Monday, 10 December 2012

Water Rail

Sorry for my lack of posting this last month, I have had a lack of material but still enough for a few posts so I hope to put a few out over the next week or so.

Today I got my first pictures of Water Rail, these have been showing well in scarborough's Northstead Manor Gardens since our freeze over a week ago. I was hoping for reports this am. so that I knew chances were good but nothing until 11:40 which reported two birds.

When I got there one bird was present and a short while after there was two, always distant or elisive for a while in awful light. Finally though it did brighten a yad and one bird showed well in a pool not to far off. Some shots were as low as ISO 1250!

Taken with Canon 40D, Sigma 50-500mm lens, 500mm focal length 1/320sec f6.3

Monday, 12 November 2012

Right Poser

This juvenile Shag was perched on Saturday afternoon just behind Luna Park on Scarborough's South Bay at the corner of the harbour.

The innocence of youth not troubled by me on my hands and knees with my camera on my monopod. Easy pictures, I still need to micro adjust my lens to camera, the pictures were not as sharp as I would like and I have post sharpened a little, but that is all,these are full frame shots of course.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Owl double

We have spent the week-end driving around in search of Fieldfare and Redwing. Yesterday we drove towards Malton on very rural roads and found a number of small flocks of these birds. More Redwing than Fieldfare and present with good numbers of Starlings.

I spotted a Little Owl on a hay stack and managed a photo although it was difficult due to a high hedge to the front and the cut branches stuck up impeding my focus. As we left the site of the Little Owl I saw a white wing beat in a field and then it went down. a slow approach in the car and we stopped 10' from a Barn Owl with a large vole in it's mouth. A fantastic classic view on a great big fence post but into the sun and on the passenger drive so we quickly moved on and left it to it's early tea.

I photographed this female Kestrel who has very worn feathers.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Ruff and Tumble !

The Ruff was pictured at Titchwell RSPB three weeks ago, manuallly focussed as  I tried my Canon 400mm f5.6 lens with 1.4 converter.  Please let me know what you thing good, bad or indifferent.

Yesterday was bright at times, wintery showers (heavy hail), bitterly  cold with really strong wind. In Filey Country Park some waders were on the cliff top in the park probing the grasses, Oystercatchers and Turnstone and a lone Redshank. I got out the car and was blown away, the monopod blew in the wind, stupiddly I fell on some grass that was pure mud underneath, I shot up hoping no one saw me but now sport a lovely black bruaise where I landed on my beloved camera and lens. Serves me right, I need to be more careful but at leaset I got an Oystercatcher shot or two.


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Sanderling (Calidris Alba)

I was fortunate enough to catch up with these little fellows on a bright sunny afternoon on the beach off Holme Dunes NWT. as usual they were running along at the edge of the tide, they went off along from me. I thought it better to stay put and wait and sure enough they came back and this bird came quite close.

They were adopting the very distinctive dashing style in front of the breaking waves.

Pictures taken with Canon 7D and 400mm f5.6 lens.

Monday, 22 October 2012


On our first visit to Titchwell the week before last it was quite a bright morning and reasonably near to the hide a Lapwing was stood in the very still water making for a nice refection effect. I hope my pictures convey a little of the iridescent colours on the wing feathers.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Bar Tailed Godwit

As you would expect I saw a good number if godwits last week on Norfolk North Coast reserves, trouble was they were always a little too distant generally. On Friday afternoon we went on Hunstanton Beach, I was optimistically lloking for Purple Sandpipers on the groynes but in truth itb was too early, high tide was still some hours away and only Turnstones were to be seen until I spotted this Bar Tail.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Brent Geese

A few shots of Brent Geese in Norfolk where we have just returned from. They are so atmospheric these geese always chattering as they pass over head. These shots were taken on the footpath at Titchwell.

One of the highlights of the week were the v shaped formations of geese passing overhead at dusk as we stood on the doorstep of our cottage in Snettisham. I love this area, it was glorious last week with bright sunshine, warm days, deserted beaches (well Holme Dunes certainly). I will post a few shots from the week next.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Male Black Darter

There was a few Black Darters at Filey Dams a couple of weekends ago, all males. They were constantly landing on the bleached rails to the board walk. The pictures are using my Sigma 50-500mm lens (just before my new lens purchase). Whilst not sharp in the wings the body and legs are reasonably sharp.

