21 February, 2009

Some Baked Shots in the Sun

Its the hottest and sunniest day we've had this winter, with a peak of 15'C at times, infact the weather was so nice I decided to cycle into Bushy Park. The park was the busiest I've ever seen it so I decided to do a quick walk around the main lake and then take a stroll aound the canal plantations where it would hopefully be quieter and I could try my luck with the Lesser spooty that had been seen there earlier in the week.

The most active birds on the main lake were the Coots. They were starting to get a bit frisky!
Having a wash

And a scratch behind the... errr.... ear?!

A couple of 'baked' shots of the Coots on the other side of the lake who were just chillin'.
A pair of Egyptian Geese were feeding by the ride of the road
I quite like the colours reflected in the water of this shot of a Tufted Duck
.... and the silhouette effect on this shot of a Sparrowhawk
They're green, they're mean... yes, you guessed it, Ring necked Parakeet. For once, their shreaking call was not the only bird sound I heard in the canal plantation as smaller birds start singing to protect their territories ready for the breeding season

14 February, 2009

Hayling Island- !!!Glaucous Gull!!!

My friend David and I spent the day doing a bird walk organised by the RSPB on Hayling Island. About 30 of us set of from Langstone Harbour in the hope of a scarcity (or even better; a rarity).
After a walk around Langstone Harbour, we had already logged Mediterranean Gull and waders such as: Black tailed Godwit, Bar tailed Godwit, Curlew, Knot, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover and Golden Plover. Black bellied Brent weren't very hard to find and there were a couple of Pale bellied amongst them as well.
Then it was on to the oysterbeds where we logged 16 Black necked Grebe (yes, 16 of 'em!), Turnstone, Redshank, Red breasted Merganser and a Rock Pipit.
Bird of the day was a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull that happily fed on a Merganser at the end of the walk. It gave everyone stunning and gruesome views as it fed on the guts and intestines of the duck.
Tasty, leave some for me!

Having a little wash... you missed a spot!

A record shot of some of the Black necked Grebe and Great crested Grebe
3 of the 300 Black bellied Brent present!
You don't get Redshank numbers like that at the London Wetland Centre!
Finishing of with a dash of colour in the form of a little Grey Wagtail
I'd just like to thank John, Roger for the lift and letting me use his telescope, David for letting me use his 500mm lens and everybody else for being so nice!

07 February, 2009

Blackbirds and Pigeons

The Blackbirds and Pigeons in our garden have been taking advantage of the seeds I have been putting out for them. I took a little time out to today to take some shots of the birds as they fed on the lawn. Today's shots have been taking through double-glazed windows as I have been feeling too ill to stand out in the cold ;).
We have about 5 Blackbirds that occupy the garden and get on very well together (most of the time). In winter, they become very active in the garden as they run around in short bursts.


Close up

A female would show herself when the males weren't around.

Collared Doves (a rare sight in the garden) also visited today.
A fat Woodpigeon fed along side the Doves and ate most of the seeds.
This shot was taken looking down on the bird.
Sorry about the foreground!

03 February, 2009

Richmond Park Birds

I don't actually think I have done a post on Richmond Park yet so let's hope this is the first of many. It's the second day of the 'mass' snowfall and most of it has turned to ice now. However, before the snow melted we arranged a trip to Richmond Park; it would be a great opportunity to take some shots for the Park's Winter Photography Competition (which I am obviously going to win!).
On first arriving there were hundreds of people sledging and snowboarding down slopes, so we found an area that was a little quieter and I set up the equipment and looked around for some wildlife.
The first bird I saw was a Green Woodpecker. Heavy snow can be a problem for these birds as they find it harder to reach food (insects, seeds). The bird flew down onto the snow and constantly made holes for it to poke its beak into.

On to a nearby lake where I added Pintail to my year list. The ducks were clearly not built for the ice, you should have seen this Pintail's landing!

A Shoveler

4 female Shelduck were busy drinking the melting ice most of the time

Robins were very abundant around the park and posed nicely for the camera

Ground feeding birds, including this Dunnock, were active along the footpaths where the snow had melted the most.

This was probably the first time this young Blackbird had come across snow

A Woodpigeon

A Wren

A young Red Deer

02 February, 2009

A Chaffinch in the Snow

7 inches of snow have covered most of Surrey including our village so school is shut. Before going out with friends for snowball fights etc I managed to fit in a bit of bird photograhy as they all fed at our garden feeding station.
A lone female Chaffinch has been visiting the garden the winter. Unfortunatly, she seems to be quite low down on the pecking order so was regularly getting pushed off the feeder by Greenfinches, Great tits and Blue tits. Whats more is that she can't find any food on the ground because of all the snow. Things couldn't be much worse for her...
Look at that sad and lonely face, why not sponsor this Chaffinch for only £2 a month by calling 0800 657 306. She needs your help

Blue tits and Great tits taking advantage of the feast I put out for them

01 February, 2009

Watching Wildfowl

I took a quick visit to Bushy Park today for a couple of shots of the wildfowl and anything else that might be around. The weather was freezing and although the sun was shining, snow was starting to fall.
The first thing I saw was this duck feeding with Mallards which I can't seem to identify (please leave a comment if you have any idea at what it could be). I was thinking something along the lines of a hybrid or ornamental Teal or Wigeon.

A young Wigeon was present but I couldn't relocate the adult male that was here last time

It then started to snow and I found this Moorhen getting battered by the oncoming waves; not the best shelter I ever seen!

Other wildfowl included an Egyptian Goose and lots of sleepy Pochards

A Grey Heron showed very well to passers by and was successful in catching a small fish
In hunting mode...

Bang, got it!
On the way back I came face to face with this Red Deer, just feet from me