Tuesday 29 April 2008

Chicks 2, Eggs 1, Parents elated!

It was one of those days when you decide to believe! the weather forecast and prepare for a rainy day catching up on all the un-proofed photographs from the last "n" months, but by 11:30 and no rain I cursed the BBC! and headed to Venus Pools for just a look see.

Well the LRP's look as though they are actually sitting and not running around so much, there was a change over but nothing was visible, so they keep us guessing?

A pair of Grey wagtails dropped in for a feed in front of the public hide for a wee while, and one even posed for a brief period on the side banking of the nearest island. The light was well good/.

Mum? was busy tending to the latest addition, the islands youngest members to get photographed, here one call and both chicks ran!! or perhaps stummbled to the warmth of the underbelly.And not long after the other Oystercatcher "Daddy?"was taking junior number ? for his guided tour. It had not taken long for the Grey heron to notice the change in behaviour and plonked himself right in front of the hide.
And gave the young the once over, several times, which did not go without a little warning from Daddy! and a little cowering from the Junior! They sure did not like the intrusion!
And Daddy was not the only one to get a bit aggitated. The fly past from this Lapwing culminated in a steep climb into a stall followed by,
A right rudder barrel roll and dived for a "Duck" at the Heron!
So having braved the rain? it was an interesting morning / couple of hours. The rain finally did arrive with a vengeance, and put a dampener on the day and an end to the photographs as everthing cute and photogenic scuttled for mothers underbelly once again.

So thanks for coming C U around and about!


Tern up for the book!! or I've seen the llight!!

Joining Jim in the Hide at sparrows (start of the day) on the Sunday morning with a day of rain forecast, the Dunlin started to brighten the day, and then in comes a Common tern which added a nice diversion from the usual Yellow wagtail, Wheatear and supporting cast of loads of Swallows roosting / resting in the willows by the Stump island. The light was less than ideal and the big gun stayed in its case. Mind you I should have remembered my sunglasses!!! ;-p

So after a few abortive attempts at the Tern, I was of to the mynd for a look see just in case a Dotterel or two might have dropped in. No! not, however a butty van by the gliding club, for a Parascending competition!!! no one turned up? go figure when visibility was down to 200 yards, in old money. Anyway the tea was most welcome and as it will be there every weekend from now on it will be much nicer to visit.
My what a hooter on this ere one !!!
PS (From ASF on the Monday a lot brighter day)

I moved back to Pole cottage stopping on rote for one final check of the sheep field, just catching two smallish waders as they flew rapidly into the mist, not to be seen again. Stonechats were on display and at bridges a few nice Male pied flycatchers were in fine fettle singing and calling.

The Male and female Stonechats were both feeding along the open area to the front of Pole cottage, and well noisy they were to. Another from the Walcott area.

With the evening light fading fast it was back to VP to try for a better shot of the Lesser throat!! and as luck would have it it was performing virtually on demand so another one in the bag, so to speak for the day.

Whilst concentrating on this little beauty a blooming Osprey sailed over the pool to be chased of by the resident Oyster catcher. Was I spitting feathers? you bet ya :-( two at the pool and I had missed them both. Bugger!

There you go, a bit of what was going on around the areas visited. Looks like the rest of the week will be a wash out but what do they know, more exciting shenanigans as I sort out more piccies.


Sunday 27 April 2008

RECURVIROSTRA, And it was very!!

The arrival of a long awaited and well overdue Avocet at Venus Pools certainly set the blood racing, as I heard, just as I started a shoot in Birmingham!!! I was very sure that the bride and Groom would not have been to happy if I suddenly disappeared, nor would the other 500 plus guests, So it was with baited breath that I left for Telford at 17:00. The MAD dash home to get the kit and a change of trousers and shoes, saw me arrive at VP around 18:30. Jim and Andy had both arrived from the Hoopoe hunt and we were all relieved that it was still happily feeding around the near banks. OK went a bit OTT on this one and there are loads more to check through so hope you do not get bored with this brill bird.


Thursday 24 April 2008

April SHOWERS ??? and Hoopoe

More like Monsoon season (Again!) A N other of the Common Whitethroat after a bit of a touch up!!! what do you reckon??

Anyway my early morning trip to Priorslee was postponed firstly by the small shower, that dropped two thirds of an inch of water on to Telford, and then the sudden and abrupt loss of air in the rear tyre, it was unload all the gear change tyres and reload, glad it had abated slightly by then!!! Drip Drip.
I arrived at the aforementioned spot in the sunshine, not for long though. The first sound to reach my ears was the croaky song of a few Reed warblers in the reeds to the north of the lake. It was a real bugger trying to get a clear shot as they were keeping a bit low and fast but one ventured up high enough for a couple of good ones.

