Thursday, December 18, 2003

Shag at Dog in a Doublet

This is probably the most reliable location in the area for Shags but it has been a while since the last one here. This one was also seen feeding at Eldernell Lakes and may also be responsible for other brief local sightings. Previous occurences here have stayed for a while and this one is no exception. It may have stayed longer had it not been for its untimely demise, probably a casualty of the adjacent road on 4 Jan 2004.

Along with Red and Black-throated Divers, Guillemot and Kittiwake it makes a fine set of recent seabird records for the PBC area's own bit of "coast".

Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis

Digiscoped with the Nikon CP995, Leica APO77 and 20x eyepiece.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Common Buzzard, Elton

This is an extremely pale adult and has been present in the Elton area since at least December 2001. In flight it even shows a tail with a pale base leading to possible confusion with Rough-legged Buzzard.

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo

Digiscoped with the Nikon CP995, Leica APO77 and 20x eyepiece.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Dartford Warbler, Stanground Wash

A most unexpected find and an unusual location. I check out the Sewage Works and outfall here for Green Sandpipers and Grey Wagtails and always take a look at the washland opposite where Short-eared and Barn Owl are regular as well as Stonechats and the like. What I didn't expect was what looked like a brown Long-tailed Tit bouncing towards me through the vegetation along the River Nene. As it passed just below me I couldn't quite believe I was having point blank views of a Dartford Warbler. The bird stayed on the bank next to me for a while but typically, just as I went for the camera, it flew to the far side of the opposite river bank and gave me 20 nerve racking minutes before Steve Dudley caught a brief glimpse then I saw it again in the middle of the wash. Views were more distant but I was extremely relieved that there was something for the arriving hoards to see. It showed well enough to provide these record shots, most of which were taken at long range or in low light.

This is the 270th species for the PBC area and there are also no other records for Huntingdonshire. There are two other Old Cambs records, neither of which were twitchable - one from 1870 at Great Abingdon and one in a garden in Cherry Hinton in February 2001.

Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata

Pushing the limits of digiscoping with the Nikon CP995, Leica APO77 and 32x eyepiece.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Greenland White-fronted Goose, Hampton North Lake

This adult Greenland White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons flavirostris) with very dense barring and rather dark upperparts was initially located on Orton Brick Pit with a group of mainly Greylag Geese, which also contained a Pink-footed Goose and the regular Barnacle and Bar-headed Geese. Part of the flock containing these geese then headed off to Hampton North Lake where the White-front posed for these pictures. 
Digiscoped with the Nikon CP995, Leica APO77 and 20x eyepiece.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003


Another Kevin Du Rose special and a long-stayer. This was at the beginning of its stay near the rubbish tip at Tanholt Pits. The species is a recent split from the common Carrion Crow and is not annual in the Peterborough area.

Conditions were terrible for photography but here is a distant shot taken through the mist and gloom.

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix

Digiscoped with the Nikon CP995, Leica APO77 and 32x eyepiece.