Tuesday 27 January 2009

Shropshire racing worm eaten by Buzzard?

In between the showers and bloomin cold winds I ventured out for a look see around the Telford area, Did the Roddington back road and had the Corn Bunting, but nowhere in the same numbers as Jason reported, they must have moved on a bit. Then in the the fresh growing veggie stuff was a nice Common Buzzard doing a passable Max Wall impersonation, chasing after juicy worms, here is the sequence of events of one such hunt.
Generally stand and look around for movement.

Take a couple of flaps in close.

And drop like a stone before the unsuspecting Worm could perform evading manoeuvres!

"Bugger! forgot to adjust for wind!" or is that a racing worm??

Quickly run to catch up with the prey, it's escaping.
Gobble up nice big fat juicy wriggle Shropshire racing worm!And smile for the Camera!! or at least my best "the bird that got the worm face."
So a short blog for the day but had an interesting time getting this record of file, I know it's no Grey Phalarope! but hey its Shropshire and we do have the best worms in the UK!!
Thanks for looking
oh! by the way if you are trying to leave comments? when you click the comment thingy it throws you back to the top of the blog,, just scroll down to the comment box,,, it is there. It's a strange blog thing,,, like a woman asking what you want for tea? when you reply,, she tells you the lamb is already in the oven,,,,Should have known eh!!!

Thursday 22 January 2009

One of the Pimpernels is back!

Some times they fly a mile but this Skylark just sat there and allowed three shots before it went,
away, Priorslee was the target this morning for the ever elusive Juvenile Glaucous Gull, However today it was a red letter day as not only was the Glauc there but also the Juvy Iceland Gull, mind you they were both at the furthest point it was able to get from me and no matter where I was they were at the opposite end!!! So with only the Juvy Iceland on film! and a good search of the landfill it was not to be today.
Just some stroppy Moorhen after a bit of bread.
I'm sure this one was going for the record belly slid, must have done at least 3 meters.

So to the record shots of the Juvy Iceland Gull (turned the saturation down!!)

He was to prove to be a bit shy.

even coy!
With two juvenile Glaucs reported in the near area and the Juvy Iceland keep an eye on the roosts, or really at any time.

Tuesday 13 January 2009

Dancing on ice! or hop flap and slip!!

With no wind it was a mirror finish.

With the thaw having set in (shame!) there was a very deceptive layer of water laying on the surface of the ice. Which provided endless amusement as the various birds tried some stunning
landing techniques. the chap or chapess above had the right idea run over it!!

This one got it sort of right!! (an ice cold enema,, no thanks)
The one legged slid! (Showoff)

All looks good until you do a belly flop!!!
They soon got a bit wary.

The Tufted ducks stayed on the open water apart from the quick circuit of the lake just in case there was a new patch.

Saturday 10 January 2009

Do birds get Drunk ?

Whoohoooo! A county tick and of course another one for the year, I was very chuffed when I eventually reached the Brown clee, I had until then been checking out a couple of Gull reports from Chelmarsh. Sadly with no result.
But still! anyway having arrived at the clee it was up, up, up! and Up to the point (bugger I was knackered) where the Hawfinch had been reported. It did not take long to lock onto the bird as it fed in the Hawthorns.
It was skulky and mobile but had, it was. I am very up with this one in the bag.

On the way down south, I stopped of at one of my favourite Orchards, now this thing has to be a million years old! fantastic old varieties of Apples and now picked or otherwise disturbed through out the year in fact any year. The ground is covered in fresh! and rotting fruit all over the place and the numbers of birds getting in there is brilliant, Redwing, Fieldare, Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Blackcap etc.etc.
That expression says it all really. In fact I was in discussion with the owner of the site which they want to be kept quit about, on the possibility of the birds getting drunk from the old fruit. In a similar manner to Bees and Wasps.
The answer was surprising, it seems that at the start of the day the area is as quit, as a group of Fieldfare can be, as a normal morning then as the day wears on the noise from the flock seems to gain in momentum, and there has been occasions of birds falling from perch's !! rumour has it.

I had missed the snow here as the entry is a bit difficult at times but am awaiting the next real frosty mornings for some great shots. Below you can see the source of intoxication!!

