Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Scandinavian Rock Pipit

Getting to be a bit of a habit twitching Weedon's finds. I have a very poor record with Rock Pipits in the area though so I was very happy to get good views of this one on the north shore of Gunwade Lake at Ferry Meadows. The white outer tail feathers clearly mark this out as of scandinavian origin; likely in common with most of the birds that come through this area.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus littoralis

Canon Powershot SX10

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Common Dolphins, Bay of Biscay

This has taken a while to sort out as I had a problem with Movie Maker. OK, these aren't the best quality but you get a flavour for the hundreds of Dolphins steaming in to ride the bow wave. An estimated 700 Common Dolphins were seen on the 12th of September; day 2 of the Company of Whales tour on the Pride of Bilbao sailing across the Bay of Biscay.

Common Dolphins Delphinus delphis

Canon Powershot SX10

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Scaup, Ferry Meadows

Yesterday Mike found another Scaup at Ferry Meadows with a party of Tufted Duck. There was no sign yesterday when I passed through at 17:30 and I could only find a couple of Tufties then, so it was a relief to hear from Matt that they were all back in the late evening. This morning it was showing well on the east side of Overton Lake.

Scaup Aythya marila, female

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x20

Monday, September 21, 2009

Water Rail

Some video of one of the showy birds at Ferry Meadows.

Water Rail

Water Rail, Ferry Meadows

For the past week the water level has been dropping drastically on the reserve at Ferry Meadows and forcing up to 5 Water Rails to feed out in the open. A great opportunity to see and photograph a normally rather secretive species.

These shots were taken with my newly repaired A640. The original was badly damaged in a bike accident and a second hand replacement quickly developed a fault with the screen. But reassembling the bits that worked from each of these has produced a working camera, phoenix-like, from the ashes of the faulty ones.

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x32

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


What an astonishing stroke of luck! Chris Park had just texted me to say he had a juvenile Gannet flying over Ferry Meadows so I thought I'll take a look out of my office window to see if anything was passing and there was a 3rd calendar year Gannet flying straight towards me heading down Broadway towards Peterborough town centre! I quickly grabbed the compact camera and started firing away more in hope than anything else and this is the result. I hope the bird doesn't suffer too much from the wire it seems to have got entangled with.

Gannet Morus bassanus, 3rd cal year

Canon Powershot A2100 IS

Santurtzi arthropods

Had a cracking weekend hitching up with The Company of Whales on the Portsmouth - Bilbao ferry. Met a great bunch of people and saw some superb wildlife on the sea and land. One of the highlights for me was calling a Grasshopper Warbler flying long the edge of the ship, which finally perched up in full view confirming the ID.

The ferry arrives at Santurtzi (Santurtzi in Basque, Santurce in Spanish) and a walk up the slopes of Mount Serrantes to the Fortified Heights, while waiting for the return sailing, produced some excellent insects and spiders.

Praying Mantis Mantis religiosa

Wasp Spider Argiope bruennichi (the last pic shows the spinneret producing silk)

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket Phaneroptera falcata, female - note the sickle-shaped ovipositor

Adonis Blue Polyommatus bellargus

Pyrausta despicata

Rush Veneer Nomophila noctuella

Grasshopper (ID still under investigation)

Canon Powershot SX10 IS

Monday, September 07, 2009

Grote Heide

An attempt to see Spotted Darter was only partially successful. The darters were either hiding during the cool, cloudy, windy conditions or too active during the brief sunnier spells. A few views through bins seemed to confirm the ID but couldn't get any photos. Small Emerald Damselfly was new to me though and there were many Pool Frogs present.

Small Emerald Damselfly Lestes virens


Small Red Damselfly Ceriagrion tenellum

Pool Frog Rana lessonae

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Large Thorn & Feathered Gothic

The autumn moths are well underway now.

Large Thorn Ennomos autumnaria

Feathered Gothic Tholera decimalis, female

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS