Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (sounds better)


To go on news? no, he who dares paid off on Saturday morning.  We had a good trip, we were in the services just the other side of the seven bridge in a couple of hours but were still waiting on the first news of the day from Pwll-Du.

Luckily, my insistence to the other two paid off re cracking on regardless, and the pager beeped away.

So rather than a slow breakfast, food was taken to go and we headed to the valleys.

After a fair old walk we found the 150 odd birders already on the scene who had located the bird for us.

I must admit to getting a little agitated at this point, Martin had ticked, Dan had ticked, all be it briefly but i was still faffing about trying to get a vantage point. Everyone was moaning about others coming along and standing in front of them, i could see naff all apart from a rock.

I backed up and scanned, there was a hole in the crowd, nobody else seemed to have noticed or more than likely i was the only one there who could see bugger all. After a commando style maneuver followed by by a triple back flip i made a perfect landing. Strangely nobody commented, if i had just witnessed such a sight; over weight birder, laden with binoculars, scope and camera; i would have at least clapped.

I now was not budging and i too would comment if somebody stood in front of me - i had made my home.

💥💥Tick Tick Boom - One Rock Thrush 💥💥

My new home was short lived, the bird took flight and moved around the hill side - here we go again, birders on the move, all wanting a better spot than the last.

Settle, brief look - up it goes again, further round said hill - birders on the move yet again.

Settle, back the other way, birders on the move again.

So this time, i decided against herd mentality. I sat down on the edge of the hillside and didn't move. camera was out - i was ready. The bird was going to land so close to me i could of patted it on the head. It didn't; but it did come relatively close. I was by no means the closest but this time i was happy.






Sunday, 1 October 2017

More Red Neck Grebe

Today started with plans of trotting off to Languard for the Red Throated Pipit. This seem to have done a bunk from late yesterday afternoon as such i stayed at home and cracked on with some over due small bits of DIY

Later, after lunch, i headed back to the Red Necked Grebe at Roding Valley Meadows.

The bird was less mobile than last week, floating about the middle, be pushed about by the wind. The rest of the wildfowl seemed to be congregating up the other end and as such the Grebe was getting less hassle as well.

I sat, i waited, i sat, i waited and eventually it came closer, finally moving between one of the small islands and the bank. It was close, the closest I've seen it. Light though was a shocker here. The bird was under the over hanging bots of willow and whatever else was there. So i clicked away and got a few more shots.





Sunday, 24 September 2017

Red Necked Grebe

Well, like the rest of the world i managed a bit of time over at Roding Valley Meadows this morning, shame i cant get the hang of this photography properly yet as i am wasting opportunities on some smart birds.

Some of mine below.......




Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Spotted Crake

A Spotted Crake over the Valley showing well.......... and i'm in Minsmere after a Citrine Wagtail. It holds so i'm over there Sunday - a nice patch Tick!




Sunday, 17 September 2017

Citrine Wagtail Yes No Yes

Birders........So cynical of the Citrine news from yesterday now as today it cant be found so they start to question previous sightings. It cant have gone today, it must have gone a few days ago and all yesterdays were wrong.......i cant have missed it by a day..........Rightly so?

So Saturdays sighting on RBA/Bird Guides were one at 8.30am North Hide, 2.00pm North Hide, 3.30pm East Hide, 4.30 Beach behind East Hide.

There were a lot of people looking for this bird on Saturday afternoon at RSPB Minsmere, in fact from North Hide at 1.30-3.00pm you could see that all other hides were full.

I make no comment on sighting 1 & 4 however the 2pm was rather amusing. A full hide, one guy shouts i'm on it (this guy is latterly the only other guy who stayed with me in North Hide).

Everyone is now on a potential Citrine Wagtail. Actually that's a lie there was a couple arguing amongst all of this about if he was looking at a Lapwing

Yep, i was on it as well and can safely say i was on a Tick Tick Boom ** twitter moment. I was happy, everyone was happy. News went out on the services by somebody.

Now from the depths of my insides, even though i had done the deed and actually tweeted Tick Tick Boom **, i heard my self mumble loud enough so that others could hear - Pied.

Quite a few in my immediate vicinity looked at me as if i was mental, after all not 1 minute ago the over all consensus was everyone had seen a Citrine Wagtail.

Now the original guy, then started to say the same at the other end, he looked down at me and we both shook our heads - it was a Pied Wagtail

The wheels were however in motion for the Citrine Wagtail to be forever immortalized as confirmed by everyone bar two in that hide. Eventually the bird and the erherm rest of the Pied Wagtails got spooked by a Sparrowhawk and left.

