Friday, 7 March 2008


Think of christmas and somewhere there will be robins. But these typical British birds are around all year, their numbers are boosted during the winter by migrants from Europe. Whatever the reason there is undoubtedly something special about robins.

There is little doubting that this little bird is amongst the bravest and hardiest of all our species. It is also my favourite to photo.

They are all very inquisitive and often appear tame, they are also very trusting of human contact.

I don't go out much without photographing robins. Hope you enjoy these.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

More Kite.

I was wholly disappointed with the few Kite shots I got in Goring. Certainly non were worthy of showing on here.

I am more aware now of what I have to do, I have to concentrate on the technical details as well as the subject. I'm concerned that i've taken a step backwards. I went back to my Gigrin shots and will use these as a base line for future postings. I'm not saying that these are great but the are okay and a good place to develop from.
A cropped shot.
Slightly cropped.
Not cropped if i recall correctly.
A nice shot of a kite carrying food away.
I particularly like the shot above with two Kite in it. Not because it's the best quality but because its a true reflection of what it's like at Gigrin. I can't praise the place enough.

A Chance Encounter.

Today I spent the day in the company of Andy Carey, it was our intention to photograph Hawfinch. Unfortunately we drew a blank, we saw one female but the birds were extremely flighty and disappeared into the trees at the slightest disturbance. There were a number of Bramblings that showed with a flock of Chaffinch but they were not our target.

We decided to try New Fancy in the hope of a Crossbill or two. We were on route to these when Andy spotted a Buzzard in trees near the road. There's nothing unusual about Buzzard in the Forest but this one seemed not to be afraid of us when we stopped the cars in a nearby pull in. At one point the Buzzard was literally only 20 metres or so away from us and still appeared to be unfazed.

This allowed the chance for some time to be taken preparing the shots, we were still aware that this was unusual and expected the Buzzard to take to the skies at any minute. It did flit from tree to tree but stayed in a very small area for quite some time. I've no idea what was keeping the Buzzard in the area there was nothing immediately noticeable.

In the area at the time were a pair of Mistle Thrush. I managed to get one shot albeit from a distance.

Also present were Song Thrush.

We left the area and returned on two further occasions and still the Buzzard was in the same location. A real chance encounter.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Cold, what cold?

Today was a beautiful day, spoilt only by the fact that I have caught a cold, thanks Andy.

A trip to Taynton on the Glos/Oxford border was planned. There have been regular sightings of Short Eared Owls. We've been here before I hear you say. A trip there on Sunday had been very productive although not for me. One blurred shot was the best I could do. Unfortunately my cold meant that I wasn't up to an early start so I backed out of the trip. Here's my one shot from yesterday.

Back to today, after a long lie in and a face full of medication I finally braved the cold weather and went to Brierley in sesrch of the elusive Hawfinch. After an hour I had, had enough. No Hawfinches had been seen.

I then went to Cannop to spend an easy hour watching the resident birds on the feeders. The hope was to see Brambling. Within minutes of being there I had seen Siskin and Reed Bunting.

I was joined by afore mentioned Andy Carey and we swapped sore throat, and bad sleep stories before settling down for Brambling. It wasn't long before we had Brambling coming down, at least two.

In addition there were numerous Robin, a Dunnock, and a Grey Wagtail.

There were also Great and Blue Tit, Blackbird, Nuthatch, and of course Chaffinch.

So, whilst I did not get to see the S.E.O's I did have a nice time. It's amazing how many species of bird are found around the Cannop ponds. They may not be rare or exotic but for a birder or photographer they are always worth a look.