Sunday, November 28, 2010

Climbing Bank Vole

The cold weather has made the Bank Voles in the garden much bolder. One has taken to climbing an ivy-covered fence to get at some fat balls in a feeder hanging nearby. At least three others feed below it.

Videoscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77x20

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Biking Birder

Well it was excellent to be able to meet up with Gary yesterday and offer him somewhere to stay. Gary's epic journey around the UK visiting every RSPB and WWT reserve, not to mention a fair few ECO Schools, continues through Cambridgeshire and I was able to join him for the ride to the Nene Washes this morning.

There were not that many birds on show and nothing to add to Gary's 242 species total (chasing the record of 251) but it was a fabulous morning; icy cold and still with a cracking sunrise.

Keep going Gary and good luck:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Office Short-eared Owl

Waxwing in the morning, Short-eared Owl in the afternoon. Crikey!

Sitting at my desk I picked up a distant group of four high-flying birds heading towards me high in the one small patch of sky I can see from here. When I put my bins on them I was astonished to see one was an owl. I scrabbled to get a scope but by that time it was getting closer and too high so I stayed on it with bins and watched as it passed directly over the office heading WNW shadowed by three Carrion Crows. It stayed fairly high but was clearly a Short-eared Owl, the pale belly and solid black primary tips being obvious with bins.

61st species seen from this office window following the 60th this morning. What next?!

Office Waxwing

Spent this morning searching the Nene Valley from Castor Meadows eastwards following yesterday's sighting of a Great Grey Shrike at Ferry Meadows. There were a lot of birds around, especially winter thrushes moving west. The highlights were two large gangs of passerines mobbing birds: the first was near Lynch Bridge, which led to very close views of a roosting Tawny Owl in a yew and the second was a Sparrowhawk at the north end of Coney Meadow. Plenty of Siskins were around the NVR Yacht Club crossing and there were a lot of Goldcrests around generally.

Of course there was no sign of the shrike but on arriving at work I looked out of the window to see this beauty sat on the treetop behind the houses opposite. No doubt attracted by the rowans on Park Road this was a very welcome office tick.

Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x20