So it is only a little one today, probably better short and sweet!! is there a J or J joke in there somewhere!!
Thanks for looking

Thursday 8 January 2009

Telford trawl and a catch or two!!

Having spent the morning catching up on a few bits and pieces for the web site etc. I took a bit of a trawl around the Priorslee area just to see what was around, you know like Waxwing and or Iceland gull. Well after a longtime scanning the very large gull flock, containing Common, Lesser and Greater Black backed gulls, One Yellow Legged gull , Herring, Black headed and the Iceland gull. See above for to days picture taken through the freezing fog as the temperature continued to drop.
The trees around the Telford and Wrekin building near ASDA held a load of Blackbirds and a few Redwing but alas no Waxwing, as a Consolation prize the Treecreeper put in an excellent show as it searched for food in the cracks and crevices of the Birch.

Peering into every little indentation for a tasty! morsel or two.

This Redwing enjoying a brief spell in the sunshine and respite from the Missile thrush attacks.

Mother? and junior, with no stabilisers on flew out of the mist almost mimicking each other in flight.
Another two from the same party as they left for goodness knows where. The temperature continued to drop and it was cold enough to freeze the balls of a pawn brokers sign.
More in a couple of days perhaps

Wednesday 7 January 2009

Waxwings and Breakfast at -4 Bbrrrrrrrrrr!

At -4! I was not surprised that the lake was still frozen, to the best part. Forcing the Gulls and Wildfowl into a small area.

The Cottoneaster at the Telford Station are now getting a battering from the Redwings and the odd Fieldfare and Bullfinch, no crazy Mistle Thrush yet.

So them done I was of to the Asda area to take a few!! pot shots of the Waxwings,, go figure,! right on me doorstep brill and a clear sky with some sunshine. This little Winter Wren had the idea just sit in the warmth for a short while.

There were also the other ran's in among the berries.
Tidy Male Blackbirds, if the the local Mistle Trushes, there were 3 in the area, would let them be for a minute or two.
Redwings also suffered the same random swooping attacks,, they still got fed.

One of the culprits,,, Mr Exocet they could see it coming but do bugger all about it!!

And so to the Waxwings they performed like Little stars as and when they could get at the tree for more a ram raid on the Thrushes valuable berries, than a feed at leisure

They got into all sorts of nice poses.

And in to some odd positions

Some pleasing others not of course. As you will see.

Ha! the Redwing got one.
Still a load to sort so check back for updates as I get to them.

Sunday 4 January 2009


2nd Winter Iceland gull at Priorslee.

The day was supposed to be spent trawling around the Meres for a few, still to be found species I needed for the new year. However with the possible catch of an Iceland and or a Caspian gull, yes you guessed it I was at Priorslee balancing lake at 10:45. Had a bit of lay in!!!

At first there was no sign, as is normal! then amongst a group of large gulls there it was and very nice to, and so obliging, it just sat around for a fair old while!!! :-)

As for the Caspian not seen :-(

Really just a couple of record shots, but what a nice record to have this early in the year so still time for loads of other gulls to drop in,, maybe the Caspian or how about a Ring billed or better still a Glaucous gull! who knows will have to keep a closer eye on the place over the next couple of months.

No bang for 2009!!

With the county hidden under a blanket of fog and freezing weather it was with trepidation that I set out for the first day of the year count. With the temperature in the "-" figures I knew it would mot be long before old Jack would be nipping on the fingers and toes
The first hour was spent trying to find a petrol station open to ensure a return journey, the first port of call was VP, of course! just to get the numbers off to a flying start!!! not sure I should have bothered? the water was all stiff "come on Bambi try it" made me smile.
Of course, with Waxies in the county it was a forgone conclusion they should be in the list for the day, along with the Longnor Dippers. So off I went, stopping to take those AHHH! pretty shots for the family, on the way. Several people had had them earlier in the day so I was alone with Waxwings which did not give a damn if I was there or not, even a people puller and owner! walked right under them with no reaction at all. It was brill,

The hoar frost was not as bad as I had expected so the birds were busy testing for the thawed ones, which gave plenty of opportunities for photography.

Confiding was not the word.

The frosty berries were just the icing on the cake, so to speak and with 87 on the list for day one, I wondered what I would do with myself over the next few days. Looks like Priorslee might be coming into vogue once more with two good county ticks. we shall see.