Thursday, 18 December 2014


The Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris)

The third in the series of five quality species that I was able to photograph on the same day as the Stonechat in the Parkland.

Taking reasonable images of a Treecreeper is mostly about being in the right place at the right time.
That certainly doesn't happen with me very often, but when I was taking images of other birds, this little bird below flew on to a tree trunk within range of the camera.

I thought at first I wasn't going to be lucky, as I caught sight of it flying in and landing on the other side of the trunk. I then had to wait for a few moments to see it emerging around the trunk and into view. It then kindly walked up the trunk in full view. 
I took around thirty images and then it was gone.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Little Egret

The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
A bird often observed in the local area, but usually at some distance as they are quite wary of people.

This being one of the same group of images I shot on the same day as the previous Stonechat. 

This bird was feeding in a small stream adjacent to one of the large lakes in the local Parkland.
The first shot was obtained by creeping through tall dried foliage on the opposite side of the stream. The bird was unaware of my presence and I was able to withdraw from the site without alerting him.

All the subsequent images were taken as a result of him being disturbed and harassed by another fisherman. (See below)

Note the wing bone structure in the image below.

This was the other fisherman 'The Grey Heron'.
It was a typical dispute over local fishing rights.{:))

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Stonechat -Target Species

Its been a number of years since I have observed a Stonechat (Saxicola torquata) in the local area and it was not for the want of trying. I have seen them at Portland Bill in Dorset on a number of occasions (where they will almost come up and ask you to take a photograph of them.)

Recently I had received reports from local birding colleagues of one male being observed on a particular section of the local Parkland walk. So this week, as on previous recent weeks, I checked out the area in question. The Stonechat (as I have observed them) likes open ground with low vegetation particularly along the water's edge. The area I found this male was just such a location. They are quite accommodating birds and will not fly far from where you find them, in fact they tend to stake their ground and whatever the disturbance will stay close by.

NB. This was one of five species that I would term quality species, that I actually photographed on the same day in the Parkland where I regularly walk. So I will post them in turn shortly.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Little Grebe

The Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) not known for parading in front of the cameras, usually will hide when approached. If you are exceedingly fortunate it may just hide behind something in the water (like below) where it thinks it can't be seen......

.....As soon as it thinks you are not going away it will dive and if your fortunate you will catch the tail end.

This week I was really fortunate as this one below was either very bold or had consumed far to much Christmas spirit. Although it was the other side of a small river, it didn't bother much about me being the other side clicking away with the camera.

This distant shot below was taken from a bridge on a different day.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Gull Behaviour

Black-headed Gulls at play.
I watched these gulls the other day flying against the wind on a lake. They kept diving down and catching dead leaves that were floating on the water. They would then fly along and dropped them again and then find another leaf and do exactly the same. It appeared like they were just playing a game on a dull windy day for something to do.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Mute Territorial

More Mute Swan action with a Male chasing off a pair of interlopers.

The Pursued

The Pursuer

Sometimes they chase the unwanted for quite some distance, but on this occasion he could see that they were getting airborne so he started his slow down using his large webbed feet like water skis.

Off go the pursued to another adjoining lake.