Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Not a bad morning at Brandon Marsh.

After doing the shopping on Tuesday morning I headed off to Brandon Marsh getting there just before 10.00AM to find  pretty decent weather.I headed straight for the Steetly hide as I knew some friends would be there trying for Kingfisher shots.

I didn't have to wait too long for one to turn up and it put on a great display for a few minutes treating us to some diving,fishing and hovering before shooting off towards the river.

I was lucky enough to see a Hobby hawking for dragonflies at the Steetly,Teal Pool and Carlton hides and what a great site it was to watch however that's where the good news ends because I struggled to get any decent shots when I should have done much better.All right it was often too far off for decent shots but when it did come close I was not quick enough to focus on it and messed up a load of shots.This is the best I could do.

Monday, 27 August 2012

A bit of a thin visit to Marsh Lane.

Went to Marsh Lane on Sunday morning and as usually happens when it's a fine day ideal for taking shots there's little decent to point the camera at.

I did get a couple of flight shots of some Gadwalls on the railway pool.


After a long stay in the Oak hide the only bird of interest that we saw was this chap which unfortunately was right the other side of the pool.There was a lot of discussion what it was most thinking it was a Hobby but I wasn't sure as it looked too pale for me but what do I know.

There was a nice Kestrel in the Oak tree near the CP hide.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Some recent shots.

Here are a few shots I've managed in the last couple of visits out.Nothing special I'm afraid.It's still a struggle to see anything decent locally.

Went to Marsh Lane on Sunday morning and although the weather was very pleasant the only shots I managed were of a Wren and a pair of Common Snipe.

I got stitched up yet again on Monday morning by the weatherman.I'd finished all my chores and was having a cup of tea in front of the telly when the weatherman said "It would be dry and the sun would come out mid morning to give a fine day".I got my gear out and headed off to Brandon Marsh but I hadn't gone a mile when the heavens opened up and I was in a deluge.Wonderful !!!!

It was still raining when I entered the Steetly hide but luckily this didn't put off a Kingfisher that did a bit of fishing in the gloom.The KF followed me to the Teal Pool and I managed a nearly decent flight shot.

It was a struggle to find any other birds to get shots of.The only success I had was with the Green Sandpipers that have been on the Teal Pool for a few days now.

Left click on the shots for a bigger version.

Friday, 17 August 2012

A morning at Brandon Marsh.

On Thursday morning I went across to Brandon Marsh getting there just before 10.00AM.I timed my arrival very well because I bumped into the pretty waitress just as the cafe was opening up and after a chat I was so cheered up I did not care too much if there was no birds about to point the camera at.

This was a good job because an hour's stay in the Steetly hide was dire with only a couple of Moorhens there.Things went further downhill when I saw that there were about a dozen volunteers on the East Marsh islands all armed with strimmers stripping the vegetation.

Luckily the Teal pool did have a bit of action.The 4 Green Sandpipers and a couple of Common Snipe were showing a bit distant but nice to see.A bit of a bonus was when a Muntjac showed for a while.

The Carlton hide was also very dire with only a couple of Coots showing.Only one other birder came in the hide and he cracked after 10 minutes and left after a very loud sigh.However just as I started to eat lunch a Jay dropped into the bushes to the left of the hide.Dropping everything I managed a few shots which pleased me no end as I struggle to get close to these chaps.

The only other bird I saw whilst in the Carlton hide was a distant Blackcap  which I think is a juvenile rather than a female.

Left click on shots to enlarge.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Grey Heron champion fisherman at Marsh Lane.

By Tuesday lunchtime needing a break from gardening I popped over to Marsh Lane.After an hour the only decent bird I'd seen was a Greenshank that very kindly landed near the Oak hide.

Back in the car park I was just about to leave when I noticed a couple of friends were in the car park hide so I went and joined them.During a chat we noticed that a Grey Heron that had been down the bank below us had caught something but we couldn't see what as it was hidden.Luckily it walked a little up the bank and this is what we saw.

It then put the fish ( A Tench ??) down on the grass and stabbed it.

As the fish was pretty big we thought it would have trouble swallowing it but no it went down in one quick go and I missed some fish in the mouth shots.

Left click on shots for a larger version.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Two threadbare local trips.

Early on Saturday morning I went across to Brandon Marsh but after nearly 4 hours I had done very badly with the camera but had done very well with the midges.They had managed to bite me wherever there was any bare skin.What a joy !!!!

The only time I had cause to use the camera was on 2 Green Sandpipers that were on the Teal Pool and on a Moorhen that was feeding a chick on the Carlton Pool and that was it.Not very good for nearly 4 hours.

Early on Sunday morning I popped over to Marsh Lane and again I did not do any good with the camera.There was very little about.A bit different to all the excitement last Sunday with the Pectoral Sandpiper.

The only time I used the camera was when a young Kestrel landed in an Oak tree and a Green Woodpecker showed very briefly and that was it.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

A Couple of Greenshanks.

After Tuesday's excitement of seeing the Great White Egret at Grimley I decided to take it easy on the bird front on Wednesday.However when it brightened up after lunch I thought I'd have a quick look at Marsh Lane.

Got there just after 2.00PM and had the place to myself.Although it was very pleasant walking around in the sunshine it was very disappointing  on the bird front.I was just about to leave the Oak hide when from no where both the Greenshanks that have been around since Monday suddenly appeared and I was able to rattle off a few shots.Nice birds.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Wow !! A Life Tick.

Mid morning on Tuesday I got a life tick.Mind you it was about time as I hadn't had one for a long time now.

Thanks very much to my good friend Pete Walkden I had some excellent directions to a site at Grimley in Worcestershire where a Great White Egret had been seen for a couple of days now.I was very keen to see one because although I'd been birding for a few years now I'd never seen one and all my friends had.

Got to the site at just after 11.00AM and found both the car park spots empty.I had the place to myself.I went through the first gate and walked the few metres to the second gate where you can scan down to the flooded gravel pits/meadows way below.Straight away I saw a large white bird way off in the distance.Could it still be here?

I raced back to the car and grabbed the bins.Yes it was the GWE.A life tick !!!!!! That was quick I saw it within 10 seconds of getting there.Never done that before.

On the picture front I didn't do so well.It stayed way off in the distance not getting closer than 200 metres at best but for once I wasn't bothered I was just pleased to get a tick.Here are a couple of distant shots.

What struck me was what a big bird it was.You can see from these shots how big it was when next to other birds.

I even managed some distant flight shots.

A big bonus was when a Hobby suddenly showed up and started hawking for dragonflies.I managed my best Hobby shots of the year which isn't saying much as I've done very poorly with these chaps this year.