Sunday, 28 June 2015

Year Two Week Four - A walk around Longham Lakes

No new birds this week and time was limited so I went for a quick walk around Longham Lakes.
I only had an hour, but I still managed to see wa few interesting birds, notably a Black-Necked Grebe in full summer plumage. Annoyingly, he was too far away to get a decent shot and I was shooting right into the sun so everything was in shadow. It still proved to be the highlight of the day though and I'm getting nearer and nearer to them each time I spy one.

I spied about 3 Great Crested Grebes in total. This one was the closest, being about 30 feet away from me.

Not the greatest of shots, but it was nice to get a pair of Whitethroats together, even if they were in a distant field.

A very distant buzzard was flying around looking for food, but he was soon chased off by some gulls.

Here's the Black-Necked Grebe I mentioned. A really poor shot, but it's the closest I've got to one.

Another poor shot. This time with my teleconverter.

There were quite a few Canada Geese on the lake. I normally see them in one of the distant fields.

Many birds like this Coot were still nesting.

There was a large flock of pied wagtails, mainly comprising of youngsters.

They had no fear and came quite close to me.

This shot is definitely my favourite :)

I don't think I got the exposure completely right on this Mute Swan...

Not the most exciting of weeks, but it was a lovely little walk and that's all that really matters :)

Monday, 15 June 2015

Year Two Week Two - A Trip To Durlseton

I've been planning to go to Durlseton for a while as it's suppose to be a good spot for Puffins.
Sadly, I didn't see any, but it was a pretty good day for birds regardless and I saw a fair few species there. It's easily the closest I've managed to get to razorbills and guilliemots, Unfortunately the light was pretty poor all day, meaning my shots aren't the greatest, but it was still a decent day out.

Razorbills and guilliemots.

A few more.

A distant pair of Fulmars.

A Kestrel was sunning itself. 

I'm assuming this is a Dunnock, although it looks weird.

A better shots of the Guilliemots.

A flying Shag.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Year Two - Week 1 New birds spotted 2

Hi there everyone.
I'm still deciding on whether to go back to ticking birds I saw in my first year, but in the meantime I'm aware I've not done much updating. I've decided to start the year afresh for the time being, carrying on from my original tally.

Although I saw one last year, I didn't get a decent photo of this summer migrant so didn't include it. I've seen two in the last couple of weeks, one on Hengistbury Head, the other at Devon Cliffs, but they're both strictly record shots. Despite the distance you can clearly make out the Whitethroat's distinctive white throat and I was able to confirm it further by listening to its call. It's found throughout most of the UK during the summer, wintering in Africa. In addition to its obvious colouring, this warbler is easily recognisable thanks to its wagging, constantly cocked tail. I was hoping to see a Blackcap, but the Whitethroat was a fine alternative.

It's a record shot, but it's not a bad one...

This was disappointing. We'd gone down to Devon Cliffs and I visited the beach with my friend. As I was walking over to the nature board, I was called over by Paul as he had bumped into a friend we'd not seen since our childhood. Suitably distracted I forgot all about the board and was content to catch up and take a photo of a lone gannet. I didn't bother taking my camera the next day as I was convinced the gulls on the cliff were Herring Gulls (they were  everywhere around the park). Big mistake.
It turns out they were Kittiwakes, true seagulls that only come ashore to breed. After I discovered this information I clambered over the rocks and got as close to the Kittiwakes as I could without disturbing them, taking a photo on my iPhone. It's a naff shot, but you can clearly identify the beady eyes and yellow beak so that's good enough for me. I'll be more prepared next year...

Taken with my iPhone!

Taken with a 1.4 teleconverter. This is the largest colony in Devon apparently.

So that's it for new birds. I'm now up to 134 birds with another 138 to discover :) I'll leave you with some random shots.

A lone Gannet that passed over the beach.

Quite pleased with this Magpie shot.

An inquisitive Rock Pipit.

A Dunnock takes a break from singing.

I'm assuming these are young Herring Gull chicks.

An adult Herring Gull.

And another? I don't know gulls at all.

A cute rabbit I spied.

And another Herring Gull...