There was a Sedge warbler singing not to far away but I never caught sight of it at all, here comes the rain again, this time I had the wet weather gear me and the camera and lens being covered it was not really a problem!!! just inconvenient.

I forgot this one of the Cetti's a rough through the wire shot, it was the only (poor) shot I was going to get, still a nice record shot of a not very often seen bird.

So there you go up to date on the blogging front, its got to be a Dotterel weekend!!!

OR HOOPOE ;-) GOT and Red kite, cool now for the Dotterel

Cheers Paul

Wednesday 23 April 2008

A Warbler fest and Bad Boy Coot's

The latest arrival at Venus Pools today was this very skulky Common Whitethroat, but eventually it popped out for a look around. The Lesser Whitethroat was however a little more seclusive.
The female Blackcap was a little more obliging even inquisitive!

My local pair of Swallows arrived beck at their breeding ground / barn just one day out from the last four years not bad after such a long trek.

Now we all know that coot are a bit bad tempered but this one took the biscuit as he! persistently attacked this poor victim? the claws that are normally hidden sure came out with some vengeance in this fight, perhaps it was something he said?

This continued for some 30 minutes until one of them decided to run away, rapidly I might with a screaming partner following after.

Just a few from the day out around the area.
Thanks for looking

Monday 21 April 2008

A Sunday Saunter.

It has taken a long time to get one on camera but this Sunday alongside Atcham business park the one decided to run around for a while in circles, which for me was a good start to the day.
With the wind being so blustery it was amusing to watch the Sandmartins "standing still" as they fought against the winds.

They were overhead for ages as this shows, nice vent!

Three Terns were passing through low over the water most of the time and again sometime stalling in the winds, good for me.

The prognosis was Arctic tern but you could always prove me wrong?

Now this one was a nice find, for me that is, and for the first time in years I had not got my phone on me to get it out. But spent a while with it in the lens.

Just another one cause I like it!

My first Yellow wagtail was in fact one of a flock of 7 in the early afternoon I was like a dog with two tails! so a few shots were taken!!! well loads really but havenot processed them all yet.

More of a cute shot, they were really bright.

The VP Gadwall decided to take a walk outside the hide, just to prove it did have legs.

The Dunlin at VP a nice Bird and not afraid of close work! it was feeding alongside the following Snipe and the Little ringed plover.

There you go. a short resume of the Sunday saunter.
And I must remember to take my phone with me.
Cheers Paul

Sunday 13 April 2008

Rouzel Treed! or is it wousel Eeyore?

Late on the evening of Thursday an Email from Andy Lathem, got me up early for a look to see if the Ring ouzel was still at the Hadnall paddocks? I am glad I did as it saved me the trip to Titterstone again so another one for the year list.
Whilst it did prove elusive at times, it was easier to watch the Blackbirds chasing it around a big clue as to where it was. A bonus birds today Sunday was the Redstart along the edges of the ploughed field a couple of hundred meters further along where the Rouzel had also been earlier. What a stonking little bird. if a bit distant.

A very slightly closer view.

Unfortunately the Grey partridge and Corn bunting remained well out of reach, even for a record shot still tomorrows another day.
So short, to say the least but informative?

Monday 7 April 2008

Oh goody snow!

With the snowy weather forecast all the kit was cleaned in preparation, up at sparrows an a quick stop at Venus as I was passing, there was not a lot going on and having given it a while to see if anything other than Willow warbler and Chiffchaff were about it was of to see how he Dippers were doing at Longnor.
I don't know what but something spooked this little group.Just another Coal tit.

I always find Shoveller to be a real colourful bunch and this group were no exception.

The longnor Dippers are doing well and feeding their first brood frantically.

Well they said Snow and it did here is the back end of Titterstone clee on Sunday AM.

The Swallow from VP.

Cor Blimey whats all this then? bet that was a surprise for them. Sadley I missed the Rouzel arriving about 30 minutes behind Andy and Jim.

The Common sandpiper at VP on Sunday AM.

HA! in your face! The 3 Plovers were really going for it as the Two males displayed for the attentions of the female.

Which did end in some spectacular fights.

And finally in the fields around Isombridge this limping Fox did not spot me until he was well close
you can just see the reason for the limp on the rear near lower leg, wonder what that was?
So more to come watch this space.
CU L8er.