Thursday, 31 December 2009

A Garden First.

The poor weather continues and I am still having to do my photography from my house. However this has given me another garden first.

A pair of Goldfinch turned up in my garden today, I have a Nyger feeder up and for almost two months nothing has come to it. Today was different and the Goldfinch bring my garden total so far to 13 not including the Green Woodpecker or the Tawny Owl that were just beyond my garden boundary.

At some point I would like Greenfinch, Siskin, and Chaffinch, all birds I had in my last garden.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Stuck on You.

The weather outside was awful from saturday the 18th, I struggled to get my car off the car park (which is sloped and I'm at the bottom) on Sat and Sun, but since then its been impossible. I have enjoyed watching neighbours trying to move theirs and failing. So much for council tax payments benefitting us, there was no refuse collection either.

Heavy frost and ice made it impossible, some snow didn't help. Thankfully I have dear friends who assisted in getting me to Morrisons to do my shopping.

The weather has meant that the only birdlife I've seen is that which has been visiting my feeders, all the usual suspects and a pair of Long tailed tits.

Beautiful birds, I do truly love them.

The only other shots were arty farty ones that I got looking over Ross on Wye from my rear door, I've had a bit of a play with them and like these here.

A complete thaw this morning means that I can now get out. So hopefully something a little more interesting next time, Hope you all had a very nice xmas.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Some new some old.

Wanted to start this post with a pair of new visitors to the garden. Both turned up on a grey day so excuse the quality this is just to show the new arrivals.

Long tailed Tit.

I am really chuffed that this little fellow/lassie visited my garden, I had three at the same time.

Also this second little fellow, love these to bits.


Then on the brightest day we've had for a while a trip to Slimbridge produced very little but here are a few of the reliable oldies.

Tufted Duck.

The Bewick Swans are enjoying their stay at the WWT site.

There are one or two of this next bird at the reserve, this one had no rings and clearly it's wings weren't clipped. It's a Bar headed Goose.

The weather has turned decided cold now hasn't it? Don't forget to feed the birds and if you can, ensure they have water. Bread is not good for the little birds so try not to put that out. Cake is something that they like and I'm sure there will be a lot of that in the next few weeks.
As usual click on the pics for a larger version.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

A Mixed Bag.

I have been mostly housebound over the last few weeks, as have most of us in this area, due to the awful weather. Monday however was such a great day I had to make the most of it so I shot off to the forest and spent a couple of hours at the arboretum. I wasn't looking for anything over sexy, just run of the mill small stuff. I wasn't disappointed there were lots of the little stuff that challenge ones photography skill because of their speed.

There were a pair of critters who weren't moving anywhere at speed. Two fat little Squirrels were out looking for food as soon as it was down.

I cannot recall ever having seen such porky little Grey Squirrels. I was amazed to see this one looking quite so fat.

A female Bullfinch came close, it would appear that she is suffering with the same feet problem as I've seen in Chaffinch, I believe it's a mite of some kind. Only the one foot seemed affected.

Both a male and female Great Spotted Woodpecker came down, this is the female.

Yet again Nuthatches were dashing back and too.

Stars of this particular show were two Jays, they came down and hung around for long enough for some lovely shots.

You can't help but love all the birds, These are common but nonetheless great to watch and photograph.
Great tits.




There were other shots I took but I'll save them for another post. As usual click on the pictures for larger versions.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Back to Nature, well back to New Fancy.

A few hours of sunlight were forecast this a.m so I jumped in the jaloppy and headed to the forest. My real reason was another appointment at the Doctors, but I took the cameras as always.

The sun was hit and miss and the wind was pretty strong so to keep things simple I put a bit of feed on the rock at New fancy and waited to see what came.

My old favourite the Robin didn't disappoint.

A pair of Nuthatch were back and to like machines, god only knows how they remember where they hide the food.

The Coal tits likewise, they must expend more energy flying back and to than they can replace eating. Got to love the little beauties though.

There were lots of Chaffinches, I was hoping a few Bramblings might have visited by now but they didn't show whilst I was there. Next time hopefully though.

No Crossbills present either which again was disappointing. I was going to have a look at Boys Grave but the weather turned very wet. So I shot off back home saving it all for another day.
Click on the Pics for bigger versions.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Grab 'em when you can

When I woke this morning I could not believe the light that was shining through my window. It was lush. So I decided that as I had to head into the forest for a doctors appointment I would combine it with a trip around the old usual haunts.

However before I had even left my house two amazing opportunities presented themselves. When I opened the back door to let my dog out I heard a cacophony of bird alarm calls coming from immediately behind my back garden. Blackbirds mostly.

A scout of the shrubs and trees with my telescope and I found the culprit. I took a couple of shots from the back door but they were obstructed by leaves and small branches. I quickly shot out of the front and around to the car park at the side of our block, hoping to get a better shot. As I positioned the camera a Green Woodpecker flew into a tree in front of me, could I afford to pass this up? I didn't dare so I quickly shot off a few snaps, then readjusted my position and managed to get a few of the main target before it was finally driven away by the smaller birds.

The Green Woody, so chuffed with these grab shots.

But then the star of the show, My first photographed Tawny Owl of the year. This first shot was from the back door.

Then this from the car park.

I was so chuffed. I have only seen one other this year and only a hand full in the last few years. So to get this one, purely by chance, was amazing.
My trip over to the forest was non-productive. I did get to bump into Bob Bushell who was photographing birds at New Fancy but the light disappeared whilst I was there so I went off to my Doctors appointment.
Back Home the weather is awful, cold, wet and increasingly windy. Glad I was up and ready this morning.
Click on the pics for larger versions.

Monday, 9 November 2009

The weather has certainly taken a turn for the worst hasn't it? I looked out of the window this morning and could not see 200 yards for the fog. The temperature had dropped a few degrees and everywhere was wet outside. Guess Autumn has moved into winter.

I had no intention of venturing out so instead I decided to set up the camera and monitor the new feeder station I've set up in the garden. I'm quite pleased with the feeder so far, I have had Coal, Blue and Great tits visiting, Robin, Dunnock, and Wood Pigeon in the garden and a Green Woodpecker out the back. As the weather worsens then I hope for more variety.

The light was poor so I didn't expect a lot but did manage to get these.

I wouldn't normally do feeder shots but there was nothing else so it was this or nothing. Weather is forecast as poor all week so may be a while till my next post.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Three became four

I have been to Slimbridge again today, I went with Andy Carey and once there we teamed up with Chris G and Mike Smith, both of whom were a tad put out by my comments in my last post regarding their poking fun at me. Ironically if the cap fits wear it.

That aside, it wasn't such a good day today. the weather wasn't brilliant and the birds were scattered all over the reserve. I did manage to get the following shots, I hope you enjoy them.

I want to add one thing, which may cause a few raised eyebrows, I cannot for the life of me understand why the powers that be at Slimbridge cannot accept that photography is becoming more and more popular at the reserve and speed up the changes that we keep being told are just around the corner. They have added to the number of viewing spaces to the feeder station at the rear of the Robbie Garnett, but despite repeated requests to the wardens to make the spaces wider this was not done. I do not blame the wardens, they do what they are told, but I would hope that they tell their bosses what we are asking.

Anyway back to the photography. Click on the pictures for larger versions.

I love the little Teals.

The Pochards are looking great.

The Pintails, minus the "pin".

Hundreds of Moorhens.

A stalking Heron kept a number of photographers happy for a while.

Finally this Buzzard was again the only raptor seen.

Back for a mere 5 days and already 2 visits, I love being there with the birds.