Tuesday 23 September 2014

A trip to Dartmoor...

...Zoological Park!

I booked yesterday off work to spend with Natalie and we decided on a zoo trip; thankfully the weather was pretty much perfect! Avian interest was rather limited with the most exotic sighting being a wild Barnacle Goose which has been staying at the zoo on and off lately.

Here's a few pics from the day. Please note the copyright watermarks on certain images...

Up close and personal!

A late afternoon visit to Black Hole Marsh was rather underwhelming with nothing of interest showing close at all. We headed to the Burrow Pit instead and sat by the Swan, with a couple of Kingfishers providing occasional entertainment, lovely end to the day!

Sunday 21 September 2014

More Black Hole Marsh Brilliance

Having been rather ill for the last week I haven't spent as much time at the marshes as I'd have liked to. Thankfully the quality of birds made up for it with 3 Little Stints being present (always very distant) along with good numbers of Ruff (up to 8 at one point) and Greenshank. A Sparrowhawk also caused havoc over the marsh on a couple of occasions:

Little Stint

Little Stint

Little Stint


Sparrowhawk - I quite like the flies in this shot!


I have a whole day booked off work tomorrow (yes, really!!) which I'll be spending at a zoo in lovely company. There may soon be some non-avian photos on this page if I'm desperate for blog material...

Friday 19 September 2014

Kingfisher diving pics

Kingfishers giving more fantastic views. Still haven't managed a 'super shot' due to distance but my persistence will pay off eventually...

Thursday 18 September 2014

Kingfisher & Kestrel pics

A brief visit to Black Hole Marsh yielded the usual good views of Kingfishers, with 2 females being protective of the area. A Kestrel was having a difficult time flying in breezy conditions, which provided a few photo opportunities as it did a couple of stoops over the marsh. Here's a few pics of the aforementioned species, as well as one of the Greenshank posing nicely.

A couple of Little Stint also flew in whilst I was there (one of which had been reported already). Hopefully they'll hang around for a few days and pose nicely for my camera...

Monday 15 September 2014

Stunning Spotted Redshank, Black Hole Marsh

By far the best views I've ever had of a Spotted Redshank, at Black Hole Marsh this evening. The bird still wasn't particularly close but I've had bad luck with these in previous years so I'm content with what I managed:

There's many more pics to come but I have places to be tonight. Tim Wright also found a Knot and Little Stint around the Axe Valley today so it was a decent day. What will tomorrow bring..?

Sunday 14 September 2014

Photo catch up from the week

Rather pushed for time so just pics on this post! Update on recent happenings to come soon...



Ringed Plover

Sunday 7 September 2014

LITTLE CRAKE pic & other BHM posers

Black Hole Marsh has been great for wader photography this week, with Greenshank and Ruff being pleasantly obliging. A few nice pics and brief views of the stunning juvenile LITTLE CRAKE certainly brightened up my week, which can only otherwise be described as really f****** awful. There's only so long I can put up with working 7 days / 100 hours a week, and I think that's rapidly coming to an end from a health perspective! Getting ever more tempted to ditch one or two of my many jobs to allow more birding time as the wildlife is pretty much all that keeps me sane at the moment. Here's a few pics from recent Black Hole Marsh visits:

Little Crake





Thursday 4 September 2014

LITTLE CRAKE at Black Hole Marsh

When I saw Steve's tweet this morning informing of a Spotted Crake on BHM, I wished I'd popped down for one of my usual early morning visits. But then the pic from Sue made it clear that it was in fact, not a Spotted Crake. So... whack out a holiday form, leave work, grab camera gear and head straight to the marsh. Okay so I did look a bit silly being hideously overdressed in my work clothes, but nevermind! The views were VERY distant but for a Crake the bird was pleasantly showy. Here's one of the pics:

First in Britain since 2011? And more or less on my doorstep? Oh this is a good day...

Tuesday 2 September 2014

8 Curlew Sandpipers arrive at Black Hole Marsh

I popped to BHM late afternoon to see if anything new was in; texting has been quiet lately (apart from mine). I quickly found 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper from Island Hide, albeit distant views. Ian Waite joined me and we located another 2, and then another 3! 8 juvenile Curlew Sandpipers all coming in at once... could this be a repeat of last year when we had 17+ ? I sent the messages out and Tim Wright and Sue Smith also joined me. The birds did eventually come quite close but it was getting dumpsy and the light direction was horrible:

A Turnstone and a Ruff also put in a brief appearance close to Island hide: