Monday, 28 September 2015

Glossy Ibis Levels Wander

Date: 28th September - All Day
Location:  Somerset Levels - Aller, Greylake, Ham Wall + Shapwick Heath
Observation:  We headed off fairly early today in the hope of spotting the Common Crane's at Aller Moor / Swell Wood, after a good look and a drive around the droves unfortunately we couldn't see any but we will be back to look for them soon! We headed onto Greylake on our way back up, both hides closed due to some 'aggressive' wasps, but a few birds in carpark on seed tables, along with group of Long-Tailed Tits and a few Chiffchaff's feeding just inside the gate on the wooden sculpture.

Going in for the kill!

Straight in the hatch!

Inquisitive Robin!

Stunning Blue Tit!

We moved onto Ham Wall + Shapwick Heath, stopping in Canada Farm (once we found it!), Kingfisher was seen 20 minutes before we arrived on the 'famous' perch, we heard him call a few times but he didn't show unfortunately! Also a Great White Egret along with some Gadwall and Little Egret, we thought the Cattle Egret was on the far right in a sluice but couldn't confirm (later seen flying off at 3pm!).

Onto Ham Wall, we were pretty disappointed nothing was close enough to photograph, so we focused on the many of Dragonflies! There were hundreds about! Mostly Ruddy and Common Darters and some Hawkers. 

One of the hundreds of Common Darters !

We walked along to the Second Viewpoint using the Ham Wall Loop, and when we arrived someone shouted across to let us know a Glossy Ibis has JUST landed, in the far pool on the mud bank, we watched it for a few minutes. 

Before a Marsh Harrier came in low flushing everything, the second time the Marsh Harrier come back he flushed the Glossy Ibis up and he flew to the left and couldn't be relocated. 

The Marsh Harrier dived a few times all were unsuccessful whilst we were watching, he stopped in for a drink in the pool.

Was amazing to see a Marsh Harrier and Glossy Ibis in the same frame on the camera, and to see them fairly close also! Was a lovely day out and we were rewarded with the Glossy to finish the day!

Weather:  Blue Sky, Sunny + Warm
Other Species: Kingfisher, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Long-Tailed Tit, Chiffchaff, Robin, Marsh Harrier, Glossy Ibis, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveller, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Snipe, Reed Bunting, Lapwing, Dunlin, Great-Crest Grebe - + Many More!

Thanks For Reading !

SuperBloodMoon Walk

Date: 27th September 2015 - Late Afternoon
Location:  Newton Park Lake - Circular
Observation: Our new binoculars arrived yesterday so it was time to test them out! Done the normal patch walk out to the Lake. Bath Mill and up along to Seven Acre was very quiet with birds, only seen a few Wood Pigeon, 1 Jay and a heard a few Long-Tailed Tits. Alot of walkers and motorbikes on the byway. We got to Seven Acre Woods and a flock of 20+ small birds kept flying around the outside of Woods and returning to land in the ploughed field before taking off again. We watched them for a few minutes and were unsure what these were as couldn't get a decent view of them. Looking closer we are almost certain they are Linnet (were hoping they may have been Twite which would be a tick for us). But Linnet are still a great bird to see so close to home. 

Flock of Linnet in flight.

Whilst walking onto the Village there were a large group of Gulls down on the ploughed field along with a Buzzard. Another Buzzard was sat on his perch in the Globe tree.

There was nothing more of note until the Lake. No sign of the Little Owl, but students are back, so alot of people about. 1 juvenile Grey Heron along with normal Mute Swans on bottom lake. Top Lake seen the Kingfisher in far corner hovering and landing in the tree. Whilst watching him we walked around to the tree we normally see him on.

After a few minutes he landed and we got a few shots before he took off again! Lovely to see them so close!

On the way back Butterfly Alley had a family of Buzzards (3 total) making a right racket, flying back and forth in the near-by trees.

We popped home to eat our roast dinner which was waiting for us and we headed back out to capture a few of the Super-Blood-Moon on moonrise. We also got a few of the stunning sunset!

Weather:  Blue Sky, Sunny Intervals, Warm
Other Species: 6 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 1 Kingfisher, 20+ Linnet, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Common, Gull, Herring Gull, Black-Headed Gull, 1 Raven, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Grey Heron - Of Note

Thanks For Reading !

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Thursday Patch Walk

Date: 24/09/2015
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Cloudy with some rain.
Other species: Buzzard, Kestrel, Little Owl, Siskin, Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Kingfisher -Plus many more !

Headed out on walk with no binoculars today as I broke them ! So ears & 400mm only. 
              Not much through Bath Mill - Long Tailed Tits in trees along brook. Few Barn Swallows and House Martins still about numbers low. Out through Village and towards Lake and heard unusual noise checked near by Alders and saw 5 Siskins feeding high up. 

Tricky to photograph and see !

Top Lake usual Mute Swans, Mallards. A group of 10 Black Headed Gulls were on lake and 2 squabbling Kingfishers. Also Goldcrest and Treecreeper in Yew trees.

Little Owl in normal place sleeping, left him to it.

