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

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

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Once in a lifetime moment.

I've always loved the Kingfisher. Seeing one when I'm out is always a huge bonus and without doubt the highlight of any birding day. Unfortunately they can be quite elusive and more often than not I've only been alerted to them as them shoot past me, flashing that unmistakable blue back at me.
However, that all said, I had something happen the other day that will probably never happen to me again. I had 6 Kingfishers in front of me on perches and posts not more than 15 feet away, as I sat in a hide. It was like my Birthday and Christmas coming all at once, and I had my camera with me and ready too. I still can't quite believe what I did witness. I will instead allow to see what I saw with just some of the photos I was able to take.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Dipper - Macclesfield

The Macclesfield Forest area is probably now my favourite local(ish) birding place. Although recently, there's not been a great deal about. It's that time of year when most things seem to go to ground. Gradually though they are coming back. I'd not seen a Dipper in the usual places for good will. I'm sure they were there but I had no luck. So I was delighted to catch up with a couple the other day on a stretch of river. Both were pretty oblivious to me, so I'll put this down to good field craft. I had the pleasure of watching and listening to one sing. It's rather unusual to try and strain your ears over the sound of fast running water, but I could see the throat warbling and it was a sweet tune too.

Let me just stretch this wing a little.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Common Sandpiper

 I took a walk the other day in and around Macclesfield Forest, taking in some areas that I know on a good day can have good birds. I'd had a decent few hours, but nothing spectacular was turning up and to be honest it was a little quiet. I changed my route home so that I could check one of the reservoirs where I'd had a Redstart just the other week. I've kept checking this particular reservoir recently for Common Sandpiper that I've had in previous years. Nothing so far this year, but as I was checking the shore line I spotted a Grey Wagtail and right behind that was my Common Sandpiper. I was so pleased. The sun was out and he just wandered straight past me to allow me to take some great close up shots.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Bearded Tit - Pensthorpe Norfolk

This is my 200th post and I've been waiting for an opportunity to post this particular set of pictures. I can't think of a better time to do so. The Bearded Tit I have seen on just a few fleeting occasions. It is usually all too brief as it dashes across the reed tops and then down out of sight once again.
At Pensthorpe they have an active conservation programme. This allows you to get a closer to these beautiful little birds and even allows you to watch their behaviour for a good length of time. Needless to say I got the camera going, for some of my best pictures.

The striking colours of the male.

The female.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Water Vole

A bonus of birding means that you'll get to see lots of other wildlife while you are out in the field. At Sculthorpe Moor in Norfolk, underneath one of the feeding tables, there were literally thousands of sunflower seeds. While I was watching the table something caught my eye underneath. A movement of some sort. When I looked there was nothing there. It happened a couple more times before I finally saw what it was. A water vole was appearing from a camouflaged hole in the ground. In fact there were two. They were very timid and disappeared at the slightest noise or movement. Having said that, I managed a couple of shots.

So cute. I want one!

Sunday, 17 August 2014


It was the first day of the football season here in the UK yesterday and to recognise my team's comfortable 1-0 victory over West Ham (known as the Hammers) I thought I'd share some pictures of a Yellowhammer I saw a few weeks back.
It was scurrying around a field and even stopped for a second or two to let me take a few pictures. I've had many struggles trying to photograph this bird.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Tree Pipit

Tree Pipits put on a great show in the Spring time. Singing loudly and proudly as they display at the tops of trees with some parachuting thrown in for good measure. These birds winter in Africa and Southern Asia, so they'll soon be off on their travels. Hopefully this one I found in the Goyt Valley will have had a successful breeding season.

Unfortunately, the day I saw this bird there was little sunlight, so the colours don't really do them justice.

Look as those long hind claws, although not as long as the Meadow Pipits.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Perfect timing.....

I had another opportunity to look for some Short Eared Owls the other night. Again, the setting sun made for some great light. All I needed now was for the birds to appear and put on a show. They did that alright, in style once again.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

My friends again.

I wrote a post just the other day about our migrants soon departing to warmer shores. I went out that evening and managed to find a few of them. I found this beautiful Redstart and I could hear at least one other calling in some nearby bushes. I'm convinced there was another too, but I couldn't locate it.
Such wonderful birds. Please don't leave me!