Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of year

Cow parsley

Winter woodpigeons
Flock of Woodpigeons

Ivy in a brief bit of sunshine

Winter farmland
Wintry farmland

That was about it.

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

Friday, December 26, 2008


Pochards. I'm really rusty at digiscoping, and this image is rather noisy, but I like it. Proper wild Swans were in short supply at the swan feed; a flock of drake Pochards hoovered up the grain thrown their way

Flooded meadows at Welney WWT
The washes seemed well-flooded

Whooper Swan family
Whooper Swan family. They flew all the way from Iceland together, which I like. Apparently Whoopers had a good breeding season; family parties including 7 cygnets have been seen!

Mute Swans
Mute Swans

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM, Extender EF 1.4x II
digiscoped photos taken with Canon Powershot A640 + Leica Apo Televid 77 with 20x eyepiece

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Catching up

Manx Loghtan sheep
I've counted some sheep...

Dawn at Sandy, Bedfordshire

Frosty fencepost
Trudged around in the frost...

Mute Swans
Seen lots of swans in a line...

Visitor centre at RSPB Rainham Marshes nature reserve

Flood meadows at RSPB Rainham Marshes nature reserve
Visited Rainham Marshes

Desk decor
Decorated my desk with Moo MiniCards

Cardboard kingfisher
Made a Blue Peter-style Secret Santa gift from cardboard, sticky tape and acrylic paints

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM, Extender EF 1.4x II or Canon Powershot A640

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Garden Birds: The Movie

It's cold and windy outside, so I thought I'd try digivideoing some common garden birds through the bedroom window. It's not come out too badly, but there's no soundtrack.

The stars of the show:
00:00: Goldfinch and Greenfinch are enjoying some sunflower seeds together when
00:10: they're joined - briefly - by a Coal Tit
00:14: another Greenfinch turns up
00:18: a Great Tit and Blue Tit arrive simultaneously, then more Blue Tits and Great Tits

I'll have to try to film the Marsh Tit that's visiting every day at the moment.

Canon Powershot A640 + Leica Apo Televid 77 with 20x eyepiece

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What I've been up to

Lambchop at the Union Chapel, Islington
Lambchop at the Union Chapel, London

Manx Loghtan sheep
counting sheep

Looking at fungi

Bumblebee bum
Taking photos of bumblebees' bottoms

taking photos of rosehips

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D + EF 300mm f/4L IS USM or Canon Powershot A640

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Red Admiralty

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Red Admiral
Six Red Admirals, all on one sunny clump of Asters

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

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cornwall 2008

Sennen Cove

Surfers at Sennen Cove

Fishing boats at Sennen Cove


Razorbill washed up on Sennen beach

As well as mucking about on the beach, there was also the small matter of the first Alder Flycatcher for the UK, at Nanjizal. Well, that's what they say it is, anyway. Conveniently we were driving through Penzance (on our way back from The Lizard for the Common Nighthawk) when news broke, and chortled as a chopper took off. You could almost hear the cries from inside: 'No, we've got to land again! Let me out!'

Alder flycatcher twitch at Nanjizal
Read all about it at Buckton Birder.

Loads of nice scenery but birds were more elusive.
Kynance Cove

Kenidjack tin mine

We stayed at Beachside Studio, Sennen Cove, and got quite a good window list going: Chough, Raven, Arctic Skua, Kittiwake (including three colour-ringed birds which I'm waiting to hear about), Gannet, Arctic Skua, Mediterranean Gull, Buzzard, Razorbill, Grey Seal, Rock Pipit and, er, Robin. 

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D EF 300mm f/4L IS USM or Canon Powershot A640

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Gibraltar Point
Gibraltar Point, early doors

In our usual perverse fashion, we went to Lincolnshire on Friday night because there were lots of good birds turning up in Norfolk and East Yorkshire.

Camping is usually filled with experiences to delight the senses; unsurprisingly, it was bloody cold at night, but we added Little Owl and Barn Owl to our tent list (Bittern is probably still the best bird on it).

The absurdly well-equipped (internet, gas heater, fairy lights) campers in the tent next to ours kindly loaned us their battery-powered airbed inflator, which was nice. Later on, they had a noisy argument, which was not so nice.

A wander round Skegness seafront early on Saturday was next to useless, due to thick fog which persisted until about 1pm. If there were any good birds, they were invisible. Eventually we went to Gibraltar Point (nice cafe) and wandered around the dunes. There weren't many birds around and nothing was moving, but a Yellow-browed Warbler gave itself away by calling from an inaccessible bush.

We'd nearly finished trudging around when a last look along the road revealed another Yellow-browed, flitting around in an Elder bush - briefly.

Sunday morning was less foggy, and sunny briefly before the sun got up behind the clouds. The skies were a bit more lively, with skeins of Pink-footed Geese heading for Norfolk, the odd Redwing, Brambling and plenty of Siskins and Redpolls.

photos taken with Canon Powershot A640

Sunday, September 21, 2008



Meadow Pipit

We went to Del and John's ringing session at Beeston this morning. There were a few nets around the garden and a 'pipit box' out in a stubble field - a triangle of nets with a tape lure in the middle. It succeeded in attracting Meadow Pipits but also a Kestrel which dived helpfully into the nets. It was a bit grumpy and stuck a talon into Del's finger.

Elsewhere around the farm it was great to see hedges bursting with fruit and buzzing with insects.

Small Tortoiseshell
Small Tortoiseshell

Hedgerow berries
Hedge full of berries

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

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sunny Saturday

Southern Hawker
This beautiful male Southern Hawker spent a good portion of the day patrolling the pond, but stopped for a rest on the buddleia

Ruddy Darter
Ruddy Darter

Across the road...

Dewy meadow



Yes, autumn's here