Saturday, 24 October 2015


Been out quite a lot since my last blog but am still not having much luck finding any decent birds to point the camera at.This is despite getting around the local area a lot.

Last Saturday afternoon I popped over to Marsh Lane to find it pretty quiet although the Bar-headed Goose was not far from the CP hide.

A Grey Heron landed in the water in front of the RW hide with a catch.It was a bit distant so annoyingly I could not make out what it had caught.It was not a fish.

I love Goldcrests and take shots of them whenever I can.My wish is to get a shot of one in my own back garden which they visit but only very occasionally.One appeared on Sunday morning again but as usual when they visit it was very gloomy so the only shot I got was a crappograph.There's one there this morning but it's raining but I'll get him eventually.  

On Wednesday morning I shot over to Earlswood to the Craft Centre where the day before there had been a Hawfinch and that morning a Short-eared Owl.When I got there there were no birders there and no sign of the birds.I had to occupy myself with taking shots of Starlings.Oh Dear ! ! 

On Thursday morning I popped over to Marsh Lane again and was surprised to see a couple of old friends who I hadn't seen for many months on the CP pool.The hybrid Whooper Swans.I wonder where they have been all this time.

The only other shots I took that morning were of a Common Snipe from the Oak hide.

Saturday, 17 October 2015


I have struggled lately to find some decent birds to point the camera at.Mind you now the weather is  is not so good I am reluctant to travel too far unless something really special has been found.  

Have been to my local patch Marsh Lane a couple of times last week but the only interesting birds I have found included  a juvenile/female Stonechat seen from a very cold RW hide and which despite waiting for an hour would not come any closer than 100m

The only other occasion I used the camera was to get shots of the hybrid Goose that was briefly on the CP pool.There was no sign of the Snow Goose or the Bar-headed Goose.

There have hardly been any birds in my and both my neighbour's back gardens for the past couple of weeks and this is despite both neighbours being keen bird feeders.Even the unliked Wood Pigeons have disappeared.

I had relocated my feeders nearer to the house so it was no surprise that  not one bird has visited them either.However I was very pleased yesterday when a pair of Coal Tits suddenly paid a visit to my feeders.Now that the feeders are nearer to the house I can sit just inside the back door and get very good views of any birds that drop down for a feed.

Quite pleased with these shots as it was very gloomy and I needed a very high ISO.

Sunday, 11 October 2015


Not wishing to stay in all day yesterday I thought I'd pop over to Marsh Lane for some fresh air and exercise.Got there just after lunchtime to find it a bit gloomy and chilly.The only other birder on site was my good friend Jeff Rankin.

I had found nothing interesting by the time I'd had a good walk round except for a couple of Common Gulls on the RW pool.I was just thinking of heading home when a call from Jeff told me he had got a Med. Gull on the CP pool.

I was in the Oak hide at the time so I raced over to the CP hide.Oh Alright I didn't race I cannot race anywhere these days I limp I hobble and when in a hurry I stroll.

Here are a few shots which are heavily cropped and aren't too bad as it was a bit gloomy.The Gull did seem to have a bad left leg which you can see in some of the shots.

Saturday, 10 October 2015


I've been down to Marsh Lane a few times since my last blog but now that my best friend the juvenile Hobby seems to have left and flown off to Africa I have struggled to find something decent to point the camera at.

Did find a lone Dunlin on the RW pool last Saturday but the light was not good so couldn't get a decent shot.

Later in the week when in the RW hide I did have a long battle with a young Green Woodpecker who was in the scrub to the front of the hide but for ages stayed pretty well hidden in the undergrowth.

Patience which is not my strong point finally won and it popped out into the open very briefly.

You could tell I was struggling to find any interesting birds and that I was badly missing the Hobby because I started to try for some Starling flight shots.

The Bar-headed Goose was there again on Friday but as usual was not close.

Best spot of the week happened earlier this morning when I saw this Grey Wagtail around my neighbour's pond which is covered in netting as a guard against the "Pondhopper " (a Grey Heron that raids local ponds). 

Not very good shots I hear you say but I am pleased with them.Why ? Because it was very dull and the ISO was up to 5000 on some of the shots plus I had to stand on a wobbly stool and poke the camera lens through a small top hung opening light window plus I am like a zombie early in the morning.

Saturday, 3 October 2015


As it was another fine day on Friday just after lunch I grabbed the camera and set off again down to my local patch Marsh Lane.

Not a lot on the car park pool but I did spot another hybrid Goose that I'd not seen before on one of the islands (this bird was in fact a Blue Morph Snow Goose )and on another island was the hybrid Goose that's now a regular visitor.

From the railway hide I spotted a male Stonechat that had been seen there earlier in the morning.Despite staying in the hide for ages the little devil would not come close.Great to see though.

Later on from the oak hide I spotted a Dunlin which was the first wader I'd seen for quite a while now.As usual there was good and bad news.The good was that it was pretty close in.The bad was that the bright sunshine was directly behind the bird so getting a decent shot was out of the question. 

As I'd taken so many shots of Hobbies lately I had decided if one was still around I would not take anymore shots but as I walked down the main path with some fellow togs heading to the car park the juvenile Hobby suddenly appeared and I couldn't resist taking some shots.It had not been seen all day and as it was 3.45 PM it was thought that it had left.

I've been in love with and taking shots of Hobbies for many years now but this last week at Marsh Lane has been by far the best views I've had of them and by far the best shots I've ever taken of them.Here are a few more.

Thursday, 1 October 2015


Before I get on to the Hobby I managed to get a decent shot of the Bar-headed Goose that for once was not asleep. 

I did not intend to go out with the camera on Wednesday but by lunchtime the weather was so good I thought I'd better get out there so I hopped over to Marsh Lane arriving at 1.30 PM.Met up with my good friend Pete Walkden in the Oak hide and Pete soon spotted the juvenile Hobby that was flying around the trees on the streamline.

We picked a spot half way along the main path between the Oak hide and the streamline to try and get some shots.This was an excellent choice because for the next two hours the Hobby put on an unbelievable flying display down the stream line trees,round the orchid field and over the Oak hide.It only disappeared from view a few times.

I know it's a silly thing to say but it was if it knew we were photographers and kept flying round us posing for shots often coming very close.Magical ! !

It flew low across the orchid field a few times and would then fly straight through the hedge near the Oak hide feeders.How it could see the gaps in the hedge flying at that speed was amazing.It's very hard to think that this aerobatic wizard was only a few weeks ago was an egg in a nest.

Here are a few shots of the 400 I took that afternoon.

These last few shots show in sequence the Hobby finishing off eating a dragonfly and getting rid of the wings.Don't forget to left click the image to enlarge.