Friday 30 June 2017

Fox encounter

Although the Fox is a daily part of living on the edge of London it's still nice when you bump into one and you have a camera to hand.

You little beauty
close up
Looking at me looking at you

I still see you!
Until the next time.

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Another Noteable

Birdguides awarded me another noteable this week for my shot of the Titchwell Turtle Dove.

Sunday 25 June 2017

Turtle Dove at Titchwell

The venue for todays trip was Titchwell RSPB.

In the car park we watched a single Turtle Dove as it called and spent some time picking grit from the car park gravel.  These birds are becoming scarce as they run the gauntlet of the gun on the way back from Africa and then have to cope with habitat issues if they are successful so the fact that these birds made it back and managed to produce young should be celebrated along with the fact that they chose an RSPB car park to do it.

Turtle DoveTitchwell
Turtle Dove Titchwell
Turtle Dove
On the reserve we watched a group of Bearded Tits and found a couple of year ticks with a single Spotted Redshank and three Little Gulls. Six Spoonbill rested on Freshmarsh along with Black tailed and Bar-tailed Godwit, Avocets, Knot, Ruff, Little-ringed Plover and the usual ducks etc. A few Little Terns joined the Commons and good numbers of breeding Med Gulls were seen too.

Year list now 241 

Young Bearded Tit
Spot shank
Ginger Ruff

Wednesday 21 June 2017

A noteable Redstart

I was pleased to see that Birdguides have awarded me a noteable image for one of my Redstart shots from last weekend.

The Redstart always looks a bit special but I thought this one was a nice composition and reasonably well caught but it's always nice when it get's a little recognition.

onwards and upwards!

Monday 19 June 2017

Garden birds doing well

It's been a good year thus far for my garden birds.

House Sparrows
House Sparrow juv,
At least thirty House Sparrows now in the family group.

The Magpies have three young doing well whilst the Robins seem to have had two broods but only one fledgling in each brood. Blue & Great Tits have done ok as have the Goldfinches and whilst the Parakeets don't visit my garden they are getting more vocal locally. I have a few juvenile Starlings coming to the feeders but numbers seem a little down whilst the Blackbirds have yet to show any fledglings for all their effort.

Magpie with mealworm

Sunday 18 June 2017

More from Thursley Common and THE Cuckoo

What a bird!
If only he'd come a little closer!

Saturday 17 June 2017

Thursley Common

I finally gave in today and drove down to Thursley Common in Surrey to spend some time with the returning Cuckoo that's taken a liking to having his diet supplemented by the locals. The merits of feeding it I'll leave for others to debate but although I took no food with me there was a supply of caterpillar.

I arrived early but it took me about 90 minutes to find the field that the Cuckoo uses to feed despite following the calls of another bird for about a mile in the wrong direction.
I enjoyed Stonechat, Redstart, Woodlark, Wood Warbler, Hobby and Buzzard to name a few before finally arriving at the correct field to find the Cuckoo sitting perched up in front of the five photographers already enjoying it.

I managed a few quick shots before it flew off and despite waiting three hours the bird didn't return.
So in five hours on site I had about five minutes of the Cuckoo but enough to fire off a few rounds.
Lizards and a single Adder were also seen whilst waiting for the bird and a Redstart  kept us entertained at close quarters.

I popped into Frensham Common but failed to find the Red-foot through a complete lack of effort if I'm honest.

Cuckoo at Thursley Common

Sunday 11 June 2017

Elegant Tern at Church Norton

I had planned to drive down to Church Norton Saturday after work but the curse of back pain put paid to that plan so after a poor nights sleep I picked up the Jims and headed down to Church Norton this morning in hope that the Elegant Tern would have remained.
We pulled into the car park at the church and walked the short path to the beach to meet the thirty or so birders already on site at 7am. The bird had been seen and before long flew up from the grassy bank of the Tern colony and flew around for about an hour dropping back into the grass several times in the same spot suggesting territory or maybe even breeding activity?

Poor record shot as it flew off to feed.
part of the twitch
At about 8.10am it dropped onto the mud giving great scope views for a few seconds before heading off south west at pace not to return until after we'd left a couple of hours later.

The birds credentials are believed to be proven by DNA testing in France and as such it will hopefully jump straight onto the British list. (see here)

By the time we left the twitch had increased to c300 birders.

I heard a Lesser Whitethroat for another year tick and picked up good views of both Little and Sandwich Tern. A pair of Peregrine entertained us too chasing the local pigeons without success.
Jimmy picked up a Little Gull whilst I missed it but I did see a Chidling Pink although failed to fully appreciate it if I'm honest.

Year list now 239 and the life list now 383.

Sunday 4 June 2017

Honey Buzzard in the New Forest

Arriving at Acres Down this morning we joined two other birders at the viewpoint just before 8am and got comfortable for a mornings session.
A few Common Buzzard came up and several Goshawk gave great scope views before a single Honey Buzzard came over. Chased by a Goshawk it kept moving through and gave good scope views as it flew across the valley even stopping to give a brief display. Another darker bird was reported but I failed to get on that one but did manage good views of a passing Peregrine and more Goshawk.

On the walk back we found a Wood Warbler plus a pair of Redstart to round off a good bit of birding in the New Forest.

Year list now 237

No images today save this little guy that's visiting the garden with two cubs at the moment