Well the chance of some Long-eared Owl photos had me heading North for the 3rd time this week,destination Blacktoft Sands,East Yorks a slight detour on the way to pick Rich Dawkins & Mandy West up from Barton-upon-Humber & we were on our way by 9:30 we'd had good views but very hard work for photography with all the branches etc in the way but mustn't complain! drove back down to South Ferribt dipped the RL Buzzard then onto Worlaby Carrs where we only had 1 Short-eared Owl (very distant) in about 4hrs of watching leaving a lot of birders/photographers rather fed up & just a little cold!!
Friday 25 February 2011
Well i just had to go back up to Lincs for the Owls the weather forecast was good so an earlyish start had me up at Barton-upon-Humber for about 9:30 picking up Rich Dawkins on the way 1st stop was to the local pits where 2 Long-tailed Ducks were still present also good numbers of Tree Sparrow in the hedgerow,nxt stop to South Ferriby for the Juv Rough-legged Buzzard which showed well but a little to distant for anything more than record shots!! We reached Worlaby Carrs about 12ish & were joined by Mandy West,Darren Chapman & about 50 other photographers from all parts of the country! The birds must have been enjoying baskin in the sun as apart from a cpl of distant flight views the action didn't hot up till about 4:20 when old faithfull came & showed off!! Ive never seen so many happy & relieved faces in a long time (Photos below)
Tuesday 22 February 2011
Well the chance to get out & test my new toy (Canon 1D Mk111) came up today so a cpl of hrs trip up to Barton-upon-Humber to collect Rich Dawkins & Mandy West alongside Andy Jones & a tour around Rich & Mandy's local patches soon produced the 1st yearly tick in the shape of 2 Long-tailed Duck quickly followed by at least 50 Tree Sparrows (A good start to the day!) A short trip then onto South Ferriby for the Juv Rough-legged Buzzard by the cement works (Dipped) then onto Worlaby Carrs for the main attraction the Short-eared Owls,no sooner had we got on the approach rd & Rich had picked up a bird flying alongside the rd,we passed the 1st photographer who looked familiar but nobody else commented so carried onto the end of the rd where we soon had another Owl (which was so confiding!) altogether we had at least 6 birds also a female Merlin posed for us at a distance but flew directly over us giving great views,by now the wind & the rain was gettin the better of us so a quick check for Corn Buntings (at least 10) then it was bk to the car for a warm,by now the other photographer had pulled up along side us & got out for a chat! Yes he was familiar none other than Warwickshires Steve Valentine who hadn't managed to get any birds perched so after putting him onto a roosting bird in the grass we left him be! (Glad to say Steve finally got the bird perched up & posing aswell!!) A fantastic day which ended with us back at South Ferriby where we had superb views of the Rough-legged Buzzard hopefully i'll be doing the trip again in better weather!!!
Sunday 13 February 2011
Well call me obsessive but i just had to make the 350 mile round journey again for the Long-billed Dowitcher at Poole Park,Dorset! Knowing the weather was gonna be sunshine it was just gonna have to be done so 6am found me on my travels,it didn't look promising on the way down with light rain but by the time i arrived at 8:45 it was blue skies & with the sun over my shoulder just perfect ,after rattling off nearly 700 shots & being very happy i headed for home!!
(just a few of the shots below & my now obligitory head shot above!
Had a trip over to Draycote Water Friday hoping for some better photos of the female Scaup but just as she was coming into range the motor launch came out & spooked the birds! Had 8 Raven over the outflow (a good local count) 15 Goosander by the inflow but photographic chances were ziloch so myself & Bob Hazell headed back to the old visitor centre to check for Moths,we were delighted to find at least a dozen Dotted Border(Light & Dark versions) 2 Spring Ushers (New for me) 3 Early Moth & 3 Pale Brindled Beauty! so a good trip in the end (Thats if you like Moths of course?)
Friday 11 February 2011
Well finally made it down to Poole,Dorset for the Long-billed Dowitcher & Ring-billed Gull (both 1st winters) & the weatherman just for a change got it wrong (It promised rain till 6am) by 11am totally soaked i gave up! 2 cracking additions for the year & both photographic ticks (Digitally anyway!) A cracking site with Godwits,Redhanks,Oystercatchers all real close for photography (so def a trip back in better weather?)
Sunday 6 February 2011
Well i was hoping to get down on the South coast this W/E but the high winds put me off so just had a lazy few days! ending up spending a cpl of hrs at Draycote Water sun afternoon in search of the female Greater Scaup (Year tick) soon found the bird in Rainbow corner & she showed well just a pity about the weather! also seen was a very flighty female Smew.
Tuesday 1 February 2011
Went back over to Clayhanger Marsh,W.Mids for the Black-throated Diver, arrived in glorious sunshine but was left with only distant views & no chance of any photos as the pool was 9/10 frozen with only a small patch open by the island,so a few more from Sundays trip below