Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Oldmoor RSPB reserve, Rotherham. A good selection of waders viewed from the aptly named 'wader-scrape' hide. In this sketch are Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit and Common Sandpiper - sometimes all viewed from the scope at the same time! Also present were a few Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, lapwing, Green sandpiper.
Full of optimism after the 'Wader hide' we headed to the 'Bittern hide' (apparently Bitterns have nested here for the first time in 200 years!) hoping, like its predecessor, it would live up to its name. Alas, search as we might, no Bittern could be located so I focussed on an obliging Little Grebe that posed at the edge of the reeds.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Langar Wildflower Farm. In a ploughed field next to the nurseries a large flock of Swallows and House martins had congregated. Apart from alighting on the ground, the only suitable perch seemed to be a small Rowan tree growing next to the field in which the Martins and Swallows would gather, sometimes hanging off the branches and bunches of ripening berries. They spooked easily, rising in a big flock before returning to their favoured perches. Also running along the edge of the field were Yellow Wagtails.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Racing Pigeon on neighbour's roof in the hot sun. It attracted my attention by starting to sun-bathe, contorting itself into interesting positions, though by the time I set up the scope it decided it had had enough of sunbathing!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Great-crested Grebe (female) on her nest at Wollaton Park lake. The nest was composed of algae which is growing in great rafts at the moment. Twice the Grebe stood up revealing 3 dark olive-green eggs.
Grebe from another angle with dark reflection of trees behind. While I watched she began to pant in the heat.

Monday, 6 August 2012

We have let our front grass grow to resemble a meadow and today it was a pleasant surprise to see a Goldfinch feeding from a Dandelion seedhead so close to the house. This pretty visitor more than makes up for the untidy appearance of our lawn at the moment.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A company of birds resting on the islets of Tween pond, Attenborough. Canada Goose and Lapwings joined briefly by a young Little Egret.

Full Moon

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

A bit of snow on a hot day....Snowy Owl at the Tropical Bird gardens, Desford, Leics.
The Macaws and Parrots looked stunning in the sun. This Blue and Gold Macaw sat on the top of an aviary eating a Walnut
Military Macaw
A very comical Cockatoo that would say 'Hello' to visitors and show off with flamboyant displays.
Sun Conures - beautiful but very noisy birds!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Oystercatchers standing at the top of a weir, Kedleston Park.
Adult and Immature Oystercatcher. This pair were disturbed from the bank by a dogwalker and flew to a Coots nest in the centre of the lake. The Immature has grey legs, a duller beak and no red eye-ring to distinguish it from the adult.
This group of Eclipse male/Immature? Mandarins swam out from the far side looking anxiously back at the bank. Then, two Mink appeared and weaved in and out of the bankside vegetation. The  nearby ducks followed from a safe distance.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Lesser Black-backed Gull with raincloud behind
.....and then came the rain.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Local residents - Jackdaw, House Sparrow and Blackbird.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Some more drawings from yesterday. Gannets trying to land. Stong updraughts from the cliffs holding them almost stationary in the air.
Puffin. Individuals were dotted around the cliffs though more could be heard in their nesting burrows.
Fulmar on its nest
Fulmar asleep.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

A bit of a 'twitch' today with a drive over to Aldbrough, East Yorkshire to see a stunning Roller in a ploughed field. We decided to make the most of the day and headed to Bempton Cliffs, RSPB.
Kittiwake with a spray of Red Campion which bloomed in profusion on the cliff top.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Drake Garganey still present on the Tween pond, Attenborough.
Other inhabitants of the shingle islets this evening....

Little Ringed Plover on the 'scrape'.

One of the resident, noisy Magpies that have a nest in a Hawthorn on my street.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Attenborough Tween Pond. Drake Garganey. While I watched it spent time resting and preening on an islet or swimming out into open water, upending. Its head seemed to be under water for more time than it was above water! Quite an active little duck. He swam to a shingle 'islet' for a preen, then tucked bill in scapulars and slept. A  group of 4 Ringed Plovers arrived and briefly kept him company. Very strong, buffeting wind and hot sun.
Preening Garganey
Garganey and Ringed Plovers

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Turtle Dove at Besthorpe Nature Reserve. Ive drawn it with neck inflated as it purred from an Ash tree. Beautiful, evocative sound of summer. Also on the gravel pits were a good number of Shelduck pairs.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Redstart at Lathkill Dale. I heard at least 4 birds while I was there but only had good views of this one as it kept to a small patch of scrub.
Some other more familiar residents of this beautiful place....