Monday, 27 September 2010

More Bunting's!

I couldn't resist another go at getting a few
more shot's of these beautiful little bird's.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Lapland Buntings North Hill!

I couldn't believe my luck this morning when I
found 5 Lapland Buntings on North Hill, here in
Malvern. I travelled 4 hours to see these birds
for the first time two weeks ago, now there
here on my doorstep...Typical!
I started out with a walk around Chat Valley
and then worked my way up to the Beacon,
finally finishing off on North Hill. This is
my normal route, that way you can cover
pretty much all areas.
Chat Valley had very little, apart the normal
Green Woodpeckers probing into the hillside.

The walk towards the Beacon held a few
migrants with Willow Warbler and ChiffChaff
being the main one's. The Beacon it self had
very little to offer only Meadow Pipits, mind
you there were at least 30 so plenty to see.
No sign of any Wheatear...I was quite surprised.
North Hill...This area has produced some
cracking birds over time and today was no exception,
I could hardly believe my luck when I popped my
head over the top of the hill and was greeted by
what I thought was a Lapland Bunting, I only
managed a split second view at first but it was
enough to keep me looking.

I explored further, looking through the Meadow
Pipit's but nothing, It wasn't until I started my walk
down the hill that I noticed another one and
another, I'd found 5 birds in total, must be something
of a record.

I spent the next hour trying to get a few photo's
before a walker came over the hill and flushed them.

Here's a few shot's!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

One Good Tern!

I had a quick trip over to Grimley New Workings
today straight after a night at work in search of the
two reported Juvenile Black Terns.

They've been there for a couple of days now but I
haven't really had a chance to go over. I got there
for first light this morning in the hope that they'd
still be there.

It didn't take me long to find one of them, they tend
to stick to the same area every year, but that was it.
Only the one could be found. The other one's probably
gone off to find somewhere a little warmer, and who
can blame him. I can feel that nip already!...brrrr!!

It was quite obliging, making several passes in front of
me over the couple of hours I was there, giving me a
chance to get a few shot's.

Apart from the Tern there were serveral Common Snipe
dotted about. At about 09.00 50-60 Canada Geese
decended on the pool, a quick scan through the flock reveled
only a couple of hybrids nothing out the ordinary.

3 Littel Egrets were still around, although quite distant. Quite
a few migrants were also found around the pool including
Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff.

As the day began to warm somewhere in the region of 400-500
House Martins with the odd Swallow in the mix decended on
the pool.

A good few hours birding, well worth the effort.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Minsmere In A Day!

I know...but it was worth it, no less than five new
birds for me. I'd been ploughing through the internet
all week trying to find something for the weekend
but couldn't make up my mind what to do. Saturday
night came and I still hadn't settled on anything
except I fancied something a bit special. I've got to
admit I don't usually travel too far for birds, a maxium
of a couple of hours in any direction is more than
enough for me.

I'd been watching the movements of the Lapland
Buntings all week, they were popping all over the
place even reports of fly over birds at Slimbridge.
I'd hoped for maybe one on the Malverns (wouldn't
that be nice) but nothing. In fact the next closest
ones were at Minsmere, where two had been
reported throughout most of the week. I guess my
mind was made up, Minsmere and Lapland Bunting's.

I must admit the prospect of a four journey didn't
excite me to much and to arrive in time for first light
would mean leaving my place at 01.30am. I sat a wrote
a couple of quick emails to try a gain a little more
information and soon had the replys back with what
I was after, so that was it I was all set.

Sunday morning came (very quickly) and I was soon
heading up the motorway. One thing about leaving at
that time of the morning was the roads where empty.
Completely void of traffic, so that made the journey
much more bearable. I arrived at Dunwich car park
just as it was getting light, I'd been recommeded to start
at the beach here and work my way down to Minsmere
because the Buntings had been showing more at the
north end.

I scoured the beach for a good hour and half with no
success at all. I'd all but given up until I spotted a couple
of photograhers heading my way. It turned out that it
was one of the guys I'd emailed the previous night (Jon
Evans) accompanyed by his mate (Ian Clarke or
"Sparky" as he likes to be called) A quick chat reveled
they'd had about as much success as me, they too
had made there way down the beach in pretty much the
same style as myself and had seen nothing. Jon had said
"they'll be here somewhere"....but with more searching
still nothing.

I made my way further up the beach until I'd reached
the Sluice. The Sluice was home to quite a few Swallows.
I could hardly resist a go at these beautiful little birds.
I watched them as they landed on various perches from
fences to sign post's but I'd noticed one individual was
landing on a dead tree. I waited for him to move off and
got myself into position then awaited his return. I didn't
have to wait long before he was back and only yards
from me.

With a few shot's in the bag I made my way back down the
beach for what I'd originally came for the Lapland Buntings.
As I walked down the beach I could see in the distance a
crowd had gathered near to the East Hide. I arrived to
find the Lapland Buntings had been seen but then lost
again, with continued searches from everyone soon found a
lone bird.

I quickly managed a few shot's before the hoards of people
started to gather. Quite close views at times.

Apart from the Lapland Buntings there was a Wryneck
reported in the North bushes. I managed to see it but
that was about it, photograhing it was another
thing, I did manged one shot but purely for records
purposes, I'm not going to embaress myself by posting it
on here. In fact apart from the Buntings everything
that day kept it's distance. Red Backed Shrike another
first for me kept very distance, to far for even the big
guns cracking bird to watch though.

