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......












Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Avocet at Treraven Meadows Sunday 4th March 2018



An unusual bird for this part of Cornwall, whilst found on the Cornwall / Devon border on the River Tamar they stubbornly resist wintering in flocks farther down the County.

I guess a product of the cold snap we've just endured.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Grey Heron in the background!



Just because I like it!!!!!

Monday, 19 February 2018

Frogs galore in the garden. 19th Feb 2018




A wet Cornish morning and the garden is alive with frogs!

I found 2 pairs locked together and 2 more individual males around the patio area with dozens more in the pond.

Even had one pair spawned in a washing up bowl that I was using to show my little grandaughter some of the pond life.



Wednesday, 7 February 2018

7th Feb for our first frogs spawn for 2018.....latest date for 6 years!



Having checked our garden pond for weeks to see if the resident frogs had spawned I was taken by surprise this morning to find fresh spawn amongst the ice and hail on a day that followed our first snowfall for years.

Previous dates for the first spawn have been....

2017....4th Feb
2016....25th Jan.
2015....29th Jan.
2014....4th Feb.
2013....27th Jan.
2012....14th Jan.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Whooper Swans at Wadebridge. 4th February 2018.




2 immature Whooper Swans

These immature Whooper Swans have been with the resident flock of 30 Mute Swans in a winter corn field above the hide at Burniere Point for a few days.

Their bills have got a hint of the yellow that they will have when fully adult and they're not fully white either.

Always good to see wild winter swans on the River Camel.


2 immatureWhooper Swans





A day on St.George's island Looe, Cornwall 2nd February 2018.

Mediterranean Gull


A good day out on Looe island today for the monthly seal survey and species count.

The seals were limited to 2 individuals which were hauled out on the rocks in the distance so not really photographable for more than an ID record.

However there were some good birds about including up to 8 Mediterranean Gulls, a lone Whimbrel, Great black backs and breeding cormorants.


Mediterranean Gull

Mediterranean Gull   

Great black-backed Gull with a starfish

Great black-backed Gull with a starfish

Great black-backed Gull with tongue protruding from base of lower mandible.      

Cormorant with first egg in the nest on 2nd February!

A distant Whimbrel.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Hawfinches and others at Egloshayle. 6th & 7th Jan 2018.





There's been up to 6 Hawfinches around the cemetery at Egloshayle for a week or so now and as it's just a stonesthrow from my house I've milked it a bit!

Super birds and of course as you spend time watching them you become aware of lots of other birds and today I had a Brambling on the top of a distant tree.

Also Redwings are starting to eat the Ivy berries after a couple of frosts have softened them up a bit.

Here are a few images.....







Redwing

Brambling

Dunnock

Robin
Blue Tit

Coal Tit