25 June, 2009

What a Great Hobby!

It has to be said, combining birdwatching and photography makes for a brilliant hobby! But thats not the hobby I'm on about... I'm on about the speedy, deadly Bird of Prey that visits Britain in the summer months. Back on Sunday, I was lucky enough to encounter one in Bushy Park, on a trip that was meant to find me more Garden Warbler!

I planned to spend the day in the Woodland Gardens as elsewhere was packed with people! By the gate, a pair of wading Mallards had certainly chosen their territory with a lot of care...

Unknown to them, a sneaky Jay was taking a drink from their 'puddle', decreasing the water level even further...


Upon entering the Woodland Garden, a flock of Stock Doves erupted from a nearby tree (believe it or not I've never actually managed to photograph these shy doves. One call in particular caught my attention. It was coming from high up in a tree and sounded like a Kestrel. A small bird was climbing up the trunk, which made me think of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. However, when the small bird flew off, the calling continued from the same tree. A small bird of prey landed on a branch and it was obvious the calling was coming from it. I smiled at what I thought was a young Kestrel, but after taking a few shots... I realised it was not a Kestrel at all...

It was a beautiful Hobby (the photos don't do it justice!)- certainly one of my best finds in the park; up with the top 2: Kingfisher and Little Owl.

Literally a second later, it was gone... never to be seen again (by me).

The stunning Banded Damoiselle was abundant on this very hot day, along with White legged, Azure, Large Red Damselfly and an identified yellowish Damselfly... anyone got any ideas?

A spectacularly large flock of young Starlings were flushed from the ferns by a young male Red Deer. This isn't even a quarter of the flock...



3 comments:

Lynmiranda said...

Lovely pictures Bill. I love the one of the deer. Lucky you getting a shot of the Hobby :-)

midlands birder said...

wow,so lucky with the hobby ive never seen one perched

Billy said...

Lynmiranda- Thanks for the kind comments, I was just about to shrug it off as a Kestrel and not bother for a shot!

MB- It was VERY lucky indeed!