Thursday, 29 June 2017


When my good friend John Hunt suggested earlier in the week we should go up to East Leake and try for the Bee-eaters on Thursday I readily agreed particularly as they would be a Lifer for me. 

We set off at 9.30 AM in weather that could not be worse if you tried.It was one of those days when the cloud was almost at ground level and there was a constant light drizzle that managed to to soak your clothes,your bins,your specs and worse of all your camera.It was also pretty cold.Had we time slipped forward to November.

John very wisely ignored my directions to the RSPB car park and relied on his satnav. My advice based on Google Earth was only 3 miles out.Directions to the viewing area were very good but the first 200 m required you to walk along a narrow grass verge on a very busy and wet main road.The wind from one very large lorry spun me round 360 degrees.

There were about 80 birders at the viewing point all wrapped up against the weather.Even I a fair weather birder forgot about the poor conditions because we spotted 3 Bee-eaters on an Ash tree about 120 m away. A Lifer ! ! !

Here a very heavily shot of two of the birds in the Ash Tree.

After about 20 minutes all three flew off.

After about 40 minutes patient wait they flew back. We counted 6 in total. I'm sure that some of these heavily cropped shots taken with a wet camera show with bees that they caught.

Managed a pretty poor flight shot as they flew off again .This bird has also caught a bee I think.

On the way back we popped over to Earlswood lakes where John Oates had found 5 drake Scoters on the Engine pool.They were asleep in the middle of the pool so here as well the birds would not come close.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017


Been out a few times locally with the camera since the excitement of catching up with some Spotted Flycatchers at Charlecote Park last week but have struggled to find anything half decent to photograph.

Been over to the churchyard at Baddesley Clinton three times since a friend found a Spotted Flycatcher there a week ago but I've had no luck.A lot different from last year when they posed for shots on the gravestones.

I've also been over to my local patch Marsh Lane a couple of times but have also struggled there as well.I did have a bit of fun trying to get shots of some Reed Warblers from the N Causeway hide.They were pinging around in the reeds sometimes coming very close but never staying still for long.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017


With much thanks to John Hunt who found them and told me where to go I was very relieved to catch up with some Spotted Flycatchers this morning.

They were in the grounds of the NT property Charlcote Park near Wellesbourne.A bit expensive to get in if you are not a member.

The pair were flitting around some trees not too far from the house.It was a bit gloomy in the trees but who cares they are Spotted Flycatchers.Plenty of Swallows and a few House Martins around the house.



I am not surprised I am continuing to struggle getting decent birding shots after all the summer birding doldrums are now in full flow.

Usually at this time of year I fill my birding time finding and getting shots of one of my favourite birds Spotted Flycatchers but this year all the sites I usually find them in are letting me down.Last Sunday morning before 9.00 AM I had visited 3 churchyards and had not seen one. Oh Dear ! ! 

All is not lost because I have visited so many graveyards/cemeteries recently I have been awarded with a "Ghoul 2nd Class" medal.

All I've got to post is a few shots from Marsh Lane.No keepers I'm afraid. 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


We are in the Summer birding doldrums now so it is really hard to find birds .Been out and about a few times locally including a couple of visits to Marsh Lane my local patch but have struggled with the camera.

More worrying I have not located one of my favourite birds Spotted Flycatchers despite checking out all my usual sites they have used in the past.

Here are a few recent shots which include I think one of the fledged Lesser Whitethroats .All shots taken at Marsh Lane.

Thursday, 8 June 2017


When I heard that Wednesday would be the best day of the week weather wise I grabbed the camera and went over to Marsh Lane getting there just before 9.00 AM.It was very windy.

I hate windy weather when out birding but I cheered up a lot when I spotted loads of Swifts zooming round the CP pool area.Swifts are high up on my list birds I'd need to get some decent shots of so I wasted no time in taking them on.So how did I do after rattling off loads of shots ? Very badly unless you want some empty sky shots so I still have not got a decent Swift shot.Far too quick for me.These are my least bad shots. 

My good friends the Lesser Whitethroats were still performing on the RW embankment despite the strong wind blowing.As usual they didn't come close so no decent shots but great to watch.

Just as I was changing my shoes before leaving I had to hobble to the car front seat to grab the camera as a Kestrel had appeared above my head.Managed a few shots from an unusual angle before it zoomed off.

Saturday, 3 June 2017


It was late morning earlier today and I was in a bad mood.I'd returned from an earlier visit to my local patch Marsh Lane and had seen very little even the Med Gulls were not showing and the Lesser Whitethroats were very elusive.I did not use the camera at all.

What was making my bad mood even worse was I was trying to remove a bush in my back garden.It  had the root system from hell.The roots were made of steel and went down to centre of the earth. I was in the middle of some very heavy duty swearing when I heard a bird singing very close.I knew that high thin song.It was a Goldcrest a very rare visitor to my garden.

Dashed into the house (with muddy shoes) and grabbed the camera.It was still singing and I spotted it very quickly.It was very close and I was able to grab my first decent shots of one in my garden.The disappointing morning at my local patch and the bush from hell were forgotten.Thank you Goldcrest.