Latest Pictures

I am now trying to keep my blog updated with some of my better pictures of each trip out.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Dec 28th

Managed to get out today at last. Started at Arc with wet and dark weather, no good for photos, where there were all the usual wildfowl plus 9 goldeneye (4M + 5F), 2 x redhead smew, 2 x great white egrets, 2 marsh harriers and a bittern flew past. Over to main reserve, 1 great white egret on track by gate to denge and Dennis's hide showed 4 x redhead smew down the bottom end. Rich roast time! Visitor centre much more comfortable than the wet weather outside, watched plenty of tufted duck, shoveller and widgeon amongst others and a pintail could just be made out in the misty rain flying over. Then something black and white caught my eye flying low across the top of the water.. a male smew, which landed over the back of burrowes across from the centre where a female later joined it alongside a male goldeneye and a female goosander. A drive up to denge showed the great white still near the gate and another on denge making the days count 4. Plenty more marsh harrier activity with several views of 3 hunting together, 6 little grebes a grey heron and a song thrush in a bush beside the hide. Quick visit back to car park to check the feeders which showed, blue and great tits, chaffinch, greenfinch, reed bunting, robin, tree sparrow and moorhen. Back for a second view at Arc which added a sparrowhawk to the day list plus a female red crested pochard and a kestrel and greater spotted woodpecker from the carpark.
The pictures show the really bad light so they're not very good!
Count for the day 50
Song Thrush

Bittern fly-by

Saturday, 15 December 2012

15th Dec

Not too good today, been a bit rough all week really so no trip out today, instead I'm sitting in my lounge looking out the patio doors into the garden. I scrubbed all the feeders today and filled them all with fresh seeds, fat balls and peanuts and now settled down to list all I can see from my settee (one comfy birder!) A good mix of birds today, house sparrow, dunnock, robin, blackbird, herring gull, black headed gull, carrion crow, magpie, jackdaw, greenfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch, blue tit, wood pigeon, feral pigeon, great tit, starling, even a greater spotted woodpecker sat in neighbours tree briefly.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

8th Dec

Stodmarsh today , starting at reed bed hide where there were 53 greylags, 42 Mallards and 23 teal. A marsh harrier kept lifting much greater numbers of teal, mallard and shoveller from main lake. Lots of blackbirds around which must be due to an influx of euro birds. Woods held a small group of goldcrests, and a few jays as well as many squirrels. Drove round to grove end where I first walked up the viewing ramp - should have saved my energy, only one bird in a view a litle egret on the far bank, I've never seen it so quiet. Feast hide had a family of long tailed tits on the approach and the pond held some mallard a few teal and a cormorant. 1 bearded tit showed for a short while, a marsh harrier was quatering the reeds and 1 sparrowhawk and 2 peregrines flew over.
Returning back to the gate showed a new sighting - could this be the 'Beast of Stodmarsh'?- I bet the rabbit thought so!
Count for the day 41

Beast of Stodmarsh?

Bearded Tit

Long tailed tit

Cormorant soaking up the rays

End of the day.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Slimbridge 2nd Dec

I've been meaning to get to Slimbridge for many years, today I finally managed it after a last minute decision - which never gave me a chance to come up with a reason not to go!
Early morning start for the 192 mile journey to Gloucestshire on a very cold day, the thermometer stayed around -3 for the whole trip, and only managed to get to -2 on arrival at 10.15.
The trip there even showed some good sights including 8 buzzards and the obligatory M4 red kite.
On arrival we didn't have to wait long to join the guided tour of the centre, thank you Dave for sharing your knowledge of the site and birds seen - even if you still didn't get to see the vole!
I was most impressed with the collection of ducks and geese and I managed to get some reasonable photos as it was quite a bright day some of which are posted below.

