Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Spotted mothcatcher

A trip to the Forest of Dean a couple of weekends ago to find some wood warblers was only partially successful. There were some around, singing their heads off, but not in places I could snap them.  However spotted flycatchers are equally cute if not so talented vocally ...........

OK just bird on stick shots, but always nice to see.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Being down and out can be good!

It was no great surprise to find that last years woodpecker nest had been taken over this year, and the partial in-filling of the hole was classical.  I had one short session with the nuthatches and hoped they'd still be around in better light the following weekend.

Not all was quite what it seemed though - the real orientation of the tree was a bit more towards the horizontal .......  Over winter it had slipped a bit.

Saturday started with wind and rain though and then in the afternoon Kay got a call from a birdwatching neighbour to say the tree was down.  That evening we wandered up the lane to find the tree was as down as she said, but the adults were still going into the nest hole - which now was under the tree pointed down at the ground (it's just where the small tree crosses the trunk - sorry low light phone pic!). At least nuthatches are more than agile enough to deal with that.

I didn't try to get any pictures, but few days later Kay heard a lot of calling around the branches and got one equally bad phone snap of a fledgling, so it seems all ended well.

Better quality pics next time I promise!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Looking forward from backwards

It's about this time each year I start to make the plans I then fail to keep.  2016 was going to be foxes, badgers, grebes and little owls ........... and maybe hawfinch or two if I was lucky.  I did get a few fox snaps, and was pleased with a least one badger snap - one for a later post.  There was only one grebe  on the estate lake and the little owl location turned out to be too challenging for the limited hours I have. 
In the end I spent more time at our 'near woodland' puddle on a table - good fun and a reasonable range of birds.  The light can be tricky as in any woodland, and I even tried a bit of flash at times (more practise needed there). The other challenge is lens selection. When the birds vary in size from goldcrest to pheasant there is no halfway house.  I tried the 100-400 II, but the bokeh wasn't enough for the woodland background.
Some snaps I haven't posted before below:


 The flash does need more work although I quite liked this ghost robin shot.

The weather hasn't added much this year - a couple of snaps in the ice but I think I needed a higher angle to show it better.  The woodpecker ignored the thawed area and just pecked and licked the ice.

The treecreeper provided a favourite snap as it hid from a magpie, whilst it was also the subject of the most disappointing - I have snapped one bathing before but this just didn't quite work.

Actually in truth it wasn't the most disappointing - one morning after snapping the woodpecker nest I went to the wood and poked the lens out the window. Seconds later with nothing set up properly I saw my hawfinch - a female in our own little wood - and I duffed the single snap I took!

Monday, February 06, 2017

Rounding off Florida

The last images (for2016 anyway) from Florida.

I don't always have the DSLR with me and my little Panasonic still catches some snaps - who'd have thought you could get so close to an osprey, but so often birds are more accommodating when you are in a boat - or a canoe as here.  I believe the 'snipe' are short billed dowitchers, although they look fairly long billed to me.


And it's not just birds. Ever see a tree climbing crab?

But I can't round off without a few more birds in that morning light ..........

Roll on November 2017!