I did manged to get quite close to a Wheatear on Dunwich
Heath which was nice although I was trying to find Dartford
Warbler. I did manged to see the Dartford Warblers, again
another first for me but they kept there distance as well,
again only managing records shot's.

With the rain clouds gathering fast and everything
at least seen although not photographed it was time to
head back. A good day all in all with another five new
birds to add to my ever growing list.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

My Lucky Week!

Yep!...My luck has continued this week with more
great stuff from my local area the Malvern Hills.
Continued trips this week looking for migrants
has been very successful indeed.

Yesterday more Wheatear and a first for myself
a Whinchat. The Wheatear are probably some of
the most obliging birds I've come across at points
they were literally within a feet of me. Allowing me
to obtain probably my best shot's to date, in fact I
don't think I could better it.

The Whinchat was no different a very confiding
bird, again allowing me some very close views at
times. It's probably never seen a human before.

Watching me!

Looking for his next meal!

Really Close!

I managed to find another Redstart, they seem to
be all over the Hills this year.

Lunch in the shade!

Enjoying the sunshine!

I just hope my luck continues.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


Yep... Another trip over to Draycote this time for
a Curlew Sandpiper. Looking through the news last
week it was pretty evident that Curlew Sandpiper's
were on the move, pictures were everywhere of them
from all corners of the country. When I see that there
were four at Draycote, I couldn't resist the thought of
another trip.

All I had to hope is that they hung on till the weekend.

The weekend arrived quickly and looking through the
news all but one of the Curlew Sandpiper's had gone
from Draycote. A juvenile still remained, so I decided
to shoot over on Sunday. I arrived early in the hope the
bird was still going to be around, luckily enough it was
and again on the Hensborough bank. I quickly spotted the
bird amongst Dunlin and Ringed Plover grubbing about
in the mud. I made my way slowly down to the waterside
trying my best not to spook them but they didn't seemed
to be bothered about me clunking my way down the
Rocks. I got myself into position not easy on rocks I can
tell ya!...especially lying on your belly, tends to stick in
the odd rib.

I got myself settled and waited for them to come to me. I
didn't have to wait long before the waders came along close
enough for me to get a few shots, although the weather was
pants, overcast and quite dark, not the best for photography
but good enough to grab a few record shot's of a very pretty
little wader and it was another first for me.

Continually feeding!

Apart from the Curlew Sandpiper a lone Black Tern feed
out in the middle of the reservoir always at distance. A
quick walk up to Toft Shallows found a Common Sandpiper
but not much else. I sat and scoured the water few minutes
in the hope the Black Tern would put in an appearance but
nothing. It wasn't long before the overcast skies turned to rain
and as it was getting quite heavy I decided call it a day.
I'd managed to get what I come for and was pleased wit my

Draycote delivers again!!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

What A Start!

After missing the Restart the other day on the Malvern's
I had to go and have another go. I had a couple of hours
of spare time this afternoon so off I went. The weather
started of well today with good sunshine but as the afternoon
wore on it started to become dull and overcast, still this
wasn't going to stop me.

I arrived in the car park unpacked my gear and
started my accent, within a few minutes I was on the
top, no sooner had I got my Bins out the rain started.
Great!...It didn't really come to anything other than a
few spot's, thank goodness.

At the top I was greeted by 20-30 Meadow Pipits, Unusual
I don't usually manage to see so many, I spent a little while
looking through them to see if there was anything other
than the Mipits but nothing!

I carried on my way over to what is known as Wheatear
Valley. I clambered down the hill and soon found the usual
few Meadow Pipits in the Hawthorns.

Think this one's in desperate need of a manicure!

A further look revealed Wheatear. At least
two, not very obliging though the best I could
manage today.

The main prize took a little more time to show his
self but He was more than worth the wait as I think
you'll agree, very obliging.
Occasionally dropping down on the ground
in search of a meal.

A nice way to spend a couple hours.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Up The Hills!

Yep!...I've been climbing the Malverns in search of a few
pictures. I've made two or three trips over the last few
days mainly around the British Camp area and occasionally
North Hill.

It's been pretty good too, nothing amazing but I did manage
to find my first Spotted Flycatcher's on the hill's the other

Along with the Spotted Flycatcher's were Chiffchaff and
Willow Warbler however they kept themselves well hidden.

Other trips have produced Wheatear, the most I've seen
for a while in fact both in good numbers on North Hill
and British Camp.

My last trip to date was no different really, again Wheatear
although nowhere near as many. The Spotted Flycatchers have
gone but have been replaced with three Common Redstarts. I did
try to get a few shots of the Redstarts but all to no avail, not that
I didn't get any opportunity's but the majority of the time they
were either in poor light or tucked well in the Hawthorns and when
they did venture out in to the open they were too quick, maybe
next time. Along the hills Meadow Pipit could be found in fairly good
numbers too.

The hills also hosts quite a few raptors including Kestrels, Buzzards,
Peregrine and Sparrowhawks. I've managed to see them all at one
time or another through my recent visits but none more so than
the Kestrels.

At times some expectionally close views.
The above and below shots are from another area
where I've had success this year.