Wednesday 8 May 2024

Common Sandpipers

I went over to Tamar Lakes to look for Green Sandpiper which are found feeding on the weir, no joy with them but five Common Sandpipers entertained me with close views. A shame the weather was pretty dire but thats how it is sometimes.

Little Grebes

Cromford canal in Derbyshire must be one of the best locations to see Little Grebes at close hand, being used to people walking the canal path they go about their business without fear. ( Its meant to be a top site for Water Voles as well , but I've yet to see one ). This pair were I think starting to look for nest sites as they were taking material to a couple of differant locations beside the waters edge.

Tuesday 7 May 2024


In some years Bramblings arrive in their hundreds and in other years they seem to be very few and far between. This year has been the latter with only a few records locally, so four feeding from a bird table in a Dartmoor garden was good to see, and that included this sparkling male.

Tuesday 23 April 2024


I placed a perch near my bird feeders a couple of years ago knowing that the local Sparrowhawks were regular visitors, thinking it would be perfect for them to land on. In all the times I've sat in my hideout (shed)I'd not had one land there, untill the other day when this immaculate male bird suddenly appeared in front of me, staying and eying up the small birds for about five minutes. It did'nt catch any so not had to have the mixed emotions of predator and prey.

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Song Thrush

People always say that they have'nt see a Song Thrush for ages, and this is sadly true,they do seem to be have declined over the years. Although I still see them every now and then, I've been delighted to have a quite tame individual visiting our garden for some time and even more delighted to watch it pulling worms from the back lawn and obviously feeding nearby young. This was on 29th March so quite early to have young in the nest. I just sat on the grass and it came closer and closer, often too close for my lens. Hopefully the young will survive all this rain and the parents will go on and have a second brood.

Monday 25 March 2024

Two visits to the Somerset levels.

I cant keep looking on birdguides and social media every night and see other peoples sightings and photos without getting that pang of envy, especially when its a rare bird I've not seen before and its not a million miles from home, so it was with the drake Baikal Teal which had been at Greylake on the levels for a while ( I missed it last year as well ). So on a bit of a whim I decided to drive up earlyish one morning . An unusually sunny day, I arrived at Greylake to join a few other birders/photographers, ( not been here before, a nice easy site with hundreds of ducks). The Baikal Teal did'nt show for some time untill a bird of prey put up the whole flock, which when coming back to the water, I located it swimming around with the Common Teal. An unmistakeable bird with that fancy head pattern, it should be wintering in Southern Asia but seemed quite at home here. Also seen from here were two Common Crane, a distant Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, and lots and lots of Gadwall, Common Teal and Wigeon. I managed some record shots of the Baikal and the Cranes and got some nice flight photos of the Gadwall. I then took a quick look in at Ham wall where after a long walk I found the Ring Necked Ducks and a Marsh Harrier flew directly over head in the car park. A second trip , this time in the van with Joyce, staying three nights near Glastonbury. One day for me and a drive over to Cattcott lows where a male Hen Harrier had been hunting in recent days, another wait and eventually it showed albeit a bit distant, and it was joined by a female for a short time. I got a few distant record shots but was content just watching through the bins ( always hoping it would come closer though ) , also a Spotted Redshank showed in front of the hide, and a Great Egret was photograped in the marshes. The next day was Joyce's day so a hike up to Glastonbury Tor from the campsite and then into the town which always has a few charecters around to aim your lens at. The last day , before going home we spent a couple of hours at Ham wall,where for once I was in the right place at the right time as four Glossy Ibis were close to one of the viewing screens feeding and preening. Also took some pics of Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan and Cetti's warbler