Monday, 23 April 2012

Missing the O's

I bunked off work early tonight and went up to Stoupe Brow near Ravenscar to see if I could see any Ring Ouzels. I do this every year and every year fail miserably.

Ring Ouzels were seen in this location yesterday but flew off into some pines. Nothing heard today so I went up more in hope than expectancy.

The only photographs I managed were of a few Linnets and a Pied Wagtail.

At Harwood Dale Lake Swallows, House and Sand Martins were flying low over the water.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Over the bridge and local morons!

I saw a picture of the month on the National Geographic website today, a nice image of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco at night, nicely lit up with swirling mist over the river.

Yesterday we went over the Humber Bridge to see our lovely grand-daughter, the day did not turn out as planned and therefore we did not manage any birding. So it made me think back to January when we visited Far Ings LWT. This reserve stands on the south bank of the Humber estuary and on the day I took a few snaps of the bridge, the green hide looks over the estuary. On the day one of my main pictures was of loads of Shovelers displaying (principally drakes).

On Saturday I went down to Burton Riggs YWT a Common Scoter was present early afternoon, no sign of the Scoter  but I saw my first Willow Warbler of the year, at least three were present. the one I saw best was hiding in bright green foilage. A group of four or five youths were long casting a tin can, tents errected, fire burning, this cannot be right. I seldom go to this spot which is quite attractive but a dog walkers paradise, you can barely put a foot anywhere!

I then went on to Seamer Tip Pools created on an industrial estate, I had already got a thing in my mind about dogs, one had been growling at my camera lens! This area is on the edge of a large estate and it suffers a similar problem. as I walked down to the large pool a couple were getting their dogs out of the car for a walk.

The dogs were squabbling, barking right from the start. As Mr & Mrs started their enjoyable circuit of the lake the dogs launched themselves into the water after the water fowl which understandably scattered everywhere. Not once did they call them back. Round the far side the pool the dogs were back in the water chasing the geese.

I couldn't believe it guess what Mr & Mrs having such a nice time started a second circuit! Responsible dog owners get a bad name due to morons like this!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Drumming it home

This morning the weather was pretty poor with heavy rain shower. this afternoon much brighter with showers and hail storms.

New birds for the year today were Swallow and Willow Warbler. A number of the later birds were calling at Burton Riggs YWT on the outskirts of Eastfield, Scarborough.

A Willow Warbler was close but by the time I focussed but all I got was yellow/green foilage, the same colour as this lovely warbler.

I have therefore posted a few shots of a Great Spotted Woodpecker taken a couple of weeks ago.
For Uk residents can I also endorse my work colleague Shaun's sentiments as below, I lost my Director and friend of 22 years Richard to a brain tumor last May and my sister-in-law Susan suffered one too, but fortunately made a full recovery. Now I love a pasty but for god's sake let's get our priorities right.

'So far, in just a couple of weeks, over 200,000 people have been moved enough to sign a petition against the "pasty tax" which will put a few pence on the cost of a sausage roll. Meanwhile, in 10 months, 10,095 people have signed the petition to increase the funding of brain tumour research. Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of UK children. 16,000 people each year in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour. More people under 40 die of a brain tumour than from any other cancer.
If you only have time to sign one petition this year please choose the right one.

I have just read this site is down for maintenance until 16 April, please come back and vote, every one counts!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Have you seen the light yet!

I photographed this Kestrel approaching Flamborough Light House!

Have you seen the light?

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Great Grey Shrike

We caught up with this Great Grey shrike on Sunday at Filey Country Park.

We were very fortunate that a member of the Filey Brigg Ornithological Group allowed us to access the 'Old Tip' field to get close to this bird, he was very kind to ask us.

A grey cloudy day, and my pictures look a bit grey, greyer than I recall the scene ! Whilst, we were quite close I have had to zoom to 50% ( I usually do this) and close crop and the bird is still small in the frame.

It was still good to get closer to one of these stars than ever before.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Noisy House Guests

We are blessed to share home with these beauties. That's our phone wire, that's our roof! The number seems to have increased in the village this year. Photos a fortnight ago it's been fairly grey today.

First Swallow reported in the next village today. New birds for us this year today have been Green Sand Piper at Seamer Tip Pools and a Great Grey Shrike at Filey.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Short Eared Owl

Last evening was glorious beautiful sunshine little cloud a total contrast to the grim start in the morning.

The evening before had been too windy and there was no sign of the SE Owl although I did see a Barn Owl on my way home. I first saw the SE Owl in this vicinity on 2 April. I am told there is a pair and I heard another report of a SE Owl just a couple of miles away yesterday.

I confess last night one of the birds I wanted to see was performing brilliantly quartering up and down the road. The only problem was that I was the wrong side of it looking at it directly into that brilliant sun light.

I took quite a few shots but focusing and everything else proved real difficult in that light. Here are a couple of the half salvageable efforts. I hope to get another chance. I confess I tweaked the last one in Photo Shop, I think it's probably no better.

I have also seen a Little Owl in this area twice this last week.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Black Redstart, Flamborough

I was fortunate enough to catch up with this beauty last Monday in the Flamborough Head fog compound.

My second Black Redstart of the year but the first was invariably behind a wall below Scarborough's Castle headland and I did not manage a picture.

The first Black Redstart I ever saw was in a typical industrial setting for these birds, Sizewell Nuclear Power Station.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A day of Pheasant's

First we connected with the Reeves Pheasant an escapee that I have read of locally in the last few days. A beautifully coloured bird.

We then saw a pair of male Common Pheasant's squaring up to one another and squabbling. It was no more than that, not the to the death which I believe does occur. The only trouble was that the fracas was in a stubble field so focusing was difficult. I just like the colour of the birds. The last but one shot is 'impressionist. behind the stubble, somehow I like it!