Thursday, 28 April 2011

A few recent shots.

When the weather is sunny a couple of Ravens often fly over Knowle and therefore over my garden.Took this a week ago.Hard to get a decent shot of a dark bird in a bright sky (excuses again).

Earlier this week discussions took place in the Oak hide at Marsh Lane whether this was a white Waggy or not.

Down the old lane at Marsh lane a few days ago there was a Song Thrush "Britain's Got Talent" contest because at least three of them were singing out for all their worth.

Got my first dragonfly shot of the year yesterday.I've no idea what it is but it looked great.

I'm still chasing the Lesser Whitethroat down at Marsh Lane to get a decent shot but it's now much harder as it seems to have stopped singing so locating it is a real pain.This is all I've managed this week.

Couldn't resist posting another Common Whitethroat shot as they are such cracking looking birds.

The Barnacle Goose turned up at Brandon Marsh the other day.I'm not sure that it's accepted as such though.Looks OK to me but what do I know.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Blimey!! A Grasshopper Warbler showing off.

I was very lucky today as I very nearly decided not to go out with the camera but I thought sod it let's do it.So I went over to Brandon Marsh.

I'm very glad I did it because on the corner of the path by the golf course at about 9.00AM a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling out on the marsh very close by at the base of a small tree.For the next hour me and four other birders were treated to this beauty often coming out into the open and reeling out for all it's worth.Lots of shots taken so there'll be loads of Gropper shots on the net tonight.

Never seen one do this before.They usually skulk around low down out of site for me so this was a real treat.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

More battles with two old friends.

The first of my two old friends I went into battle with again was a Grasshopper Warbler at Brandon Marsh.My two previous attempts had ended with total failure and despite one reeling close by I hadn't even managed a glimpse let alone a shot.

So early on Friday morning I found myself on the path running next to the golf course waiting to hear that distinctive reeling.It took me an hour before I heard one and then, even though it was reeling out seemingly very close by, another 30 minutes to actually see it.It was low down at the bottom of a small bush.My God these chaps are hard to spot.

Here are a few shots I managed before it shot off.The first one is an uncropped shot showing how difficult they are to spot.

The second of my old friends I went into battle with was the Lesser Whiethroat that gave me such a runaround yesterday.So just before lunch I went over to Marsh Lane hoping to do better with the camera than yesterday's crappograph.

As I got out of the car I saw this Common Buzzard flying over the car park pool carrying something.An egg ????? Why would it be carrying an egg round ?????

After a bit of lunch I went into battle again with the Lesser Whitethroat that favours the hedgerows along the old road near the car park gates.I quickly located it with it's rattling call but like yesterday it was moving around with a wingman a Common Whitethroat which makes it even harder to spot.

Just like yesterday it was a devil to spot in the hedges always deep in the gloom and flitting about constantly.For a short while I had Paul Johnson as a spotter but he soon tired of my efforts to get onto it.After 90 minutes in the Death Valley heat I was wilting badly and all I was doing was amassing a large collection of twigs shots but I had a moment's luck and managed a few shots.The first two are what you usually get ie. deep in the hedgerow and you have to lucky to get a glimpse of one in the open.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Tricked by a couple of Whitethroats.

By lunchtime today I was fed up with gardening so I went over to Marsh Lane for a short break.

A quick look round showed up a couple of distant Dunlins and that was about all I saw of any interest so knowing a Lesser Whitethroat had been seen earlier near the car park gate I thought I'd have a go and see if I could get some shots.

Luckily it's rattling call is easy to recognise even for me and I was able to locate it fairly quickly.Seeing one, however, is a different matter as they skulk around low down in hedges.Well they do for me.After an hour of trying to get a shot in blistering heat and racked by a raging thirst all I'd got was a single pretty poor shot.There was lots of swearing as it kept darting around in the gloom of the bushes.

Then suddenly it shot out of the hedge and perched up in a nearby tree.Got you you swine I thought and rattled of a few shots.Here's one of them.

It wasn't till I'd got home that I realised the cunning fox had called his cousin (a Common) in and got him to pose in a tree so he could do a runner.What a miserable so and so.

Here is the one shot I got of the Lesser Whitethroat (well I hope it is a Lesser).

