Friday 28 September 2007

Heralds of winter?

Not so nice today eh! well the Widgen are in at VP a nice small group of around 20 birds. An adult Popchard hacing arrived with them. The Shoveller are starting to colour up nicely once again the Greenshank was present today with at least two Snipe being present.

Several times the flocks of Lapwing and Black headed gulls lifted in panic, but none of those present could find the reason for the dread. Birds of Prey (BOP'S) seen were Kestrel, Buzzard (right outside the hide) Sparrowhawk briefly.

short and sweet!

Thursday 27 September 2007

Yes! Yes! YES! oh ! that was good-ish

Imagine my surprise on waking this morning as dawn poked it self over the horizon, sunshine bright light, and very few clouds, could it be a nice day? Not being conned I made sure I had my fleece on before venturing out for the day, and I was glad I did the sun might have been out but that wind was darned cold.

So what did I find today, A juvenile Osprey was over the pool at around 10:35 disappearing fast towards the South East, The Kingfisher was performing well for the visitors, and like Jim I was after the leaving the water shot, well what do think did I get it?

The fist one shows the entry, or Slashdown I like the water disperment on this one, however the next one was about 1 second to late for my liking but if it works for you it works for me.

One of the things that has made me wonder is why do gulls pick various obects and seem to play with them? Well the following series of shots might help to see what they do!

So there you go, thats why! I think it missed!!

And finally todays Wader was a Dunlin just a record shot.

have aice day and be careful out there!!!

Wednesday 26 September 2007

Large Raptor over and Chaos under!

Once and a while you get days when things really get a bit confusing, well today it was my tern (sic), just as I arrived in the hide a small tern was departing towards the fish pools, was it the same bird from yesterday? or a new pass through who knows. The gulls on the water increased in numbers during the morning with one juvenile lesser black backed gull amongst them, and the Lapwings were numbering around 60 birds which was good.
Around 11:30 the whole group lifted, indicating a scan of the airspace was in order. nothing was visible to the front of the hide or the sides! Suddenly a very large raptor sailed into view over the top of the hide, I mean large with really long primaries and it was moving at a rate of knots.
Hmmmmm! pale Buzzard? really looked to big. Juvenile Osprey? most of the ID points were good, but no pale head. So what was it, I would suspect a Buzzard however check out the piccies and make your own mind up.

Tuesday 25 September 2007

What follows a rain storm!!

It certainly did not seem like a promising morning, sunshine slightly overcast and not raining. Mind you that was not the forecast, then when is it ever.

Things were slow on arrival at around 11:00, the place was lively but not exciting. But that was about to change as the rain started, a nice light shower someone said! yeah right. what followed was reminiscent of the monsoons and downpours of the tropics.
The statement " lets hope something drops in either during or after this" certainly held good as ten minutes after the rain stopped a juvenile Arctic tern appeared, this certainly gave the Lapwing something to do for the next few minutes. It would seem they knew after a very short time that the chase was pointless.

And if that was not enough to annoy the dickens out of the tern the Black headed gulls were their diligent selves especially where there might be an opportunity of a free meal. So there was no rest, or at least very little as the Arctic tern was harried from pillar to post, or rather island to island.

So it was a nice appearance and broke the run of Kingfisher, even if there were three chasing around, but who can resist them when they stop in front of you and pose so well?

So there you go all this and fighting Buzzards with , again a Hobby over the trees to the rear of the reserve.

Monday 24 September 2007

An uninspiring day at the pools!

It is Sunday so I am having a lie in, until that is the phone goes not once but twice. Now that normally gets me up and especially as it was news of a couple of possible Ring necked Duck.

It did not take long to get to the Pools, and sadly it was a pair of juvenile Tufted Duck, That did not matter what did matter was the fact that when in doubt shout.

So what else was around? well the normal entertainment was around, in fact three kingfisher put in an appearance, and that caused a few vocalisations and an eventual chase.
A Hobby was present out over the trees on the far side of the pool and the Sparrow hawk was again hunting around the margins, mind you no strikes this time. So anothere day tomorrow and anothe chance of a rarer visitor!!!
I would appreciate comments on the blog as it progresses, just click "comments" below the blog entry.

Sunday 23 September 2007

Show me yours I'll show you mine!!

With the low lying fog all around the West Lancashire coast early this morning, and with an air show scheduled for the day I did not expect to get much photographic work done. How is that for wrong? as the sun soon burst through and cleared the air to give a really bright day.Those of you that might have done the Reds at Formby know or might know that the area is covered in shelled peanut cases and various types of Squirrel food lying around, so to go and try and feed them to entice them closer is a bit of a job. But not impossible, with loads of young around, the adults were a bit more difficult.One of the bonuses is the ever present Jays hanging around for the missed or dropped , not that there are many dropped. Of course there are many more pictures than space for them so I will keep it short for the time being and leave it with a bonus for the day.

If you decide to go please only use squirrel food.

Friday 21 September 2007

Interesting but brief!

Todays visit might have been brief, but once again the male Sparrow hawk was after his dinner.

Once again the attack was aimed at a Snipe although this time it was a total miss, must be a real tasty meal.
The water was again very quite, thank goodness for the Kingfisher providing some entertainment and a magnificent display it was to.

Just a reminder that you can view a larger picture by double clicking the image of choice,, it seems to work ok!

Well it is Red Squirrel day tomorrow so Perhaps I will be posting a different beastie we shall see.

Wednesday 19 September 2007

Snipe Snatcher!

Darn it I just missed a Yellow Legged Gull and Immature this morning arriving late at the reserve.

So I settled down to see what was going to transpire during the next few hours.

The usual suspects were on view Green shank, Kingfisher, Greenwoodpecker & snipe.

