Friday, 31 October 2014


Thought I'd better post a blog in case anyone might think I'm not around anymore.The truth is despite having visited local patches a lot this last week I've struggled badly to find any decent birds to point the camera at.The camera was beginning to show signs of getting rusty.

Did get a shot at Marsh Lane of a Wren in the gloom one morning last week but that was the only shot I took all day.

Had a bit more luck today down at Marsh Lane when I got my first shots of the year of a Redwing.It was on it's own except for a Song Thrush.

Whilst in the RW hide at Marsh lane I was pleased to find a male Stonechat but it was a long way off and didn't come any closer.Did spot a Green Woodpecker on the fencing along the main path but as usual failed to creep any closer before it flew off.

From the River hide I finally got a shot of a very rare bird (I wish) that's been at Marsh Lane a lot lately a Cream-coloured Lapwing.Well it sounds good even if it's made up.

Monday, 20 October 2014


Went over to Marsh Lane this morning with the camera keen to try out some new settings that would hopefully improve my chances of getting better shots.

Without going into great detail the new settings involved having Auto ISO dialled in which proved to be a disaster in the gloomy conditions because I didn't realise till later that the ISO was often as high as 3200 which produced loads of noise.What a clown ! ! !

Should have cottoned earlier when the shots of an obliging Wren from the Oak hide didn't look as good as they should have done.

Things got even worse later on in the back gate coppice where I found a flock of Goldcrests one of my favourite birds.I saw 4 together but I reckon that there were 6 in the flock.

As usual they were flicking around in the gloomiest part of the tree but even so I should have done better but as with the Wren the ISO had shot up and all the shots had loads of noise.Here are 3 shots showing the problem and this after editing as well.

Did manage one half decent shot and this only because one bird came out of the gloom for a second or two.

Great opportunity missed there.Never seen so many Goldcrests together before.Looks like the new setting must not be used when it's gloomy.

Thursday, 16 October 2014


As soon as I saw that this morning the weather was going to be pleasant I grabbed the camera and set off to Marsh Lane getting there at 9.30 AM.

As I strolled across the car park I spotted high in the sky a Peregrine but I only managed a few heavily cropped shots before it flew off west.Why do raptors always fly away from you ! !

On my way back from a fruitless stint in the RW hide just before I reached the Oak hide a Sparrowhawk appeared briefly over the pool before flying off eastwards.Away from me of course.

Joined some friends in the Oak hide and they had spotted one of the male Pintails from yesterday showing quite well on one of the islands.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Racked with jealousy that my good friend Kath had chosen this week to go to Norfolk where due to the easterly winds blowing "the trees and bushes were dripping with migrants" I thought this morning I'd better get out there so I went over to Marsh Lane.

Got there at 9.30 AM and was surprised to find it was a very pleasant morning.I decided to work backwards for a change and start at the RW hide but did make a stop at the N. causeway hide on route to try for the Water Rail that everyone has seen there but me.

Heard a continuous "Kip Kip Kip" call from very close by and what was just below me almost too close to focus on.Well this chap was.

It didn't hang about long and soon scuttled across the open channel to disappear in the reeds.

Luckily for me I met up with John Oates in the RW hide.I always see more when I'm with John.We did see 3 Common Gulls, 2 rather late Swallows and a Green and a Common Sandpiper.Only got a shot of the Common Sandpiper. 

From the River hide John somehow spotted a male Pintail asleep on one of the islands.To me it was a bundle of brown and could have been anything.After a while it woke up and cruised around.Alone I would have thought it was the female that had been here a few days before.

It slowly cruised to the left and surprisingly it met up with another Pintail which John said was a juvenile male.

They then both swam through one of the channels and we picked them up again from the CP hide where they both fell asleep again but I did manage some shots before they did. 

Saturday, 11 October 2014


I have been feeling distinctly under par these last few days which I put down to one of two things.Firstly I had a flu jab a week ago and ever since I've felt rough but I know that you cannot catch flu from the flu jab so it must be a coincidence.Secondly I did visit Shustoke Reservoir the day before I started to feel rough and may have picked up Ebola but that is a pretty long shot well I hope it is.

Despite all this I have been out locally with the camera a few times but I have struggled to find anything decent to point the camera at.Thought for a moment that I'd got some shots of the juvenile Yellow-legged Gull that visits Marsh lane but it was a LBB Gull.

Yesterday whilst in the Oak hide a chap called in and said there was a Whinchat showing from the Railway hide.Went down there to have a look but it turned out to be a male Stonechat which was a bit of a let down but still nice to see.Marsh Lane has done very well this year with several sightings some showing very well.This one remained a long way off sitting on the reeds.  

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


Although I was still feeling out of sorts and very much in wimp mode the weather was so nice this morning I drove over again to Marsh Lane hoping to get a shot of the male Garganey that was seen there again yesterday afternoon.

Entered the CP hide at 9.30 AM and had a bit of luck because John Oates was there and if anything was about he would spot it.The Garganey was miles away to start with but it fairly soon came closer but not that close even so nice to get a shot. 

The Pintail was also still about.

Graham also entered the hide and he and John spotted a probable White Wagtail at the back of one of the islands.

Best of all was when a Peregrine suddenly appeared high over the CP pool and sent everything up.I slipped out of wimp mode and dashed out the hide and rattled of a few shots before it headed off North Eastwards.

In one of the oak trees by the bee hives a Kestrel was busy having an early lunch.Pleased with the shots because the sun was right behind the bird and I had to wind up the exposure compensation.Glad I made the effort and came out.