24 April, 2008

Wood Warbler @ MVCP

I must confess - Warblers are probably my favourite 'tribe'. This migrant Wood Warbler was singing between the thundery showers and eventually posed well for the camera.

23 April, 2008

Sandwich Tern @ Stewartby Lake

After twenty years of birding in Bedfordshire I finally connected with a Sandwich Tern found by mjgbirder at Stewartby Lake !

Sandwich Tern

Norfolk Day Trip

At Titchwell, a Siskin awaits its turn to use the feeders.

Along the Meadow trail, a few Cetti's Warbler played hide and seek from the camera and a male Chaffinch posed in the blossom.

Down in the Brecks, a Woodlark in song flight.

18 April, 2008

Black-tailed Godwit & Common Redstart

A very cold easterly wind today and a trip up country to see the flock of Black-tailed Godwit that have been present at Fenlake Meadows NR since the 13th Apr. There were 16 present this morning and were feeding constantly. No sign of the Stone Curlew at Tempsford, but nearby the Common Redstart at the end of Station Road was feeding from a hedge which gave some shelter from the wind.

Black-tailed Godwit

Common Redstart

17 April, 2008

Dunstable STW

17th Apr:

A Barn Swallow takes a rest from feeding in the keen easterly wind - the hirundines were keeping very low above the water taking advantage of the insects on the leeward side of the plantation.

Barn Swallow

16th Apr:

The first Sedge Warbler of the Year for the site was keeping low at the front of the lagoon.

Sedge Warbler

A pair of Blue Tit were foraging in the dead stuff above the Sedge Warbler.

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

A small 'charm' of Goldfinch fed alongside a pair of Linnet.


A Green Sandpiper was, suprisingly, the first this year at the site. The Whooper Swan 'on patrol' chases off a Canada Goose.

Green Sandpiper

Whooper Swan & Canada Goose

A pair of Grey Wagtail wait to feed - the male showing a black throat patch.

Grey Wagtail - male

Grey Wagtail - female

13 April, 2008

Early Cuckoo

At Dunstable STW my earliest UK Common Cuckoo was a suprise but brief find. They were also reported from Pulloxhill and at Woodwalton Fen, Cambridgshire. The local Tufted Duck were clocking up some 'airmiles'. A partial leucistic Common Moorhen was found - one of last year's progeny.

Common Cuckoo

Tufted Duck

Common Moorhen

09 April, 2008


This super male Garganey was found late afternoon at Dunstable STW. It was feeding continuously with the local Teal. This was the first record here for over twenty years !


08 April, 2008

Dunstable STW Migrants

Today a few waders at last. Two Redshank were chased off the scrape by the local Moorhen. The 'local' pair of Little-ringed Plover were joined by a second male. After a spate of threat posturing the intruder flew off. A pair of Grey Partridge took some time out for a dust bath. Barn Swallow numbers increased to fourteen late afternoon, and three Willow Warbler were singing in the plantation.



Little-ringed Plover

Little-ringed Plover

Grey Partridge

Barn Swallow

Willow Warbler

07 April, 2008

Blow's Downs, Dunstable: Ring Ouzel

This male Ring Ouzel has been showing regularly for a few days on the slope above 'Tesco' supermarket at Blow's Downs, Dunstable. The bird was on show for about an hour whilst I used a couple of small handily growing Hawthorn bushes for cover above the bird's chosen area. It gradually worked it's way up the slope halving the distance between us, however, with the 1.4x converter attached to the camera two 'stops' are lost resulting in lower light levels. I'm seriously thinking of digiscoping again as the Dslr performance is somewhat lacking with small birds at these distances in British lighting conditions !

Ring Ouzel

Ring Ouzel

03 April, 2008

Dunstable STW: Mink

A first for me - American Mink. An alien specie which has a cosmopolitan taste and will eat pretty much anything ! Here it has a dead Rabbit.

American Mink

American Mink

American Mink

02 April, 2008

Dunstable STW: Black Redstart

A Black Redstart was found in front of the lagoons this afternoon and was present until dusk. This sighting is hot-on-the-heels of the first migrant two days ago at Blow's Downs, Dunstable (which only stayed one day). The conditions were gloomy with occasional fine drizzle which did not help photography !

Black Redstart

Included is this very blurred shot showing the tail colour...

Black Redstart

Black Redstart

Black Redstart