Saturday, 24 September 2016

Grey Plovers & Common Tern on the Axe

There are still at least 2 Grey Plovers around the Axe Estuary, viewed distantly North of Tower Hide this evening. Just as it was starting to get dark a Tern sp. flew upstream so I quickly got the camera out to bank a few shots. I'm 90% sure it was just a Common Tern but I'll look at pics later just in case; conditions were too dark to tell through the bins or scope so hopefully the (awful) pics are more useful.

Here's another pic of the Lesser Grey Shrike (Plymouth). I took my shots from about 40ft away but it's been showing down to 10-15ft at times today apparently! That's so close that my lens wouldn't be able to focus on it. Remarkably tolerant bird:

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Lesser Grey Shrike - Action Shots

Here's some pics of the bird in action! It's still being reported as present today and showing closer too; hopefully it'll stick around for a few more days so that some of the weekend birders can see it.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Lesser Grey Shrike in Devon

I simply couldn't resist going to see the Lesser Grey Shrike near Mount Batten Point (Plymouth, Devon). The original plan was to dash over yesterday but I ended up spending all afternoon on calls with some overseas colleagues; thankfully the bird was still there this morning. Here's a video clip and 1 pic of about 1000, so there'll be a lot more appearing on here soon:

I'm hoping for some patch action soon as 300-400 Yellow-browed Warblers have arrived in the UK over the last couple of days. This is both early and on unprecedented scale - it seems they've had another bumper breeding year. Brendan Sheils had one in Charmouth in the evening of 20th and it was still present this morning; they aren't far away from us here...

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Buff-breasted + Pectoral Sand getting friendly...

Given how many fantastic photos of the Davidstow Airfield Buff-breasted have been put online I thought I'd try something a little different - going on a drizzly day. This does make getting decent shots significantly more challenging (poor light and wet optics) but the results can be really interesting. With the right shutter speed, the raindrops make little streaks across the image, something which I find looks quite pretty in some scenes. Things didn't go totally to plan; the forecast was for an occasional shower so I was hoping to get some shots of the bird both in the wet and in the dry. However it ended up peeing it down all afternoon; the Buff-breasted was looking really quite scruffy. The Pec remained looking smart regardless of the rain so all was not lost.

After initially finding the Pec in a separate area to the Buff-breasted, I was glad when they posed together for a while. This happened a few times but as they scurry around quite quickly it was often difficult to get a good shot. I'm pleased with this one though:

Pectoral Sandpiper (left) with Buff-breasted Sandpiper (right)

Here's a few more of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper:

And a few more of the Pectoral Sandpiper:

Monday, 19 September 2016

Twitched a Buff-breasted and found a Pectoral

What a day!!! I'll do a proper write-up with a load of pics and video footage soon but for now here's a couple of pics as a taster. It rained from early afternoon onward near Camelford but I quite like what the raindrops do to the pics.
It took me an hour or so after arrival to finally locate the Buff-breasted, but shortly after that I found a new-in Pectoral Sandpiper to go with it...

Pectoral Sandpiper

Buff-breasted Sandpiper bathing

MUCH more to come.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Nightjar - Video Footage

Here's a short video clip of the juvenile patch Nightjar, taken late August. As is expected with night photography/videography the ISO setting was very high but this has slightly less influence on the final result than it does with stills.
Hopefully they'll have a successful breeding again if/when they return next year. It'd be good to have 2 breeding pairs again like we had in 2015!

Friday, 16 September 2016

VIDEO: Red-backed Shrike vs GG Bush Cricket

The first video includes some preening but if you wanted just the clip of the demise of a GG Bush Cricket then the 2nd video is the quicker option.

Here's a pic of a GG Bush Cricket that the RB Shrike impaled and saved for later... The cricket was still alive an hour after being impaled so it must have suffered a fair bit of discomfort!

And here's another pic of the bird. Posing well, showing off its colours and looking back slightly towards the camera: