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

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

Thursday 29 August 2013

Real birds once again............

I'm really looking forward to another trip to Norfolk in a few weeks with my parents. I've not been in the Autumn before so I am looking forward to seeing some migrants on the move. Hopefully I'll catch up with a few rarities and maybe some new lifers too. I did just that when I visited in the Winter this year. I managed to photograph the Black-bellied Dipper that stayed for quite some time in Thetford.

This is the Dipper that you'd normally see in Britain. There is a chestnut colour below the white bib that is not on the Black-bellied Dipper above. 

Thursday 22 August 2013

Gauntlet Bird of Prey Centre Part 2

Continuing on from my last post. I decided to focus on the heads of certain birds. More to get me used to the camera again and it's capabilities than anything else. Anyway, I had great fun and there's not much else to say. I was quite please with the results, although some may say it doesn't matter because they are not wild birds. Well it's not my intention to mislead anyone. These are captive birds, but they helped me rediscover my mojo for birding and my camera. So thank you Gauntlet.

 The beautiful Peregrine Falcon

Common Buzzard

The White-tailed Sea Eagle

Golden Eagle

Bald Eagle

The lovely Black chested Buzzard Eagle

Friday 16 August 2013

Gauntelt Bird of Prey Centre Part 1

Now, I know some birders and photographers will not like what I am about to do, and that is to share some pictures that I took at the weekend at a bird of prey centre. Yes, captive birds. My excuse though is a real one. I'd not picked up the camera in over seven months and I needed some easy practise. So I spent half an hour watching a display put on at Gauntlet Bird of Prey Centre near Tatton Park in Cheshire. Some fantastic birds were flown, including a White-tailed sea eagle, a Bald eagle, Kites and the enormous Marabou stork.
I'll say no more but allow you to see the results of my practise session.

The White-tailed sea eagle. Absolutely massive.

A rather ugly looking vulture

The stunning Red Kite
Black Kite

A Marabou Stork from Africa. A truly enormous bird to see in flight.


Tuesday 13 August 2013

Carsington Water

While I had the bit between my teeth on Sunday, I carried on from Macclesfield towards Derbyshire and Carsington Water. It's somewhere I've visited a few times now and somewhere I really like. Although usually busy, I feel like it's just me and nature, and the birds in particular.
Stopping at Sheepwash car park, I was hoping to catch up with some Bullfinches and Tree Sparrows that are quite common around the bird tables situated here. But it was a bit later in the day than I'd seen them before and people were picnicking close by. How rude?
So I ventured on down to the Sheepwash hide. To my delight I was the only person in there. Looking out I could see two Common Sandpipers nice and close scurrying along the shore line, and also two Grey Heron patrolling. Cormorants were sunning themselves close by but not a lot else was going on, so I moved round to the Paul Stanley hide. Plenty more of the common species here. With plenty of Coots, Tufted ducks, Gadwall, Lapwings, Great Crested Grebes and one Common Tern. Long grass made it difficult to get any decent shots, so I moved out to a feeder near the hide. I didn't have to wait long before a tatty looking Nuthatch appeared. I always enjoy seeing these birds.

View from the Sheepwash hide

One of the two busy Common Sandpipers.
Cormorants, doing what Cormorants do.

A juvenile Great Tit taking a peak
A tatty looking Nuthatch.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Back at Macc

Well, it's been a long time since I last posted. I took myself out to Macclesfield Forest today to go over some familiar ground and to try and get back in to the swing of things with the camera. I wasn't expecting to see too much, but you really never know with this area. Quite often it's just the usuals but then at other times it throws up some real beauties.
I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with my list when I looked back on it. Straight from the car park at Standing Stone I spotted two birds working along in the near undergrowth. Bingo!! Two juvenile Redstarts. Probably my favourite summer visitor.
I watched these for some time. They were joined by many juvenile Willow Warblers, a juvenile Robin and a Wren.
I moved away in time to see a mixed flock of 30+ finches taking flight into a tree. Right behind them came a Hobby, which carried on through to join up with another. What a great start, and only 15 minutes in.
I ventured down the road and came across many Meadow Pipits and then another surprise, a lovely juvenile Wheatear. I've not seen them in this area before, but I guess the young are venturing out on there own and finding their own way.
Making my way up to Danebower it was pretty cold and raw. One Curlew and one Raven plus the usual Meadow Pipits were as exciting as it got, so I moved onto Carsington Waters. But I'll save that for another post later this week ;-)

One of the two juvenile Redstarts I came across this morning
Juvenile Wheatear

Meadow Pipits were in abundance.

This juvenile Robin looked a bit lost and as though he'd left the nest a little too early.