Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Rutland Water and another Owl Fest at Cossington!

Managed to squeeze in another full day out n' about again today, the sun shone for most of the day and once again i found myself (along with Martin) up the Leicestershire and Rutland area. First stop Rutland Water, unfortunately there were no Long Eared Owls to be seen and without the ability of a massive long range camera most of the birds on the water weren't easy to spot....however, there was plenty of more common things to keep me happy! Enjoy...

Chaffinch


Lapwing


Sparrowhawk - having a good look at all the small birds gathering on a feeder


Reed Bunting



Nuthatch - a regular visitor to a feeder which helped spring the phrase amongst me and Martin - "Nuthatch on the Feeder".....everytime it.....went on the feeder....suprisingly



House Sparrow


Fieldfare


Great Spotted Woodpecker

Barn Owl (1 of 2 that were hunting just before it got dark)





Once again we were treated to fleeting glimpses of Short Eared Owl, this time 2 of them sprung from the ground and flew off to begin hunting but it was simply too dark to photograph. Might have to find somewhere else to get decent daytime photos!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Local to Leicester

Today started great, the sun was out and Adam and myself had a few good hours spent locally at Ickleford Common....Fieldfares were numbering over 100 and it was great to finally see a large amount of them so close to home!






Another photogenic Robin

More Fieldfares....



...and a Redwing thrown in for good measure!

Black Squirrel


Great Spotted Woodpecker



After dropping Adam off at work i then drove up to Leicestershire and Cossington Meadows, here are a few highlights....
Sparrowhawk




Barn Owl



Nice male Bullfinch who kept me company whilst i sheltered from the rain
The day did end on a real high with my first ever sighting of a Short Eared Owl...unfortunately it was drizzling and getting dark and was impossible to get a decent photo of it but i'll be back hopefully to get some decent pics!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Osprey Day & Red Kite Delight!

Had a really good day today, firstly i spent it a little bit more "local" in Herts, Bucks and Oxfordshire which meant a lie in and less driving! Also spent it with Erin which was great, and the birds didn't let us down! Firstly we drove near Watlingford right in the Chilterns area, well known for its Red Kites and well worth going to....at some points there were more than 10 Red Kites in the sky at once often coming down very low and allowing some great opportunities for photography.....enjoy!



















After that we made the 40 minute journey to the Chess Valley area on the Herts/Bucks border to a small town called Sarratt that has become quite busy with birdwatchers due to 2 great birds being there over the past few weeks....a juvenile Osprey and a Black Redstart. The Osprey is a young bird born in Scotland and probably should be on it's way to over-winter in Africa if not there already....who knows if it will stay in the UK for much longer but I couldn't resist taking a look and although distant and right in the sun it was great to see it, here are the pics!











Unfortunately we didn't get to see the Black Redstart, it just didn't seem to be around! But I was happy, i think Erin was happy too and the next port of call was a Sunday Roast which seemed only fair after such a corking day! Just a few more snaps of Grey Heron, Kingfisher and Pied Wagtail that we also saw during the day....





Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Norfolk Day Trip

Made the most of a day off today and went on a bit of a Norfolk road trip, maybe over exerted myself slightly by trying to do justice to 4 different reserves in 1 day esp as it was still misty at 9am and got dark at 4pm! Ah well, was all good fun! Frist off i visited a very misty and quiet Snettisham....

Bar Tailed Godwit


Curlew


The mist pretty much got worse so after about 10 dreary minutes in a hide i upped sticks and made my way to Holme-by-the-sea to the nature reserve on the beach, i had high hopes and wasn't dissapointed!

Oystercatchers


Sanderling


Grey Plover


Large flock of Snow Buntings


And one of them slightly close up.....gotta try and get better pics of these beauties


2 of 3 Shore Larks


Redshank
I then moved on to Titchwell RSPB Reserve, unfortunately the weather got worse and the place was just full of people with massive telescopes...no offence to those who love to scope but i strolled about confused as to what all these people were looking at, it felt crowded and i quickly left with only a few photos....

Yes it's a Robin, but he is cute!


Sanderling


Wheater on the Beach


Chaffinch - probably up there with the Robin as the easiest bird to photograph


Finally i moved on to Cley Marshes Nature Reserve, i got a bit lost on the way there and the darkness was closing in so i didn't expect to see much but it was my favourite reserve of the day and gave me some great final moments. The last thing i saw of the day was a Mole out on some grass, never seen a live mole before! Unfortunately as i fiddled with my camera he scuttled back into his hole (do Mole's scuttle?!)....anyways, here are the rest.....

Large Golden Plover flock


A sleepy Jack Snipe in the only sunshine of the day (it lasted all of 15 minutes)


Dunlin


Barn Owl hunting over the marshes