Friday 31 December 2010

A definate Swan song.

Well just a short entry on today's outing  to the Riverside inn to view the Whoopers and Bewicks in the field with the Mute Swans feeding on the kale.

8 Adults and 2 Juveniles

Side by Side for differences

A bit closer
I hope they stop for the, January the first, mad rush to get the year off to a flying start, mind you on today's
findings it might be hard to get into double figures, and bacon butty shops not open either, darn it oh well!

oh! Boat house was open in Ellesmere yipee!!
Happy new year to one and all lets hope the birds are kind to us 2011!!


Tuesday 7 December 2010

The Waitrose Waxies!

Having done the Ludlow masses on the Saturday it was the turn of the Newport group on the Sunday. Thinking there might be an odd colour ring amongst the hoards!!

Well to keep the thing alive this lovely shot was from the Ludlow group, with more to come from Newport Waitrose crowd..

One of the Ludlow Hoards.

One from Newport Courtesy of Dawn Micklewright
Greensandpiper Longnor bridge.

Might do some more in the next few days..
Cheers,  Paul

Friday 3 December 2010

It's hard, wet and slippery! Damn this ice!

With so many Waxwings in the County I will, I think, make a go at getting them one of these days. But in the mean time it was a couple of hours in the hide which was surprisingly quite warm at only -2c mind you it was a nice fuggy -1 by the time I had finished.
Well what on earth was I doing in here (crappy phone picture) on a cold and decidedly damp morning?
The object of the exercise was to get one or two pictures of the garden birds on or around the feeders, of course the normal feeder stuff  like House Sparrow and Robin, looking cute on a holly sprig and in the snow.
But there was one other winter visitor that was tempting me out on this particular morning.
Male Blackcap
It was in the first instance not the feeders that brought this Blackcap male into the garden but the fresh water that was put out he spent sometime sipping the nice warm water!

Observing the action going around the feeders

It took him some while before he felt either comfortable enough or hungry enough to venture onto the meal worms, when the Robin was not looking!

Digestion time after several worms

And now for a few more perhaps, where's that stroppy Robin?

And of course the Female House Sparrow
Ahhh! Cute just in time for Xmas cards!

Get out of the way!

A quick trip to Priorslee to tick of the 1st Winter Med Gull, was interrupted by the innovative top gun landing gear,, I know the ice was slippery but!!!
Guess which one forgot the arrestor bungee?

cheers Paul

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Bohemian Rhasody !!

Having decided not to go trawling around various Shrewsbury retail outlets for pretty looking little things!!! I had just set up for some Flash work instructions, when a text from Martin Grant gives the location of a lone Waxwing in Newport. 15 Minutes later there it was perched at the top of the tallest tree in the car park, where it stayed for a considerable time as the shoppers came and went, causing it no concern what so ever. At one point a couple walked within 15 feet and still no concern so confiding was it. So, anyway having got it trapped in the lens hood of the camera, being so close!!! the next job was to blind it using the flash so it would fall out of the tree!!! if the tales are to be believed.
So here are the shots from the Sunday, Odd how both mine and Jim's are from the same place give or take a few meters? you can draw you own conclusions :-) LOL!!

Until the next time.


Friday 5 November 2010

Tales from Sleepy Hollow!!

It's getting a bit like a tale of spooky empty woods with all the migrants now left for warmer climes. Think I got my migration pattern a bit wrong this year!! However with the warmer than average weather I was amazed at the number of flowers still in bloom and or bud in my small local wood I counted 27 species overall. Sadly the majority of fungi had been done in by the heavy rain.
So with another near fruitless trawl around it was back to the old favourites for this time of year.
So here you go a bit of what is about, ish!


With the final shot of a juvenile Black-tailed Godwit at VP to add some spice to an otherwise uninspiring few days , hoping it will buck up or off! over the next few weeks, them Waxwings are closing in!!!


Tuesday 5 October 2010

Good grief! it is still here!!! and his mate?

A late start on the Sunday morning, was really what was needed and expecting the rain to return with even more vengeance as it had in the morning, there was not a high expectation of there being anything around at the VP. After some sheltering from the rain it was of to lunch with the thought of returning for another look later. From the car park it was evident that the Black Tern was still on the Trout pool and then hello!! another one hove into view. A move on rapidly moving legs to the causeway was in order. Yep two were definitely here and the camera was about to be given a cobwebs removal burst.. They stayed fairly distant and at one point looked as if they were about to leave only to land on the exposed mud in VP,,, a quick! dash to the hide saw them go the other way again GRRRR!

there were no also ran's today so that's it for the time being the big glass is still very sick! so sticking with the 300mm 2.8 plus Tony's TC for the time being

Friday 24 September 2010

It would have been rude not to!!!

With the reporting of Curlew Sandpiper at Chelmarsh happening at a time when I was unable to get there, it was a bit of a gamble as to whether they would be stayers or not. Thankfully they were and I was able to get them ticked off for the County for 2010. But oddly for me it was the three Water Rails cavorting about in the open that made my time there more enjoyable then ever, just love these skulkers as they always present such a difficult quarry.

And they were definitely not of the shy type, well not today at least
The Curlew Sandpipers also put in a good appearance and came right up to the hide whilst feeding at times to darn close, can that be!

and they perform in the wrong place.

And a few of the other things around.

A short post just to keep things up to date, so to speak!


Sunday 5 September 2010

A few Odd's and Sod's

As a something different sort of weekend, it was off to the Norfolk coast, unfortunately missing the spring tides, but as always with Norfolk, there was some really nice stuff , like this early Purple Sandpiper.
Whilst there was a lot happening on the shore it was at some distance, and the light against the mud was not camera friendly at all. the numbers of Black-tailed Godwits was very high, as were most things.

A one legged Common Crane had been around the area for some time but had been a bit elusive for a while.

The occurrence of Bloody-nose Beetles was very good, in fact never seen so many.

 Over the whole weekend I only managed to find one Common Lizard basking in the early morning sunshine.

Just one of those plants that tend to be overlooked in our hedgerows the Toadflax.

A report of a Wryneck in the county got me up the Clee very early in the morning, early enough to watch the mist being blown up the valley obscuring everything. Thank goodness it cleared quickly to present a windy but bright day.

A morning at VP was proving as usual like watching paint dry, with the occasional moment of excitement. Like today's Fly through of a nice Marsh Harrier. And a Greenshank stopped for a while for a brief  feed.
The Redstarts continue to feed in the top fields, and the rest of the area was very quiet indeed, unless you drive up the Clee. Well hoping it improves over the next week or so!!