Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Fun and games in a churchyard.

Still feeling chuffed about seeing my first Spotted Flycatcher of the year however briefly last week in a churchyard in Berkswell on Monday morning off I shot chasing them again but this time heading for a churchyard a bit further away in southern Warwickshire.I had planned to meet up with the Nuneaton Model (Kath) there as she had not got any decent shots of one.

I got there at 9.30AM to find a warm and bright morning and a very peaceful churchyard.It didn't take me long to find a Spotted Flycatcher on a distant bush and within a few minutes using my excellent bird behaviour knowledge and superb fieldcraft (what a load of rubbish that is) I located a "staging platform" a pair of them were using before they darted into the nest with their catch.The trouble was this "staging platform" was a very gloomy bush next to a large tree.Not so good for pics then!!!!

The Nuneaton Model eventually arrived having got lost on route.Women drivers eh!!!!! We then settled down to try for shots in the gloom of the bush but with the distance we had to stay from the nest and the dull conditions I struggled very badly to get any decent shots.Here are some shots where you can see how gloomy it was.

Mid morning a woman came out of the church to tell us "We encourage birders to visit the churchyard and you are welcome to enter the church turn right and help yourself to tea and coffee and if you see anything please enter it in the sightings book" How about that then!!!! makes a change from a shouted "What the hell do you think you are doing.Clear off "

After lunch we spotted a third Spotted Flycatcher that favoured the ridge line at the top of the church which of course was a fair way off.The disappointing thing was that the birds today were not using the gravestones as a base for catching insects which is where you've got a good chance of getting decent shots.I'm not going to moan too much because it was an excellent day's birding even though decent pics were very hard to get.

Here are a few shots of the one that favoured the church roof with a large butterfly.

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