27 September, 2008

Local Patch

After a foggy start the sun came out and it only remained for the birds to sit still in front of the camera. Well, that rarely happens to me, but a Wren did sit still long enough for a couple of quick shots.

The Kingfisher post lived up to its name.

A local Common Buzzard drifted over. The Honey Buzzard invasion failed to materialize here !

Cormorant numbers have been increasing lately - up to 18. I prefer them to fishermen ...

22 September, 2008

Pegsdon & Deacon Hill

This juvenile Common Buzzard was lingering behind the Deacon Hill summit, but drifted away quickly when it saw the camera !

A few birders have been participating in a 'vismig' vigil at various high spots around the county. Currently, there are plenty of Meadow Pipit migrating south - these are best seen in the first two hours after sunrise. This individual was part of a flock feeding locally.

17 September, 2008

Norfolk Migrants

After a number of days of easterly winds, the east coast had good numbers of migrant warblers, chats and the odd rarity. Early rain showers put paid to photography at Waxham, and anyhow, the reported Semi-collared Flycatcher was not showing.

A few miles south at Winterton dunes, the light improved and it was fairly easy to get close to the birds by sitting down in the scrub and waiting. A male and female Common Redstart fed to within twenty feet.

Common Redstart

Common Redstart

This Pied Flycatcher was content to sit in the open.

Pied Flycatcher

The Wryneck was a no-show, and the Red-backed Shrike preferred its appreciative audience to keep to a respectful distance.

Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

13 September, 2008

More Clappers

With a raft of Honey Buzzard records on the east coast from Cleveland to Kent, many birders headed to the hilltops for wide vistas and a chance to find their own. I was already on the Clappers looking for other migrants and butterflies.

No Honey Buzzard were seen, but this Northern Wheatear proved approachable.

07 September, 2008

Grey Phalarope - R.I.P.

Yet another Grey Phalarope was discovered in Bucks - this one, a juvenile in partial moult, was at Startops reservoir, Tring. A very confiding bird, it swam and fed close to the bank. The light was flat under the total cloud cover, but at least it had stopped raining. The bird was seen to be pulled under the water by (it was presumed) a Pike. It then was reported to be harrassed by a Black-headed Gull and flew off to be re-found at Wilstone reservoir. It met an untimely death - taken by a Hobby as it tried to take off ...

01 September, 2008

Local Patch - 01/09/08: Waders after rain

You would expect to see something after the torrent of rain we experienced yesterday, and a visit to Dunstable STW did not disappoint. While not quite the same as the halcyon days of the nineties (or earlier years), two Black-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank on the wader scrape, together, were notable !