Friday 13 July 2012

Wood Sandpiper at BHM, and a Poplar Hawk-moth

A brief break from the holiday-related posts...
A text from Steve informed me of the presence of an adult Wood Sandpiper over at bhm, so naturally I went to have a look. It was there, but distant. Here's a rubbish but vaguely recognisable photo of it (the bird on the right of course):

My evening was spent trying to compose a decent pic of a Poplar Hawk-moth which was found at work today. I quite like a couple of the pics but they're definitely nothing special (I don't put moths in the fridge to make them slow!!).

It's worth clicking on these pics to view them slightly larger (if you like moths, that is). They're quite sharp.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Doorstep wildlife!

Well, on the doorstep of our accomodation on holiday at Center Parcs, Longleat. Here's a few pics. All of them (except the birds on nests, which were only a few paces away) were taken through the window of where we were staying.

And here's some video footage (shot with the Lumix):

The next post will have pics of birds which are far more interesting! But they were also captive/trained. We visited Longleat Zoo and the Hawk Conservancy Trust, so there's going to be a lot to include. There were a few wild birds to photograph too; there was a wild bird feed at the HCT which is meant to attract Grey Herons and Red Kites. Unfortunately none of the latter graced us with their presence...

Sunday 8 July 2012

Pics of Bittern, Great White Egret, Marsh Harrier + more

Just an extension of my previous blog post really. I've had time to have a quick look at a few of my holiday pics. Here's some from the DSLR from the day we visited Somerset Levels. Image quality is awful as all birds were VERY distant (with the exceptions of the Little Grebe and Tufted Duck). Getting any shot in which a Bittern/Great White Egret was recognisable was my priority as I'd never seen a Bittern before, and only once seen a GW Egret.

Alert Tufted Duck (Marsh Harrier flew over)

Tiny Toad! About the same flat area as a 5p piece.

Unfortunately it was impossible to take decent pics of the Bittern, Great White Egret or Marsh Harrier due to the direction of the sunlight (although all subjects were distant anyway). Overcast would actually have been preferable to sun which was nearly directly from above. The problem is most evident on the GW Egret pics; the highlights are blown, but the underside is in shadow! Nevermind, at least we saw one!
I'll post again within the next 2-4 days with more holiday pics and info. I'll probably cover the wildlife which we saw from our accomodation. There was a fairly diverse range, and not all of it desirable...

Sunday 1 July 2012

Holiday Day 2- Somerset Levels

With todays forecast being the least bad for the next few days, Naomi and I headed to Shapwick in the hope of seeing some of the rare species which inhabit the area. Our list of birds to see consisted of Bittern, Great White Egret, Peregrine Falcon, Hobby and Marsh Harrier. We managed to see ALL of these! We also got cracking views of some not-so-rare but unexpected birds such as Little Grebes, Great Crested Grebes, and Tufted Ducks. Naomi took some photos on the new Panasonic Lumix whilst I used the DSLR. I'll put up a couple of her pics as the laptop can't read the high speed card from the DSLR, or open the RAW files. Here's one of Coots & Goldeneye:

And here's one of a Great White Egret (honest, it IS there):
Photos from the DSLR to follow when we return!! A couple of the Great White Egret pics are almost mediocure standard, but I wasn't so lucky with the other birds from our list due to how far away they were. We might go there again if the weather improves; the quality and quantity of birdlife certainly was impressive!