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.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Very rare birds at Draycote Water on Tuesday 25th. November 2008

The sun was shining for a change so on Tuesday morning I went across to Draycote Water.As usual a walk along the Farborough Bank was undertaken in a bitterly cold wind and,as I'd only seen a couple of the Great Northern Divers and these at distance,I decided quite quickly to head back to the centre to try and get warm.

However,when I'd got to about 100 metres away from the centre,a White Tailed Eagle was showing well near the wall.A sensational spot for Draycote Water.It stayed for about an hour before moving off. 

Unbelievably things didn't go downhill in the afternoon when a Golden Eagle was showing well on the grassy knoll near the upper carpark.It also stayed for about an hour before moving off.

Both birds were a first for Draycote Water.Pity then that each bird had a falconer holding onto it.Yes both birds had been brought down to get publicity shots for a new website for the falconers.Still very good to see these fabulous birds close to. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Another Visit to Draycote Water on Tuesday 18th November 2008.

The sun was shining for a change so I raced over to Ice Station Draycote in the morning to try to get some decent shots of the Divers and the Red-necked Grebe.

Unfortuneately there was a very cold wind blowing down the Farborough Bank and my thermals were very quickly penetrated (not to be recommended).These conditions seemed to have affected the birds and the Red-necked Grebe stayed well out of range all day.The Great Northern Divers (there were 2 of them off the Farborough Bank) were also playing hard ball and only came close enough for pics on a few occasions.

The bright conditions made up for the Divers not coming close in and I was able to get a few decent shots including one with a fish.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Visit to Draycote Water on Wednesday 12th. November 2008.

As it was sunny for a change I went over to Ice Station Draycote to see what was about.Got there at 10.00AM and decided to walk along Farborough Bank.Allthough my friend the weatherman had promised a calm day I found a strong cold wind was blowing.

Luckily I soon found the Red Necked Grebe pretty close to the rocks and was able to get some shots.I was even luckier a bit further along Farborough Bank when I spotted one of the Great Northern Divers not too far out and again was able to get some shots.

My luck then ran out as,having heard that a Snow Bunting was further along the bank,my race to it's location was rewarded with "It's just flown off".OH Great joy!!!!! I was very jealous when some other birders showed me some excellent shots they'd taken of it.

There was even more bad news when i got home and found that the bright conditions coupled with my using the 1.4 converter had caused most of my shots to be blown out.I did manage to salvage some though.  

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Draycote Water visit on Monday 3rd. November 2008.

Despite the grim weather on Monday morning I raced over to Draycote Water to see if the Red Necked Grebes reported yesterday were still about.I decided to try the Farborough Bank first and I was immediately attacked by a very strong and icy wind that seemed to be coming direct from the arctic.

Luckily for me after only 200 metres I found one of the R/N Grebes but it was a bit far out.After I'd paid a visit to the Toft Hide I came back to try for it again and luckily for me it was now much close in and despite the very gloomy conditions I was able to a few shots.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

A visit to a falconry on Saturday 1st November 2008.

My very good friend the weatherman promised me that Saturday morning would be sunny but chilly so I decided to go to the falconry at the Jinney Ring craft centre near Hanbury to get some shots of any birds they may be excercising that day.However my weatherman friend had let me down again and there was no sun,it was dull and windy.

Luckily for me the people running the falconry decided to exercise a couple of their birds despite the strong wind blowing.Not good for decent shots in the dull conditions and the very strong wind blowing made it so cold that I was close to dying of exposure (where the hell is this global warming?).

The two birds excercised that morning were a Kestrel and a Bengal Eagle Owl.Despite the conditions it was very nice to get very close to these beautiful birds.