Archive for the 'uk wild birds' Category

17
Jun
19

East Coast Birding Tour

Just back from this years East Coast Birding Tour. Some fantastic birds again, visiting sites along the east coast of Yorkshire and Northumberland. If you are a photographer and haven’t been on this tour yet … book a place on next year’s trip. You will not regret it. All food, accommodation, boat trip, guiding and transport included. Details are up on the website now and itinerary is available here https://www.wildlifetoursandeducation.co.uk/app/download/11123944/Itinerary+-+East+Coast+Seabird+Tour+2020.pdf

All photos taken on this years tour.

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14
Jun
19

Spring turns to summer

Some happenings along the rivers at the moment.

 

12
Jun
19

The Cyd Cherrise of the bird world

Simon described them as the avian equivalent of Cyd Charrisse. Only such a writer as he could come up with a turn of phrase that equated a Black winged Stilt to the female dancer in the 1952 production of ‘Singing in the Rain’. If you take a look at a few pictures of her and see the length of her legs you’ll see what he meant.

We were having a wander along the North Norfolk Coast taking in a few spring and passage migrants. By chance news reached us of two Black winged Stilts that had made landfall close to Well-next-the-Sea a few minutes earlier. Given we were so close it would have been rude not to pop in and see them; so we did. They were a pair. Male and female birds – the male is jet black on the back the female is slightly browner. They did a bit of wandering after we left but have since been seen back near Wells. I guess we’re in for another Norfolk breeding record. One of the (few) plus points of climate change is that we get to experience some of the Mediterranean species as they move north following the temperature contours.

 

09
Jun
19

Shrike a light

Why would I need a scope? This was a mammal tour and we were going to walk down the dunes and look at some seals. Absolutely no need for a scope and tripod. Why on earth would I bother to cart it all the way down to the seals?

Each spring I run a mammal day in Norfolk. We start at around midday and finish close to midnight. It’s normal to get a dozen or so mammals on the list sometimes more, sometimes less. On the walk down to the seals we had the weather to our backs and to be fair it had improved from the persistent rain of the last couple of hours but the wind was gathering speed. I was scanning the hedgerows and fence lines to see if I could pick up on a Water Deer sheltering from the wind, when a flash of white caught my eye. It was a distant shrike sat on the fence. It was seemingly feeding constantly; dipping down to the ground then returning to the fence. I could make out through bins that it had a black forehead and a rose tinted breast. Time of the year told me it was more likely to be a Lesser Grey Shrike than anything else but I had heard an unseasonal Great Grey Shrike was in Cambridgeshire. I really needed my scope to get a closer look. …Ooops!

I put the word out, with a cautionary caveat, to a few local birders and friends as well as RBA (Rare Bird Alert). This was the only potential Lesser Grey in the UK at the moment and I didn’t want to state it categorically was a Lesser Grey without a closer look. I fired off a few distant record shots and tore myself away to take my guests down to the beach to photograph the Grey Seals.

It was as we were stood on the beach I took a look at the photos on the back of the camera and realised it was undoubtedly a Lesser Grey.

As we returned to the dunes the first local birders were arriving and I told them where it had been but said by now it was probably sheltering from the wind in the bushes … which on examination it was.

A nice bit of icing on the day which we finished at around 10pm with a couple of adult badgers along with two rather large cubs.

 

06
Jun
19

Thugs

We were practicing taking shots of birds in flight and chose a mob of Herring Gulls loafing on the seafront as subjects. These birds are serious thugs!

02
Jun
19

Don’t you just hate it when you get a spot on your nose?

The glacial ridge orientated east/west running parallel to the coast here in Norfolk is ideal for Firecrests. We found up to eight singing males when the weather started to warm a little. When I saw this individual it wasn’t singing just foraging avidly So I presume it was a female. She had a seed or something stuck to her bill. No matter what she did she couldn’t shake it off.

28
May
19

Bittern in flight

No wonder Bitterns died out; just look at the drumsticks on that!




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