hit counter

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Long Toed Stint

Well with news breaking late Fri evening of a least sandpiper at st aidens reserve nr to Castleford,I set the alarm for an early start to the reserve,some 65 miles away!
On waking the next morning,I waited an hr or so to make sure that it hadnt departed,checking the media sources,I was informed that it was still on site and had been reidentified as a long toed stint.The weather was murky and grey,not too good for photography, but hey ho ,I decided to make the 1hr journey.
There was no mistaking where the bird was,on this massive reserve,as about 300 people were crowded around a certain lagoon ,about 3/4 of a mile away.
A good walk to the gathered crowds and the stint was to be found approx 100 metres away on a small island,surrounded by a few lapwings.These were my best efforts with the camera, but record shots were the best that I could manage.
I did have great views of the stint ,through another birders scope,which really did highlight the detail on this small wader!
I hope you enjoy the record shots and thanks to the reserve for putting on a great mornings viewing,keep well all!!


Monday, 16 August 2021

Leighton Moss

An early start this morning,before the rain came in!This Greenshank was awaiting me from the Allen hide!
Five Spoonbill were also present between the pools!
Nice to get one against a dark background!!
Amongst the many Black Tailed Godwits,this Spotted Redshank stood out!! 
Cropped down version, think its been present a good few days now!!
Super birds when they retain their breeding plumage!!!

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Dolphins and Shearwaters

I have recently returned from a mini cruise off the cornish coast.Whilst on board,early mornings would find me scanning the water for cetaeceans and birds. The sea state was quite good most days,and good views were had of Short nosed dolphins and ,mainly Manx Shearwater,with the odd gannet about too.It was difficult to identify other species as they were usually 600 yds plus away.A few images are posted below for you to peruse,thanks for dropping by and looking in!!

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Cyprus mid Oct

Although it was a little late for migration,I was more than happy to spend time with these Eleonora falcons on one of the dams near Paphos.

I had previously done a recce,a few days earlier and noticed a few Eleonora's in the far distance.

A plan was hatched to try and get a few images of the falcons, so armed with my small hide/tripod/ flask
 and a chair,I waited patiently in my chosen spot by the shallow end of the dam.Some 5 hrs later,I was rewarded with stunning views of the falcons at close quarters!
Back again a few days later, no sign of the Eleonora's, but a n Osprey put in an appearance!

My luck was really in,as after a few fly arounds and one attempt at fishing, it came straight towards me and plonked itself down 25 metres away!

Its not often this happens to me, but I wasn,t complaining this time.I will post a few more images of the Eleonora's in my next blog.Hope you enjoyed the shots, stay safe all!


Saturday, 26 September 2020

Wryneck/Cant clough res/Lancs

We were lucy to have aWryneck visit east Lancs,last weekend,the bird is still present,on the edge of the reservoir.This eastern vagrant, has drawn the crowds to this secluded spot in the pennines.

I made 2 visits to the site and had good views of the bird,both times.Here are some of my better images of the bird.Keep well and stay safe!!!


Sunday, 29 March 2020

Cyprus (Mandria)

A popular bird watching area is Mandria,near to Paphos airport.It is coastal but importantly, one of the main agricultural areas of the region.With it,s fertile soils and flat outlook ,it is perfect for growing all kinds of vegetables and food fodder for the animals!Many green houses abond there too, cultivating flowers/tomatoes/peppers/strawberries,to name but a few.

These fields are like a magnet for the many migrants that pass through on migration.Pipits,larks ,buntings, shrikes,warblers and of course birds of prey including kestrels, hobbies,falcons and harriers, all use this rich land!
So on arrival down the beach road,I stumbled across this male bluethroat singing in some nearby scrub.The first one that I had come across this trip, not a bad start to the morning!
What a bonus to hear it in full voice too!
Great spotted cuckoo were also heard along the coastal path,this one was trying to court a female!
He was trying to catch caterpillars to offer to her!!
A hoopoe is always a welcome addition when out and about and there seemed to be quite an influx of them ,in the surrounding countryside!
As I was observing the Bluethroat,a grey shape appeared over the meadow.Straight in off the sea too,male Pallid Harrier.I dived out of the car with the camera before he disappeared over the horizon.After reeling of quite a few shots,I glanced round to see my car rolling away from me.It must have travelled a good 40 metres,down the road,and was heading towards a 2 metre ditch.In my haste to get out of the car,I had left my handbrake off!!! Dropping the camera, I covered the shortish distance in record time,I swear that I would have broken Usain Bolts 100metre record if I had carried on, oh and that was in a pair of crocs too.Luckily all was fine,and it was a lesson learned!
 Many types of yellow wagtail were also evident in the ploughed fields,this black headed one was amongst a flock of 35!
 A female Desert Wheatear made a brief appearance !
 She didn,t hang about for long though!
 Hoopoe having a dust bath! Nice to see it with the raised crown!

Another variant of yellow wagtail, with a yellow eyestripe!
Having a well earned breather,its not often you see these grounded!
Always one of the first harrier species to put in an appearance, before the Montague's arrive, usually mid march onwards! Though Hen Harrier do overwinter here!

 Hoopoe ,again searching for grubs!
 Spur winged plover are usually a reliable bird in the fields.Good numbers breed here!!

So that concludes my blog for this Spring,cut short by the dreaded Corona Virus, which is sweeping the world .I had to make a rapid exit,out of the country,due to there being rumours of a lockdown,within the island!I only managed 4 days out of my fortnights birding holiday, but health is far more important to us, at this moment in time.

Cyprus,acted swiftly on the pandemic and in doing so, will have saved many lives nationwide.Just a shame the UK didn,t do the same!At the moment here,it is gathering pace at an alarming rate, with cases doubling within 2/3 days.A very worrying and frightening time for all!Lets hope everybody behaves sensibly and adheres to the governments warnings of self isolation,and hygiene.So to all out there, please stay safe and keep well!