Australian Shelduck
Barnacle Goose
Demoiselle Crane
Grey Heron
Hardhead Duck
Hooded Merganser
Java Sparrow
New Zealand Shoveller
Nene pair
Plumed Whistling Duck
Pacific Black Duck
Radjah Shelduck
Red Breasted Goose
Red Crested Cardinal & Green Winged Pigeon
Red Crested Cardinal
Red Legged Stilt
Speckled Mousebird

American widgeon


1st Dec

Managed 3 1/2 hours today starting at ARC which held good numbers of widgeon, pochard, gadwall, teal, tuftys and shoveller, 1 great white egret and 2 marsh harriers. Tree sparrows were flying in and out of carpark over to boulderwell.
Over to visitor centre, watched a great white egret being chased down the full length of burrows by a great black back gull, then after hearing of goosander from Scotts hide, I first dropped into makepeace but couldn't see it there but did see 2 kingfishers fly by, tried Scotts, still couldn't see the goosander, but 3 male pintail were looking wonderful amongst the large raft of widgeon.
Back to the visitor centre to take down the exhibition. I had some wonderful comments made from visitors on the photos and was so proud to have actually sold some.
Count for the day 44

Saturday, 24 November 2012

24th Nov

What a miserable day! Went for a drive through Walland Marsh to try and locate the whoopers, but failed miserably. A few large flocks of fieldfare around totaling in excess of 2000. Glad I've got an ipad to get me out of being miserably there a theme going on here? Short trip to Dungy but only as far as the visitor centre...had a rich roast...just for a change! 2 Great white egrets on burrowes and 4 grey herons were of note.........looking miserable trying to shelter from the rain.....'ere we go again! Absolutely no chance of getting the camera out today...guess why!
Tip......don't watch Rhod Gilbert while posting on your blog.....

Sunday, 18 November 2012

18th Nov

Took a folder into visitor centre for everyone to look at some photos of wildlife from around the area, while in there 4 pink footed geese flew over burrowes. Met Pete for a long awaited birding day, so we started at Dennis's hide which showed a small flock of long tail tits, 2 great white egrets, and a female goldeneye. Firth hide had no islands left in front of it whatsoever and just the usual suspects out in front, 1 chiffchaff was flitting about on the bank. Makepeace showed a snipe and all the usual ducks although no pintail were to be seen which stood all day. On the way back to the visitor centre another group of long tail tits were showing in the trees as well as 3 goldcrests. On the way up to the viewing mound, were 3 bearded tits and 2 stonechats. Once there, a water rail was heard but not seen, a few marsh harriers, another group of long tail tits, a green woodpecker on one of the telegraph poles and a few more flying through as well as a couple of greater spotted woodpeckers. Because the weather was so nice we decided to try again for the Pallas's warbler at the lighthouse garden, but a clue was given when we got there as there were no other birders around initially which obviously Pallas's. Pete went off to find the glaucous gull, while I went back to rspb reserve. ARC held 1 great white egret, 3 goldeneye 2F and 1M, and a black necked grebe. Back to visitor centre where a knot and a female common scoter was found. Despite the lovely weather, I never managed 1 photo today.
Count for the day 56

Saturday, 17 November 2012

17th Nov

Not been able to go anywhere for the last week, so really looked forward to today. Went to Dungeness, exhibition extended for another 2 weeks, so replaced one of the sold pictures, and I've sorted some pics out this evening in a folder to take down tomorrow so all can look at others unframed.
Burrowes showing usual suspects, 1 female goldeneye, 1 great white egret and 1 yellow leg gull. From the centre I went over to lighthouse garden to look for Pallas's warbler. It did show itself for a very few short glimpses, but unable to get a decent photo, I must grow a few more inches so I can shoot over bushes instead of through them, then maybe the camera can focus properly!
Back over to ARC next where 3 great white egrets were like sentries in front of Hanson hide, 1 male goldeneye in the distance and lots of widgeon and gadwall.
Back to visitor centre for yet another rich roast where 1 great white egret was feeding and a peregrine flew over. 
Count for the day 42

3 Great white egrets

3 flying great white egrets
Very dodgy pic of Pallas's Warbler

Sunday, 11 November 2012

11th Nov

At last! Beaten my nemesis the penduline tit! 2 seen at Stodmarsh today at Grove end, one on the track and another from David Feast hide. Life tick! Still need to get a decent photo though.
What a difference 24 hours makes, what a glorious day! Grove also producing small groups of fieldfare, redwings and bearded tits, 7 snipe flew by, a bittern flew in to back of pool at Feast and then back out 30 mins later.
Over to dungy and a trip to viewing mound, to watch a peregrine sit on top of telegraph pole and another then harrasing it, also bittern moving around in reeds quite close. Another snipe flew by and 2 marsh harriers, also a kestrel being mobbed by 2 crows.
Surprisingly enough even with such nice weather, I never managed 1 decent photo today.
Considering I never looked around much, I still made a day count of 53, even with missing out on some everday ticks, like pochard and widgeon etc.

