Sunday, 29 August 2010

GreatCrested Grebes

This family incorportating 2 Adults and 2 well grown Juveniles were in the middle of Hyde Park today in amongst the boats and people and didn't give a hoot!

















Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Common Residents

Have spent this 'quiet' part of August photographing our more common species at locations where they are used to piles of people chucking bread at them. These species are very tame and are often overlooked but are real gems in their own right and because of their confiding nature they allow you to watch behaviour and practice photography, enjoy!

Black Headed Gull coming into land


Moorhen


Tufted Duck


Mallard


Coot


Mute Swan


Canada Goose


Coot Bathing


Moorhen


Coot


Juvenile Wood Pigeon


Collared Dove

Monday, 23 August 2010

Hanging out with a Heron!

Spent Sunday with Matt visiting some local spots and making use of the really excellent weather conditions to play around and do some photography. We really didn't mind what we were taking photos of as the sun was shining and everything from Moorhens and Coots to Swans and Geese looked good and it was a real chance to watch some behaviour and get some intimate photos of birds behaving naturally. One suprise was at Verulamium Park in St Albans, a busy park with screaming kids, pushchairs and people chucking copious amounts of bread at ducks. Here we encountered a scruffy looking juvenile Grey Heron skulking along the river bank...



We proceeded to watch this chap for the next 45 minutes as he picked his way through the vegetation occasionally plunging his head into the water and nearly every time getting hold of a small fish.





The amazing thing about this experience was that this all occured in the middle of an extremely busy town park that was absolutely packed with people. It was a warm afternoon and everyone was out n' about but the Heron was more intent on fishing. Clearly Heron's are fairly used to people and are normally fairly tame, especially juvenile birds but this guy was 4ft away from us and allowed us into his world, we didn't just spot a Heron on a river bank or see one flying over a resevoir, we sat right next to him and just watched him get on with his every day life! Amazing!










Friday, 13 August 2010

Fly away Flycatchers!

As many of our African migrants begin to depart the UK it marks the end of summer and soon we'll welcome autumn migrants passing through and then our winter visitors. I thought it would be fitting to finally display some of my Spotted Flycatcher photo's from the past couple of months. Spotted Flycatchers are one of the last African migrants to arrive for the summer, they have to pair up, breed, nest and raise young very quickly and rely on good numbers of insects and suitable habitat, they are a bird on the decline and one this year i was really keen to photograph.

Luckily we have quite a few local spots that Spot Fly's have chosen to nest in this year and many of the adult birds have been very obliging, i was even lucky enough to peer into the nest of a pair and see 5 babies peering back at me! Watching these birds has been a privelage, i hope their numbers don't fall and we continue to have them visiting us for the short period they choose to do so, here are just a few of the many images i have taken....













Sunday, 8 August 2010

Grab A Grouse!

After a night of real drunken madness in Nottingham i decided to drag not only myself but by friend Dan to the Peak District to help clear our heads and walk off the terrible hangovers we had! It turned out to be a real help and even though i didn't want to bore him with birdwatching and photography i did manage to spot some Red Grouse and had enough time to grab some photos of a family of them feeding on the heather. Stanage Edge in Derbyshire is an excellent place to see these birds, the last time i was there was March before any young were born and the heather wasn't in flower, this time it was covered in purple....although once again the weather was typically British! Enjoy!