Wednesday 28 May 2008

Uplifted by two Cranes!

On a day when the rain was persistent if not torrential to begin with a text informing me that there were two Common Cranes in a field along the A442 got the wet weather gear out and on. I arrived about 20 minutes after the first information reached me and was well please to meet Geoff already there and confirmed the presence of the pair. They were a long way of and were moving in the opposite direction. Towards another gate in the field affording me some good closer shots from that roadside gateway.

It is short and after the last appearance of these birds in Shropshire thought I had better get the shots on line as soon as possible so there you go.
A well good UK, County and year tick right on my doorstep, the fact they had been there since Saturday was a bit of a let down as the weather was surely better then.

Monday 26 May 2008

Another wonderful day in Shropshire,,,, NOT

With the promise of rain, the day was not to be one to stand out in the annuls of history in the county. So it was with this in mind I decided to try and get a few in flight shots of Swift!
cricky them buggers move fast, near on broke me neck following them as they whirled around me.
To find myself amongst a flock of low flying screaming Sift was unbelievable, and kepyt me on my toes ducking on several occasions, bringing memories of the Farnes and Terns.

Not to be outdone this Pied wagtail also joined in the feast of the flies low over the pools.

Moveing as the wind, all over the place! they were proving difficult to pin down.

The aerodynamic shape is phenominal as is the speed.

The Corn bunting was still sitting in the top of the Oak tree singing in the rain.

With a trip to Holland on business next week with some opportunities for some birding there are bound to be a picture or two.

Monday 19 May 2008

Ere be NO Dragons yet!

With the forecast of a bright and not to objectionable day ahead, I was up and out as the sun rose giving some brilliant early morning light to the county before it woke. On the M5 West it was and there was soon the vista of thick and dull grey clouds over the Venus and Shrewsbury area. So there was a rapid change of plans as I had loaded the vehicle in preparation for a specific task in mind, and it looked like the air temperature was not going to be up to the required for flight.

So, having seen some Grey partridge out the back of Walcott beetled over there for a while, and on route stopped for a quick look at the Mire lake, as there had been reports of Ringed and Little ringed together, a nice comparison. And sure enough there they were all together with a nice Dunlin thrown in for good measure. The planned 10 minutes stop developed into a hour just sitting and watching the antics when A Male Garagney dropped in for a bit of a feed, I was on the phone immediately "this time battery talk time and signal were all in working order" Sadly by the time others arrived it had disappeared. I was having a coffee so I missed its departure.

With the rest of the day promising not to highlight what had gone before I tripped out for a long awaited Corn bunting, which was perched in a dead Oak tree singing or jangling for its life and in the field next to the tree were four Grey Partridge, the target bird for the day.

So in the end a good day and the rain held of nicely, to close the day I was at Venus pools to check on the Norfolk ditch as the air temp was getting up and looking to see if any other species had emerged over night, just a nice Azure male was found eating his lunch and the number of Large reds were around the same as last time, it was then a quick stop of at the river on the way home to check if the Gompher or Club tailed Dragonflies had emerged and the White legged damselflies were out, no Gomphers but a couple of Whited legged damsels were in the nettles resting assuming a recent emergence, another look there is required on a sunny day.
A few pictures grabbed on the day.

Not quite up to date but a lot closer than it was, with plenty more to do, keep watching this space.

Thanks for looking and your comments are always appreciated.


Friday 16 May 2008

A good hatching and sunshine.

Arriving at the reserve early was not a good idea, the air temperature was not yet up to flight temp and the exuvia whilst up and out of the water were not yet emerging. So after a check of the water , I had a couple of errands to run before I could get back to the Norfolk ditch.

The Large Reds had emerged nicely and were already on the wing coupled to their respective mates and ovipositoring in the ditch.

The Large red Damsel fly is one of the first to emerge in the spring and is particularly aggressive therefore you do not tend to find to many in a given area.

A fresh emergence colouring up in the Sunshine.
Below another of the monsters from the depths of the Norfolk ditch, and how lovely they look afterwards???
A Female blue tailed damselfly.
This newly emerged Four spotted chaser drys out in the morning sunshine until its wings are hard enough to separate it from the exuvia and finally moves to a more secluded spot, notice the Large reds exuvia higher up the stem.Looking for the reported Grasshopper warbler around hinnington cottages this Red legged partridge was particularly inquisitive.A trip on the previous day to Clunton coppice was an excellent day for Warblers in particular this Wood warbler.
I apologies for the delay in the posting of this blog but busy busy busy is the thing !!!
More to follow

Thursday 8 May 2008

Black terns everywhere Whoohooo!

It was only by chance that I happened to look up at a Buzzard floating across the priorslee lake that I saw this Black tern coming towards me, this blog does not do the shot any justice but it was one of those moments, you know the Hamlett cigar moments.
And then to find another no long after was brilliant sadly a tad far out.

This was of the more obliging Kestrels of late, with most moving out of range as soon as you moved the lens.

Just a reed bunting from Priorslee.

Not one of my long ago favourite tipples but a very nice and obliging bird non the less, there was one other male n his area and he soon saw that one of.

you can see from his stance he is on the watch for the other male. The female was keeping well out of sight.

A Mipit from the Mynd a nice subtle green tinge to the feathers.
One of the more tender moments for this Coot and its cootling! more slimy weed for breakfast.

just a mallard shot on flight cause I like it, Damn missed a Teminks thingy at VP hope it stays over night, with my luck it will be gone, info arrived over an hour after sighting what a bummer.
So just a few from my creeping around the Shropshire country side, I need to earn some more browny points and get about a bit more often.
C U Soon.

Sunday 4 May 2008

Egg thief caught in the act at Venus Pools!!

The commotion from the shingle covered island alerted me to the antics of the Little ringed plover, who had until that point been sitting tight on the nest scrape. Until, for what ever reason, the Oyster catcher chased her / him of off the scrape. The ensuing kerfuffle presented some unique photo opportunities.Egg one leaves the nest!
Which was enjoyed straight away.Until the parent bird decided her limp wristed distraction display was having little or no distraction what so ever. But she was persistent, to the point where the Oystercatcher decided to give chase.

Which at times came close to the Plover ending up in the large red beak!

And so the chase continued, the same procedure at the eating of each egg. At one point the goings on brought all four Little ringed plovers to the fray, with at least two joining the onslaught. Once the dastardly deed was complete there was a little bitching at the Oik, The Plovers gathered on the next island and there was a load of calling and running around as if they were commiserating with the parents of the lost brood to be. Sadly the cage had not been put in place to prevent this sort of predation on either of the two scrapes.
Son of egg thief?
The final picture so far done, struck me as funny "bloody rain, just had my hair done."

There will be more in this sequence.