Friday, 17 May 2019

WHERE HAVE ALL THE BIRDS GONE.


Been out locally a few times in the great weather but have struggled to find any decent birds to photograph.Visits to Brueton Park NR ,Packwood House NT , Earlswood Lakes and Baddesley Clinton NT have been very disappointing all very quiet.

Particularly worrying is that several local spots that use to have loads of Swallows visiting for the Summer have either non at all or just the odd bird.

Did have some success.Another shot of the Long-tailed Tits that visit the back garden.This one was a little damp from the rain that was falling. 




Did manage my first shots of the year of a Blackcap. This one unfortunately picked a gloomy spot to finally land and sing out but great to see.




Yesterday morning I went to Hatton Locks for a walk round. No Swallows here as well but the morning was saved when I found a pair of Grey Wagtails busily finding food for their chicks. 











Thursday, 9 May 2019

COLD OUT THERE.



A bit cold out there for this Fairweatherbirder so I've been restricted mainly into taken pics of birds visiting the back garden feeders where the shortbread has proved a big attraction.

Among the usual suspects visiting the feeders was this Magpie that seems to have a cross bill.




A couple of Greenfiches also have been visiting the feeders which are the first seen there for a long time now.






The undoubted stars of the birds visiting the feeders have got to be a pair of Long-tailed Tits.








Have been out a couple of times but didn't stay out too long.At Baddesley Clinton NT it was very quiet and the only shots were of a Grey Heron which soon flew off as I tried to get close.






At Brueton Park it was also very quiet but I did find a Nuthatch's nest high up in a tree.Managed a few shots.





Wednesday, 1 May 2019

OUT IN THE SUNSHINE.


The sunshine was back Tuesday morning so after a visit to Sainsbury's for some shopping I grabbed the camera and went looking for some birds.

Thought I'd past one of the pair of Robins that are nesting in my back garden in some ivy just below a statue.First bird to nest in my garden for a long time. 




Back to Tuesday morning I went the couple of miles to Brueton Park (Also known as Crufts Park due to the number of dogs there). Went straight to the reserve at the back of the cafe.It was a lovely morning so I must have done well then ? No I'm afraid the place was dead and the only shot I took was of a Yellow-bellied Slider.




Feeling pretty grumpy I soon left but luckily took the path back to the CP alongside the lake because I was very surprised to see a cracking male Goosander cruising about.Always struggle to get a decent shot of these chaps it's the contrast between the dark head and white body.Here are some samples of how I cock things up. 








I was surprised to find it sunny again the morning so I went over to NT Baddesley Clinton.Things started well I heard a Cuckoo calling while in the car park and got my first of the year but no keeper shots of a Blackcap. After that things went right downhill and I never saw anything. 







Sunday, 28 April 2019

WINTER HAS RETURNED.


Not been out much lately due to the return of the bad weather.Did pop to Baddesley Clinton earlier in the week but it was very quiet and the only shot I managed was of a Great Spotted Woodpecker.




This morning I went over to Earlswood to try again to get some shots of the Yellow Wagtails which were seen there yesterday.The trip turned out to be a mistake not because I didn't see any Yellow Wagtails but because the weather was so cold.Everyone I met was in full winter gear and it's not too far from mid  summer yet we daily have global warming rammed down our throats.

The Red Lion donkey field did have some birds to point the camera at.A brief but distant visit of a Mistle Thrush.






A Common Buzzard landed briefly on a tree.










It didn't stay long and flew off.







Monday, 22 April 2019

A BIG TRIP OUT FOR ME.


For me these days I went out on a big trip with the camera this morning.All of the 15 miles to Bubbenhall Meadows where up to 3 Cuckoos had been reported the day before. I'd never been before but I knew the turn off the main road to the reserve access road.

What I didn't know though was that the access road was a bit of a nightmare for this old goat.It was single track with blind bends and very few passing places but I got to the CP OK.Mind you I had to remember the gate code for the first time in many years.

Not really knowing where to go I was lucky because the path I chose had a viewing screen with benches a short way along it.Within a few seconds I saw about 40 meters away these two chaps after the same perch. A Common Whitethroat and a Stonechat both my first of the year.










The Stonechat only stayed about a minute not to be seen again and never came close but very nice to see.






The Common Whitethroat did stay and I managed some OK shots from distance the micro 4/3 camera and lens did well.Eventually the bird came close but it at the exact moment my phone went off.It was my younger son needing some gardening advice.The bird flew off of course.








Two Cuckoos were calling out but from a long way off.I did get one sighting of them as they flew over the wood.No shots.

There was compensation for this as I spotted a Red Kite cruising around but by the time I ( Captain Slow) got onto it was 1 1/2 fields away.






Eventually the Common Whitethroat did come close (about 5 meters away) and I got some good shots.I then left and was very relieved I didn't meet a 4X4  coming the other way.







Friday, 19 April 2019

CHASING YELLOW WAGTAILS.


Been out with the camera a few times in this nicer weather.Been to Baddesley Clinton ,Shustoke Reservoir and Earlswood but have struggled to get any decent shots.

The only shots I took at Baddesley Clinton were of a Wren.Nothing else was about.








Did have a Curlew flyover at Shustoke but nothing else.This morning I went over to Earlswood to find a Yellow Wagtail.Went to the craft centre paddocks first but had to spend a while trying to get some shots of some Swallows that were flying around. This is all I got.




Just as I was about to move on I spotted a Yellow Wagtail a fair way off but very pleased to see one.I only got two shots off before it flew off.




Did no good with my first visit to the Red Lion donkey paddock and only got a shot of a Great Crested Grebe on the lakes.


   


A second visit to the pub paddock I had more luck as I found two Yellow Wagtails but they were a long way off and never came close.The sun was in my eyes so no decent shots but very nice to see.






To show I have taken some good shots of these chaps here is one I took earlier 6th April 2009 at Marsh Lane.