Friday, 29 April 2011

A lifer and its pellet!

We finally got to Filey today to see the Woodchat Shrike that has been present for the last 4 days, a lifer for us and a cracking bird. It was approachable up to a point but flighty. I only got some record shots but what a pleasure.

A couple observing the bird which had been eating bees and caterpillars noticed it regurgitate a pellet, a bit of searching and the pellet was found which seemed to contain the bee stingers along with the other insect debris. The AA 'Birds of Britain & Europe' says, 'As with other shrikes indigestible food such as chitin, hair and bones is regurgitated in small, hard pellets'.

Record shots of a 'lifer'

 That pellet

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

In it to win it_ _ _ Linnet!

Sorry, abot the corny current Lottery show tittle but it rhymes!

I pictured this lovely Linnet on Sunday afternoon, pulling up the car on a lane and waiting a minute or two for the birds to return. There was also Goldfinch in this bush. Great little birds, I cannot imagine how anyone ever kept them as caged birds.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Down the Lane Osprey!

We have a local treat at the moment an Osprey visiting nearby Wykeham Lakes where unfortunately you can only visit with a fishing permit.

Yesterday afternoon at 3:00pm I was down the lane on the west side of the lakes looking for Blackcaps, when I looked behind me and managed a couple of shots of a slow flying raptor, an Osprey. Checking Birdguides I found an Osprey reported at 11:30am at the Lakes. 

This morning the Osprey was reported again at 9:00am so we went straight down the road that our cottage is off and at the bottom of the road a group of birders had the Osprey sighted on a telegraph pole.

All shots very much record shots, I do not remember that the telegraph pole was leaning, oh well must hold the camera straight!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

The light hood(y) bandits!

I have never seen as many Wheatears as this year.

Firstly in Dorset on Portland, then last weekend at Ravenscar quite a few birds (suppose to have been 15+), one down the lane near home on Friday just gone and then yesterday on the light canopies (hoods) at Seamer Tip Pools. Fleetingly there was three on the same hood, I only captured two on picture but I did get closer and closer! They are real stars!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Local today

Stayed local today and after he cloud burned back early afternoon it was a great day.

In Wykeham Forst we saw Common Crossbill and Redpoll, first for the year.

Than down Wykeham Ings there were Blackcaps together with Willow Warblers. The Blackcap pictures are into the sun, I hope to go early one morning over the break and try to get some better shots. Also plenty of fast moving Orange Tips in this location.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Little & Little at Top Hill Low

A fairly short time at Top Hill Low yesterday so no prospect of the Purple Heron (it was not seen yesterday and seems to have moved on) but I did see two beauties.

A bit distant but the distinctive flight of a Little Gull over 'D' reservoir followed by a very close (too close under the hide at one point) Little Grebe. It caught two fish (Sticklebacks?), the second capture being in front of the hide which I managed to picture.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Waters Edge & Far Ings

The Slavonian Grebe had left Waters Edge but we had a good day yesterday in really special weather there and at Far Ings. The post is a few of the characters I captured, you will know them well!

Female Mallard
 Another Chiffchaff!
 Great Crested Grebe

Mute Swan

Canada Goose

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Dorset in reverse part 3 _ _ _ _ _Sikas & Starlings!

Moving back through our week in Dorset, we visited Arne RSPB on Monday 28 March. always a great place, a lovely sunny day we missed any birding highlights, no Dartford Warblers (it was a bit windy), no Great Grey Shrike that was certainly seen the next day, nothing much really but plenty of Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

A highlight was the Sika deer with a buck peering out of a very small clearing at us, followed by the family group. In a meadow there was a load of Sika's and two bucks had a testing tussle. For the first time I noticed a flock of starlings with the deer, some were on the backs of the deers but most were on the ground, do the deer disturb insects for them to feed on?

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Dorset in reverse part 2 _ _ _ Portland Migrants and one that got away!!!

We visited Portland Bill last Tuesday, I wanted to go as the day before a Firecrest and Hoopoe were reported.

The weather was good and bright and immediately on embarking from the car and walking towards a gully near the lighthouse a couple of birders told us that the distant group of birders were looking at three Black Redstart and a couple of Wheatears.

The B Redstart were always distant and I spent an age picturing them (over optimistic) hoping the would get nearer. The results are very much record shots, I then saw at least 5 Wheatears but no pictures.

Having walked up near the bird observatory we look for the Firecrest of the day before but no joy, I did manage Linnet, and Willow Warbler pictures.

The Hoopoe? Well we were told it was at a place called Grove on Portland, dropping into a car park near a playing field. We found the place and I was dispatched from the car by Pat amd sister Sue to have a look around.

I walked onto the small parking area for about 6 cars, these were birders cars (having spoken to some earlier) as I moved around the front edge of the first car the Hoopoe took flight from under a birders car down the adjacent path never to be seen again despite an hours searching, one day I will get a proper look at this brilliant visitor, but when! It's on my year list now a lifer too, but I want a proper sighting!!!

Female Black Redstart


Willow Warbler

Sunday, 3 April 2011

My birding week (in Dorset) in reverse.

We have just got back from Dorset and i have decided to work backwards back through the week! Why well primarily on our last day, Thursday I got some closer shots of a Chiffchaff to contrast with the more distant location shots of this bird in my last post.

On Thursday we traveled down to Durlston Country Park near Swanage where the day before Firecrest and Black Redstatrt had been seen. We got out the car had a coffee, got our boots and coats on and set off and then turned back, the mist was thick, it was windy and cold we were not going to find anything.

We traveled back to Wareham Forest where it was cloudy but brighter and went on the 'Sika Trail', so far into the walk it brightened a bit, to the edge of the walk was a small copse of trees in a wet swampy area, here we saw Siskins, Long Tailed Tits, Chaffinch, Green Finch, Gold Finch, a pair of Wrens, Tree Creepers and a quite confiding Chiffchaff that kept flying low down and even on the ground once or twice, not great light but quite a nice photographic opportunity.