North Hide emptied bar two.

We scanned the web and finally found a photo of the bird taken from Minsmere that week - the bird just seen was 100% not the same.

I felt a little deflated now - i mean come on - i'd Boom Boomed it.

Eventually i too left and headed to East Hide as whilst all this was going on a Red Necked Phalarope had been seen, would be nice to see this.

East Hide was full again but decent views could be made of the Phal. The next thing i know is the chatter is up, the bird has been seen and this time its good. To help matters the guy who finds it this time is Ian Barthorpe, he works and birds Minsmere. The bird is good - i feel happier now about the Boom Boom bit :)

Shortly after the Wagtails all head over the hide and towards the beach and i leave towards the sluices and eventually home

So note to self, don't Boom Boom that quick and note to anyone who ticked on the 2pm bird, you still need it!

Pied and not the bird mentioned

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Hursey Nature Reserve - IOW


Just back from a week on the Isle of Wight and i haven't been for well over 35 years. So the IOW what did i make of it? Some of the more affluent rural areas were quite frankly stunning however the towns seemed a little lacking shall we say, not in amenities but in up keep. Possibly people moving off the island and coming to the mainland for employment. Then again the amount of residential building going on was vast but all at the 4 bedroom plus end and not in the towns (from what i saw) - IE houses for the more wealthy and rental accommodation. That suited us to the ground then - more choice of accommodation and we wouldn't have to mix with the riff raf.

We were staying at Seaview, a small yachting community with its own little club, a couple of decent gastro-pubs and lovely stretch of beech. Blue and white stripped tops were everywhere along with the non accent types - that accent that people obtain at uni.........the nothing one......you know somebody who has it i'm sure.



It was also Cowes week so the club was busy, races were being run on a regular basis, kids sailing clubs in full swing. It was actually rather good to watch. Especially when sitting there staring at the sea hoping for actually anything other than a Great Crested Grebe, Black Headed, Great Black Back or Mediterranean Gull.

Now our little complex actually had its own, small, nature reserve. This in turn rescued me from not seeing anything other than the above list. I've linked the reserve here. Thanks to Martin Blackmore who gave up some great local knowledge most mornings whilst we both sat there waiting for some action. This normally arrived in the form of a Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Little Egret or King Fisher. Unfortunately all just a little too far out for my 400 lens, Martin on the other hand with a 500, 1.4 ext and i think he said 1.7 crop sensor on a cannon 7D mark 2 managed to get some decent photos. See the above link. Mine of these birds were OK for the distance and light.



From the fields surrounding the reserve we did have some half decent geese - mix of feral population and plastic. Barnacle, Bar Headed, Snow Geese. Along with Greylag and Canada. All geese were free flying.


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Bee-Eaters - East Leake

Well finally, after many cant do that date conversations/moments, we were on the road heading to East Leake for the nesting Bee-eaters. We consisted this time of Monkey, me and Dan Barrett.

Leaving just after lunch we headed north and up the M1. I was looking forward to this one - Bee-eaters, a bird that could seen from a mile away due to its over the top colour scheme. With its blues and yellows predominately screeching at you.

After parking at the.......


we made our way around to the viewing area.

Now, i was a little disappointed to be honest. I appreciate that this was a special thing going on - breeding Bee-eaters but come on. they we're nesting in the quarry and it looked as if this was to the back by the footpath bridge. The footpath that had plenty of walkers and horse riders going along it.

So why then we we situated as far back as we were. I'm not one of these that wants to be on top of the bird and cause it distress but we could have easily been a bit closer and it wouldn't have caused any problems. Oh and before anyone says......there was plenty of room.

Regardless though the view's were decent scope views - i would hate to have been one of the majority there who were scope less.

For us 3 birds, possibly 4 as they made there way along the hedge tops hunting. Dragonfly seemed top of the list followed by Butterfly.

Distant Bee-eater

Anyway it was at this moment where i had a Raven, Monkey seemed to do his now usual and turn this into something random - running barn owls and flying joggers spring to mind.

This time it was the turn of the flying Marsh Frog. My Raven was dismissed but to my delight it was shortly followed by three CRONKING birds.

Sand Martin whizzed by and i started to have a play with the camera at fast flying small brown jobs. I did alright considering it was my fist go at this and the light was pretty bad for it  - and yes i was still in Manual - pics to follow.

Redpoll was a little year tick

Now if only the Black Stork had been re found before we left.........

Oh Well!