I've seen quite a few different birds, including many I've never seen before and I also feel that my photography has improved as well.
I'm currently deciding on my strategy for the coming year. I don't think I'm going to reset, but I am finding it hard to spot new species, which might make it a little boring for anyone that's reading. It's been a few weeks since my last update, so I've got quite a few pictures to go through. I hope the people that have been following my have enjoyed the entries so far and thanks to those who have left comments :)
I've never seen a Crossbill, so when my sister's husband started posting pictures of them in his back garden I knew I had to travel up to Wales to see them for myself. It's worth nothing that my sister's back garden consists of 10 acres and is in the middle of nowhere in Wales, making it a haven for birds.
The Crossbill gets its name due to its mandibles which are crossed and misshapen. While it looks like a deformity, it's actually a very specialised way of feeding on various conifer seeds. Although they are some 40,000 pairs breeding in the UK, I've never seen any before. The three we saw at my sisters were all females (the males are a distinctive brick red).
I'm now on 132 photographed birds for my first year, which is pretty good going.
Although I've not had any new birds to report, I have been to a few places recently.
Here's a rundown of where I've been.
Went here on the first of August. I spent most of my time in the woodland hide, where I was able to get some decent photos.
Reed Bunting, which was quite surprising.
Robins were everywhere.
Another Blue Tit.
Reed Bunting number 2.
Robin number 3.
A Coot was at the Tern hide.
So was a Gadwell.
And a Lapwing got quite close as well.
Portland Bill/Radipole Lake
Went here on the Bank Holiday Monday. No new birds, but some interesting stuff all the same.
A lousy shot of my first Wheatear of the year.
A hungry Jackdaw.
A Pied Wagtail.
A distant singing Skylark.
Rook in flight.
Raven in flight. The wedged tail is a good giveaway.
We went here after Portland. No new birds, but nice to go all the same :)
Female Tufted Duck.
Little Egret in flight.
Tufted Duck having a splash.
A distant Little Egret keeping watch.
Nesting Canada Goose.
I went up to stay with my sister on the 10/11 of April, which is where I saw the Crossbills. I took my new 1.4 teleconverter, but unfortunately the light wasn't the best, meaning many of my shots came out rather ropey. I'm happy with the following though.
This was taking with the teleconverter at around 7am on a cloudy day, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. They have a group of 5 pheasants appear every morning.
One good thing with the TC is that you can get far close to birds than normal. This Robin was about 5 foot away.
As was this Chaffinch.
These Great Tits were fighting in a distant field. I've no idea if it was to the death.
A very distant Grey Wagtail.
I'm pleased with this Treecreeper shot.
A singing Chaffinch.
A Wren, this wasn't with the TC.
The Red Kites weren't playing fair and were very high up in the sky.
And one final shot of the Pheasant who appeared in the late afternoon.
So that's it for the first year. I broke my goal of 100 different birds by nearly a third. So it will be interesting to see what happens in the following year :)