Monday, September 26, 2016

Spotted Crake : Slimbridge

I'd noticed that the Spotted Crake which appeared last Wednesday at WWT Slimbridge was still present last Saturday and so a late phone call Saturday evening and a hurried arrangement saw myself and fellow "togger" and good friend Richard Smith rock up at Slimbridge early Sunday morning.
The bird had been showing really well on the small dragonfly pool and giving great photographic opportunities judging by some of the photos I had seen posted on the internet so this was an opportunity not to be missed especially as I'd only seen two of the species previously in the UK and the last of those was several years ago at RSPB Greylake in Somerset.
We had to wait until 09.30 for the grounds to open properly and made our way over to the Van de Bovenkamp hide at 09.20, even then there were a few birders that had beaten us to it.
After a few minutes wait the bird appeared out of the reeds and fed vigorously, a feat it repeated at regular intervals throughout the day.
We both "filled our boots" with this stunning bird and came away with images that we were well pleased with............

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wryneck : Dunraven

An earlyish finish in work and a mad dash down to Dunraven on the Heritage coast yesterday evening saw me in pursuit of a Wryneck found late Monday afternoon.
The weather had been quite mixed with heavy rain showers during the day but upon my arrival at about 5.40pm it started to brighten up with some lovely late evening sunshine.
Local birders Gary Light and Colin Stephenson were on the bird when I rolled into the car park and I soon joined them viewing the bird high on the top of the stoney embankment, it had been quite mobile but then seemed to settle feeding actively.
I made a careful approach and managed some shots that I was more than pleased with....

As we watched the bird decided to take flight and crossed the road settling on the well trodden path waymarked by posts between the road and the cliff and again fed vigorously......
I was hoping that the bird would hop up onto one of the posts and it duly obliged although by now the light was fading and I was forced to crank up the ISO a little......
I've seen several Wrynecks in the UK over the years but none giving such great views as this bird, this is an exciting time of the year and hopefully another rarity will turn up locally, an American wader would be nice.