Saturday, 29 November 2014

One place to another - 29th November 2014

We went out to Keyhaven to see what was around and we weren't let down. From Reed Buntings to Brent Geese it was sure to be a good day. There was so much about that Dad said he wouldn't want to do a WeBS count here. Half way down the sea wall route that we took a Redshank was on the mud almost begging for a photo.

Reed Bunting
At the end of the sea wall we were rewarded by great views of a female Reed Bunting that came out and perched beautifully on the top of the reed. Nice to see and photograph a lovely coloured and elusive bird.

On our way up to the stony beach there were lots of Turnstones feeding in the mud. Trying to get the right angle on them with the light behind proved to be a bit of a challenge though. Unfortunately the eye glint was too hard to capture. This is the best shot though.

Brent Goose
Brent Goose
When we got to the top of the beach we could see a Brent Goose out perfectly in the light so I went down the slope to see if I could get a shot. And I managed to get two good shots with eye glints! This is my first good shot of a Brent.

After we had walked back, we went to a nearby Hawfinch site to see if we could get a snap of this chunky billed bird. After being there for a while we met up with a gentlemen who had seen them eight times in a row, this was reassuring. But the birds didn't want to come out. However when we were on the brink of giving up, a gentleman spotted some movement in the top of the tree so we headed over. And there it was, right at the top of a far away tree against a little sunlight. Not ideal conditions but thought I'd give it a go and this is what I got.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Luck for once! - 15th November 2014

Isabelline Shrike
We ventured out to Hengistbury Head to see an elusive Isabelline Shrike. When we turned up at the site we were very lucky to see it almost straight away. At first, we were facing the sun but still managed to get some shots.

Isabelline Shrike
Because the sun was in our faces we went through a gap in the hedge on to the other side but we couldn't seem to see the bird. It was there though, just being covered by some twigs. When it came up it just didn't want to turn round but this picture shows the rusty tail.

Isabelline Shrike
After some waiting the head finally came up. However, disappointingly you can't see the tail but it has got the head, chunky bill and yellow eye outline. So it was really good to just turn up and see it because this, let's be honest, does not happen often!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Ringing at Radipole - 31st October 2014

Mediterranean Gull
We went to Radipole, again!, to watch some ringing, courtesy of Luke Phillips, taking place. Not that a lot was a lot taking place! To pass some time, I took some pictures of Mediterranean Gulls that seemed everywhere. There weren't just Med Gulls, oh no, there were Black-headed Gulls and even a Common Gull. But, unfortunately that was too far away to get any ok pictures. But we did manage to spot something rather interesting. A Mediterranean Gull had a yellow ring on its leg, this means that the gull was ringed in England. Apparently, this is quite unusual.


There were lots of Stonechats around the nets and it took a while to catch one but eventually we did. This is also fairly rare at Radipole, so I was fortunate to see it in the hand.

Pallas's Wabler
Then, reports of a Pallas's Wabler on Portland came in and after much consideration we decided to go, unfortunately leaving behind Radipole. When we had finally finished battling our way through lots of unneeded traffic, we arrived. It took a while for the bird to appear but when it did it seemed very elusive. But, when it did finally come out, it showed really well.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Where's that Shank? - 27th and 28th October 2014

On our way down to Cornwall, we thought we would stop in at the Hayle Estuary to see a Lesser Yellowlegs AKA Yellowshank. However, this was a much more difficult task than we expected. We drove down the road parallel to the place where the bird had been seen recently, stopping at every group of Redshanks we could see. No luck though, so we headed to the other side to see if the Lesser Yellowlegs had made an appearance. It hadn't. There was another group of Redshanks that made for a nice photo so we didn't leave quite empty handed.

Lesser Yellowlegs
On our way to the beach, we dropped in to see if the bird was there. Take a wild guess if it was there or not? Of course it wasn't! Due to the enthusiasm of Dad, we just had to pop in on the way back. You know the story, it wasn't there as assumed by yours truly. The next day, on our way back from a surfing lesson, we had to go and see if it was there and we spotted a yellow legged bird that looked very much like the one we were looking for. And indeed it was.

A Redshank was an irresistible opportunity to get a lovely pic with its red legs and black tipped beak. This time we left fully handed.