Friday, 25 April 2014

Thursday 24th April 2014

Chiffchaff
   An after work walk along Northwick Warth, didn't produce anything special! The, now, usual Lesser & Common Whitethroats were there, and this showy Chiffchaff. But, that was about it!

Chiffchaff


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Wednesday 23rd April 2014

   I booked myself a late shift at work, and got permission to use the Forest of Dean feeding station again. This time i was on my own, and the hawfinches showed well, just for me. Did take a while for them to settle, but then...who cares when you get shots like these????

Hawfinch (Female)
Hawfinch (Male)

Hawfinch (Female)


Hawfinch (Male)

Hawfinch (Male)

























     Stunning birds aren't they?

























     After my success with the Hawfinches, i thought i would try my luck with the Willow Tits at Brierley, i only had about half an hour, so not really much chance i thought! But i hit it again, not as close as the hawfinches, but defo the best shots i have so far.....

Willow Tit

Willow Tit
    Then bloody work, always gets in the way dunnit!!!!!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Monday 21st April 2014

    Last morning before the long drive home. Lets see what we can get?????

   I had heard, from a friend, who was also up in the Highlands, that the Black-throated Divers were on Lochindorb again yesterday, and Red-throated Divers on a small Loch to the South. Lets try!

   No sign at the normal area, but a chance stop for Red Grouse, and there were a pair, closest i have seen them at Lochindorb!

Black-throated Diver

Black-throated Diver

Black-throated Diver
   Sadly after a short while they both swam out to the Castle Island. The small Loch was gonna be our next stop, but it was a bit too far to do this morning, so save that for next visit! So, one last try at Loch Garten, and it finally paid off......i hope you agree?

Crested Tit
Crested Tit

Crested Tit



























    A quick visit to Glenshee Ski Station on the way home, looking for Ptarmigan & Ring Ouzel, was fruitless again. But, got some shots of Summer plumaged Common Gull, not really much of a consolation but still........

Common Gull

Common Gull
   Absolutely shattered when i got home.......really looking forward to work tomorrow, NOT!!!!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Sunday 20th April 2014

Crested Tit
   Another early start at Loch Garten. First thing i noticed, was the peanut feeder was on the floor! Something must have knocked it down, possibly a Red Squirrel? After about 10 minutes, i decided i better put it back up, so i did.....within 5 minutes there was a Crested Tit on it!!!!!! It then did its usual disappear, come back, disappear again act, for a couple of hours. Photos are getting better though.......

Crested Tit














  We tried to get access to a small Lochan, where there are Slavonian Grebes, but were told, in no uncertain terms NO! So we would have to try Loch Ruthven later, a visit to Loch Insh provided a pair of Ospreys nesting, in the usual place, and 3 Goldeneye.

   Onto Ruthven. Where i found a pair of Slavonian Grebes, but they were on the far side of the Loch. We also had another Osprey there.

   A last try for the day, a wander around Abernethy Forest from Forest Lodge. This didn't produce much, except a male Redstart and a Tree Pipit.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Saturday 19th April 2014

    So, here we go first stop Lochindorb, early morning. Reports of Red & Black-throated Divers, had me hoping for photos of both. But, my luck held, no sign of either!!!

   Off to Loch Garten, as i have never managed to get any shots of Crested Tit, in the UK anyway! Some clever person had been putting peanut butter in the bark of a pine tree, near a new feeding station in the car park. The bird, i was told had been showing really well, early this morning....THANKS!

Crested Tit
   It wasnt too long before it came back though, then came the hard bit...photos. After a couple of hours and seeing the bird maybe 3 times, we decided to try somewhere else, but i did manage this one...
















Red Grouse (Male)
   We decided to give Lochindorb another try. Still no Divers, where are they??????? Did manage some close up shots of Red Grouse this time, in lovely light.
 
   If you get lucky, and the weather is right in Scotland, the light and scenery are absolutely amazing.

Red Grouse (Female)








Saturday, 19 April 2014

Friday 18th April 2014

    After a long, overnight drive, we had arrived nearly at our first destination, Glenshee Ski station. Sadly, it was then that i had a puncture....what a bugger!!!! Then started a very frustrating morning, wait for the pick up truck to arrive, then on the back, a journey away from Glenshee, to Perth, to find a Tyre place, open on Good Friday! First 2 were still too busy, luckily the 3rd said they would sort it straight away for me. So, 2 new tyres, and £150 worse off, i was back on the road towards Glenshee. We finally got there 4 hours after i had hoped......and even worse, no sign of any Ptarmigan or Ring Ouzels!
   Onto the Aviemore area, via some Heathland looking for Black Grouse, but we only had Red! Nothing photographed in the rest of the day. But we did have some good news, that Crested Tits had been showing in the Loch Garten car park, so fingers crossed for tomorrow.
   Lets hope for some better luck too..

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Wednesday 16th April 2014

  Slimbridge WWT after work today, as the Common Cranes have been reported to be nesting, in front of one of the hides. should be great photo opportunities........

Common Crane
Common Crane













Common Crane








Common Crane














Little Egret
    While there, there was not only the Cranes, a very showy Summer plumaged Little Egret was on show most of the time too. Not long ago, these would have been a pull to Bird photographers, without the Cranes!!!

Little Egret



Little Egret

Monday, 14 April 2014

Sunday 13th April 2014

    After quite a few years of nagging, from me, a friend finally got me in touch with the Forestry Commission, in the Forest of Dean. The reason for my nagging, was Hawfinch photos, so today was my first chance to go to an FC feeding station, what a privilege!!!! Thanks to Jerry & Lewis (not Jerry Lewis), for their help, and also Carl day for his company this morning.

    We set up our hides early in the morning, then just sat and waited.......it took a while, but in the end, the results, i hope you agree, were well worth the wait?

Hawfinch (Female)
Hawfinch (Female)


Hawfinch (Male)

























Hawfinch (Male)
Hawfinch (Male)















    What a fantastic morning!!!!!!






  Nothing much else around locally, so decided that the afternoon would be spent at Farmoor Reservoir in Oxfordshire, where there had been a Summer plumaged Red-necked Grebe, for a couple of days, and it had been reported today too. So, after the journey, now to find the bird. A quick scan with the binoculars, and i spotted some birders, but they were on the far side of the reservoir, so i started the walk around, along the causeway and to the other side, and the bird was there! Into the sun, bit awkward though. The Grebe swam along the shore a bit, then a bit more, then farther along, you get the way this is going....Until finally it was in the farthest corner from the causeway, but now the sun was behind me, and i could finally get some shots with the sun on the bird.....and again i hope you agree, it was worth the walk?

Red-necked Grebe
   What an amazing day, spent in the company of 2 species of absolutely stunning birds, wish this happened every weekend..........



Sunday, 13 April 2014

Saturday 12th April 2014

Toothwort
   A quick visit to a few places today, including Priddy and Ham Walls. A new flower on me today....Toothwort, sadly they were just on their way out!

Toothwort
















  ......and at Ham Walls RSPB, photographed a showy (well for this species anyway), Cetti's Warbler!

Cetti's Warbler
Cetti's Warbler


Cetti's Warbler

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Friday 11th April 2014

    Gulls at Chew this evening after work.....

Iceland Gull (1st Winter)

Iceland Gull (1st Winter)

Yellow-legged Gull (2nd Summer)

Black-headed Gull (1st Summer)
       .....plus the other usual suspects, Herring, Lesser Black-backed & Great Black-backed