Tuesday 30 May 2017

A great days birding on the Somerset Levels 29th May 2017.

Little Bittern

We had a day out yesterday up to Somerset levels, at Ham Wall & Shapwick with Iain, Dave & Dibs.

Despite it being a bank holiday it was quite quiet, probably because of the persistent heavy downpours from the heavens!

However it proved very good on the bird front with a female Red-footed Falcon showing well but distant within minutes of our arrival.

This was quickly followed by a Little Bittern, Garden Warbler & Eurasian Bittern along with numerous Marsh Harriers, Great White Egrets, Cuckoos, Bearded Tits, Cettis warbler & Hobbies.

The only one we missed was the glossy Ibis but a good haul of birds by anybodies standards!

Apologies for the quality of the photos but most were taken at long distance in pouring rain or really crap light (technical term!).

female Red-footed Falcon


Great crested Grebe

Bearded Tit (female)

Mute swan with 7 cygnets

Mute swan with 7 cygnets

Mute swan with 7 cygnets




I thought it was a Cetti's but been told its a Reed warbler, obviously not the one doing all the singing!

Great White Egret

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Brown Hares at Walmsley bird sanctuary, Wadebridge, Cornwall 17th May 2017

Always a joy to watch brown hares and these two came very close to the bird hide, in fact too close at times as I couldn't focus on them!

A short video clip follows from this link.....

Drake Garganey at Walmsley sanctuary 17th May 2017

This drake Garganey has been around Walmsley for a few days now.... at least I'm guessing it's the same one!

It may well be on it's way to France and beyond into Eastern Europe. I've seen them on breeding territory in Poland in the past.

This evening it came really close to the hide and posed nicely!

Sometimes you just get lucky!

Sunday 14 May 2017

Yellowhammers ......... just down the road, Egloshayle, Wadebridge

Male Yellowhammer

Every year Yellowhammers breed in the hedges at Egloshayle near my home.

This year there are two pairs within 100 yards of hedgerow so a lot of competition between singing males.

I was lucky this morning to get some shots of both sexes including singing males.

This isn't the first time I've tried these birds but persistence has finally paid off!

A short piece of video follows......

Male Yellowhammer

Male Yellowhammer 

Male Yellowhammer 

Female Yellowhammer

Friday 12 May 2017

A few birds from over the border in Devon today.... Friday 12th May 2017

Male Bullfinch

We had a day out today up to Yarner Wood on the eastern edge of Dartmoor.

Caught up on a few more species for my #my200Birdyear !

The Pied Flycatchers were nesting so quite quiet and we heard a few Wood Warblers but didn't get close with the camera.

Found the Male Redstart back at Challacombe and the Stock Dove at Dunsford.

Male Pied Flycatcher

Female Pied Flycatcher

Female Great spotted Woodpecker

Male Great spotted Woodpecker


Male Siskin

Male Siskin


Stock Dove

Male Redstart
Great Tit

Thursday 4 May 2017

Kingfishers, whats on the menu today?

Female Kingfisher with lamprey

Quite an array of different prey items delivered to the young kingfishers tucked up safely in their riverbank nesting tunnel.

Lamprey on 2 occasions, newts, salmonids, minnows, sticklebacks & the most numerous, bullheads!

Female Kingfisher with newt.
Female Kingfisher with minnow.
Female Kingfisher with bullhead.

Kingfisher... "time for a wash and brush up"!

I watched this male kingfisher go through a serious preen and clean up this morning.

To be fair he had been feeding young in a nest hole in the riverbank for several hours so I guess his plumage was in need of a bit of attention!