Wednesday, 25 April 2018

A few more migrant birds resting up against a North wind.... 25th April 2018

Greenshank

There's still a few birds fighting their way North from Africa towards Europe and taking a welcome breather on the rocky shores of Lanzarote in the Canaries.

Today I've had a fantastic Greenshank, a Turnstone and several Whimbrel.

I reckon in a few days I'll catch up with them when we're back in Cornwall..... who knows that Greenshank may be going via the Camel estuary!


Greenshank 

Whimbrel 

Whimbrel 

Turnstone

Monday, 23 April 2018

Sanderling on migration. 23rd April 2018


 A few shots of Sanderling as they pause to feed in the Canary Isles on their voyage North to their breeding grounds.


Sanderling following a single Turnstone.




Saturday, 21 April 2018

Whimbrel passing through on migration April 21st 2018.



A few shots of Whimbrel as they pass along the shoreline of the Canarian island of Lanzarote.

I'm on my holidays and they are travelling as well but in the opposite direction, they're heading north to breed having spent the winter in the tropics.

Some of them looked so tired and exhausted that all they wanted to do was close their eyes!





Saturday, 14 April 2018

A spring day on the Somerset Levels 13th April 2018

Water Rail calling from the boardwalk



I had a trip out yesterday to the Somerset Levels for a bit of birding, 4 of us left Cornwall at "stupid o'clock!" and had a great day at Ham Wall and Shapwick Heath.

The weather was very dull but dry and a reasonable temperature.

Birding was fairly quiet but the highlight was a water rail calling at the entrance to the hide and a cracking male Marsh Harrier dropping down into the reed bed near the 70 acre marsh hide. Sadly a bit distant but then it's not everyday you see this sort of thing!

Male Marsh Harrier  

Great Crested Grebe on nest
Great Crested Grebes  
   
Cetti's Warbler

Monday, 26 March 2018

Male Hawfinch at Egloshayle, Wadebridge 26th March 2018



The Hawfinches have been here since Boxing Day at least and have grown in number to 9, although today I only saw 4.

This was the first time I'd seen the male bird singing from the top of it's favourite perch in a cherry tree.

I did try a brief video which can be seen from the following Youtube link, It;s very brief and the birds song is masked by the background noise but still great to see and hear today.



How long they stay in Cornwall is the subject of much debate but maybe... just maybe... they'll stay around to breed, stranger things have happened!




Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Ravens on the high moors. 20th March 2018.



Delighted that my trip up to the moors this morning paid off handsomely with both ravens involved in a face to face food-pass before one of the pair went back to sit on the nest.

Whilst they knew I was there they were happy with my low profile position and after a few minutes acted normally allowing me to get some nice shots of the food pass and the preening afterwards.







Saturday, 17 March 2018

Great Crested Grebes Courtship and Mating 15th March 2018




I had a great day on the Somerset Levels photographing this pair of Great Crested Grebes.

It was the first time I'd watched the courtship display of these birds despite seeing it many times on the TV.

On the positive side the lighting was good the first time they danced, a bit contrasty but much better than the rain we normally get!

On the negative side when they dived for pondweed to complete the ceremony they brought up huge beakfulls of very dark & muddy weed. This tended to merge into one big dark blob when the birds were close to each other and often hid their faces during their "face-offs".




After displaying they then added bits of reed to the nesting platform and then mated. The light was bit difficult but with a bit of exposure compensation they look ok.

So here are a few more images from the sequence......