Sunday, 28 April 2019


Not been out much lately due to the return of the bad weather.Did pop to Baddesley Clinton earlier in the week but it was very quiet and the only shot I managed was of a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

This morning I went over to Earlswood to try again to get some shots of the Yellow Wagtails which were seen there yesterday.The trip turned out to be a mistake not because I didn't see any Yellow Wagtails but because the weather was so cold.Everyone I met was in full winter gear and it's not too far from mid  summer yet we daily have global warming rammed down our throats.

The Red Lion donkey field did have some birds to point the camera at.A brief but distant visit of a Mistle Thrush.

A Common Buzzard landed briefly on a tree.

It didn't stay long and flew off.

Monday, 22 April 2019


For me these days I went out on a big trip with the camera this morning.All of the 15 miles to Bubbenhall Meadows where up to 3 Cuckoos had been reported the day before. I'd never been before but I knew the turn off the main road to the reserve access road.

What I didn't know though was that the access road was a bit of a nightmare for this old goat.It was single track with blind bends and very few passing places but I got to the CP OK.Mind you I had to remember the gate code for the first time in many years.

Not really knowing where to go I was lucky because the path I chose had a viewing screen with benches a short way along it.Within a few seconds I saw about 40 meters away these two chaps after the same perch. A Common Whitethroat and a Stonechat both my first of the year.

The Stonechat only stayed about a minute not to be seen again and never came close but very nice to see.

The Common Whitethroat did stay and I managed some OK shots from distance the micro 4/3 camera and lens did well.Eventually the bird came close but it at the exact moment my phone went off.It was my younger son needing some gardening advice.The bird flew off of course.

Two Cuckoos were calling out but from a long way off.I did get one sighting of them as they flew over the wood.No shots.

There was compensation for this as I spotted a Red Kite cruising around but by the time I ( Captain Slow) got onto it was 1 1/2 fields away.

Eventually the Common Whitethroat did come close (about 5 meters away) and I got some good shots.I then left and was very relieved I didn't meet a 4X4  coming the other way.

Friday, 19 April 2019


Been out with the camera a few times in this nicer weather.Been to Baddesley Clinton ,Shustoke Reservoir and Earlswood but have struggled to get any decent shots.

The only shots I took at Baddesley Clinton were of a Wren.Nothing else was about.

Did have a Curlew flyover at Shustoke but nothing else.This morning I went over to Earlswood to find a Yellow Wagtail.Went to the craft centre paddocks first but had to spend a while trying to get some shots of some Swallows that were flying around. This is all I got.

Just as I was about to move on I spotted a Yellow Wagtail a fair way off but very pleased to see one.I only got two shots off before it flew off.

Did no good with my first visit to the Red Lion donkey paddock and only got a shot of a Great Crested Grebe on the lakes.


A second visit to the pub paddock I had more luck as I found two Yellow Wagtails but they were a long way off and never came close.The sun was in my eyes so no decent shots but very nice to see.

To show I have taken some good shots of these chaps here is one I took earlier 6th April 2009 at Marsh Lane.

Friday, 12 April 2019


Went out with the camera on Wednesday and Thursday mornings but the only thing I got on both occasions was damn cold.Badly needed the thermals but they are in the family vault on a time lock.

Tried Brueton Park on Wednesday.Not many people nor birds about both put off by the cold.The only bird of note on the main lake was a LBB Gull. 

Right outside the cafe just inside the reserve a  Goldcrest was there to greet me. It did not look too happy.

It was very quiet in the reserve.The Goosanders were not there on the pond and the only shot I took was of another Goldcrest. I soon drove home for a much needed coffee.

It was very sunny Thursday morning so pretty early I drove over to the NT property at Baddesley Clinton. I was surprised to see about a dozen Fieldfare in the field along the main drive. Couldn't get a decent shot as the sun was in my eyes.Never seen any as late as April before. 

Things went downhill from then on.No birds at all round the church and it was very quiet in the main grounds as well.A Goldcrest tried to cheer me up but soon flew off.The lure of a coffee and central heating had me driving home after only a short stay.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019


After an early morning shop at Sainsbury's I shot off to Earlswood to check out the two paddocks again looking for Yellow Wagtails and Wheatears. Also I was still checking camera settings trying to get decent shots with the zoom lens fully extended.

Got this shot in the back garden the day before of a Coal Tit with the lens fully extended  (equivalent to a 800 lens) and hand held.Not a bad shot considering zoom lenses are not at there best fully extended.

The first paddock in Earlswood was not good with what birds that were there were distant.Did count 15 Swallows on the wires there though.The second paddock was better.I soon spotted a White Wagtail (well I think it's one).

No Yellow Wagtails but plenty of Meadow Pipits.The fully extended zoom lens had mixed results but did get some keepers.

This paddock is the home for small ponies (Shetland ?) .I spotted this pair of Jackdaws helping themselves to what I assume is nesting material.The pony did not seem to mind.

Saturday, 6 April 2019


The weather was nice Monday but as I couldn't go out till later in the morning so I went to the NT property at Packwood which is just down the road for me.Trouble with this place it doesn't open till 11.00 AM which is a bit late for seeing birds.

Didn't see much as expected but was as I was keen to try out the zoom lens at max. magnification for a change I didn't mind too much (my Leica lens is 100-400 but with a micro 4/3 camera is equivalent to 200-800.

All these shots where of birds a long way off no keepers but nice to get some OK shots with a 800 lens hand held.The Buzzard was two fields away. 

Fed up with staying in for days due to Winter returning I went out Friday morning to a couple of paddock fields near Earlswood to look for Ring Ouzels , Wheatears and Yellow Wagtails.So how did I do then ? Very poorly ! !  Mind you it was cold still very gloomy and pretty windy.

I did get some shots.It was nice to see some Meadow Pipits which I don't see too often these days.