Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A quick visit to Marsh Lane.

The weatherman told me that the weather would be OK after lunch so I thought I'd make a quick visit to Marsh Lane.Of course when I drove into the carpark the skies opened up and I was trapped in the car until the shower from hell finished.

Very little about of interest other than the family of Linnets on the causeway,a Kingfisher fly-by also from the causeway,4 Common Buzzards over the carpark and a couple of Kestrels near the Oak hide.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Decent weather for a change.

The forecast was good for a change so I thought I'd better go out birding but where to go?Decided on Brandon Marsh again not because I expected to see much there but because I knew some of my birding mates would be there.

As expected there was not much about to point the camera at but I soon met up with Jeff,George and Kath and the chat made up for the lack of birds.

Things did look up as a long stay in the Carlton hide was rewarded with the fine looking juvenile Little Grebe performing again near the hide,a short visit by a Kingfisher which,although it didn't come close,was nice to see as it was the first one I'd seen perching this year.It was also nice to see a few waders (several Redshanks and a Green Sandpiper) on the pool which was no doubt due to the water level being lower.

A few pics attached including a couple of nearly decent flying KF shot.

Friday, 24 July 2009

A couple of local trips.

On Wednesday, having been told by the weatherman that the strong wind would abate,I popped across to Marsh Lane only to be greeted with a gale that blew my hat off in the carpark as soon as I got out the car.

The bad news continued with very little around of note and I missed the Yellow Wagtail on the car park pool.The only things that cheered me up a little were a family of Linnets on the causeway,a lone Tree Sparrow on the feeders and a Kestrel trying to hover in the strong wind and failing.

Thinking the weather was going to be better on Thursday morning (What a fool) I headed off to Brandon Marsh.A long walk round produced very little to point the camera at even the Hobbies didn't make a visit.The gloom was lifted for a while when a snake (Grass ?) swam across the Carlton pool and excited a pair of Moorhens.

Oh Dear not good on birding front!!!!! Some pics attached but I had to scrape the barrel to find something to post.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Brandon Marsh visit.

In the last week or so I've been to Marsh Lane and Brandon Marsh and found nothing to take a shot of at all so I was not confident I would not do any better when I arrived at Brandon Monday morning.

My misgivings were proving to be correct because I saw hardly any birds at all in a 2 hour walk round the reserve.It was very quiet!!!!!

It wasn't till I got to the Carlton hide and spotted a Hobby sitting in the tree to the right of the hide that I saw something any good.The light was all wrong of course and it soon flew off but I was very pleased to see it.I did notice it had a broken feather hanging down from it's wing.

Funnily enough when I got to the Teal Pool hide another Hobby (a juvenile apparantly) was sitting in the tree to the left of the hide.Annoyingly you would have needed a 800 lens with a 2X converter on to get a decent shot but through a scope it was a fabulous looking bird.

A few pics above which you can click to get a larger version.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Some Hobby shots from Brandon.

Went to Brandon Marsh for the first time for a while on Friday morning and found a bright and warm day for a change.

Had a good walk round and found loads of Warblers about but took no decent shots (too many leaves).Most disappointing was to find a Cetti's feeding a juvenile at the base of a tree just to the right of the main path as you come to the golf course but the undergrowth between me and the birds was so tall I couldn't get a decent shot.What a bummer!!!!!

Best fun was had surprisingly from the Steetly Hide which is usually so disappointing for me but today a Hobby turned up and stayed for half an hour.What a merry dance he led me flying pretty close but at great speed,flying against the tree line when I'd got the camera set for a sky shot and vice versa so I ended up with a lot of silhouettes or burnt out shots and suddenly doing a verical climb so I banged the lens on the top frame of the hide window flap.

Did get some OK shots which would have been better if I'd got the camera set up correctly.Click to get a larger version.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Some more Red Kites.

On Sunday my brother who lives in Ruislip had invited me down to one of his garden parties.Now these garden parties are not to be missed as he and his wife put on a good show and there is always excellent food and drink.

I set off early on Sunday morning so I could take advantage of this trip down the M40 and make a small diversion to see one of my favourite birds the Red Kite which are pretty easy to find in the Chilterns.This time I thought I would try a different spot which had been recommended to me some time ago by Pete Walkden who knows a lot of very good spots to see birds.This particular spot was not too far from J5 just past Stokenchurch along the lane between Waterend and Beacons Bottom.

I found the lane quite easily and it does not seem to matter where you park because there were at least 20 birds cruising around some of them coming pretty low including one star that flew down the lane at hedge level.It wasn't all plain sailing though because a lot of the time the Kites were between me and the sun which was a bit of a sod when you are trying to get some decent shots and not silhouettes.

When we are lucky enough to get a distant glimpse of a Red Kite in our area we are pretty pleased but I noticed all the locals who walked the lane when I was there took them for granted and didn't look even when these beautiful birds flew very close to them.What a difference a few miles make!!!!

Click on the pics for a larger version.