Way back through lanes a Kestrel perched ready to take flight.
Which it did immediately after this picture !

Lots of Wood Pigeons about, fields all ploughed now so plenty of food for them.

Thanks For Looking !

Monday, 21 September 2015

Black Tern @ Slimbridge

Date: 21st September 2015 - Afternoon
Location: WWT Slimbridge - Gloucester
Observation: First day off in a while, meant we could go birding together again (We have been busy with photography. We have secured a job with Darwin Escapes providing Canvas Prints and Framed Prints for their new lodge retreats in Bath Mill and Hawkchurch). 

We headed up to Slimbridge in hope of the Black Tern and Purple Heron (the Heron hasn't been spotted for a few days now). First up, the Rushy, normally our favourite hide at Slimbridge, but today unless we were spotting Tractors, it didn't live up to our expectations, Slimbridge are taking advantage of their quiet period and doing some work around the Reserve (reedbed cutting etc). We swiftly moved on to the Holden Walkway stopping in all the hides on our way down to Holden Tower. The Martin Smith hide highlights were plenty of feeding Hirundinidae and House Martins. 

House Martins Meeting Point

Fly-Past Of The Swallow

Best we could manage on a cloudy, rainy and dull afternoon (excuses aside, Hirundinidae's aren't birds that are the easiest to photograph, don't believe us, try it for yourselves!)

Holden Tower, again pretty barren, a large flock of Barnacle Geese (approx 100) on the tide line was the highlight. We were desperate for some decent pictures and sightings, so headed to South Lake, where the Black Tern was showing fairly well at times, but very hard to photograph as a very active bird and was getting mobbed by everything!

After around 300 shutters between us here's the best we produced:

Whilst waiting for it to brighten up a bit, we went for some captive birds including these:

Before heading home, we headed back to the South Lake whilst it was sunny for a short while and got some more of the Black Tern, he seemed to be coming a bit closer for us this time so we managed to get a few more shots here:

A huge influx of Greylag Goose come into land when we were leaving !

Weather:  Light Rain Showers, Sunny Spells + Warm
Other Species: 1 Marsh Harrier, Ruff, Lapwing, Black-Tailed Godwit, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Greater Black-Backed Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Black Tern, Common Crane, Teal, Shoveller, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, Blackcap, Chiffchaff + Lots More !

Thanks For Reading! Please Share! ☺️

Friday, 18 September 2015

Little Owl makes an apperance !

Date: 17/09/2015
Patch - Newton St Loe / Home
Calm Some Blue Skies, Some Cloud
Other Species:
Little Owl, Buzzard, Whitethroat, Kingfisher, Goldcrest, Bullfinch, Coal Tit, Greenfinch, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit.
Started Patch walk with sunny skies out through Bath Mill Goldcrest and Long Tailed Tits in Alders along Brook, a few Butterflies Small Whites, Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, not much along byway although House Martins and Barn Swallows feeding over field around 10 of each. 2 Buzzards.Village quiet, Goldcrest and Long Tails in church at Lakes. Little Owl back!! Not seen them since 16th April 2015 ! So was getting worried.

 Seemed to be a bit dusty in storage !

Quite happy in the sunshine,
Watched him or her for 15 mins before leaving it in peace !

 Not really taking his eyes of me, and quite right !

Good selection of Birds around are feeders today - Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Bullfinches, Coal Tits, Long Tailed, Great/Blue Tits, Chaffinch, Jay, Magpie, Buzzards overhead !

 Glad to see are resident Nuthatch still visiting tree

Sunflower seem to be a favourite for her, 
Looking at shot from the other day the one on right I think male ,found dead .:(
Any thoughts ??

Thanks For Looking !

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Ham Wall & Shapwick On the Levels

Ham Wall-Shapwick On the Levels
Weather: Grey cloud rained for 1hr 
Other Species: 
Black Tailed Godwits,Peregrine,Hobby,Buzzard,Marsh Harrier,Kestrel,Great White Egret,Little Egret,Bittern,Lapwing + many more
First news of the Nuthatch which was on are tree and feeders for 2 days ,looking at photos of him not in best condition.This morning found dead :( no obvious wounds ?

Today only chance of a bit of birding in the dry so headed to the Somerset levels and first Shapwick, on meare scrape it was all going off !

With this being the reason why,
 a peregrine falcon swooped in to take lapwing !

 very distant but great to watch. The Peregrine then shared the meal with a Crow, Not !

On Noah's counted 4 Black Tern at great distance,Great White Egrets and Marsh harrier
also this chap in the drizzle.

A Great White flypast from the hide.

On to Ham Wall now,Purple Heron and Glossy Ibis about but spotted this Roe Deer ,First one i've seen here.

Then A Bittern bit of a white sky but always nice to see one !

On VP2 (Viewpoint 2) Saw Marsh Harrier hunting made several passes ,not flushing any Glossy's or Purple Herons :(

Flies along then suddenly stops to check it out .
Great tail feathers.

To End a Ruddy Darter a great if slightly damp day .

Thanks for looking