Another day's birding in the sun.

Earlyish on Wednesday morning I went over to Brandon Marsh again this time I planned to hang around the path overlooking Newlands to see what came into camera range instead of wandering around everywhere like I did last time.

Apologies for posting more Common Whitethroat shots but they are for me the best looking of all the Warblers and this morning I came across this handsome chap who must be the Brad Pitt of the Whitethroat world.

I managed a few shots of a Cetti's Warbler which, although not as good as last year's shots, it was nice to get the first shot this year.

The pair of Linnets were still collecting nesting material.They must be building a mansion of a nest because they have been collecting for ages now.

When I was about to enter the second hour of waiting for a Grasshopper Warbler to show (it had been reeling very close to the bench on the corner of the path for ages) and getting fed up I received a text from Nic Barlow at Marsh Lane "Wood Sandpiper on CP pool". As Brandon was filling up with noisy energetic children I decided to go for it especially as it would be a good Warks Year tick.

Whenever I do this I always think I will miss it and the smiling people in the hide would say "It's just flown". On this occasion I need not have worried because it was still there although a bit distant favouring the island to the right of the hide.I waited patiently for well over two hours for it to come closer but it didn't so only crappographs taken.I need a bigger lens but with a bigger lens comes a bigger wallet and shoulders and spine made of high grade titanium.

Here are a few shots.Funnily enough the best shot was when it flew around having been disturbed by a Redshank.

To relieve the boredom waiting for the WS to come closer the Yellow Wagtail again paraded in front of the hide.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

First Hobby of the year.

After a morning of domestic chores I went to Marsh Lane Tuesday afternoon to enjoy the sunny very warm weather and hopefully get some decent shots.

Found nothing on the car park pool.At the causeway I saw a Kestrel flying high in the sky and managed a few shots.

When the Kestrel flew away I looked again in the sky and thought I'd spotted another Kestrel even higher in the sky but,as I rattled off some shots,I realised it was a Hobby.One of my favourite birds and the first spot of the year so a Warks year tick.Pics poor but who cares just great to see one.

I spent an age waiting for a singing Reed Warbler to show itself but it wasn't playing ball and this is all I got.

Look what was in my garden this morning.

I opened the blinds of the back bedroom this morning at 6.45AM and was very surprised to see this chap in my back garden.

Bearing in mind I live in a large housing estate in Knowle at least half a mile from any woods or fields I was amazed to find one in my back garden.Luckily the camera was nearby and I rattled off a few shots through the open window.It was not at all phased and looked at me with complete disdain.Mind you a lot of people do that as well!!!!!

Another visit to Brandon Marsh.

Went across to Brandon Marsh again on Monday morning hoping the fine weather would get the birds out posing for shots.

I had decided to take it easy and wait for the birds to come to me but this didn't work out and I ended up walking round all day.This was because it was strangely quiet with little showing and you had to get around the reserve to see anything.

Spent an hour listening but not seeing a Grasshopper Warbler by the golf course and another hour trying to get shots of the Cetti's Warbler that hangs out near the Baldwin hide and failing badly again.Did get some better shots of a Common Whitethroat and a shot of a Linnet that was growing a fine moustache but that was all.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Out Birding on Sunday.

If the weather is OK I usually go to Marsh Lane on Sunday mornings but this Sunday I drove over to a water tower in Bedworth.

Why should I drive all the way to a water tower in Bedworth? Because someone told me you can see Peregrine Falcons there and I could do with some decent shots of these chaps.So how did I do? Well not too good as it happens! What they didn't tell me was that the tower was a massive structure and very tall and it was surrounded by a very compact housing estate so tricky parking.

I soon got onto one right at the top of the tower but the sun was right behind it so I drove round to the other side of the tower but although it was now in the sun it was even further away.It soon flew off not to be seen again.This is all I got.

Sitting dozing in the garden in the afternoon I got a call from Nic Barlow telling me a male Wheatear was near the car park hide.As I hadn't seen one this year (and so a Warks Year tick) I shot over there. My good friend Mr.Pintail was there and to the left of the hide the Wheatear was still there.Also there was a Yellow Wagtail to the right of the hide but a bit distant.