Thursday, October 20, 2005

Spar 1, Colly Dove 0

What better way to start the day, than with a hearty breakfast. Looks like this Spar has already had the heart as well!

Image | Nikon Coolpix 995 | © Steve Dudley

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

White-rumped Sand

Well, its been there an age and returning back from Oxford in daylight I thought, why not? I might even get a digishot if I'm lucky.

Well on arrival, I found Kev DuRose almost walking in its footsteps. The bird was ridiculously approachable as it fed along the shoreline of the huge inland-sea of a lake that is Grafham Water. And that was the problem - it just wouldn't keep still.

It was either head down . . .

. . . behind a rock . . .

. . . looking the wrong way . . .

. . . then bingo!

I had a great half hour or so with this superb little chap, and I won't forget his friend either, Mr Dunlin.

Its easy when they don't move!

I left Grafham just wondering why I don't visit this place. Its only half an hour from home and perhaps I should change that from time to time.

Images | Leica APO Televid 77 | 20xWA | Nikon Coolpix 995
© Steve Dudley

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Great Grey day

With best part of the day spent around Tanholt GP, River Nene at the Millennium Bridge area and Dog-in-a-Doublet in search of migrants (and finding bugger all!), we were heading home across an also migrant free Blackbush when a text from Brian Stone was welcome news. Great Grey Shrike along Thorney Dyke Road. We about turned and eventually got through to Bri who told us roughly where it was, although some of the details were missed due to a dodgy mobile signal. So having checked around both 'Knarr Fen' road junctions I decided to ring the finder, Charlie Kitchen, for more details. He told me the bird was sitting in the middle of a ploughed field! What! Yes, sitting in the field and catching flying insects. So we followed his instructions and on pulling up at the rough area I spied a tell-tale black, grey and white shape disappear in to a tree by the ploughed field it was last seen in. Out of the car we soon had the shrike in the scope. Crackin! And true to Charlie's word, after a brief couple of minutes in the trees, it flew back in to the middle of the ploughed field where it was more than happy to catch anything that winged its way past it.

Although never close, it is a very clean bird with black, not brownish tinged mask and wings, and not hint of any barring, so I age this as an adult winter bird.

We watched it in the field for best part of an hour, got these very distant record shots in the gloomy light before rain threatened and we left the shrike to it.

A great grey day rather than a dull out day as it was threatening to be!

Images | Leica APO Televid 62 with 26xWA | Nikon Coolpix 995 |
© Steve Dudley

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Treeps - still the tops!

Despite having seen 115 species in my garden, my resident Treeps are still tops for me! This little chap was found sunning himself early this morning.

Impatient little bugger - couldn't wait for me to top the feeders up could he!

You can age this as a first-winter bird by the extensive yellow at the base of the bill.

Images | Nikon Coolpix 995 | © Steve Dudley

Monday, October 03, 2005

Give us this day our daily Gos

I've had an imm male Goshawk around the house this afternoon (garden tick number two (and 115 in total) for today following this mornings two Jays). First glimpsed at 1415h when I presume it was this bird that dived at the Collared Doves in the garden and I only caught a blur as i stupidly left the car on the drive which blocked my view (grrrrr). The birds have been going barmy and very unsettled since (and no Collared Doves have returend). Then seen at 1450h when it came over the house. I dived outside and was able to watch it as it chased woodpigs between Crowtree and The Plough and headed off (with crows in pursuit) towards Blackbush.

Could this be the bird reported last month from Connington Fen - c.5 miles away from here as the Gos flies.

And there was me beginning to get Gos withdrawel with yesterday being the only day since 25 Sept I havent seen one! I was getting them daily, with up to double figure birds some days, all last week on Lesbos and was last watching one on Sat morning circling over a wooded hillside with two Black Storks and a Long-legged Buzzard - cracking stuff! Oh well- back to work. Only another 140 emails or so to get through.

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