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

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

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Coastal Wonders

I'm getting a longing for waders and sea birds. I've not been to the coast for a while, and I'm missing the birds found there. So tomorrow I am heading to the Farne Islands and the Northumberland coast for a few days. I'm hoping for lots of Puffins, Terns, Guillemots and waders. These will all be feeding young at the moment, so there should be oodles of activity.
I really can't wait. It's been a few months in the planning, and now I just want to get there. I hope to be able to share plenty of pictures with you, so fingers crossed the weather holds out.

In the meantime, here are some birds I found on the Norfolk coast a few months back.

Black-tailed Godwit.


Mr and Mrs Teal

Mr Teal.

Monday, 27 June 2016


I'm very fortunate to live near an area where Woodcock can be seen 'roding' in the Summer months. 'Roding' is the name given to the breeding display flights made by the male. These take place between April and June over the tree line of what can be a large area of woodland.

As they fly over you can hear them squeak and make a pig like grunting sound. Very amusing and umistakeable.
Being crepuscular, they are most active around dusk and dawn. They are easy to see with the binoculars in low light, but this obviously doesn't make it easy to photograph.

I'd been out a number of times just to watch them, but I thought I'd see if I could manage anything at all with the camera. No would be the answer, bar some silhouette shots. These will have to do. It's a near impossible task. Just being able to watch and listen to them more than makes up for it though.

You can just make out the eye of this bird.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Babes in the Woods.

Due to bad weather and family commitments it's been a while since I've been up to the Goyt Valley.
On one of my last visits there, there was plenty going on and lots to see. Parent birds were busy collecting food for their young, and others, nesting materials for nests. I wonder how they have all faired in this particularly wet period.

Mistle Thrush have been plentiful in the area, and this one posed nicely for me.

This is a juvenile Song Thrush that had fledged, along with two others. It was being fed by the nearby parents.

This pair of Nuthatch were only just prospecting a nest site.

A lovely male Redstart in the evening sunshine. Hopefully now has young to feed.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebes have been in fine breeding plumage recently. Pairs have been displaying and others sat on eggs in the nest. They can look a little pale and bland in the winter months, but at this time of year, they really put on their glad rags.
With super black plumes on either side of the head and puffed out neck feathers, it really is a quite striking bird.

Friday, 17 June 2016

RSPB Burton Mere

Lots of activity everywhere right now, with young birds needing feeding. It means that birds are a made a little easier to see, even with trees now in full leaf, as they dart between nest to feeding area.
Whilst looking for the Spoonbills at Burton Mere, there were plenty of warblers in and around the reed areas. I managed to catch up with my first Sedge Warbler of the year. A very showy bird. Singing loudly and marking out it's territory.
Reed Warblers and Common Whitethroat were also in abundance. The Reed Warblers only gave fleeting views as they were constantly foraging in the reeds.

Standing next to one of the pools, a Grey Heron.

A Reed Warbler.

Distant views of the Sedge Warbler.

A Common Whitethroat in full song.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Spoonbill - Burton Mere

I usually only see in Spoonbills in Norfolk once a year, but they have been on the Wirral for a couple of weeks, and not just one. Seven have been reported at one stage, but there were just two for me to look at, high up at the roost site on Saturday morning.
Such an unusual looking bird. They look almost prehistoric and the bill looks so cumbersome. This pair were busy preening each other. I guess, because it's so difficult to do on your own.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Long-tailed duck - Chelford

An inland rarity in Cheshire, within 10 miles from home had me twitching at the weekend. A drake Long-tailed Duck was at Lapwing Hall Pool in Chelford. Very unusual to be inland and at this time of year. An opportunity not to be missed.
I knew where the pool was, or at least I thought I did. Scanning the waters for nearly an hour and no sign. Very unusual. Having spoken to the land manager I needed to be a few hundred yards over the other side of the road, on a different pool all together. Lesson learned, check your map first.

Still, it was easy to spot when I did get to the right location. Shame about the dreary weather though, and that it liked to stay quite a way out on the water. Good views in the binoculars and scope but not great for pictures. Here are some record shots though.

A nice view of the long tail.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016


The Shoveler (Northern Shoveler) is a duck of many colours. From it's black bill, green head, and yellow eye. To it's Chestnut brown flanks, white chest, black back and blue wing feathers. Oh, and orange legs.
If you miss all those colours, you can't miss it's mahoosive shovel like bill. It is a pretty impressive looking duck.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Grey Plover

This Grey Plover was on the beach at Titchwell, on my last visit. Still in it's winter plumage, it was well camouflaged against the stony area it had chosen to rest up. A nice looking wader and one that is happy to not scurry around the sands avoiding waves, unlike the Sanderling and Dunlin that were nearby.
Can you see the two very well disguised Turnstones in the top picture? Superb camouflage.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Curlew - Woodford

Some waders appear to have been successful in breeding once again on my patch. The Curlews have been in fine form recently, and by that I mean very vocal to anyone daring to walk within 50 yards of them. That 50 yards is a long 50 yards too. In other words, they are not too keen on anything being around them at the moment.
There is a fence between the path and their possible nest site, but all they can see is a predator, so I can't really blame them for making a fuss.
What it does allow me to do though, is to sit and wait for a golfer to walk past, and get ready with my camera.

Strutting his stuff on the golf course.

Annoyed that I didn't quite get the full wing on this one.

Coming in to land on the old runway.