Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A visit to Brandon Marsh.

Before I get onto my visit to Brandon Marsh I'd like to slip in a couple of shots of a Nuthatch that visited my shanty town of a bird feeding station in my back garden this morning.

Got to Brandon just before 10.00 AM and in fine weather I headed to the back fisherman's gate area to see if I could see my first Redpolls and Siskins of the Winter.As usual there was good news and bad news : there were 6 Siskins in the trees and a lone Redpoll  but it was very gloomy in the trees so no decent shots but still nice to see.

I was pleased to see a pair of Goldeneye from the Baldwin hide.For some reason I struggle to get decent shots of the male particularly if it's sunny.I always blow out the whites or take a very dark shot.

The best part of my visit was when a female Sparrowhawk flew very quickly past the new screens.


Friday, 26 October 2012

Out in the cold.

Not having been out birding for a few days due to the gloomy conditions when the weatherman said it would be sunny on Friday I thought I'd better get out there even though the weatherman also said it would be much colder.

Played safe and went to Marsh Lane my local patch getting there at not long after 9.00 AM in sunny conditions.Lots of birds on the Car park pool but nothing special till a couple of Egyptian Geese dropped in.

I then headed down to the Oak hide hoping to see a Water Rail and one of the Jack Snipes.Mike Lane was in the hide and it's always nice to bump into Mike as he excellent at giving advice on photography,cameras and lenses etc.

After well over an hour we had no luck at seeing anything in the marsh so as the sun had long ago disappeared and it was getting very cold I left.What a wimp!!!!!

Just before I got back to the car park I did spot this Kestrel in one of the Oak trees.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A go at taking a video.

You can see that this gloomy weather has kept me indoors with nothing much to do because I've processed a video and tried to include it in this blog.It's taken me ages as you have to convert it to a format that is accepted by the blog and this takes ages and you lose any quality the original might have had.

It's of one of the Jack Snipes at Marsh Lane and it's a pretty poor effort even though it's a first go with the 7D camera for ages and I'd forgotten what to do.I will do better I hope.

The only visit out I've had recently was a visit on Saturday to Brandon Marsh which to be honest was a waste of time camerawise.There was nothing about at all and was the third visit on the trot to Brandon Marsh where I have not used the camera.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Marsh Lane.

Thinking that the strong wind blowing on Tuesday morning had abated I went over to Marsh Lane for a quick visit.

I soon found out that the wind had not abated in fact was blowing a full gale as I struggled to get out of the car in the car park.I didn't stay long in the car park hide as the wind was blowing straight into the hide so I decided to head straight to the Oak hide where I found that well known photographer Kath Everitt taking shots of one of the Jack Snipes.

It was pretty close to the hide up against the left hand bank sheltering from the wind.

Quite soon it went on a walkabout heading finally to the top end of the marsh giving the best views I've ever had of a Jack Snipe.

After a fox passed so close to the hide you could have reached out and touched it a Kestrel battling against the wind showed well from the hide.

Monday, 15 October 2012

In the garden.

Had a decent day Saturday with visitors to my new shanty town of a bird feeding station I've put up in my back garden.

The stars were a very nice Coal Tit and even better because it was first to visit my garden was a cracking looking Nuthatch.

The news must have got round about the new feeding station because a Sparrowhawk came to have a look.I shrewdly took a shot through the conservatory glazing because although I was in stealth mode it flew off when I opened the back door.Great to see.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Jack Snipes.

Went over to Marsh Lane this morning getting there not long after 9.00AM.It was very windy when I left the car park and by the time I sat down in the Oak hide it was very cold.The strong chilly wind was blowing right into the hide.

The Yellow-legged Gull was showing well on the gravel spit.A Peregrine flew through and sent everything up as did a Sparrowhawk from the causeway when I was heading back.

The highlight was when at long last I saw a Jack Snipe in the marsh.This was the first JS I'd seen for a few years now and I'd had a long history of missing them at Marsh Lane so I was pretty chuffed.

Things got even better when just after we spotted the second JS (known to be there) we spotted a third (a new sighting).Now 3 JS's is a pretty good record for any site.Managed a few shots thank goodness.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A morning of missing out.

There is a gas leak at the end of my drive at the moment so this morning before the gas men turned up for the second day and before they dug up my driveway I drove off and headed to Marsh Lane.

Got there at just after 9.00AM and headed to the Oak hide to try yet again for the Jack Snipes that apparently had showed very well on Sunday.There were a few friends in the hide but no one had seen them so far today.

When an hour later with no show a couple of friends left the hide I made a fatal mistake and decided to stay for a few minutes more instead of joining them on the walk back to the car park because when they reached the causeway screens they had excellent views of a Hen Harrier.Of course it had gone when the rest of us got there.I would have loved to have got some shots.Damn and blast !!!!!

I did get some flight shots of a Jay.Pity it flew into the sun.

A couple of shots of the Coal Tit that visits the feeders in my garden and a shot of a Dunnock that seems to have a growth on one of it's legs.


Sunday, 7 October 2012

A Grey Wagtail.

After I'd had this year's flu jab Saturday lunchtime I thought I'd have a couple of hours down at Marsh Lane and try yet again to see the pair of Jack Snipes that have been seen in the marsh from the Oak hide.

Last Spring there was a Jack Snipe in the same spot for quite a while but I kept missing out and failed to see it.It looks like history is repeating itself because I've failed so far this Autumn and annoyingly they both showed 10 minutes after I left the hide last Wednesday.Jeff Rankin who I'd left in the hide got some cracking shots.

There were loads of Geese,Ducks, Gulls etc. on show when I got there but I could not spot anything new and a long stay in the Oak hide in very pleasant weather did not reveal the Jack Snipes.However the day was saved when a Grey Wagtail visited the marsh for a while.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

A few recent shots.

For once a Common Buzzard at Marsh Lane didn't fly away as they usually do but flew right over me and for once the sun was behind me allowing me to get some reasonable flight shots.

I cannot remember were I got this shot of a female Ruddy Duck earlier in the week.For obvious reasons they are now a great rarity.Not a great rarity but cute a little thing was this Dabchick.