Sunday, 26 October 2008

Portland Bill

We left Southampton around midday and, armed with a food stock to rival those on deadliest catch and a epic playlist for the short journey, made our way to Portland bird obs.

The obs with choppy sea behind and the paddocks in forground:

Thinking it would be worth going for the plastic/real hooded merganser at Radipole we stopd there on the way, allowing our traditional McDonalds aswell! But no bloody sign of it with lovely afternoon light..oh well payed for an hours parking may aswell have a look about. Few nice things: chettis warb being the best but managed a few nice shot of some of the common birds there...

Blue tit:
When we got to the obs weather was lovely and it looked like it was going to be a good evening to see the short eared owl that has been there for a while, adding another lifer to Robbies 'slowly' growing list!!

Well after a short search we found the owl and enjoyed lovely views of it in the evening light. Also a few photos of one of the local Kestrels:

Mobbing a common buzzard:

Looking proud on its post after the 'mobbage':

and the SEO:

Nice end to the first day and great time at the pulpit inn with the home made pies and Ales!! getting to bed slightly later than planned we wondered if we would make it up in the morning, but luckly we did..

The day started slowly but after going to a new place for us (pennsylvania castle) we connected with two firecrests in with a flock of lotties. 4 each of both goldcrest chiffchaff there too.

There was a mini-fall of goldcrest with lots seen and photographed at culverwell:

Another firecrest was seen in the hand later after it was rung by Peter the head ringer there. Lovely little birds and I will never get bored of them!!

A black Redstart then gave us the run around between the beach huts but we finally got prolonged views of it when it dropped into the nearby quarry. I managed one distant shot of it:

Lifer for Sam and Robbie and only my second, first being in Beds!

Now I need a lifer but with the sea producing nothing but a few gannet and lots of gulls it wasn't looking good, nevermind still lots of other goodies about to keep me entertained.

Rock Pipit:

Great Black-backed Gull:


Despite a few cheeky cows it was a great time at the Obs, just think we will go in either May or September next time and hope for some more rareties!

Cheeky Cow:

On the way back we gave radipole one last shot, and in the rapidly failing light finally got sight of it. A potentially great lifer but not proven to be wild. But it turned up in a storm drain at dates corresponding with other hooded mergansers turning up in the Azores, it can fly and it is not ringed..looks like a winner to me, we'l have to wait and see though!

Either way a nice bird and a good end to the trip!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


Few photos from Lakeside Eastleigh
Nothing special but good fun!
Black-headed gull:
Mute Swan:
Great Crested Grebe:
Off to Portland at the weekend, so hopefully see some nice things there...

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Blashford Lakes

Target bird was the wintering great white egret but we did not connect with it.
Also a lesser yellow legs was reported but we could not find that either along with a lot of people, perhaps a myth..?
Lots of great views of common woodland birds with nuthatch being the highlight, presenting great photo opportunities...there are quite a few I wanted to put up so bare with me and I wont post another photo of a nuthatch for a while...
Other birds of note was a chiffchaff and another marsh tit. Thats marsh tit two days in a row at two different locations! Lucky stuff! Kingfisher was also seen VERY briefly.

Couple more photos of the woodland birds:
Blue tit:
Coal tit:

and finally a canada goose:

Friday, 17 October 2008

Autumn Colours

Had a 2 hour walk around Rhinefield in the New Forest this afternoon hoping to photograph hawfinch. Colours of the leaves on some trees were gorgeous.

No luck with the photos but saw at least 4, wil have to come back further into winter when there are more about!

Other birds of note were 2 raven that flew over croaking as we were leaving.

Goldcrest seemed to be everwhere.

Also present were 2 marsh tit.

Got another nice photo of a 'lotty' and one of a robbin in a strange confontational stance!..

Off to Blashford lakes tomorrow so hopefully have a few nice photo to put up from there..

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Few I forgot...

Few pics from Farlington Marshes that I forgot to put in. Anyone can get a photo of a rabbit I know..but I like this one :-).I am very pleased with the kestrel ones as when I first view them on the camera I thought they were D.O.Ss(delete on sites), just shows that you have to wait till you have viewed them on a computer first. Of course this works the other way round like with my wryneck photos which I was really pleased with untill I got them onto the computer...oh well!!

Farlington Fantastica!!

First trip to Farlington Marshes today and now I've realise it is so close I'am sure I will be going more often...especially after today!!

Main target was the wryneck and it had been seen finders were crossed! When we arrived it had just gone out of site and was not seen again for some time.

Feeling depressed especially as it seemed little bird life at all was there I practised with my lense on an abiding robin before I was told the wryneck had been relocated further along the sea wall...thanks to Dave Wallace for the heads up! Waiting only a few seconds there it was on a post about 20 feet away, not really expecting to see it I didnt have my camera set up (lesson to be learnt) but who cares, my first wryneck!! Get in!! Enjoyed prolonged views of it on and off for several hours with other goodies keeping us all entertained when it was rummaging around for ants out of site.
Few pics of the wryneck:

Whilst waiting for the wryneck to re-appear we had good views of merlin hunting small passerines and a distant view of an osprey eating a fish across Langstone Harbour. Lots of other goodies too and, after a very slow start, it turned out to be a fantastic days birding! Few other photos from the trip:

Dragonfly sp..not sure which..?:

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Brief New Forest walk

Was abit of a 'finch-fest' in the New Forest today as well as there being lots of goldcrest.

One flock landed in the trees above us and it contain chaffinch, redpole and siskin. When this flock had moved on a group of 3 crossbill flew over one landing in tree a fair distance away (too far for photos) but still good views.

Also noticed a few chiffchaff knocking about.

Watching from acres down we had great views of common buzzard fighting. Also had fly overs of several jay and a bullfinch.

Managed to get few ok shots with the new lense:


Long-tailed tit:


Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The new lense..

Finally got a telephoto lense (canon 300mm f4). Had a quick go with it in my VERY small student accomodation back garden in bad light, this was the result:
House sparrow: