Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Malverns!

I thought I'd stay local this week after a disappointing
350 mile round trip last week. I tried for the Salvonian
Grebe up at Waters Edge but it had gone by the time
I'd got there.

This week I thought I'd give the Malvern Hills a go. I've
seen a few Wheatear and Redstart on recent trips up
there through the week mostly around British Camp.

The Wheatear didn't disappoint, there was at least 3
or 4 in Wheatear Valley.

The Redstarts proved a little more difficult, well to
photograph anyway. A fair few Redstart could be heard
but they were far too busy singing and fighting off
other Redstarts from there territories to even notice I
was there.

I did manage one shot, a bird that was kinda forced into
my path by another Male Redstart. Luckily enough for
me it landed on the perch that I was hoping it would
land on. I set myself up on this perch as I knew from
past experience it was one they used a fair bit.

I sat for 4 hours waiting for another bird to turn up but
nothing so I called it a day. Later on in the day I popped
over to Castlemorton but didn't see that much, mainly
ChiffChaffs and Linnet as usual really, although I did
hear a Cuckoo and Grasshopper Warbler but no views
hopefully I get those in the coming weeks.

Monday, 11 April 2011

World's End!...

A Dartford Warbler, less than a two hour drive away, I could
hardly resist!

I drove up to World's End bright and early Saturday morning.
I had instructions on where the Dartford Warbler was hiding
out but trying to find it proved difficult at first. I was told it
was near a fallen Pine tree, for anyone that's been up to see
it will tell you that there's a fair few fallen Pine tree's about.

I spent the first hour an half searching in the wrong area,
In the end I found the right tree and straight away within
six feet of me he landed and began to sign.

The first part of the morning proved difficult, the light
wasn't the best and it began to rain.I took a few record shot's
but it wasn't what I really wanted so I decided to have a walk
in search of Black Grouse hopeing the light would get better

I found plenty but none wanted there photograph taken.
I trudged across the moors some more and ended up getting
myself a little bit of telling off from the gamekeeper. After a
quick chat with him and explaining what I was doing walking
the moors he told me the whereabouts of the Hen Harriers
apparently he watches them quite often.

After my brief encounter with the gamekeeper I decided
to make my way back to the Dartford Warbler it was at
this point a male Hen Harrier crossed my path some distance 
away in front of me, a first for me. I've seen plenty of
females but never the male, cracking bird!

I did try and search for the Harriers for while but couldn't
locate them, and I didn't really want another run in with
the local gamekeeper, something for next time maybe!

As I made my way back I could see a few scopes pointing
up to the connifer plantion on the hill, I asked what
they were all looking at and they replied A Great Grey
Shirke!...A quick chat and I was looking through someones
scope at a cracking Shrike.

I got back to the Warbler and by now a few photographers
had arrived and had setup on the path hopeing for a few
shot's. I decided to sit it out and wait for my chance. A couple
of hours had passed before I had my chance, I'd actually fell
asleep in the heather, well... I'd had an early start. I was
awoken by the song of the Dartford Warbler it was perched
right in front of where I wanted it a few clicks and my shot's
were in the bag.

In the mean time Pete had turned up and after I'd bagged my 
shot's I  popped over to say hello and show he him what I
managed to get and like a true friend he told me to delete


Not likely Pete!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Black Necked Grebes

Cheshire was my destination for the Black Necked
Grebe's Houghton Green Flash to be exact.

Houghton Green Flash is located right by the side
of the M6, not the most attractive place in the
world probably better described as a bowl in the
ground but it was what it had to offer that I was
interested in.

The flash host's these birds year in year out, now
I've never seen one of these birds before so you'll
understand my surprise and excitement when I see

Two of the birds spent the best part of their day out
in the middle of the lake. The other two birds were
located in a small bay fishing, these birds would
occasionally come pretty close to the margins
giving me an opportunity to get to get a few shots. 

Here's a couple from the day.

Worth the trip!