Saturday, 17 January 2009

long overdue

I know, but sometimes these things get overlooked,
therefore, these photos have been building up for a while.

a poor summer followed a promising spring, when we had the reed buntings, for example.

here's some pics from that summer.

here we go, at the risk of confusing everyone, and myself . .

a jay, always hard to snap as they're so timid

a great spotted woodpecker, a nice visitor to the "new" feeders in the Pyghtle area

two young robins, with interesting variations on the well known adult plumage.

a southern hawker dragonfly.

a young bullfinch, with it's unusual colouring.
next up, the same day . . . . .

the final colour scheme

a grass snake, watched, if memory serves, by a young moorhen.

the first day the little grebe turned up this year.
later on the more bold second bird arrived.
here's the timid one.

two kingfisher photos from December, only in the late afternoon, for about an hour, did the sun reach the back of the Mere. . . . kingfisher time!

Alder seeds are popular with goldfinches, siskin usually go for these, but this year goldfinch seem more prevalent.

one of relatively few siskin about as compared to other years.
pictured amongst the Alder seeds.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Much Excitement

A gloomy day on the reserve, especially at 3:30pm, but I stumbled upon one of the kingfishers on a branch behind the fallen elder on the inlet stream, just a foot or so above the water. I shot these from the farthest bridge.

I also then saw the water rail plodding along below him and then scooting off into the reeds. I didn't manage to get a photo of it, but it was easily my best view of him personally.

There's still a pair of teal on the mere, but they flew off each time I walked anywhere near their preferred resting spot (at the base of the spit). This was about the best shot I managed to get. A 'record shot' only I'm afraid: 400mm, ISO 3200, 1/30s, through some branches - for the photographers to appreciate why it's so poor!

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Wetland birds

On a walk around the Reserve in the first week of January, it was lovely to see a pair of Shoveler ducks and two male Teal. The Teal were so timid that they flew away at the slightest disturbance but the Shoveler were slightly less scared. There have never been recorded sightings of these two species on the Reserve before so it is a real treat to see them. We managed to get this poor photo of the male Shoveler. It is possible that these birds arrived here as many other lakes were frozen over and it has driven them to find open water. Strangely, the WWA lake never seems to freeze over when other lakes do. There has also been a Water Rail, a pair of Little Grebes and a Kingfisher about this week.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

list of birds seen this week

Here is Sheila's list:
water rail, kingfisher, teals (2 male), shovelers (m + f), little grebes (2), coot, moorhen, mallard, heron, black-headed gull, bullfinch, greenfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch, jay, wren, siskin, goldcrest, blue tits, great tits, long tailed tits, magpie, robin, blackbird, song thrush, pigeons, collared dove, dunnock, house sparrow, cormorants (flying over), starling and redwing.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Kingfisher Dive

The kingfishers have been active over the last month. I managed to get a sequence of one of them diving, albeit unsuccessfully. This was from a very low hanging branch way up at the far end of the mere, beyond the fallen tree, taken from the bridge - so a long shot! Click the image for the larger version else you won't see any of the (limited) detail.