Monday, 31 July 2017

Venus Pool - Mandy comes close!

There have been occasional sightings on Mandarin at VP lately, usually a single bird but today, there were two clearly present as these elusive visitors finally broke cover! And they were a pair!

The female with all grey bill and more striking eye markings...

And in case there was any doubt about being a female then!

Having been given his marching orders, I sat in the members hide realizing the male was now steaming over to join me...

Putting on a show on the island in front of me...

The grass isn't just greener, it's tastier here?

Quick march...

Back in the water!

And a final wing flapping display...

Not quite so elusive then!

Kingfisher - blue bullet in flight!

I took on a challenge today, pitting my aim and wits against this lovely lady, a gorgeous blue bullet...

Or maybe an orange bullet?

It all depends on your point of view or moment in flight!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Venus Pool - Osprey takes a plunge

Osprey must be like London buses? You miss one  and then suddenly they are queuing up for you! I haven't had chance to check through the 5 minute presence earlier in the day (more white sky) cos at 5.15, things got a little more interesting! For once it wasn't just about FXO hovering against a white sky :-)  A plunge and decent background sts the bird off so much better....

I swear that goose just honked WTF!

Hoping for a monster carp to emerge?

Sadly another 'miss'...

Although something is being carried in the left talon.. mud?

So let's head off and dry those wings out!

Ahhh...  greenery behind!

While the Geese look on in disbelief!

Flap flap...

And a much clearer view of the ring...

Well worth the wait methinks but could do with a fish!!


Saturday, 29 July 2017

Venus Pool - Osprey!!!!!!!

Yes, an exclamation mark for each of the weeks, I've been missing this local 'traveller'! First seen back in May, I've arrived just after it's been and gone...  and departed just before it arrived with great regularity! If that makes sense?

An Osprey had been seen over Gailey - just after midday, we shall never know for sure but Steve Richards noted it was a tatty bird missing some primaries. (Does this look familar Steve?)

And today, at 2.30pm,  expecting nothing I casually looked out of the window (together with Mark Wilson also hoping but not really expecting) and shouted OSPREY!! Then, scrambled for the camera I didn't expect to use!!

I wasn't imagining it then!

Viewed from the main hide it was handing over the middle of the pool with a hover coming on!

A tantalising glint of 'blue' on that left leg...

After aborting a dive, it circled and came a bit closer, still resolutely refusing to give a view of the left leg!

And then, on the final hover, much further away, those dangling legs revealed to confirm...

Closer crop of the above and rubbish image but no doubt about it - FXO is still around :-)

You know I feel lucky again? Maybe another chance in better light? When I'm least expecting it of course!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Venus Pool - Black-tailed Godwits x 8!!

A busy morning meant a late arrival at the patch but with rain starting to fall, I had an optimistic spring in my step? They aren't going to win any awards for rarity but the first Black-tailed Godwits of the year here weren't travelling singly or in two's or three's - there were eight waiting for me! Smart Icelandic adults in moult but still sporting summer plumage!

They were best viewed from the Memorial hide but at a frustrating distance and often behind vegetation but once in a while, grouped up and with Lapwings alarming, I sensed what was going to happen!

A quick lap of the pool beckoned, even though they initially flew quite high!

Back they come...

And feeding as though their life depended upon it? It does of course :-) Wait a minute, there's only seven here? Where's the other one?

Braver than the others and approaching the hide at a rate of knots! Another worm down the hatch...

Marching into as close as it could possibly be!

Shame about the light but a welcome fix after weeks of waiting!

Yep, that close :-)

But we can do better than this? Can't we...