Tuesday, 30 April 2013

At the feeders again

Wednesday 30 April 2013
Last day of the month and a quick evening go at the feeders. Nothing new on the nuts, but Willow Warbler singing in the garden was nice. Also two Buzzards mobbing a very large corvid which I only saw for a few seconds and would have to say was a Raven. But I shan't say that as I didn't get a long enough view and they are rare around here, sure it was though ! Whitethroats holding territory in the hedge in Station Road. Blue Tits in the garden were doing their acrobatic thing.....

  and a male Greenfinch joined in, but more sedately on the nuts
 I heard some noise down at he base of the feeders so carefully looked round, low down, to see a female Pheasant scuttle past, then as I peered through the foliage, this male Pheasant was probably as surprised as I was !
blooming weird looking things close up ( I ran for it! )

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Another crack at minutus

Thursday 25 April
The sun was out, the bird was present and Sam cycled down to the shop to see me. A careful negotiation and I was on my way down to Deepdale Marsh to have another go at the Little Gull. Spent a great half hour watching the bird feed.

 catching insects on the wing

Also on the marsh, a Peregrine, Pochard (below), Black-tailed Godwits, Ruff,  and Avocets (further below).

and finally this morning (27th) our first House Sparrow in the garden.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

a "Little" surprise

Wednesday 24 April 2013
Down on Deepdale Marsh (sounds like the beginning of a book !) and this superb Little Gull graced the reeds and pools. Smallest Gull in the world and I would say one of the nicest. Poor light meant ISO speeds of 1000 plus so pictures a bit grainy, especially when cropped in.
 the pink underparts flush just visible here

hugely cropped picture showing a few residual unmoulted or is it unworn winter feathers ?
and just to finish on a this day in history.... in 2005 on 24 April I saw this Saker (no streaks on the  vent )  along the Chooseley road. It had a jessie but for a few seconds I thought I was onto something big ! The bird hung around for a month or so and moulted a fair bit during that time.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A little less(er)

Tuesday 23 April 2013
and at the feeders today a Lesser Redpoll which was quite undisturbed as I sat in the garden drinking a morning coffee. It was joined by many of the usual suspects, but held pole/poll position.

 and among those usual suspects was a Woodpigeon with traditional irregular iris.
and a female Blackbird, nothing irregular there
but prize of the day had to wait till after work and a walk at Deepdale Marsh when a typically whippy winged slim Harrier flew past, although photography was difficult watching this adult male Montagu's Harrier hunting across the fields was a treat. Note the double  black bands on the secondaries in the underwing.....
and heavily cropped but showing the single black band across the secondaries in the upper wing
I received a phone call from Mark Golley today who was preparing his "this day in history round up" for the 26th April and asking for photos of the Eastern Bonelli's Warbler from Lundy in 2004. So as a snapshot in history, here it is, Britain's fourth I believe and the first ever to be accepted in the UK without calling. Found by me at the south end in horrible weather and id'd with the reassuring help of Tim Davis and Tim Jones, and later by Ian Lewington and Lars Svenson to finally nail as Eastern.
and finally on that very day, prior to the Bonelli's Warbler I had just managed another Lundy first (for me) - a male Montagu's Harrier...... history eh ?

Sunday, 21 April 2013

It's awake !

Sunday 21 April 2103
After watching a sleeping Garganey for the last few days I finally saw it awake. In fact also in flight !
It's not called the floating eyestripe for nothing.

 this fine male was giving it's display call, a dry wooden rattle, so this site remains undisclosed. Here it is having a quiet reflection.
and a Lapwing
 The rest of the day was spent working, not bird spotting, but in an excellent atmosphere and late afternoon found the shop a centre for some birding friends including Steve Rooke, Brian Bland, Simon Harrup, Gary Hibberd to name just a few...... all amidst the sunniest weekend of the year :)

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A varied day

Saturday 20 April 2013
This morning started with a frost and a couple of Bramblings in the garden. Finally added Rooke to the garden list, plus Egyptian Goose
 showing that lovely lemon coloured underwing patch, not often seen
 taken in poor light, at 7.30am  high iso, hand held and too slow shutter speed, still a lovely bird though
And then it was the Dalegate Outdoor and Wildlife Festival, and at midday seven Common Cranes flew over the shop !
So....... it was Tom's turn to get to grips with a Boa Constrictor, or was that they other way round !

 the two local Garganey were still present and still asleep
and of course Piers in the garden and who's getting a big boy now.....?

Monday, 15 April 2013

Mellow Yellow

Monday 15 April 2013
and at last the migrants have arrived ! Temperatures rising to 20 degrees over the last couple of days have yielded an influx of migrants, and my first Swallow and House Martin of the year on saturday (13th). Still no Chiffchaff for me, until today and a Redstart to kick of the spring/summery feel. But the main event was some twenty Yellow Wagtails on Deepdale Marsh after work. People had been coming into the shop saying there were plenty about on the coast and an influx of Ring Ouzels. Sadly I didn't see any of the latter but did have time to photograph these fantastic Yellow Wagtails in the late afternoon sunshine which darted in and out of the clouds.

 This Pied Wagtail obviously got the hump with me concentrating on the Yellow Wags so approached ridiculously close and demanded a photograph.
Then a good way off in a rushy pool sat a couple of snoozing Garganey, not moving at all and certainly not coming any closer - this a heavily cropped pic.
Time to head home and the Hares were out in force, but I had an appointment with Tom's den in the garden ( major repairs) so couldn't stop other than to grab a quick snap.
and on arrival at home ...... it had happened.... Piers was in the pond ! Quickly out when he saw me though. Added Lesser Redpoll to the garden list.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

nice day

10 April 2013
At last the first dat that felt like Spring. Indeed it may be that was Spring and the weekend will be Summer... we'll see. Started the morning with Sam shouting that there was an Owl in the garden. I grabbed my bins and soon had great views....
It was on the roof, fantastic ! 'can you see the mice I called back ?' Hmmm joke over I scanned the garden for the alledged owl. And there it was , Barn Owl sat on posts at the end of the garden....

I then busied myself with the usual suspects round the feeders and had at least seven different Siskins.

 they don't like being crowded, especially the girls !

 and finally as the temperatures rose, so did those of the local Hares.