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 June 2012

Egyptian Goose

I've come across the Egyptian Goose with increased regularity this year. A mainstay of Keg Pool at Etherow Park, I also saw a pair at Cley last week. I even came across a couple in Brussels. A goose that in my opinion can look particularly ugly and agressive. No matter how they have happened to end up here, they seem to be here to stay and spreading.

Egyptian Geese at Cley.

This particularly agressive Swan clearly doesn't like these geese. Having said that, it didn't like me either and I had to beat a hasty retreat.

Monday 25 June 2012

Norfolk. Not quite abroad. (Part 1)

I spent a fantastic couple of days with my parents in Norfolk last weekend. The birds to be found in this part of the country are quite something, and not what I find in my own back yard. So it made a nice change to see lots of waders and sea birds plus some more unusual birds that we didn't expect to show up.
We were based in Snettisham which has a stony beach and a vast area of mudflats. Ideal for waders of all varieties.

Bar-tailed Godwits on a flypast. 

 A Common Tern against the slate grey sky.

A Mediterranean Gull.

An Oystercatcher. Very common and very noisy, but also very colourful.

At Titchwell there were plenty of Resdshanks, Avocets, Shelduck and a few rarities flew in to make it even more enjoyable. A Spotted Redshank was a first for me, as were the Little Gulls that showed themselves very nicely, and the following day a Spoonbill dropped in, although it was too distant for my camera.

A Common Redshank.

A Spotted Redshank. (Apologies for the colour, the light was on the wrong side on a dull day.)

Come back soon for part 2 and some nice close ups of the very photogenic Avocet.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Our African neighbours

I've been following a pair of Common Redstart for a number of weeks now. From territory building to nest building. From incubating to feeding and fledging. They really are one of my favourite birds. Having said that, my list of "favourite birds" is up to about 20 now. Anyway, they are very colourful, have a great song and travel to the UK from North Africa, which in itself deserves to be on most peoples list of favourites.

 The male with a grub for the young.

The female. What a stunning orange tale?

The House Martin flies from sub Saharan Africa to these shores to raise a family too. Feeding on insects caught on the wing. You can see the very nice blue on the birds back here, while he surveys the site for a potential nest.

Saturday 16 June 2012

Feeding time at the nest

In between the showers recently I managed to get out to see what was around, and thankfully there was still lots of feeding going on. Willow Warblers, Meadow Pipits and Stonechats were all busy collecting food for their young.

Meadow Pipit with a snack for the young.

Willow Warbler with some insects.
A pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers


Tuesday 12 June 2012

Please stop raining.

I thought I'd cheer myself up this week with some colourful birds that I've photographed recently. The weather has been horribly wet for what seems like an age, but is really more like days. It has stopped me going out though, and that makes me sad. I get cabin fever quite quickly and need my bird fix on a regular basis. This will keep me going for a day or two.

Male Bullfinch at Pennington Flash.

Goldfinch in frostier times.

A very handsome male Stonechat at Danebower.

A Willow Tit at Woolston Eyes.

I've tried for a long time to get a decent shot of the Willow Tit. I got lucky last week.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Are we there yet?

With my daughter being on school holidays this week, I've been to a few different places and with some different animals too. So there won't just be birds this week. A visit to one of our local National Trust properties at Dunham Massey meant we could eat our lunch with the Fallow deer, which kept Eleanor amused while I scanned the trees with my eyes and ears for anything with wings. Here are some of the things we found.

A Nuthatch looking for grubs for it's young.

One of the many Jackdaw found in the park.

A Blackcap. One of our Summer migrants.

Mute Swan cygnets. Very cute indeed.

An Azure Dragonfly, in the throws of passion. Thanks to John R for the ID help. 

One of our lunch friends. A Fallow deer.

Saturday 2 June 2012

What the Chough....

Whilst on my North Wales birding trip last weekend, one of the major highlights for me was seeing my first Chough. In fact we went on to see several. It was great to see them soaring around the cliffs and then to watch them effortlessly pull in their wings and dive. Something I'll always remember.
They are a member of the crow family, but unlike other crows, they have a bright red bill and red legs to match. Quite striking when you first see them and expect it to be just another Carrion Crow.
They are steadily increasing in numbers in the UK, but are exclusively seen on the west coast, but not everywhere.

The lighthouse at South Stack RSPB reserve. Below the lighthouse are the nesting Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Razorbills.

The Chough, with wings pulled in.

Here you can just see the red feet.