Friday, 29 April 2016

Lower Bruckland Pools - Hoopoe

I had a feeling of 'deja vu' on arrival at Lower Bruckland Ponds near Seaton (Devon) - it was where, travelling through one evening,  I tried (unsuccessfully) to see Alpine Swift a few years ago! No such problems today, the Hoopoe was showing well on arrival!

Two for the price of one with an obliging wing spread and crest display!

The first few images gave little chance for variety, although the clean background was appreciated here!

 Coming ever closer....

All the time looking for and probing in the turf for leatherjackets!

Yes.... that will do nicely but now more distant again!

A selection of tosses....

What a lovely tasty morsel :-)


A final three posed images.....

Cloud cover for once gave a less contrasting image!

Hoopoes - whilst I've done this several times before on the blog, it's difficult to tire of seeing this iconic visitor :-)

Bowling Green Marsh - Whimbrel etc.

A talk in Somerset gave me the incentive for a couple of days birding in Devon. With no real rarities to chase, I opted for a start at Bowling Green Marsh. Despite a breeding bird survey in progress there were still plenty of birds on offer, starting with an Arctic Tern briefly over followed by this very smart 2nd Summer Yellow-legged Gull. 

It only touched down for a minute or so and 'camera back' verdicts pointed (for me) to Yellow-legged Gull. The head shape in this second pic had one or two folk considering Caspian gull but the bill and those 'oh so short' legs don't support this.

And almost immediately, there it was, gone!

Wader numbers seemed down due to the disturbance but there were still a few Bar-tailed Godwits, Redshank, Whimbrel, Curlew plus a lone Knot

A dozen or so Black-tailed Godwits included one or two feeding much closer - the wet grass seemed to be offering up plenty of worms!

Wait a minute.... a Whimbrel getting in on the close up act!

This really obliging Whimbrel turned out to be the highlight of the session from a photographic perspective!

Lots of standard 'posed' shots from a variety of angles....

Constantly looking for any sign of worms down below!

Then probing vigorously!

Gotcha :-)

Down the hatch....

You can have too much of a good thing but the foot forward walking shot makes for a more dynamic feel if not exactly 'action'!

A proper little show-off but early afternoon, my phone altered me to a Hoopoe now refound at Lower Bruckland pools near Seaton. Worth a look methought?

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Audenshaw Reservoir - Kentish Plover!!

We are all victims of circumstance and fate! Every little twist and turn of the latter can either make or break the day! I needed Kentish Plover for my UK list and suppose I should have gone yesterday and..... given my window of opportunity, I'd have seen it during a downpour, ticked it and been fairly pleased with the day?

But I didn't go and today was another day with another twist of fate - an opticians appointment at 10.15!! And the possibility of dilated pupils which would have scuppered driving!! Fate delivered an understanding optician and I was on the road at 11.00, parked up by 12.45 and ticking UK bird no 381 just after 1.00 :-)

The gallery was small and the KP (a stunning male!) obliging but not tremendously so! It was always sort of into the light from the East bank of Res no 3 (cloud helped) and given the distance to the waters edge, a bit distant! I filled a 16Gb card however (which I haven't even looked at) and the first few shots from the 2nd card were representative from that period - here's two of them!!

In the scheme of things I was over the moon to a)see it b) get a half decent record shot - couple of examples below.....

But then after a couple of downpours, it disappeared from view! Luckily eagle eyed Steve Nuttall relocated it on the West bank and after a km or so yomp, the sun came out and I was as near as you can be to a birding heaven!

A quick ruffle.....

As it started feeding in earnest, I became preoccupied to get a 'running shot' - these are a composite series from several attempts!!

And why was he running? Food of course, flies aplenty and the need to get them when they are down to save effort!

Small worms too!

Stopping very occasionally for a posed image....

But what's this all about! The leg over feather ruffle shot - a first for me!

Maybe I was fated to suffer the frustration of 4 dips going for Kentish Plover in the past before finally one was delivered? And maybe folk will refer to me as 'Lucky Jim' once more :-)

Whatever, these are just the few  from a very exciting card full of Gbs more! A few days on the road beckon with of talk and a show in Devon but more to come next week...... Hopefully some just like this!