Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Go Edith!

Meet Edith, a Cypriot bird hunter's worst nightmare

PROTARAS, Cyprus (Reuters Life!) - A diminutive retired schoolteacher from Switzerland has become the worst nightmare for legions of illicit bird trappers in Cyprus.

"I track down the poaching sites, then I report these people to authorities. Possibly most of them have never spotted me watching them because I hide in the bushes," says Edith Loosli.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

East Norfolk

In my opinion, there are really only two reasons to visit Great Yarmouth:

1. Mediterranean Gulls on the beach between the two piers
2. The old cemetery, which can be great for newly-arrived migrants, but wasn't today

The Med Gulls were fun, though (and the chips weren't bad):

Adults (no black in the wing)

Second-winter (a small amount of black)

First-winter (lots of black in wing and tail)

Having fun on the beach (helter skelter in the background)

Perhaps a visit to the Britannia Theatre?

Feeding frenzy

Several of the Meds wore rings, and I managed to read the numbers on a couple of plastic colour rings. I've sent off the details (http://www.ring.ac) so it'll be interesting to read their life histories. Belgium or the Netherlands look likely sources.

Black-headed Gulls



Holly (Winterton)

We started off at Winterton and failed to see much, apart from a cracking male Black Redstart. Loads of Blackbirds around, though.

Finished the day at the raptor roost at Stubb Mill, where we watched 30+ Marsh Harriers and at least two Hen Harriers come in. The Cranes were a disappointment, though - we only saw three very distantly, flying somewhere else for the night...

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Monday, October 22, 2007


Had a pleasantly long weekend on the East Yorkshire coast with Mark and Jenny and the dogs...

Red-flanked Bluetail at Old Fall Plantation, Flamborough Head (Yorkshire's first twitchable one). Mark has in-the-hand photos here

Tree Sparrow, Buckton (I blogged about this area on Notes On Nature)

Whooper Swans flying in-off at South Landing

Small Tortoiseshell, South Landing

Autumnal leaves, South Landing

Common Darter

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM and Nikon Coolpix 995

Friday, October 19, 2007

Preening for dummies

On Friday morning, I again had the privilege of watching a Sparrowhawk in the garden. A few weeks back, I saw a young female - this time, it was a young male. Again, he wasn't very interested in hunting (perhaps he'd eaten recently?) and instead spent more than an hour sitting on the garden fence watching the world go by and preening his feathers.

The other garden birds knew that they weren't really in danger and continued to use the feeder, only 12 feet away.

Hawk and a rose

The long, banded tail feathers were a bit tricky to reach; the hawk ran his bill along each one before letting them ping back into place

Important to keep those primaries in tip-top condition

Not sure what was going on here... perhaps some tidying of coverts

His toes got covered in down every time he folded one leg up into his breast feathers

It's important for Sparrowhawks to have clean toes so they had to come off somehow.

Portraits. On the top-left one you can see the nictitating membrane ('third eyelid)

Ready for action

photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995 + Leica Apo Televid 77 with 20x eyepiece

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


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Sunday, October 14, 2007

They're here, too

Last month I wrote about how Harlequins had made it to The Lodge. Well, this weekend we've been invaded by them here at home, too. The south-facing wall of the house is covered in them and they're trying to get inside to hibernate.

Aaaarghh. Harlequin Survey website here

photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cornish Robin

Nearly forgot about this Robin, which I encountered in the Cot Valley the other week. It was the only time I used my DSLR all week.

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Nanjizal Bay

We finally got to Nanjizal this time (twice in one day). The first time, we parked at Polgigga and walked to Bosistow Farm, then to Nanjizal Bay - a beautiful little cove with a small, sandy beach.

The second time (that afternoon), we walked along the clifftop from Porthgwarra after a tip-off about the Wryneck that we'd missed in the morning. Sure enough, there it was in the garden of the clifftop house, poking about in the drystone wall.

View Larger Map

photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995


Wall Brown (living up to its name)

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Copper

Red Admiral


These were all taken on our way to the mythical Nanjizal valley (with the exception of the Small Copper which was at Nanjizal Bay). It's amazing what a south-facing granite wall, covered in flowering ivy, can do...

photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995