Tuesday, 24 February 2015

A bit of variety ....

The last couple of weeks have seen me out with the camera in very different locations, I am still without my big lens, still being repaired but if nothing else the time without it has given me some valuable time with my 300mm F4 and combined with a 1.4TC it has worked really well.
A couple of weeks ago Sharon and I were exhibiting at RSPB Conwy, although it was not a really busy day on the stand, outside it was a beautiful day and was great to have a wander around the reserve....

A few years ago a Little Egret sighting was a rarity, thankfully they are a common sight at many estuaries, stunning birds up close

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there was a beautiful pair of Mute Swans feeding right outside the 'Lookout' where our exhibition was

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On Saturday morning we returned to RSPB Burton Mere to hopefully see the Long Eared Owl that has recently taken up residence, unfortunately it has taken to roosting in a dense Hawthorn bush, although I couldn't get a clear view through to it, was quite pleased with what I got

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Then it was on to Parkgate down on the Dee Estuary for the high tide due at lunchtime, at 10.3m this is a big tide that floods much of the salt marsh, pushing all the rodents in closer to land, bringing with it raptors such as Short Eared Owls and Kestrels, as well as all the waders pushed in by the tide.
No real keepers out of the camera, but still some nice record shots.

Short eared owl hunting along the tide line

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Quite a few Kestrels about picking off fleeing rodents

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the preverbial 'Drowned Rat' !!

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we saw quite a few Water Rails flushed out by the incoming tide

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I lost count of the number of Herons following the tide in for easy pickings

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this little Water Vole one of the lucky ones that escaped the incoming tide

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this little guy swimming for it

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Sunday morning we had an early wander down the River Alyn hoping to see Dippers, and quickly found the resident pair, lots of courtship and displaying going on, a sure sign that Spring is just around the corner, as is the Snowdrops

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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Goosanders

The Goosander is a bird that I have never really got to grips with, only really getting record shots, but managed to put that right last weekend, I was off at football, Sharon had a walk around Llyn Padarn whilst she waited, and came back all excited telling me there were Goosanders on the Lake, We hot footed it back before we travelled home, and spent a great half hour photographing Goosanders in the late afternoon Snowdonia sunshine.

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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Woodland and Coast

This post is very much split between two completely different habitats... the woodland of Marbury Country Park and the North Wirral Coast at New Brighton.

Firstly lets go to a country park that up until recently I never new about, but I am glad that I now have it on my list of places to visit, especially to photograph Nuthatch's . Although on this visit they were a little more cautious about coming down for the free seed offerings I had scattered. But what I didn't expect was so many Jays, I knew they were around, but four of these normally secretive birds were constantly coming down to the peanut feeder and also the peanuts I had scattered on the woodland floor.

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Photographing the Jays took over the session a bit, but the Nuthatch's were still coming down to feed

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As were the Robins.... you see them everywhere but I can't resist a few snaps !

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Now it's off to the North Wirral Coast, and more precisely the western end of New Brighton beach, were I was informed Snow Buntings were to be seen on the beach. I have only ever seen these beautiful, hardy little birds up in the high mountains, but never had the opportunity to photograph them. It took a while to find the pair, but I was delighted to see them, the only downside was trying to photograph small birds in the middle of an exposed beach with a force 9 gale whipping up a sand storm. But nonetheless still managed some nice record shots, and hopefully I can get back on a calmer day before they disappear.

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This crafty little Turnstone was huddled in behind a clump of seaweed out of the wind

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The Sanderling were just going for it on the tide line, just love the way they scurry about the beach

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Lots of Oystercatchers being pushed in by the incoming tide

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On the way back down the Dee Estuary called in at West Kirby, mainly to see if the Goosanders on the Marine Lake were close enough, sadly they were not, but still plenty of Redshanks to photograph.

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and lastly a bird I see everywhere in all habitats but never photograph, scuttling about at the edge of the lake a lovely Pied Wagtail

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COMING SOON IN THE NEXT POST..... GOOSANDERS !!