Wednesday 29 April 2015


I'm not really a twitcher, but with this bird being so rare and so close I just had to go and see it. It was at digiscoping distance rather than conventional photography, but it was great to see none-the-less. I thought I'd missed the only opportunity when I had unavoidable work commitments on Saturday when it was first identified.
I have a fair few pics and will get around to posting some more soon. Until then...

Sunday 26 April 2015

Short Eared Owl at Black Hole Marsh - the photos improve...

A quick evening visit to BHM to see if the Short Eared Owl was about proved worthwhile; the aforementioned bird showed at dusk. The conditions were a bit dark for decent photos but I managed a few. Now all I need is a bit of luck with it showing in daylight... well done to Sue for being there at the right time when it was showing in the middle of the day yesterday!

Stunning bird!

Tuesday 21 April 2015

More SEO action from Black Hole Marsh

Another trip to see the Short Eared Owl proved worthwhile this evening, with the bird showing well (albeit distantly) from Island Hide. These two pics were taken well after Sunset; they look bright due to my manual camera settings. Dad and I stayed with the bird until dark, and on the post it remained!

Short Eared Owl vs Kestrel !!! (Axe Wetlands)

As soon as I was out of work after other work, I raced over to Black Hole Marsh to see the SEO which had been hanging around all day. With no sign of it between 18:00 and 19:00 I joined Dad to help him ID a saw-billed duck which he'd found from Tower Hide. It was a female Goosander:

There may be a pic with a better reflection than this one; I'll have a look when I can.

A Kestrel diving at a landed SEO was a spectacular end to the evening. The photos were rubbish as the Sun had set and the birds were distant. Fantastic to witness though.

More pics of this exchange to come!

Sunday 12 April 2015

Pics from Black Hole Marsh

I'm busy working so just uploading a few pics. There's been a slow trickle of migrant waders on Black Hole Marsh this week with 3 Little Ringed Plover, up to 7 Ruff, a Sanderling and a couple Ring Plover also.

Black Tailed Godwit

Grey Heron

Black Tailed Godwit

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Little Owl in Colyton

As mentioned yesterday here are some pics and video footage of a Little Owl, taken in Colyton.

Intentional silhouette against the setting Sun

A quick visit to Black Hole Marsh after work was relatively bland, with 2 Ruff and 2 Dunlin the highlights.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

OSPREY on the River Axe

A quick post-work visit to the estuary was very worthwhile this evening. I saw the gulls on the estuary go up and Sue said they'd been doing it all day and it'd be nothing. Next thing all the Shelduck and Godwit went up too and I soon spotted an Osprey over the river! I rarely run for birds, but I sprinted to Tower Hide in the hope it wouldn't have caught a fish in the minute it takes to get there. As soon as I arrived I saw it heading in the opposite direction, with a large mullet in its talons. DAMN. I made myself feel pretty crap for a while too; I'm not in great health for running with my heavy camera gear, meant to be taking it easy and all that... I got a few snaps as it gained height; very distant shots, but I do love Ospreys so the bad pics will grace this blog none-the-less! Also congratulations to Sue and other Tim on their incredibly good fortune with the Osprey over the Bank Holiday weekend, they certainly got some special views. Well done both!

Apologies that the pics are a bit grainy; the bird was distant so they've been heavily cropped. But... LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT FISH!!!!!!!!

There were also 3 very smart Little Ringed Plover on Black Hole Marsh. Here's a pic of one of them:

I've also taken some rather interesting pics of Little Owl this evening; I'll post these soon...

Sunday 5 April 2015

PENDULINE TITS at Black Hole Marsh

I ran to the Field Studies Base as soon as I got the message from Bun about the Penduline Tits. I took a few shots just for the sake of knowing I took some on patch; I couldn't stay more than 2 minutes due to work. They showed superbly for some of the other locals. Here's one of my shots from when they were at Darts Farm. I hope they're still near BHM tomorrow as I actually will have time to take some pics!

Friday 3 April 2015


This afternoon was a good one. I decided to spend some time with the camera as workload is approaching burnout territory again, so some time with photos and wildlife was very much needed. I thought I'd try for the Bonaparte's Gull at Radipole as it'd be a first for me; when I saw the report of a Black Winged Stilt at Abbotsbury I thought it'd be rude not to stop off on the way. I saw it from New Barn Road very distantly; quite frankly I didn't have time to go through the Swannery to get to the hide as well as go for the Bonys! I connected, at a just-about-identifiable distance! A lifer to quick the afternoon off!

And now to the next lifer. The gull was closer than I had expected so my 600mm was simply the wrong bit of kit for the job. I had to manual focus everything (heavy bit of kit and also relatively slow in AF mode). I watched the bird for about 2 hours before having to get back to work. It didn't land once in that time! Here's a few flight shots; I hope to improve on these if I can get back there with my 100-400 ii.

I also had another lifer yesterday, and on patch this time - Slavonian Grebe. The pics are not worthy of this blog!