Saturday, 28 January 2012

Red fox

I watched this dog fox make a rush at some ducks and swans without success, it then followed its nose into the large heap of cut reeds that can be seen in the picture and poke its nose in quite a way to pull out a mouse's nest and snack on the unfortunate beast, then after hearing my camera clicks it disappeared into the reeds.

Grey heron

This was one greedy individual and a very good fisherman. I watched it wade around the large pond with the water up to its wings at times and suddenly lunge at and catch a large perch, he then flew to the shore and despatched  it with some well aimed stabs to the head and body and then swallowed it straight down. I expected it to retire to digest it's catch but no, it was back to the pool for another fish!

Mute swans

The top picture is of the swan 'turned turtle' having a bath and the second one is a pair bonding in the classic love heart shape

Monday, 16 January 2012

Short eared owl

Having been to the Therfield / Sandon area twice since the new year I thought I would have another try today. We had seen the long staying great grey shrike on Saturday together with a peregrine giving a buzzard a very torrid time and plenty of other buzzards and red kites.
I parked up and walked to the spot I have permission to use from a good natured local farmer and settled down to wait. I saw a couple of buzzards having a little contre temps, and then the owl appeared from over the hill following a line of set-aside. Knowing that there were some birders nearby with a similar view, I sat quite still and it flew right over me and then turned and went back the way it had come and I took the record shot above. another thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, albeit a very cold one.

Bittern & Smew

Les & I went to Amwell in the hope of seeing a bittern on a very cold & frosty morning with plenty of ice to force the bitterns to the edge of the reed beds and another couple pointed one out peering at us through a curtain of reeds, this was a very promising start, if not a great picture!
We then walked further up the Lea valley and were treated to a superb view of a male smew that was not the normal 200 yards distant, a cracking individual, we also saw goldeneye and a large flock of siskins so a good day was had.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Feral goose

Our attention was caught by the blue eyes on this escapee from someones Christmas menu that was with some greylag geese at Cley, it is the final offering of our trip

Sperm whale

The whale had been washed up on Hunstanton beach (long dead) and was a scene of great interest to many people, there was a constant stream of people arriving to ogle the sad remains of what had been a forty foot leviathan. Some delightful persons had chain sawed its jaw off, to presumably sell the teeth as souvenirs. The sanderling was one of a small group that were hunting the tide line quite close to the whale.

Pink footed goose

A very tame bird that happily wandered in front of the hide at Holkham marsh. We also saw a firecrest but it was too quick for the camera. Thanks to the Met office who forecast sunny spells were were later caught in a squall that came up on us exceedingly quickly, the wind was howling through at about fifty miles per hour and the rain was travelling with the wind rather than falling it seemed - we all finished up rather wet.

Titchwell RSPB

we noticed the reflection of the water in the hide windows, these are set at an angle so that the birds see none of their watchers. The other picture is of a flock of golden plover one of which on the right still had its summer plumage which I thought to be very late in changing to it's drab winter plumage.

Caspian gull & Arctic redpoll

These were two further rarities we saw, both record shots only, both birds were at Titchwell RSPB site.

Western sandpiper

These are some distant record shots of the tiny American wader that has spent several weeks at Cley-next-the-sea and remains there into January. Les & I spent four days up in Norfolk after Christmas with two friends and these and the following images were taken on this trip.