Thursday, 26 February 2009

Romsey Hawfinches

Went to photograph the Romsey hawfinches today with a small bit of success, ie i got a photograph where you can just about make out something, vaugly, the shape of a hawfinch:Ok it's not 'quite' that bad, but the light was rubbish and the birds were playing hard to get (as they so often do ;-)).
I did get some nice shots of a robin though as it sat and sang about 1.5m from me:Other highlights came with 2 lovely male brambling and a fair few siskin.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

wild Goose chase and jeep club

I was going to a place near Sevenoaks in Kent today to meet with my dad and go off-roading in our crazily customised jeep wrangler. I thought I would set off early and pop in and see the White-fronted geese at Tundry Pond in north Hampshire on route.

Was a bit of a struggle to find access to Tundry Pond as I don’t know the area. I’m still not sure if I was aloud to be there but I got nice views of the white-fronted and Egyptian geese:
WFG:Nice comparison between 2 of WF and a Greylag:EG:Finally what I was going out for in the first place. Had a great time off-roading, taking the jeep through some very deep muddy pools, I took it round the course once which was great but jumped out whilst my dad went round and took some pics:I know it’s not wildlife by hey ho; it’s still going on the blog as it was great fun!


Saturday, 21 February 2009

Blashford Lakes

Hi All,

Had yet another great day at Blashford Lakes, just seems to get better and better there.
As usual the bittern was showing very well from the Ivey north hide and I got some photos I’m very pleased with, even if he/she is rather hidden by reeds:I'm not 100% sure, but the bittern appeared to be blowing bubbles to attract fish. I have heard of little egrets doing this but not bittern, was very interesting and here it is in action:Outside the Ivey north hide we had nice views of a buzzard soaring over head:
Again not a great photo but when taking photos I realised there was a peregrine soaring above the buzzard, which can be seen in the photo:From the woodland hide our winter birds are showing signs of spring with one stunning male redpoll amongst the 15+ that were there.Not a great photo but you can see how red he is, also that he is rung:Also a lovely male Brambling:Siskin:Saw two kingfishers from the other hide near the woodland one. Managed a distant shot:Highlight here was watching a cormorant trying, and after a while succeeding, to eat a rather large pike. For a while we wondered who had caught who:

Black necked grebes showed well but distantly and the bewick's were at the meadows once more. Rebekah saw her first bittern which was a bogy bird, and after I had been tempting fate about seeing them I was relieved aswel :-).


Thursday, 19 February 2009


Original plan for today was to go and see the red kites and the rough legged buzzard near Faccombe.
This backfired horribly with a heavy night out last night and not getting to sleep until around 4:30. Robbie and myself were up around 7 and VERY tired, but there was no sign of Sam, he was dead to the world having slept through his alarm. Robbie and I went back to our beds for more sleep and at around 10 we were finally ALL ready to leave. By now due to other engagements there was not enough time for the RLBuzz so instead we went to see the Long-Eared owl at farlington marshes.

This was good for me as It would be a lifer (and for Sam and Robbie too). RLBuzz would not have been as I saw one last year at Burnham in Norfolk, although it was rubbish views!

Success, the owl was showing really well, heavily cropped image as I did not want to get too close, and another case of needing an 800mm lense….
I must thank the people of hos emailing group for directions to this bird, we found it straight away thanks to a detailed descritption and helpful photos of the area.
There were plenty of other things to see around the reserve, highlights:

We saw 2 water rail, here is one of them:Lots of Brent as usual:Seem to be loads of Shelduck:We had some avocet but a V.Long way away.
Nice Light on this coot:
I have now seen all the common(ish) British owl species :-).
Here are a few shots from keyhaven and barton the other day that I forgot to post:
Short Eared Owl:

Kestrel looking out to sea, seawatching perhaps?!Slav Grebe:Rock Pipit:Mipit:Singing Robin:Keeeeep birding


Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Gosport and 'The Haven'

Started the day at Walpole Lake in Gosport for my 4th try for the Ring-Billed Gull, and finally connected! Awesome lifer and a very charismatic bird, I will be visiting him again!

From here we decided to go and see if the Black Redstart north of the Millennium Bridge was still present. On getting there we have a look about and there was no sign of it for about 15 minutes, thinking that the reason it had not been reported for so long was because it was gone we decided to leave for the Haven and try for the two drake scaup. Just as we were about to cross the bridge something caught my eye and there he was the stunning summer plum male Black Redstart, what a lovely bird. He was feeding mainly on the buildings and it was hard to get as close as I wanted but got some shots I am pleased with:

Another fella I will revisiting at some point.

On to Titchfield Haven where we connected with both drake scaup. Not great views as they were waiting to be fed.

A Female Pochard was feeding on the river aswel:Good few year ticks and a lifer (RBGull), was a casual but fun birding trip!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Photography at Blashford

Sam and I thought we would devote a day to photography with the promise of nice weather by the met office.
Started off at ibsley meadows looking for the Bewick swans but with no luck. Did how ever see a green sandpiper, which is a year tick.
On to blashford where we stayed in the woodland hide for a while taking photos of siskin, lesser redpoll and all the other common things:
Siskin:Lesser Redpoll:We could find only one female brambling:We then went to the hide with 'all' the bitterns. The hide was very full and everyone was enjoying views of a bittern in the reeds right in front of the hide. Then another bittern was spotted in the reeds to the right hand side where is made a clump in the reeds and sat up on top as though roosting:

Great views of this bird and the first time I have seen one on the ground (almost).

After lunch we played around with the manual focus trying to get shots of birds flying around the feeders with some success, although I'm surprised there wasn't smoke coming from my camera:


Blue tit(shame about the nuthatch's bottom):And finally I couldn't go an entire post without a shot of a nuthatch(not just showing it's bottom):There is a greater selection of my photos from today on my flickr and they seem better quality. Link on the right hand side of my blog under 'links'.

Was a great day and we will definatly be returning soon.

Year list up to 126 now..