Friday, 24 February 2017

Goosander, and a few Waxwings.

22nd February
A quick run up to Heathfield to try for the Waxwings that have been around for a few weeks, cant think they are going to stay for much longer. Their preferred feeding site was a little precarious as they were feeding on rosehips on the central reservation of the main A38!. I saw nine perched in the roadside trees and occasionally dropping down out of sight, had a good look at them and took just a couple of poor record shots as the traffic whizzed by. Spent much of the rest of the day at the adjacent Stover lake, not too much to see , except for ten Goosander which I spent a good while photographing,, though never really coming close enough.
Female Goosander with three males

Male Goosander

Goosander pair

Male Goosander

Male Goosander

Waxwing always nice to see.

Waxwing

Male Mandarin,

Female Mandarin, nest boxes are provided for them .

Mute Swan fly past

Sunday, 12 February 2017

A Day off

10th Febuary 2017
First day out for a while , but where to go,? ,did,nt want to drive too far, so opted for Walmsley then onto Porth resevior and finally onto the Gannel estuary at Newquay. It started out overcast but Walmsley was thronging with birds, and although most were too far away for any decent photos it was still nice to see thousands of Golden Plover and Lapwings, the Plovers particularly spectacular when the flock took flight. Also two (or three?) Spoonbills were typically asleep with their heads and bills tucked away. Onto Porth but no sign of the Iceland Gull which has been here at times. Finally onto Newquay and the Gannel where a number of Cattle Egrets have been coming into roost recently. Luckily a nice chap informed me of where they have been feeding and I managed to catch up with (only one) bird, though very distant.
Golden Plover-Walmsley

Male Shoveller-Walmsley

Sleepy Spoonbills-Walmsley

Kingfisher-Gannel

Little Egret-Gannel

Redshank-Gannel

Oystercatcher-Gannel

Mediteranean Gull-Gannel

Friday, 6 January 2017

Eastern Black Redstart

29th December 2016
Joyce and I had a day down west to hope to catch up with some of the birds I'd missed in the last couple of weeks, in particular the Eastern Black Redstart which has been at Mousehole and would be a new bird for me. It wasn't hard to locate as a few other birders had their bins/scopes/cameras fixed on it. A handsome little bird with orange underparts , this Asian form of our Black Redstart was feeding on the rocks fairly close to the path allowing foe some photographs.
I also looked for the Pacific Diver at Penzance but no luck ( the third time I,ve tried for it in the last couple of winters without success ) and could'nt locate the Hudsonian Whimbrel at Perranuthnoe, maybe i.ll try again soon ( Still haven't managed to get out at all this new year due to bad poorliness, but well enough now to get on the computer, so hopefully after this weekend I'll be out playing catch up.
Eastern Black Redstart

Eastern Black Redstart

Eastern Black Redstart

Eastern Black Redstart

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Slimbridge

8th December
Stayed with Joyce's sister in Cam which just happens to be a stones throw from Slimbridge WWT, so while they go shopping for the day I head down there where I largely ignore the collections of wildfowl and see what shows  up in front of the hides. Always good to see the Bewicks Swans and other wild duck at close quarters, and now you have the Common Cranes which form part of the Great Crane Project which aims to restore a healthy population of these iconic birds throughout the U.K. A rather gloomy morning but brightened up a little in the afternoon.
Bewicks Swan preening

Bewicks Swans, adult and juvenile

Bewicks flyover

Bewicks Swan

Bewicks Swan

Pintail- bottoms up.

Pintail male

Pintail pair

Pintail male

Pintail male late afternoon

Pintail male

Pintail close up

Female Teal

Male Teal

Shelduck bathing

Shelduck bathing

Shelduck bathing

Shelduck wing stretch

Incoming Greylag

Greylags

Common Cranes

Common Cranes

Common Cranes

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Desert Wheatear

1st December 2016.
Good to catch up with this cracking male Desert Wheatear at Thurlestone beach in South Devon, only the second I've seen. ( the first being at Looe in Cornwall in dec 1997). This one was very confiding, favouring an area on the beach with a small boat which it used as a perch.
Thurleston beach, a bit like a desert I suppose!

The Wheatear came within feet allowing for a few close ups.

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

The Desert Wheatear spent some time on the boat preening

As did this Rock Pipit.