Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Looking a little Ruff

Ruff seem to be in very good numbers this year. Either that, or I've not paid enough attention previously. Each wetland site I've been to recently has oodles of them. Every time I look up and wonder "ooh what's that" the binoculars confirm its a Ruff. I suppose it could be a lot worse, they are actually a really lovely looking wader.
These pictures were taken at Titchwell last week, where once again there were lots.

 



Sunday, 14 September 2014

Red-backed Shrike

I've just come back from a long weekend in Norfolk, my favourite birding place. I went with my parents and had a brilliant time. I think it is only your parents that truly share your enjoyment and happiness in a way that is so special. The euphoria of a moment can last and last if someone is as happy for you as you are for yourself. This was the case just yesterday when I saw my first ever Red-backed Shrike. We had tried to find this bird the day before without any luck, but then news came through that it had returned in the evening. So I made my plans to leave before dawn and try and catch this little fella. I arrived at Blakeney Quay just after 6.30 and made the walk to where it had been seen. Tell tale signs of flattened grass where other birders had been stood told me I was in the right area. I waited and waited. At 8.15 it arrived. I was watching some Blue Tits flit around as there was sod all else going on and then I saw this pale bellied bird sat motionless in a bush. I hadn't seen it land but who cared. I got the bins on it and the joy was palpable. My back was aching and I was close to leaving the site but my patience paid off. What a bird!
Now I know these pictures are not great. The little swine seemed to be very sleepy and just kept on the inside of bushes even after switching bush. Then some flappy pigeons forced it right into the thicket of brambles, but at least I then got to see its red back.
Hopefully I'll see another one day and get some better pictures, but the hour I spent with the bird was memorable. Yet another lifer.

This is a juvenile






Look at that lovely rusty red back




Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Common Darter Dragonfly

At Burton Mere last weekend, we came across quite a lot of dragonflies with most of them perching on the fences and railings along the boardwalk. They were kind enough to let me get a few shots. These I believe are the Common Darter variety.




A lovely Speckled Wood butterfly joined them for good measure.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Swallows

Our little blue birds, the Swallow, will soon be making their way back to South Africa, in fact most are probably on their way already. I keep looking up when I'm out thinking it won't be long now. The Swifts have already gone, so I thought I'd pay these guys some attention before they depart my neighbourhood for another year.


Some of the juveniles looking nice and pristine in the warm evening sun.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Cattle Egret and Red-necked Phalarope! What a day.

What an afternoon I've just had. I had to sweet talk my daughter into going to Burton Mere RSPB reserve. There were just too many good birds around to not make the 50 minute drive.
I managed to pick up two lifers in the form of a Cattle Egret and a Red-necked Phalarope. On top of that we had two Little Stints, a Pectoral Sandpiper, Bar tailed Godwits, Ruff, Dunlin plus lots lots more.
Eleanor wasn't too impressed with the one mile walk to the second hide, especially when we got there the Cattle Egret had moved back to where we'd come from. Still, we caught up with it when we got back and I've had to promise all sorts of goodies in return.
A special day with special birds and lots of very nice people met too. It's what birding is all about.

Here's the Cattle Egret in amongst the Greylag Geese, a bit ruffled after a preen.





Pectoral Sandpiper in the middle with the Lapwings.



Red-necked Phalarope. Very distant from the hide, hence the very poor record shots here.


Friday, 5 September 2014

It's just a Sparrow

Before my Yellow Wagtail turned up I had been watching some Swallows and some juvenile Sparrows. The Sparrows make quite a racket from within their hedges but are a lot less bold when they venture away from its security. So I was happy to have them in front of me feeding, somewhat oblivious to my presence.





Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Yellow Wagtail - Woodford

I had a little bit of excitement the other night on my patch, in the form of a Yellow Wagtail. I hadn't seen one this year and had put off several attempts to visit a well known spot where I could probably have seen one. So I was delighted that one turned up rather unexpectedly just a few miles from home.
I managed to see one here in the Spring last year and thought that was a one off. Maybe I just need to look more regularly.
Anyway, it's a cracking little bird and one I'm grateful to for popping in while I was there. The pictures are not great, as I was desperately trying to hide behind a hedge and keep out of sight. Add to that the excitement that was induced, I was a little shaky with the camera.