Always nice to see this species.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

I don't believe it!

For those of you that viewed my posting on 27 September of the Elepant Hawk Moth Caterpillar I said, 'not something I have ever seen before, a great sight, perhaps I never will again'. Guess what, I have seen one again. I got to Pat's Dads tonight in the village and Pat is stood there to show me an Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar going across the flags in front of his flat!

Nature never fails to amaze

Monday, 1 October 2012

Nearby Dunnock

We popped into Filey Dams yesterday morning before going to Flamborough Head, there was a Bar Tailed Godwit that eventually showed itself.

There was a great flock of Tree Sparrow, up to 15 counted, they looked brilliant. I saw a Spotted Flycatcher on a Willow a little too distant for photography so here is a closer to Dunnock, a much overlooked species.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar

A week last Sunday we popped into Filey Dams. Bird wise there was not a lot to be seen.

A number of male Black Darters kept settling on the bleached timber fence rails but that was about the lot.

On leaving the Board Walk to East Hide I saw this beautiful beastie crossing it. We guessed it was the caterpillar of a Hawk Moth but a 'birder' advised that it was the caterpillar of the Elephant Hawk Moth, not something I have ever seen before, a great sight, perhaps I will never see one again. A big caterpillar perhaps 4'' long, those eyes are to frighten predators and it has a horn on the rear end.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Strange Musings!

On Saturday we visited Filey Dams briefly on a beautiful September day.

When we got home Pat was getting the washing in (yep, not me) when she saw a a rainbow forming a part circle in the ground. The effect had faded a little by the time I got a camera and removed a telephoto lens but I hope you see what I mean. Something I have never seen before.

I was trying out my new Canon 400mm 5.6f lens, I mean to get a 1.4 extender but in the meantime I am trying the lens, it's hard to get used to a fixed prime lens after my Sigma zoom lens. I have a lot to learn. Anyway, this common darter at the end of my Canon lens looks quite sharp in the body, I know the wings are out of focus.

I tried photographing some hovering Migrant Hawkers, they looked great in the LCD, colours right etc. On the computer less so, obviously zoomed in and cropped but the colours look burnt out too.

My blog aims to show my photographic success (as and when) and the traps and pit falls I encounter.
All comments welcomed.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Little Gull - Hornsea Mere

First of all I am sorry for the complete lack of activity since mid July.

I got completely absorbed by the Olympics, watched lots and lots and thought I will have a sabatical from blogging until after the closing ceremony.

On August 4 my better half broke her coxis and has been in lots of pain, now progressing very well but it has meant we haven't really been anywhere for the last four weeks.

I don't think I have had a barely decent shot since I got my 7D and need to get some practice in.

On Sunday we did get down to the Freeport at Hornsea, Pat managed a short walk around and then we went for the easy birding offered at the Mere. Luck was in as a small number of Little Gulls of various ages and plumages were on the end of one jetty.

It was nice to meet a fellow photographer taking shots of these birds. I only took 40 shots in a short period of time but its nice to get going again.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Orange and Yellow and Brown and _ _ _

We went to Messingham Sand Quarry LWT yesterday for once a glorious day, and whilst the skies blackened over for an hour it passed over and must have rained elsewhere.

Loads of Common Blue damselflies, butterflies doing what they do, flying! The only one I photographed was this Meadow Brown which I quite like on the yellow flowers. I did see a pair of Ringlets mating but too dark to photo.

There were lots of the caterpillars of the Cinnabar Moth. Caterpillars are most evident when ragwort is in full flower. The caterpillar stage lasts about 1 month during which time it undergoes 5 moults.

When fully fed the caterpillars crawl away from the plants to pupate in a dry sheltered spot such as among the debris at the base of the plants or into crevices under logs, stones and lumps of earth.

The pupal stage is prolonged lasting about 9 months, and the moths do not emerge again until the following spring.

High losses can occur in winter if pupation sites are waterlogged, as pupae cannot stand prolonged immersion in water, although they can survive considerable desiccation.

The foilage is being eaten voraciously!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Beautiful Demoiselle

I was rather surprised and delighted to see this damselfly locally at the week-end, flying low over a ditch.

The pictures were taken at the long end of my telescopic lens, not great but I wanted to post to show the beauty of these damselfly's. It's in the name!


Wings open