Friday, December 21, 2007

Exotic Wildfowl at Ferry Meadows

A pair of Red-crested Pochard and two 'redhead' Smew have been gracing Lynch Lake. I popped in for a look, although digiscoping in the gloom wasn't much fun.

Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina

Smew Mergellus albellus

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x20

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ferry Meadows

Cor, the light was nice today when Mike and I located the small flock of Lesser Redpolls around Lynch Lake.

Lesser Redpoll Carduelis cabaret

Pochard Aythya ferina

Blackbird Turdus merula

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x20

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Grey Wagtail attack

This Grey Wagtail really went for my car out on Newborough Fen today. I guess it was trying to attack its reflection. It went for several of the windows as well as the wing mirror and kept it up for about 10 minutes.

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea

Canon Powershot A640

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Roe Deer, Star Pit

An enjoyable morning at the local dog toilet that is Star Pit. The Roe Deer (a male with antlers and two females) were most unexpected this close to Peterborough. Unfortunately they were in a shaded, misty area making digiscoping difficult.

Water Rail calling from the reed beds and a couple of flyover Siskins were the only birds of note.

Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus


Magpie Pica pica

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x20

Friday, November 16, 2007

Shag, Town Bridge

Nice one Will! See Will's shots here

Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis

...and now with moving pictures

Digibinned with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica 8x42 BA

Tawny Owl

The Tawny Owl is in it's usual tree hole at the old sewage works in Peterborough, a little easier to see than last winter as there are fewer branches in the way.

The Greenfinch was at Orton Brick Pit in the fabulous early morning light.

Tawny Owl Strix aluco

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x20

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Booper Swan

There has been a Whooper Swan with the Mute Swan flock along Deeping High Bank east of Deeping Lakes for a while now so when I saw this bird I thought that was it. Then I noticed the amount of yellow which is more like Bewick's (but still quite extensive). Then I found a Whooper Swan with typical yellow on the bill and a dirty mark on the back of its neck. The picture below combines photos of both birds.

Despite the yellow I think the first is a Whooper. The head and bill shape are right for Whooper and, although it was on its own so difficult to make a direct comparison, it appeared to be the same size as the other Whooper.

Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus & Mute Swan Cygnus olor

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x20

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Yellow-legged Gull, Maxey

No American Golden Plover or Richard's Pipits now but still a few interesting birds dropping into the Etton Road pits.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria & Lapwing Vanellus vanellus

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x20

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Small Copper, North Bank

One of my favourite butterflies and in cracking condition. There were also Small Tortoiseshell, Migrant Hawker and Common Darter out in the mild conditions.

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas

Canon Powershot A640

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Week in Cornwall

My autumn pilgrimage to West Penwith was as enjoyable as ever with the added bonus of two planet earth ticks for me. On arrival at the cottage my phone went to inform me of a Blyth's Pipit not more than half a mile from where I was standing. I was straight there and immediately saw everyone watching a large pipit with a flock of Meadows. That was it but I couldn't tick that. It then showed several more times in flight, calling before a Richard's Pipit started putting in an appearance too.

The calls were pretty easy to distinguish and I was surprised how different they looked in flight too. The Blyth's lacked the really long-tailed hefty look of the Richard's and proportioned more like a Meadow Pipit.

Later in the week I tried several times, unsuccessfully, to see an incredibly ellusive Pallas' Warbler in Kenidjack Valley when there might have been up to three present at times. Eventually one started performing well with a Yellow-browed Warbler near the top of the valley and I was able to enjoy superb scope views of both birds.

These were the only birds I twiched but in the course of the week I came across a couple of Woodlarks flying over near Gwynver, an assortment of Mediterranean Gulls at Sennen Cove, Black Redstarts in a few places, a hybrid Hooded Crow a few times past Carn Towan, a Short-eared Owl, fly-over Bramblings, Arctic, Pomarine and Great Skuas offshore, 2 Choughs at Nanjizal, a Little Egret on Cowloe and a couple of Wheatears.

Cetaceans were confined to a single Common Porpoise off Cowloe on 21st.

The seals shown below put on an amazing show at Nanjizal. The two at the top were wrestling together for ages. There were five in all, often coming very close to the beach.

Grey Seals Halichoerus grypus, Nanjizal

Stonechats Saxicola torquata
Gribba Point

Cape Cornwall

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo, Nanquidno

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x20

Monday, October 15, 2007

Migrant Hawkers, Tanholt

Masses of insects around here again today but rather few birds.

Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta

Canon Powershot A640

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A weekend in Sheringham

Started at West Runton on Saturday; seawatching while eating cheese toasties: Gannets, a few Little Gulls, 1 juv Arctic Tern and a few Razorbills were all going east; 4-5 Red-throated Divers passed in both directions; Brent Goose parties heading west. On land a Goldcrest was on the slipway having just arrived; an adult Mediterranean Gull at the carpark and an unseen Snow or Lapland Bunting went over but unfortunately call rather faint.

A bit later walking the beach west from Sheringham a couple of Shags on the sea with 5 Razorbills, 2 Guillemots and a Common Seal lingering close in.

Sunday morning was beautiful. 3 Turnstones were on the beach and a Purple Sandpiper was feeding around the beach huts. This spent most of the time behind the huts but was amazingly tame and ran inches past me at one point. Another recently arrived Goldcrest was on the seafront before finding it's way to the nearest vegetation.

Beeston Bump provided a nice Snow Bunting, a Wheatear, a few Redwings and a couple of Stonechats. There were more Redwings and Goldcrests at Priory Gardens along with Common Darters, Migrant Hawkers, Comma butterfly, Silver Y and Vapourer moths.

Finally lunch at Weybourne beach produced much the same as the previous day on the sea but more Little Gulls with about 16 passing.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus, West Runton

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus, West Runton

Turnstone Arenaria interpres, Sheringham

Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima, Sheringham

Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Sheringham

Comma Polygonia c-album, Beeston Bump

Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Priory Gardens

Digiscoped with Canon A640 and Leica APO77 x20 (final shot with camera only)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Tanholt GP

These gravel pits were swarming with insects in today's warm sunshine. Most abundant were caddisflies but there were many others. Here are some studies of cooperative insects.

Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum

Canon Powershot A640

Comma Polygonia c-album

Digiscoped with Canon A640 and Leica APO77 x20