They may not be very good, but here's some pics anyway:


Blue tit


Saturday, 10 November 2012

10th Nov.

Last nights weather report said wet morning, dry afternoon.....reality....dry morning, wet afternoon. Arrived at Dungy visitor centre at 12.15 in the drizzle, not much to see on Burrows, although there were a few Pintail looking splendid in heir fully coloured plumage. 6 Snipe flew by while in Makepeace, and a great white egret nestled in the far bank. Over to the gate down the bottom end or ARC to check new diggings for long tailed ducks, but nowhere to be seen, 2 more great whites 1 at each end of new diggings, nothing of note at bottom end of ARC. Hanson hide showing lots of widgeon, a couple more pintail, 1 male goldeneye, my first male of the season, a kestrel sat on the side of the water tower, 1 fly by sparrowhawk, oh and at least 8 grey herons seen in the 3 1/2 hours on the reserve. No photos today, nothing to take pictures of on this rainy afternoon. Weather obviously keeping a lot of birds quiet hence:
Count for the day only 45.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

4th Nov Exhibition

What atrocious weather! I have now set up some pictures in the visitor centre at Dungeness after being asked to show off some of my photos. They will be on display for 2 weeks until 17th, so please have a look and you are most welcome to make a comment on here if you so desire. It also allows a chance for them to be purchased at a reasonable price of only £10 framed, so they can grace anybodys wall.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

3rd Nov

A quick trip to Dungeness this afternoon. Not a lot on the board in the visitor centre, main report noted was a female long tail duck from Makepeace. Large numbers of shoveller on Burrows and 2 pintail of note. Over to the ARC to find 5 Bewick swans 2 adults and 3 juveniles. All usual ducks including 2 pintail and 1 goldeneye. 1 marsh harrier was hunting the area and a few kestrels. Large numbers of stock doves rose often from the fields in the distance. One dove was quite strange, it came over the lake and made several attempts to land on the water and did manage it once. Very strange to see a dove act like this, I don't know if anyone else has witnessed this, but it was new for me. A great white egret also dropped in for a short visit.
Count for the day 48

Bewick Swans

Sunday, 21 October 2012

21 Oct

Weather as absolutely terrible as I feel so no going out today. Instead here's a couple more kingfisher pics from last week.

Wheres my breakfast?

Here it is - yum yum!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Stodmarsh and Dungeness 20th Oct

Early start again this morning, in the dark at reed bed hide to catch the kingfisher. Waited until 9ish but no show, the light was pretty bad as well. I did see a male marsh harrier in the most amazing plumage I have seen, especially seeing as we are well out of breeding season. Plenty of teal out in front, a few great crested grebes and a pair of little grebes, 1 jay flew over and 1 green sandpiper flew low across the front of the hide.
Back to Folkestone for breakfast at the Diamond cafe. Down to Dungeness, where on arrival first birds noted were, robin, tree sparrow, wren and stonechat. Burrowes held 2 great white egrets from Makepeace hide which stayed for a while and then disappeared over the reserve out of sight, 2 snipe showing close to hide and 1 distant pintail, walked back to visitor centre to find third great white egret in view. Not much at Denge except 2 merlin, 1 flying across the top of the reeds and the other powering an aerobatic spitfire. Over to the ARC hanson hide, all the usual suspects with the male pintails now showing full plumage, 2 dunlin, 1 little stint, 1 great spotted woodpecker, 1 green woodpecker and my first goldeneye of the season a female.
Count for the day 56

2 Of the great white egrets
1 a little closer

2 Snipe

Trio of tree sparrows

Merlin powered