressive tit.

Less agile than the smaller tits it feeds more on the ground
than some of its cousins.

It eats insects, seeds, berries and nuts, especially tree seeds
in autumn and winter and is a common visitor to bird tables.

It's nest is a cup of moss, leaves and grass in a natural hole or
nest box. It has 5-11 eggs in one brood April to May.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Head On

I re-visited the Mediterranean Gull's at Holbeck Hill in Scarborough today to see how the summer plumage was coming on after my last photos back in January (see posting of 30 January & 4 February).

Today I went for shots of the gulls on the deck and as the birds were fairly close to the car, I stayed put, I have considerably zoomed in and close cropped but concentrated on the head colourings.

I hope you like this parade of spring bonnets!

Monday, 8 March 2010

It's a beautiful day!

Yesterday was gorgeous even though the temperatures barely got above freezing. In the shade the frost remained all day. I don't ususlly show what a place looks like but here is a picture of 'D' resevoir, you can just see the top of the concrete wall, not pretty but they can hold lots of waterfowl.

There's also an 'O' resevoir, O shaped of course just as the 'D' is !!!

The distant dots are ducks, as record shots of Goldeneye show.

But Top Hill is lots more, North Marsh, South Marsh, Lagoons, woodland and Watton Barrow Pits which a hide overlooks a nature reserve in its own right. A lot of good conservation work is going on with a new pool created in the woodland where they have introduced a bird feeding station.

Work has been done creating a nesting site for Kingfisher, plenty of branches in the water for perching and a big brand new hide for us to _ _ perch in. However about half hour only produced this big bird!

We had a fantastic day although the birds were distant, all I got was this tufty!