Sunday, 31 July 2011

Bird pics from BHM

I went to BHM quickly after first going to the Seaton hide & Burrow Pit area and seeing NOTHING. Well, I did see a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel, but not within photographing range so I'm not counting that. Seriously though, where have all the dragonflies gone this year?!? Looking back at last years photos I'd see 15-30 dragonflies at the Seaton reserve area at every visit, without exception. Yet I've seen literally zero this year (I haven't had many visits though so my dipping isn't because my sighting skills are worsening or anything)! There are significantly fewer damselflies this year too. It's the same story by the River Coly as well; I've only seen a couple of female Libellula's (Broad-bodied Chasers) so far this year whereas I'd have normally seen Emporers, Golden Ringed, Southern Hawkers, Migrant Hawkers, Common Darters and Scarce Chasers by now. HMM.
Moving on, here are a few shots taken from Black Hole Marsh late this afternoon/early evening:
Shame I wasn't the other side for this shot!

Little Ringed Plover, first one I've ever seen actually!

Common Sandpiper, quite a smart one I thought

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Marsh Harriers and Hobbies...

...At Radipole in Weymouth. Here are the pics from Tuesday as promised. They are naff! The weather was dull and the subjects were pretty darned distant. Just about recognisable in the photos. There were some slightly tamer birds as well though...

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Pics from Colyford Marshes

I spent some of sunday having a good look around Colyford marshes and the hides etc. Here is a small selection of my shots from that day:

Taken at Black Hole Marsh. Take note of the prey...
This one was bounding around either side of the Colyford hide
Taken at Black Hole Marsh
Taken at Black Hole Marsh

Taken near the Field Studies Base

Dunlin. There was a flock of 5. Taken at Black Hole Marsh

A fairly tame Kestrel over Colyford common

And again...

I also saw a Kingfisher and a Sparrowhawk (with a catch) but the photos were too distant to be worth posting here.
Another post will follow this one soon. I took today off work (using up some holiday hours) so that I actually had time to go out just for the purpose of birding. I went to the Radipole lake in Weymouth with Dad today and saw the Marsh Harriers and a Hobby, amongst other species. Unfortunately the weather was dull and pretty tough for photography, and the subjects were a LONG way away (most of them). None-the-less a post with some pics will be sorted shortly, even if the pics are mediocre at best!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

On patch Little Owls, Kestrels, Water Voles, Spotted Flycatcher, and my FIRST Hobby

I still need to put up some shots taken from my holiday in Austria, but I'll prioritise with some local stuff. Here's a selection of recent shots:

This next one came as a pleasant surprise... I was innocently photographing a young buzzard attempting to ride a thermal when another BOP flew by. I took as many shots as I could but it was flying at a fair rate! I assumed it was a Peregrine at the time, but looking back at the photos, it was actually a Hobby. The first one I've ever seen. And in Colyton!! (by the River Coly). Shame the shot wasn't better, but the 2 second window I had to shoot in before the bird was gone was pretty restrictive.

Spotted Flycatcher: Colyton near the church.
Little Owls: Colyton, secret location.
Kestrels: Black Hole Marsh.
Water Voles: Black Hole Marsh
Hobby: Fly by at the River Coly.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Blog update imminent!!

Sooooo, it's been over a month since my last blog post. And this isn't a proper post either. I went away to Austria (Zell Am Zee) with some family from 18th June to 2nd July, hence why I haven't been blogging! I'm still in the process of sorting through the holiday photos (there are a few thousand of them) so I'll just mention what I'm going to put up in blogs which I'll write in the near future.

Contents of blogs to come will include (all of them in the wild):
Red-backed Shrike
Golden Eagle
Griffon Vulture
Black Redstart
Great Crested Grebe
Hummingbird Hawk Moth
Various dragonflies and butterflies, including Swallowtails

And maybe a few others.

Some local things now; I've had a brief look on the Coly for the Kingfisher pair I've been monitoring, hoping that the second brood didn't fledge whist I was away. I only saw one adult bird whilst I was there so it's hard to establish what's going on. Although this part of the day was unsuccessful, I headed downstream on the Coly and heard the call of more than one Kingfisher (more than 2 miles downstream of the Kingfisher nesting site that I already discovered). It didn't take long to see the two birds, both of which were juveniles. These birds then led me to what I'm 80% sure is the nest of a second Kingfisher family on the Coly. There's a hole in the bank, with lots of sticks below it, covered in poo! Very characteristic of a Kingfisher nest area. Especially as I saw the two birds sitting on the poo-covered branch, just beneath the hole in the bank... So, I'm assuming it's another nest. Either way, I walked widely around the area so as not to disturb them (although the probable nest site isn't hidden particularly well from public view so pretty much every dog walker and general walker will be disturbing the birds all through the day, whether it's intentional or not).

Another point of interest is some nesting Little Owls, also in Colyton. I've taken some poor quality photos of a juvenile and adult bird. They were taken at 21:30 on 4th July, so you can imagine the camera will have struggled with the low light! Some of the shots of these will probably go on my next blog post.