Sunday, February 21, 2010

Back home, new bird, old friends

It seems ages since I last posted about home turf. In fact there hasn't been a shot on the blog from home since December. That doesn't mean I haven't been out and about, but ....well you know.
To start, a couple of rather poor shots, but they mark a first for me. Looking out of the bedroom window a few weekends ago I saw a little egret fly past, along the line of the road Not the flight shot shown here - I was actually looking down on it. On a walk that day I kept bumping into and disturbing what I presume was the same one - always too far way for a decent shot, but nice to see. Unfortunatley the little stream and the path run next to each other. Perhaps a future project, within walking distance.
Otherwise my time over the last 3 weeks has mainly been in the Forest. Each year in late March or April I spend some time there, but this year there were reports of hawfinch at Speech House and Parkend earlier than usual so I thought I'd pop to the spot I've seen them in the past to see if they were there.
As always the first down are the chaffinches and the tits - coal first, then blue then great. Nearly always in that order. (Will I ever take a decent picture of a great tit?)

The robin sometimes breaks the pattern and comes early, but always shows at some stage.
The wren was a surprise - first I can recall, and the treecreeper a lucky bonus.
The woodpigeons are a bit twitchy, but look fine when they do come, though the jay was too nervous and stayed at a distance, making some very unusual clicking sounds as it did so.
The nuthatches didn't appear until the third weekend, but then they came in numbers - at least 3, and, knowing birds, probably more.

And the hawfinches? Perhaps too early after all, although on the first day I did strike it lucky with two short visits.
Not the best light - I rarely seem to have good light when I see them - but you get a really good feel for the size of that bill
and look how thick it is.

I've looked at the times on the photo files and I reckon it was down for a total of 3 minutes spread over two occasions - about 0.003% of the time put in.

Would I do it again? Of course - maybe even next week!

For better versions of the pictures click HERE and check the Latest Pictures album
- use the slideshow to get larger pictures and a better background.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yellow crowned night heron

There are more pictures from Florida on my US blog HERE, Or if you just want to see the snaps follow the link to my web albums (latest pictures) and use the slideshow feature for best views.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Florida Ospreys

For those interested you can see only the shots of ospreys HERE (Latest pictures or USA) or see the pictures and read about them HERE

Monday, February 08, 2010

Some more USA pictures

Before I start to post the pictures from this years trip to Florida I thought I should really finish those from last. So click HERE if you want to see a few pic's of American wildlife, and keep an eye out for the next batch from 2010.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Arctic Blast

While the UK was wracked by the winter storms of January I was over in Florida, indeed in the Keys - as far south as Florida goes. You lucky b*+$%£r I hear you cry. Well not quite.

Instead of this
we had this.
Instead of this we had this.
Instead of this we had this (yes, the wind was blowing from the right of the frame).
Okay, let's be honest we had all of the pictures above, but we had the same weather front as the UK, as evidenced by the TV headlines below. Key West had it's coldest recorded temperature ever (admittedly only 5C, but when you've packed for the beach you end up wearing most of your clothes!). They referred to it everywhere as THE ARCTIC BLAST.

The fish were dying in the sea, and not just the little ones....
also nurse shark, barracuda, bonefish.
It was so unexpected, and sad. Mind you the herons had a grand old time.
Anyway, some pictures will follow when I've finished sorting through the few thousand snaps, but here are a few from the tail end of 2009 that never got posted, including a rather timid bittern. My finger hovered over the camera on a hair trigger as the swans approached, but it came to nothing in the end.