Tuesday 18 March 2008

Sunshine! on my shoulder makes me happy

A spectacular bird and more noticable now with its calling and chasing about as it defends its mate or territory. This was taken as it buggered of from the feeders with yet another peanut.
those words from the a brilliant John Denver song certainly epitomizes today, the quietness of the day out of the wind and out of the shadows the warmth brought about a feeling of well being and optimism. And this all came together with some brilliant shots from the feeding station at Venus Pools.

If the little guy had a top hat on it would "top" it of, Boy these little buggers are fast. The placing of a few flowering twigs of Blackthorn makes up for the odd poor OOF background.

What the hell are people doing since when did they move the Blue tit out of the Parus genus and label it with some stupid name we can't even pronounce? Still looks a Parus to me.

Strange is it not that these Coal tits look totally different until you stop them and look at the colours in the feathers what magnificent little birds.

Parus Major! what can you say about these? gregarious bullies, not a lot but aint they cute?

"Does my bum look big in this?" hell how do you answer that one be it bird or bird! carefully or outright lie!! either way beautiful comes to mind here!!

Greenfinch's just take on a totally different and pleasing look after a few months in that drab winter coat, and this one is no different a real "hungry" stunner.

Is that a what you looking at face or what?

Good grief I near got dizzy trying to get a few in flight shots of our first summer visitors, it was not the fact that they move fast, but keep changing their minds on which way they were going!!

Now if there is one thing to get a whole bunch of coot in the air together it's the sailing boats on the Priorslee balancing lake.

And finally a couple from the Apley woods, which produced a good flock of Goosander a max of 29 on the Sunday with a lot of mating and displaying going on.

When you get to see a Treecreeper out in the sunshine it is a smart bird and to see it still and horizontal it takes on a new point of focus.

So up to date ish with Hares finally in the bag and the Bank vole project moving ahead eventually, things are beginning to get a bit hectic, but I will keep you abreast of things as the go along.

As a point of interest one of our Shropshire Wildlife photographers Mark Sissons is holding an exhibition in Oswestry on the 14 of April if you are in the area why not drop in for a look . Check out the paper for the location.

Hope to see you here again

Thanks for all your comments.


Thursday 13 March 2008

The light was right, sort of!

Not having been happy with the shots from yesterday I thought I would, after a few extra hours kip, drop down to Apley pool and see what was going on in the wind. Well the flock was in the leeward side of the island and fairly settled, for the first time ever I praise the dog walkers as they were soon disturbed and move in range for a few improved shots.
I think he was laughing at my camo gear, and being under a laurel bush, having crawled to the waters edge, I was amazed he could see me, I couldn't!! However with the harsh sunlight when it came out the exposure to get it close was a B nightmare had to stop down to 22 in the end.
The contrast was a bugger to the point where the green bottle colour of the head was so dark it near blanked the colour.
Just a short one for a catch up.

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Spring watch ? they are arriving

With the second day of high winds and rain forecast it was up and out ASAP for a check on some of the waters around the area. but no blown ins so far maybe tomorrow one or two will come to light, reminiscence of Petrels etc!!!
So to today, sadly no Wheatear shots it was just to far out on the ploughed fields of the turf farm on the isombridge area, and was loosely associated with a large finch flock?
By lunch time I was fed up and went back to looking for Hares but not a one did I find in any of the usually guaranteed places. And even worse last years Water vole places was as bare as mother hubbards cupboard?

Apley wood did well as a last stop for the day with 2 Sandmartins over the water and 25 Goosander on the water.

Short but sweet

Monday 10 March 2008

Bank Voles and other things nice!

Now appearing at a reserve near you, these Bank vole have been an entertaining diversion from the fairly lean pickings at this time of year. They are currently making daily performances outside the right side of the public hide, scurrying around picking up the odd seed or small worm.
The suspicion that it is or they are yellow necked mice was put forward due to the discernible colour visible in the piccy. I think the Bank vole is the answer.

The rest of the time was made up with dipping on the Dipper, again not showing, and playing around with a few flight shots.
Noisy buggers on landing.
The VP Pintails of final approach.

A lesser black back.

A flash of thigh from this green eyed monster.

Oyck !

Looks nicer in full screen try the click on image thingy.
So up to date with the latest bits and pieces
any comments greatly appreciated.
C U Agn I hope

Tuesday 4 March 2008

A Splash of colour

With the promise of some nice weather and the finding of a new site, right on my doorstep it was out as soon as the chores were done,, in reality the chores were left for later, I had to prioritise you know! And I glad I did as on arrival I was greeted by the persistent calling of a male Nuthatch as he tried to catch the eye of the female that was moving around the tree in a non plussed manner.But my attention was soon taken by the high tones of a Goldcrest flitting around the Spruce I was stood next to, and when looking there were six crests chasing each other all over the place, never seeming to stop for a moment, but that one or two moments of pause were enough for a shot or two from my vantage point
A cool shot as she was giving a male the come on? or go away. not sure which but any contract was not consummated within eye shot, but the picture is a real gem it is not often that you get the chance of seeing the crest raised at all, read this months Bird watching for a real eye opener on Goldcrest's, sadly none of my shots were included,,, this time ;-)

The show continued for at least 45 minutes finally stopping with the over flight of a raptor upon which they all disappeared. the rest of the morning was uneventful in comparison, so I bowed out and took a well deserved cup of tea.
A Goldcrest in full!! song, not that I could hear a lot of it, darn this getting old crap. Any way there will be other opportunities for these wee beauties.
For those of you still to see the Glaucous Gull it was there at Priorslee today just loafing around.
I know it is short but perhaps sweet and I shall be back soon with more bits and pieces from my time out and about.