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.