Monday, 21 January 2019

Total lunar eclipse

Clouds. Lots and lots of clouds. I did manage to get some (fairly bad) pics during the eclipse, but to give an idea of how challenging it was here in Colyton, the total eclipse phase lasted approximately an hour, and during that hour there were perhaps 3 or 4 seconds of moon viewing time. That doesn't mean clear skies for 3 or 4 seconds, it means I was able to take a couple of dodgy pics through the cloud for those 3 or 4 seconds only.

Worth the effort, but still a very disappointing night/morning.

Just under 11 years to wait until the next one! Well, one that's visible from the UK at least.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

---GIVEAWAY--- Milky Way from Seaton Beach

It has been a while! I'm very sorry to those of you who check this blog regularly; I've had a busy few months. This page will hopefully get back to regular birding stuff soon!

In the meantime, I'm doing another giveaway on my photography page on Facebook. It's worth a plug here as it's to do with the natural World!

A bit of story on the image itself. I was initially disappointed to see the cloud coming in so soon after setting up the camera equipment, but fortunately the wisps were thin and showed some warm colours, presumably from light pollution around nearby towns.

This image is a stack/blend of 5 long exposures with a total exposure time of slightly over 10 minutes. This allows all areas of the image to be detailed without showing much image noise.

This link < HERE > should take you to the post.

GIVEAWAY CLOSES ON SUNDAY 25TH NOVEMBER AT 20:00 (local time) - see the Facebook post for more information if you're interested. There are approx. 100 entries so far.

Thursday, 20 September 2018


Well, it has been a while! I have been getting out for the occasional 30mins of birding but haven't been able to blog anything having not had a working week of less than 100 hours for quite some time now.

A quick visit to BHM in the strong winds this afternoon yielded nothing better than 2 Ruff, 2 Greenshanks, a Green Sand and 3 Grey Wags.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Cuckoo at Black Hole Marsh

There was a Cuckoo at BHM near Tower Hide on Thursday 9th. It was pretty elusive, only giving brief views and mostly seen in flight when the trams flushed it. We've also had more waders around recently with the best being a Curlew Sandpiper seen briefly by Ian Mc. The only other wader of much interest was another Wood Sandpiper.

Here's a pic of the Cuckoo but it doesn't have many pixels left. I took this from Island Hide, so it was a few hundred feet away...

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Wood Sandpiper posing nicely

Black Hole Marsh has been looking absolutely stunning lately! Lots of birds, nice evening light with the recent Sun and a nice view over the whole marsh now that the overhead cables have been removed. We've had at least 1 Wood Sandpiper here over the last few days, showing well near the viewing screens at the end of the boardwalk to Island Hide at times. I took Dad for a quick visit this evening and it performed very nicely indeed. Other birds of note included 16+ Dunlin, 3 Green Sandpipers and a Greenshank.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Spotted Redshank and more juv Yellow-legged Gulls

Black Hole Marsh continues to attract waders with the best of them being a Spotted Redshank which was found by Clive and has been here since the 26th. Blackwit numbers are building with 20+ present recently and Dunlin are also in low double figures. Other waders of note have been 2 Greenshanks and at least 1 Green Sandpiper.

We've had quite a few Yellow-legged Gulls in the last week, perhaps just into double figures, although it's hard to be sure. There were 2 on the estuary from Tower Hide this evening; Steve had 4 earlier in the day so perhaps these birds were 2 of those. We've had quite a few Med Gulls recently too, including a juv on BHM with yellow ring number AYNK.

Annoyingly I reckon an Osprey probably went through mid-afternoon on Friday 27th. As I got out of my car at the BHM car park I saw the gulls go up from the estuary in a big flush. It wasn't just the gulls though; all the waders were up too, including almost everything from BHM. I didn't see what caused it but it was a very 'Osprey-like' flush and it took a while for the birds to return to the estuary and BHM. I've missed all of the patch Ospreys so far this year, and there have been a few...

I'm going to try and get more pics of LBB and Herring Gulls in various plumages over the next year or so for reference purposes. Either that or find a proper gull ID book! Some pics:

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gulls and ISS

Late news and a brief post! Clive found a Wood Sandpiper at Black Hole Marsh on 21st. I wouldn't normally rush out to twitch one but I didn't see one on patch in 2017 so it was worth a quick look. A Hobby flew overhead and a Yellow-legged Gull was showing distantly but well from Coronation Corner on that same evening. There was a different Yellow-legged Gull on the estuary the following evening, although I think other Tim (Wright) had two.

Not birding related but some of you may be into such things; the International Space Station has been very bright and obvious when passing over during the last few evenings. If you look closely you should be able to see part of the Milky Way above the ISS 'streak' in the pic. When I posted this on Twitter James Chubb referred to the lens flare as an 'intergalactic haddock' which I quite liked!