Tuesday 28 April 2009

Osprey at Venus Pools, at last!

Having returned from a visit to North Devon I was expecting things to start hotting up a bit with the impending weather fronts about to hit the region. I am glad to say I was not disappointed, much!! A call on the Sunday gave me the information on Whinchat, Tree Pipit and Grouse along with Golden plover on the Mynd, Bugger fuel at a premium it was a no go so I delightedly "right" dipped! "not" So consoled myself with this very obliging,

Common Whitethroat.Then on the Monday evening late breaking news of an Osprey at VP had me squirming in my seat as a pre agreed appointment kept me away, then it went North East, So a chance of it returning in the morning?? I would have to wait.

Well I met Rob at the Reserve, who was also hoping to get the Osprey, well we sat and discussed things and then some more whilst watching Yellow wagtails and Common sandpipers, in the end we both were of the mind to pack up and try later in the evening! you know just in case. And as if on key there it was coming in from the river Severn area the direction it gone the previous evening,,,, "WHOOHOOO!! " and the camera, for a change was ready, as it circled dived , no catch, and flew around unperturbed by the entourage of crows etc. A brief visit to the trout pool and it was back as you can see.

WE both, Rob and I agreed the wait was worth it, a good show before it departed gaining height to the North west the seemingly normal route for passing Ospreys.

So enjoy your week.

Monday 20 April 2009

A real Sparrow hawk !

Sitting in the sunshine yesterday evening, having wimped out on an late evening visit to VP I was cleaning the equipment, as you do some times!! when all of a sudden a whoosh over my head attracted my attention, as it would of course. The resident House sparrows went into apoplexy as a very nice , aesthetically speaking of course, Male Sparow hawk dropped in for supper.

I have been watching my resident population wax and wain for years and was a bit miffed that the new dominant male "Alpha" was now trapped or rather pinned to the lawn with the prospect of being course one, for an evening meal. The picture below is definitely an "OH! crap" moment in the life of a Sparrow.

It will be intersting to see which of the remainin gmales will take a lead role, and as they are newly attired if the plumage will improve, a concept of self importance?

The Sparrow hawk with a House sparrow, go figure.
A few swift plucks and the Sparrow was well and truly plucked!

After feeding on the more juicy parts He was of over the fence and away to the female with his gift, she, by the way, was calling from the trees not to far away.
So! an interesting and exciting evening it was even more surprising that I was sitting only 15 feet away all through this on a garden bench, he was not phased at all, mind I did get the look! like get of it's mine.

Sitting in the sunshine yesterday evening, having wimped out on an late evening visit to VP I was cleaning the equipment, as you do some times!! when all of a sudden a whoosh over my head attracted my attention, as it would of course.

Sunday 19 April 2009

That was the week that was!!

Well what a week, with a few mega mind blowing sightings around the county it was a bit of a job to catch up with it all. phone call on Thursday, had me trawling around the Muckleton area looking for the ever elusive Common cranes, which I might add were not found.
That evening at Mire lake it was good to see the Gargany and Little gulls in the rain and near darkness.
A return trip the next evening produced the Ring necked duck, but the Arctic tern had left, an hour or so and in conversation with Andy at the time the darn Crane appeared flying north toward the Muckleton area, Whoohooo! and I knock off another one for the year. No picture this year though.

Three of six Little gulls at the mire lake

The Female Ring necked duck and Gargany

The return of the Lesser Whitethroat at VP has been a topper to the week.

With the sun on my back and the song from the hedge being buoyant it was good to be there.

The last couple of the Little gulls, mind you there are loads more, just saving you getting bored!!!

Monday 13 April 2009

Hare today gone tomorrow??

With the report of Common scoter at Colemere it was enough to get me out of my bed early, in fact it was so early I had time to stop of and check to see if the Hare were out to play. I was pleased to see them out in the open for a change, and doing what seems to come naturally to Hare.
The over zealous males in the group were going mad as one of the females was in season probably again!!
and his attentions were not wanted

they joined in some of the best boxing so far this year.

it went on and on for ages.

with all of them joining in at one stage.

Eventually they seemed to settle down and I moved on,,, no scoters so I took a look along the river, and grabbed a few shots just for the hell of it!

Sandmartins were chasing each other around in the sunshine.

and checking out the local residence's. there were four Barnacle geese on the river.

Along with a pair of Goosander that seemed to have fallen out! Ahhh! domestic bliss?

Then all of sudden my pass had expired as it was after Easter Sunday and I was expected to do Easter things.

Saturday 11 April 2009

A couple of nice days saw a few more added to the year list and the picture tally
the Black redstart at pole cottage was a real nice catch , as was the Bartailed godwit at VP the previous day.
It never seemed to stop unless being pursued by a lapwing or two.

Just to show the relevant ID points of this 1st winter bird.
On the Friday I was on the Long Mynd very early and it was mist and mist for the first few hours, eventually I clocked the Merlin and was setting on it as the Hen Harrier put it up as it appeared over the ridge moving down the valley

Not a bad couple of days really.


Thursday 9 April 2009

The rain did not stop play.

With not a lot happening at VP I took a trip around the normal areas for a check on what, if anything might be moving? There was nothing new around Walcot and even the Flooded field at Long lane was drying out and just a few Lapwing around.
So I went on a very tongue in cheek look for a Crane or two, nada!

Finally a quick visit to Eyton produce a couple of opportunities
Like this Reed bunting feeding on some recently deposited chicken shed sweepings.

Linnets proved plentiful on the fields that had not been ploughed, along with Goldfinch and Greenfinch.

Corn bunting were in fine voice and perching low of off the wires which was much pleasing then having wire in the shot so a few were taken.

Also feeding on or around the midden were Grey wagtail, Pied wagtail, Mipits, and Skylarks.
In the Fields were Buzzard 5, Sparrowhawk 1 and a good number of Lapwing.
Perhaps better tomorrow!