Sunday, 28 December 2008

Waxwing shots at last.Taken on Saturday 27th. December 2008.

Allthough I had seen seen some Waxwings a few years ago I did not have a shot of one so I was very keen to get one when a few were visiting our area around Xmas.

Having missed the ones at Minworth the previous week I was not confident when I set out early Saturday morning to Upton Warren where they had been seen near the gate of the Webbs Garden Centre.

I did not have to wait long when a dozen of them appeared in the poplars across the roadway.They then dropped down to the trees by the Webbs entrance gates but soon flew off.They returned 15 minutes later but again did not stay too long before disappearing for good.

Managed to get some not so good shots as it was pretty gloomy  but nevertheless I was pleased to get some shots at long last. 

Draycote Water visit on Friday 26th. December 2008.

Keen to get some fresh air after Xmas  I went over to Draycote Water on Boxing day.Allthough it was sunny it was colder than ever as I walked along the Farborough Bank and it was busy both on the paths and on the water.

Located the Smew in it's usual spot but as it came near for a decent pic some clown in a speed boat sped by and frightened it off to the far reaches of the reservoir.

The cold was getting to me so I headed back to the Centre.On the walk back the Red Necked Grebe showed well as did a couple of Great Northern Divers well they did till some boaters in kayaks came too close and scared them off.

A Common Sandpiper was near the Centre and a Little Grebe entertained me for a few minutes as it battled with a large fish.  

Friday, 19 December 2008

Visit to Draycote Water on Wednesday 17th. December 2008.

The sun was shining again so I went over to Draycote Water again.It was very chilly when I arrived but the sun was still out.

Decided to walk along the Farborough bank and was surprised to see that there were no Great Northern Divers near the pontoons but the lone Shag was still there.Best spot was a drake Smew near the Farborough spit but annoyingly it refused to come close enough to the bank to get some decent shots.

On the way back along the bank a Great Northern Diver was pretty close in and near the centre a Common Sandpiper and a Grey Wagtail were about for a while.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Visit to Coombe Abbey Country Park on Wednesday 10th. December 2008.

Went to the country park at Coombe Abbey to try and get some shots of the Marsh Tits that visit the feeders near the hide.As I'd never seen one before this would be a life tick if one showed up.

Finally found the hide after a long walk along the lakeside and when I entered no one else was there so I had it all to myself.There was one feeder table that was covered with seed and was atracting loads of Bluetits,Great Tits,Chaffinches and Coal Tits that were battling with some Squirrels for food.

Also a couple of Nuthatches paid regular visits to the table and a Song Thrush and several Blackbirds were feeding on the ground.A Muntjack deer also paid a visit and came close to the hide.

After half an hour a couple of Marsh Tits paid brief visits to the feeder before flying off into the bushes so I only got a few feeder shots.They were around for about an hour so I was pleased to get some shots and of course a life tick.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

A Visit to the Falconry at Hanbury on Wednesday 3rd. December 2008

As it was a bright morning and there did not appear to be anything special at my local patches I decided to go to the Falconry at Hanbury to see if they were flying anything interesting.Got there at 11 o'clock and allthough the sun was shining it was extremely cold and I feared Iwould not last too long in the open.

The first bird they brought out was Jessie the Bengal Eagle Owl which entertained us for a half an hour flying around the compound.After lunch they brought out Harry the male Harris Hawk which seemed to have an endless appetite and kept on calling out for more food.A great looking bird spcially when in flight.

A few pics are attached.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Trip to Draycote Water on Friday 28th. November 2008.

Decided to go to Draycote Water again as the sun was shining.Got there at 10.00AM and was pleased to find that for a change there was no wind blowing and the water was glass smooth.The sun shone till lunchtime when a mist appeared from nowhere to ruin everthing but we did have two hours of very good conditions.

There were 3 Great Northern Divers showing well near the pontoons and the Shag was on the pontoons with some Cormorants.The Red-necked Grebe was still off the Farborough Bank but distant.The female Common Scoter was in Toft Bay but also was distant.A Common Sandpiper flew onto the beech near the pontoons.

For once a Kestrel didn't fly off to the next county  when I got near it and allowed me to get some decent pics.