Saturday, 28 August 2010

Draycote's Wader Bonaza!

Right, almost caught up now. My latest trip was to
Draycote. I hadn't been over for a while and with
the reports of a few waders I thought it was a good
a time as any to pay a visit.

I arrived in the car park around 8 o'clock and met up
with another birder who had just arrived, luckily enough
he'd been over on the previous day and said that the
majority of the waders were along the Hensborough Bank
the day before.

A short walk over to Hensborough bank soon put me
within a stones throw of a good handful of waders
including Ruff, Common Sandpiper LRP, Ringed
Plover, Dunlin and Lapwing.

The Ruff was very spooky, not taking much to put him
up in the air making it extremley difficult to get a
decent shot. The other waders were a little easier, with
a little patience.

I made may way down to the waterside and waited...
and waited. I waited for over two hours in the hope
that they would eventually come to me, it took them
a while but they did come closer.

Juvenile Ringed Plover.

And another!

When there this close you can't help yourself.

To a point where I could almost touch them.

Dunlin followed shortly after, this one making
sure he's not being eyed up for dinner!

Again very close!

The adult Ringed Plover!

Not very common inland... A Turnstone in full
breeding plumage.

Getting closer!
Sometimes too close, I know...don't complain!
What a day!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Becoming a Star!

Browsing the through the web I spotted a Kingfisher
picture from a local reserve called Feckenham Wylde
Moor. A reserve owned by the Worcestershire Wildlife
Looking at the picture it made it look like you could get
pretty close, which is always good.

The Kingfishers a bird I've wanted to photograph for a
while but up until this point thought that I'd probably have
to more or less camp out to get a decent shot of one.

It was too good to pass up. I decided to go the very next
day as the forecast looked pretty good, well the afternoon
did anyway.

I Incorporated it with a trip up to a little place called Venus
pool. This little gem help me see my first Osprey!...That's
what I was hoping for with this visit.

I'd done my homework and had been watching the
news and sightings for quite a while but up until this point
no Ospreys had put in an appearance. I thought if one
was going to show it would be this weekend they've
usually shown by now and time was running out.
I arrived at 06.00am to find some 200 geese over the
pool mostly Greylag with the odd few Canada thrown
in they'd obviously roosted there overnight.

I stayed and watched from the hides for the next couple
of hours but nothing. The skies were empty and the pool
no different, I'd got it wrong...Oh well it was worth a
try, maybe next time.

Before leaving I took a trip around the reserve to see if I
could see anything else but nothing was about, very quiet.
The odd GoldFinch but that was about it, I decided not
to waste anymore time and make my way over to Feckenham.

I arrived at Feckenham with the sun shining, as forecast.
Not being here before I didn't really know where to
start, I made my way through the tall grass and reeds
over to what I thought was a gate way. As I walked
through the reeds I could hear the call of several
Sedge Warblers, always nice.
As I drew closer to the gateway I could see a small hide
in the distance then another, I headed straight for the
closest one hoping this would be the one, It was.

I met up with another photographer that had been there
since 6 O'clock. I asked if he had seen the Kingfisher
and he said "yes, once for about 10 seconds about
8 o'clock".
I set myself up thinking that I'd be here for while, but I
half expected that I would be anyway. I didn't have
to wait long though before a Kingfisher put in it's second
appearance but no sooner had it landed than it was off
We could see it at the other end of the pool fishing off
the reeds, just my luck!

I spent the next hour or so chatting away and looking
for what else was around. I asked what else was
usually seen (as you do) and the one chap said nothing
really apart from the Kingfishers, it's usually quiet.

I set about looking for whatever I could find. In the next
hour or so I managed to spot a Sparrowhawk, a pair of
Buzzard and a Peregrine passing over the woodland with
prey and that was just the Raptors we also see Green
Woodpecker, Great Spotted woodpecker Swallows
skimming the pool, Common Whitethroat around it so
it wasn't that quiet, really!

While looking at all these birds we didn't even notice
that the Kingfisher had made an entrance, landing on
a nearby branch. She stayed for at least 15 minutes
fishing away giving us some exceptionally close views.
That was the only visit she made, but it was enough
for me to get a few decent shots.
Here's just a few of them!...

Since these were taken many people have visited the reserve
in the hope that they too could grab a few shots of this
beautiful little bird making it somewhat of a star!....Oh, and
the Osprey turned up a week later, Typical!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Malvern Migrants!

Yes we get a few!....The Malvern Hill's host
a few migrants each year, and to start us
off, a few wheatear!

I started out nice and early, always the best
way to do it before the walkers and such
start to arrive.

It wasn't long before I found a small group of
Wheatear on the south side of the hills.
I settled into position and started the waiting
game. It wasn't long before they started to hop
about in front of me picking up insects off the

Friday, 20 August 2010

A Nice "Little" Find!

A short trip to Grimley New Workings produced my
first ever find of a new bird in the area, and it came
in the shape of a Little Gull. Probably one of my most
favourite gull's, especially the juveniles. I think their
first ever plumage is one of the prettiest.

I sat and watched as it flew round and round the
pool, It seemed to have it's route already planned
making the same journey over and over again.
Every so often it passed close enough by for me
to get a few more shots.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Right!..I'm still trying to catch up with my blog!...This time my trip
to RSPB Bempton Cliff's back at the end of June, organised by my
local RSPB group. For those of you who haven't joined your local
group do it, it's well worth it and you'll learn lot's from some very
experienced people and not just about birds either.

It started off with a four hour coach trip giving us all plenty of time
to chat and catch up. On arrival we had the choice of making our
own way to a later planned boat trip down at Flambrough head
or we could stay at Bempton until 2.15. We decided to at Bempton
as we'd come to try and get a few decent shot's and we didn't really
want to walk the 41/2 miles down to Flambrough head.

We set off from the RSPB center and immediately found Tree
sparrows busily flying around. A short walk down to the cliffs soon
found plenty of Gannet's,Fulmar and Kittiwake amongst others
flying overhead.

We made our way to Barlett Nab and Jubilee Corner finding Gannet's
puffin's, Guillemot's, Fulmar and Kittiwake. All a bit to far off for decent
photograph's though.

After an hour of trying our luck we decided to make our way down
to Staple Newk.

Staple Newk was a mass with seabirds, I don't think I've ever seen so
many in one place, all within camera reach too.

We stayed for as long as we could, leaving us only minutes to get
back for the coach. On our way back we bumped into Richard
Bedford and his partner Amanda Hayes for those of you who don't
know them there both very good bird photographers, check some
of there work out!

We had a brief chat with them before making a mad dash back
to the coach, not mad enough though we'd already missed it!

The understanding was that if you wanted a lift down to the
boat at Flambrough on the coach you were back at 2.15
prompt, not 2.20 like us!...otherwise the driver took it that
you had made your own way down to the boat.

Now what do we do?...Well to cut a long story short a very
kind RSPB volunteer from the center offered us a lift, phew!

The boat trip - A planned boat trip of about an hour taking
us all around the base of the cliff's as well as into some
of the smaller cove's giving us all some extremely close views
of all the sea birds.
Here's just a few shot's from the trip!

A cracking day out, and one I will do again!