Tuesday 27 April 2010

The Nedge

With so many migrants hitting the turf around this area it was a short outing to check the place out again, the day was well lite with little wind. The Wheatears performed very well, instead of staying in the middle of the field they paid me a visit and checked out the place.
The first to check me out.

A nice male ready for the ladies.

So it demanded a a bit of a brush up.

Particular attention to the primaries.

And a quick shake.

Not forgetting the arse end.

"I don't remember this from last year!!" must have been some party?

Surprised not this Thrush did not get a sore throat after two hours singing.

The place was hopping with singing Blackcaps, Bullfinch, Willow and Chiffchaffs.
A pair of Green Woodpeckers did a flyby.

Will try and add the others tomorrow..


Monday 26 April 2010

Finding Hens Teeth !!

Well not really of course, but finding Grey Partridge in the county over the last few years has been a very hit and miss situation, mostly miss of course. This episode really started on a trip to the Poo Pile again to see if there was anything else around, as the last time Corn Buntings were in short supply in fact so short they did not figure at all.
After a little raptor passage, I was scanning the really large fields of green stuff, mostly watching Skylarks. It was a chance incident that got me onto a little reddish head as it popped up for a check around, and it was miles away, figuratively speaking. and so it began.

Over the next hour or so it got closer

Now it was very rare that I have seen Grey Partridge in the singular

This was no exception as the female came into view.

And disappeared again.

The changing light was a real pain.

Mind you two heads are better than one.

The male was always alert.

The grouchy old cock was in no mood for me being there again!

Grey Wagtails returned.

As did the Yellow Wagtail.

Now I have been locked in at a variety of places but to be locked into over a hundred acres of open farmland! never. Until Sunday, having been where I have the relevant permissions, for several hours, when I came to leave all the gates had been locked!!! oh bugger. as I was going nowhere fast I did some more picture taking. As luck would have it I did the Dukes Drive exit route, thanks to John the neighbouring farmer having given permission before. so if you go there keep an eye on the gates!!!
Again only two hares were in evidence

Friday 23 April 2010

Walking the Wrekin, again!

At this time of year the Wrekin can produce a good selection of woodland species, Tree Pipit, Marsh Tit, Redstart, Pied fly  amd Lesser Pecker etc. So with a warm day forcast, and little wind, it was an early start to get the morning chorus. And glad I did as all the above species were eventually tracked down, albight only a couple were in a position to get some pictures.

as follows a couple of them.

Marsh Tit
Male Pied Flycatcher

The female was around.

Female Pied Flycatcher

Song Thrush

Wood Sorrel


It was nice to see the wood Sorrel all over the place and the Bluebells all starting to emerge, the odd Snowdrop and Wild Daff still in evidence further round the hill.


Wednesday 21 April 2010

Poo pile pickings!

Every so often I take the opportunity to do some poo pile watching on one of the local farms, and on a hot day it can become a direct assault on the nasal passageways! But it does draw the birds from the surrounding area  for the multitude of insect life grubbing around in the pile.
This year it was, a hot day and a fresh load had been delivered that morning, the birds were on it like the proverbial "flys around S**t", Partridge, Pheasant, Wagtails, buntings, larks in fact a fair few indeed.
So a couple of what was around on that morning.

This stroppy bugger twice had a go at the car as I sat waiting to take his picture.

The Male of the pair of Grey Wagtails nesting along the old canal local to the fast food point,

A N Other of the same Male.

The Female of the pair.

Yellow Wagtail having a re-arrange of the clothing! with food items flying about.
Followed by a few portraits.
Not a great diversity, but a fine selection.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

The sun will come out, tomorrow, said Annie!

And Surprisingly it did, and all of a sudden  the birds started appearing. Firstly Osprey at Venus Pools (VP) and Black Redstart on the Clee with loads of Wheatear and a good smattering of Rouzels to boot. Having not had the Osprey on its first visit, it was to be an early start on the Saturday morning. Nada! Nichts! Nothing, so it was a trip to the Titterstone clee to, hopefully! lock onto the Black Redstart. After the last visit, when it was wet and cold and misty, this time it was positively balmy. The wind chill only dropping the temperature down to a guessed -2! . Nothing was seen at the summit, the Large Dome, the little Dome or any where else for that matter. Only to find out much later, it was hiding amongst the buildings down by the main carpark.
So a quick scan for the peregrines then back to VP, stopping briefly at the Dippers, on arriving at VP they had just had a Western Marsh Harrier go through. This was a deffinate "If only" moment. But as luck would have it the Osprey chose that moment to re-appear and it was a quick run down to the hide, well actually more an uncontrolled !descent of the path for a few record shots! well lots really.
So at the risk of boring you with more Osprey shots, here we go, with a few other things thrown in.

There was a lot of vocals going on by the Peregrines..

Nice to see it returning through the pools.
And so close for a change.
Drifting over the hide.
The hover, searching for prey.
And a few of the also rans.Willow Tit.
A really nice Coal Tit
Taking some early morning Sunshine. Chiffchaff.
Again the Lapwings were performing.
Chasing all sorts around.

A rather nice day out in the Sunshine with some nice birds as well
I wonder what the week will bring? if the nice weather continues!


Monday 5 April 2010

Sleet, Rain, Hail and wind. But I will get over that!!

It is always a dilema as to which part of this county to go for at this time of year, it being so big and all!
So with the Rouzels being in and the chance of something else in "them thar hills", I persuaded Dawn to drive, keep making that mistake! anyway we arrived close to first light to find Peregrine in their usual spot and looking magnificent in their new feathers which were getting preened continuously. Apart from Mipits seemingly everywhere, not a lot of anything else so it was up the Tit.
Now I know there are always Stonechats on the road up and at the gorse near the top, well not today they were'nt, oh well. However Wheatear were there in numbers and chasing all over the place a joy to watch.
In the Quarry the target bird of the day was very quickly found and was feeding low down on the far slopes a nice male, only the one was seen but there were many more later in the day. And no not all photographers, at least not those with big ones, have the urge to encroach beyond the comfort circle of the bird, but they will always want to push it that one step closer spoiling it for many others. OH! I did of course mean big lenses!!
On the way back to VP it was Dipper, check! and a nice Grey Wagtail as well. Did not jam onto the yellow wag but will do tomorrow I'm sure.
So here are a few of the images from Sundays outing. With a Friday couple to boot.

When magnified there is a small spider on the top of the bill of this Chiffchaff with two legs wrapped around the beak, who's he kidding!! the Chiffchaff seems to be trying to see whats going on!

There were over 30 of these lovely waders on the field at the Gliding club on the Friday, and very confiding they were as well. SO long as you stayed in the car.

Just beautiful in the summer plumage. The sun was in and out of the clouds like a fiddlers elbow, or a Jack Russel on a ,,, never mind, nice to see them.

A few more spotties.

The everywhere bird or so it seemed.

Male Ring Ouzel in the quarry

Feather by feather it worked its way through its plumage.

Dont you just love em, without their jewellery that is, and there were quite a lot sporting their rings.

Again a naked Wheatear.

Just such natural posers.

The Black-headed Gulls were on to something, as they were doing this for ages.

Picking, Skimming and dipping

A skimmer

A dipper

A low level search and destroy one!

There you go, a few of the gotcha's from the better weather day, minimum wind, no rain and there was some sunshine. what a nice day out. With bank holiday monday next, it will be a stay at home day as the maddening hoards descend on the nicer areas of Shropshire, you cant get on the wreking till someone comes down or falls of off it, it is that busy!!

See you all next time.