Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Let me out, please!

I've not been able to get out this weekend, and it's done my head in a bit. I only need a few hours at the weekend to satisfy my need to see some birds. So to cheer me up, I've gone back to some pictures taken on holiday in North Wales in the Summer. This bird is the Common Redshank and was along the shoreline one morning minding it's own business and looking for food.

Seen here with a Black-headed Gull for size comparison.

Monday, 29 October 2012


Some really beautiful mornings recently have led to some great images of the sunshine through the trees. When the leaves have all fallen this should give some better opportunities to improve on these. Of course, it becomes easier to see the birds too when there are no leaves. Hopefully I can get some of our winter visitors too.

This is a Jay in the hazy sunshine.

A Common Gull on the frosty ground.

Black-headed Gull

Someone was watching me.

Friday, 26 October 2012


At the lake near my parent's house I came across several pairs of Gadwall. A nice duck but quite shy. I've never had them stay around long once they've clocked me. Still, I was getting some nice shots of them while hiding behind a bush.

Then, a bloody dog came and scared them to the middle of the lake.

As annoyed as I was with the dog at the time, I was quite pleased with some of the results.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Out and About

Taking advantage of the good weather recently, I managed to capture a couple of common birds that have so far eluded my camera lens. The first was a Long Tailed Tit. A lovely bird that is nearly always in a flock. This one was with 11 other birds. They are always on the move though and make it difficult to get decent shots of. I was quite happy with this one.

My patch has been inundated with Pied Wagtails, but they again tend to be on the move and don't like you getting too close. This one however sat nicely on a fence post for me.

A nice Stonechat, that I came across while watching some Red Grouse.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Look how big he's grown.

You may remember some weeks back, I wrote about a line cygnet. It was very cute looking, but was the only one with it's parents. Well, I returned last week and am quite sure I found the little fellow. Although he is not so little any more. It looked to be doing very well and in good shape.

How I found the cygnet a month or so ago.

And how I found him just last week.

It managed to give me a very similar pose.

Growing into quite a handsome beast.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Red Grouse

Can't wait for the clocks to go back next weekend. I like to go out early, but that's difficult when it's only getting light at 7.30 on a clear day. Still, it was a cracking morning on Sunday. I've missed the Macclesfield area recently, having gone to some different places at the weekend. Birds were quite thin on the ground, but I got some fantastically close views of a pair of Red Grouse. I've always wanted to get close to them, but they are a rather shy bird. Having said that, these two birds seemed oblivious to me. I didn't have to move, as they came to within 5 metres of me. Unfortunately, they do tend to stick to long grassy areas, so some of these pics have grass in front of them, but they're the best I've got so far.

A stunning female, putting on a show.

The male, with lovely red eyebrows.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Sunny Days

Luck seems to have been on my side just recently. By that I mean that it has been pretty dry and bright at the weekends. It always makes birding so much more fun. The birds are easier to see and tend to show more. Add to that some nice cold weather and you have all the ingredients for some great birding and better photos.
Here are some pictures taken on my patch in Woodford last weekend when on my Winter Thrush survey.

The first Redwing sighting of the Autumn for me.

There were a good flock, but a little too far away to get decent shots.


Tree Sparrow


Reed Bunting

Friday, 19 October 2012


The light was fantastic at Redesmere on Wednesday. Everything looks so much better in the sunshine, and that goes for photos too. A lot of the work is already done for you. You just need some nice birds to be in the area. I managed to get both.

Great Crested Grebe, gave some very good views.

Tufted Ducks were relatively tame.

A young Mallard.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Hybrid Goose.

I popped to Redesmere, Cheshire, on my day off this week. Nothing really out of the ordinary there. Lots of the usual wildfowl and gulls. Geese numbers have been building steadily and today was no different. Greylags and Canada Geese were what was on offer today, and I even came across a hybrid of the two birds. When you scan hundreds of the same bird, it comes as quite a shock to see something slightly different.
Cross breeding between geese is not an uncommon thing but not the norm. Take a look at the two different types of geese below and then compare the hybrid.

These are the Canada Geese.

Greylag Geese.

Canada again.

And here is the hybrid. It seems to have the white cheek mark of the Canada Goose and lighter plumage than the Greylag, but is clearly a bit of both.

Here are some more Greylags just having fun.

There's always a real commotion when these guys come in to land

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Where the birds were big and white.

One of the reasons I decided to got to the Wirral for the day was that there had been a Great White Egret seen over the previous few days. I've seen lots of Little Egrets but never the Great variety. I headed to Parkgate where it had been seen previously. When I arrived the heavens opened in biblical fashion. Hail stones so heavy that visibility was down just a few metres. I chose to stay in the car. When it finally stopped I drove along the front where I could see two Little Egrets and a Grey Heron. Then on the horizon (that was now a lot further away) up popped the Great White. Through the binoculars I could clearly see the yellow bill and it's size was unquestionable. A life time tick for me. Sorry about the quality of the shots, but these are my record shots. I hope to get better soon.

I ventured to Burton Mere and Inner Marsh Farm in the afternoon, where I came across my first Whooper Swans of the Autumn. 

Very majestic looking birds.