Monday, April 30, 2012

All things bright and beautiful

Bluebells in Gransden Wood 

This morning I was out bright and early (and cold and windy) for the first stint of my Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). It was pretty uneventful - I wasn't chewed by a horse and I met the man who used to have this stuff on his gate.

But surprisingly, the best bird was the first one I heard as I entered my square - a singing redpoll! I did hear one calling on another BBS visit a couple of years ago, so I wonder if it warrants more investigation. That would probably be quite a good breeding record in Cambridgeshire these days...

I also found three singing Lesser Whitethroats in the final three sections I was surveying, which was good, though I'm guessing they may not stick around for my next visit in a month's time.

Then, at lunchtime I found a male Redstart! A real blink-and-you'll-miss-it job. I saw it once and it vanished. That was annoying, but the Greenland Wheatears I saw a couple of minutes later helped make up for it.

photo taken with iPhone 4S

Long-tailed Tit babies

 video taken with iPhone 4S + Leica Apo Televid 77 with 20x eyepiece

Friday, April 13, 2012

What are you looking at?

The first Robin I've caught in my garden!

photo taken with iPhone

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Monday, April 02, 2012

Mr and Mrs Nutter

Female Nuthatch
Male Nuthatch

I still remember the first time I saw a Nuthatch, at Forge Valley Woods in North Yorkshire. I was 11 years old (and I saw them there again 20 years on!). I ringed one Nuthatch a couple of years ago but I never dreamed I'd be catching them in my garden...

(If I'd thought about it properly, I'd have photographed their bottoms for comparison - males have bright reddish-brown feathers around the bum)

Though I've seen them in the garden a couple of times through winter, as part of roving tit flocks, I saw a male which seemed to be collecting mud and thought how nice it would be to catch and ring one at home. But I was very surprised when first a female turned up in my net, and then a couple of days later a male. 

Excellent birds!