Sunday, June 16, 2019

Spotted Flycatchers, doing well........

On my way home from the Hawfinches in Bridgend yesterday I called in to check on the pair of breeding Spotted Flycatchers that I've been watching who last weekend were feeding young in the nest.
They are still feeding young but as the chicks are growing the visits to the nest are far more frequent, I suspect that they will fledge in the next few days, I'll check again mid-week and hope to get a few photos of the youngsters perched up out of the nest...…..















Hawfinches : Bridgend

I made a visit yesterday to try and photograph the group of five Hawfinches which include a couple of juveniles and were found at Nolton Church graveyard during the week.
This is a somewhat unusual occurrence, whether or not they are remnants of the large influx of birds from a couple of winters ago and have stayed to breed I guess is a possibility.
Having seen some nice photos I thought that this would be a relatively easy task, how wrong can you be !!
The birds were very mobile and elusive and when they did fly into the Yew trees in the church grounds they flew into the 'heart' of the trees and rarely perched on the outside.
Photography was not easy looking into dark 'windows' in the Yew trees dense foliage justifying a higher than wanted ISO.
I did however manage a few 'record' shots of a juvenile/s only although myself and others who were present enjoyed plenty of flight views of the highly mobile birds...…..











Sunday, June 09, 2019

Spotted Flycatchers : Return Visit

I've made a couple of visits to the local pair of breeding Spotted Flycatchers and today visited after my 'twitch' to Llanelli, there are now young in the nest and both birds were active feeding the youngsters, here are a few images from my last two visits...…
























'Fantastic morning down West'........

My original plan this morning was to visit the small nature reserve served by a very nice boardwalk in Jersey Marine village but just as I was leaving home a message on the WhatsApp group advised of a breeding plumage female Red-necked Phalarope and an adult Roseate Tern at WWT Penclacwydd, Llanelli, there was of course only one place to head to.
Both birds were on the new Dafen Scrape at the rear of the British Steel Hide, the phalarope showed well although a little distantly but the tern was hidden behind the gulls and shellducks on one of the small shingle islands, only record shots therefore of the phalarope.....















It was good to meet some old birding friends in the hide, Wendell Thomas, Gary Harper, Robbie Taylor, Rob Hunt, Barry and Sandra Stewart, Simon and Peter Murray and Rob Jones.
The group split up and visited other hides in the hope of relocating the tern and after a short while a message from Rob Jones confirmed that he had refound the tern in front of the Observatory Hide, a quick dash soon had me on the bird which was showing superbly on a small island with several gulls...…..



















I decided that I wasn't going to get any better photos and just as I packed away my gear the tern took flight as a result of being harassed by the gulls although I understand that it did return to other parts of the reserve.
What a fabulous morning, two great birds and some fabulous company.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Somerset Levels : Visit 2

Having enjoyed my first visit last Sunday I decided to make another visit to RSPB Ham Wall hoping to connect with a Bittern on this occasion and was not to be disappointed.
I followed the same format as my previous visit ending up at the Avalon Hide which was 'fit to bursting' but eventually thinned out enabling me to get a good position at one of the windows.
A Bittern showed briefly at the edge of the reedbed and a few flybys gave me the opportunity of some flight shots...…..













There was a family party of Great Crested Grebes present with the male working hard to feed the 'humbug' youngsters whilst mum guarded them from predators such as passing crows and gulls who fancied their chances...….





















A few Hobbys were present on both my visits but were flying above the hide and impossible to get on to.
I had a fabulous week in the West Country and will certainly have to make another visit before the end of the summer.