A good party of Swallows and House martins went through around 13:45.

Then at 1355 A Sparrowhawk launched an attack from the trees to the right of the hide, the first two snipe to lift managed to evade the onslaught but the third, obviously not paying attention was pinned to the ground, no amount of struggling did it any good it was well and truly Sparrowed. After a while the hawk, having adjusted its grip lifted and headed right for the fence posts out of sight of the main hide or even the south hide.

Sadly due to the height of the vegetation on the gravel island no photographic opportunity made itself available. Pity it would have been a crippler! The excitement over it was back to a single juvenile lesser black backed gull and the odd Buzzard over the trees with a very distant Peregrine.

So here is one I prepared earlier!

Sunday 16 September 2007

Are things lookingup??

So as promised, darn weatherman, it dawned overcast in the Southeast and soon spread across the rest of the county, unfortunatly. Mind you there were a few bright gaps in the cloud.
The shooting did not take place this morning, not that it would have made much of a difference on an otherwise very limited species list.

But three Greenwoodpeckers was good along with 3 Snipe and the normal showy Kingfisher, and after an hour or three a different Greenshank to that which had been around over the previous few days, this bird was distinctly darker and looked very pristine.
With a final shot of the little grebes out of the water but a little distance, it was time to check out the ASF, should not have bothered, oh well tomorrows another day. PS keep a look out for an odd looking swift, only one but very pale underneath???


Saturday 15 September 2007

Bang Bang - I shot you down?

The morning started with a bright sky with the one or two clouds being burned of in the early light, mist was rising from the water as the temperature started to rise.

The Pool look promising with plenty of movement and birds arriving out of the mist all the time.

Well that did not last long as the neighbour loosed of 4 shots from his or thier guns,, everything lifted as one and moved of in rapid fashion. A couple of small waders departing at the same time high and to the North, not Snipe I might add!

On the river at the Atcham bridge there were two Kingfishers and a whole heap of Goosander I would guess at over 50, with a covey of red legged partridge numbering 73, a number I had not previosly seen.

So there you go not a lot to report for today I hope tomorrow will be a bit quite!!!

Friday 14 September 2007

Speccy days work!!

The outlook this morning, through bleary eye was a bit disappointing, grey overcast and the prospect of rain. So chores first and then see how things are going, there had been no news from the pools so at 13:10 I decided to do an on spec check.
I am glad I did as there was a good specimen of Greenshank present if fact it was to close at times to get good shots, as it probed the edges of the ponds directly outside of the public hide.
Managed a couple of shots, so what do think? I think I will keep these. Apart from 5 Kestrels chasing each other / trying to set winter territories? it was fairly quite, a couple of Herons arguing with each other. Well more from the weekend to follow.

Wednesday 12 September 2007

SOD the ECG results!

A call from Jason Buckley this morning, sent the ECG machine into overdrive, He had found a Pectrel Sandpiper at the VP reserve. It had been seen earlier but listed as a Ruff! Also present was a Juvenile Arctic tern so a double requirement for the reserve had me busting my gut to get there before it B'd of. Not speeding mind you!!

It was nice to see loads of activity at the reserve on my arrival and it was still showing well if a bit distance on the farthest exposed area of mud. Only managed a couple of records shots and of the tern which was doing its best to stay away from the Jackdaws and Lapwings and in doing so staying out of reach of a good shot distance. So no nice piccies but a good two birds for the year at VP. OH! and some MORE Kingfishers shots

Monday 10 September 2007


Unfortunatley I will not have any new informtion going into here for this week due to an enforced "confined to quarters" period.

So to keep things current heres one I prepared earlier.

Dont forget comments are welcome on any updates.


Sunday 9 September 2007

Wednesday 5th September 2007 -- Venus Pools

Another early start at the Pools, in the hope that something might have dropped in or stayed over night ( Redshank from the previous evening perhaps!) As with so many of these 2007 Summer mornings there was not a lot happening. A female Shoveler was in the north bay sifting through the margins, with one or two snipe making a brief appearance amongst the vegetation.
So back to the main hide and see if the Kingfisher would make a show this morning? it was a long wait but a flash of brilliant blue heralded the arrival of a Male bird, not able to tell if it was one of the four that have been seen on the pools at any one time, it settled down for a bit of stretching and preening before partaking of its lunch, in fact several lunch's a roach and a large stickleback.
Only one Redstart was found in the hedge between the car park and the oak tree, but a Red Kite drifted across the fishing pond disappearing behind the conifers up on the ridge whilst I was checking the broom area of the quarry.

Tuesday 4 September 2007

Norfolk and Marsh side sojurn !

This is the first post on the blog as I work on the final refinements of the, hopefully soon, released website, watch this space!

A long weekend travelling to Norfolk to visit the normal birding haunts did not as I hoped, produce the results you would expect. The areas visited were Cley, Snettisham & Titchwell. I suppose the best of the trip was Spotted Redshank, White Rumped Sandpiper (Breydon water) Curlew Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper as a few. With easterly winds not appearing the sea was reasonably empty a few Arctic skuas, and Poms moving with the terns moving south quickly.

Saturday mid-day / evening I moved to Marshside the opposite side of the country near Southport, hopeing to connect with the Great White egret and Imm Glossy Ibis and whatever else decided to drop in, was it worth the long drive? yes the two target species duly found, sadly not close enough for the wished for picture. On the raptor side the usual were in evidence Osprey, Merlin, Hobby, Kestrel, Buzzard and Peregrine. A quick visit to Martin mere only got me an Avocet and a couple of waders, Pectoral Sandpiper and Ruff. It was nice to get the cobwebs out of the system after such a prolonged illness and look forward to some interesting birds in the final passage of the year