Friday, 21 September 2018

Big Blog - Lots of Pictures

Date: 
28/08/2018 - 20/09/2018
Location:
From all Over
Weather: 
Assorted

Species Highlights: 
Hobby, Tree Pipit, Lesser Whitethroat, Cattle Egret, Bearded Tit, Osprey, Sparrowhawk, Whinchat, Spotted Redshank, Little Tern, Grey Phalarope
Observation: 

I can't believe it's been so long almost a month after the excitement from our Butterfly blog. It's back to normal, now well almost! With another round up.

Starting with a Migrant Hawker from Patch, it's all been a bit quiet around patch but every Thursday I've wandered around looking for anything good nothing as yet but still 3 months of the year left so anything could happen.


Next popped down to Chew Valley my favourite time of year to visit as the Hobbies the are about racing past the hides, a real challenge to get images, I took far to many pictures as normal but here's one I like. Also had a Greenshank and a Yellow Legged Gull.



Next off was Chipping Sodbury Common, Whinchat, Tree Pipit, Redstart, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat all present.

Lauren very pleased with her first ever Tree Pipit.


Perfect Light on the Common great birds too!



 The plan was to head up to Slimbridge after chipping and turned out to be a good idea with Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warblers from the Holden hides.


Next off and speeding through it was the Somerset Levels with Allan Chard, went to Westhay for a look for Bearded Reedlings but no sign, then headed to Catcott  and shortly after arriving we were rewarded with  a huge group of Cattle Egrets!



The Cattle Egret has had a excellent year with them turning up all over the county, getting common almost as common as the little and Great White Egret, Good News!


From Catcott it was Shapwick and Noah's hide the normally distant Osprey flew parallel in front hide, a real treat!


Everything else a bit distant so crossed the road to Ham Wall and had very close views of the Great White Egrets feeding on the now dwindling dragonfly population.



Checking around the hides we even bumped into 2 Bearded Reedling who darted across the path in front of us,  job done! To end these Frogs near the car park.


 On way home we popped in to Priddy ponds while looking for Dragonflies which we saw Migrant Hawkers and a few Black Darter. 
This Small Heath noticed my achievement this year and hopped on my lens to say hello!



Next with my girls heading to Paris for a birthday treat I dropped them at the airport and dropped into the very close Barrow Tanks to capture this Grey Wagtail.



The rest of the afternoon I spent at Chew Valley Lake.
I Found a Hornet nest with lots of these buzzing in and out their hole in tree.



Hobbies again and this Sparrowhawk.


Monday morning came around after work and decided to have another look at Chipping Sodbury.

Pleased I did with the Whinchat putting on a good show.




From here again up to Slimbridge. Spotted Redshank in front the hide.



A group of around 10/15 Yellow Wagtail in with cattle, such smart little birds.


Never forget the common birds, always happy to pose at Slimbridge.


Been getting in to a bit of macro photography lately and this Red Underwing moth was good practice.



What better than one Spotted Redshank.....



Still more come! great to see almost a flock at Slimbridge.


With the Girls still away more play time for me and Tuesday so went back to Chew.
Managed very close views of this Marsh Harrier, photo not quite up to scratch but great to see.



Marsh rubbish picture but the Hobbies made up for it!



 Up to 5 birds seen, these photos taken from Villice.


Another Patch walk and spotted I thought another patch tick, this bird with it's brownish colouring and neck mark thought it was a Sand Martin! 
Still not sure any comments welcome... At the moment i'm saying juv House Martin.



Still a few Barn Swallow about, I think next walk they'll be gone till next year.


Girls home and Saturday arrived and Work but Friday a Grey Phalarope arrived at Cheddar reservoir and a quick dash down to photograph it, a bit distant...more to come on the Phalarope.



Still going for the #MY200BIRDYEAR There was a Ortolan Bunting in Hampshire and after 4.5 hours sleep Lauren and me headed down. The Ortolan bunting had not been seen all morning so we went to Farlington Marshes to see Dunlin, Yellow Wagtail and a small group of Starling murmurating but little else.


On leaving Farlington the next day a Little Gull, Bluethroat, and Pectoral Sandpiper were all seen !! Typical eh!!


Monday went went to Cheddar for Lauren to see here first Grey Phalarope again distant but another life tick for Laur. 
Wednesday Another Grey Phalarope had turnned up in Huntspill so I arranged with Mr, Chard to go and parked at Cheddar Reservoir we popped in see anything was about, very pleased we did a Black Tern with about, feeding on Perch or Roach a real mouthful.



Giving us great views. With no reports that morning of the GP we headed down anyway.


We walked around from the Apex car park and the wind was blowing fiercely on the 1.7 miles walk we saw nothing of note but arriving at the very small puddle noticed another birder Penny, Anne, @fegwitch. We couldn't see bird as it was so close to her!!!





My 400mm lens was to long as the bird came to me and at times we at the end of my lens!!


The very strong winds this week have brought lots of these birds in to the country from Scotland to Devon.


Giving me and Allan our best ever views of this bird.



It may look like we were unnecessarily close but the very small puddle and the bird coming to us despite moving back a number of times. Phone shots and wet sleeves, amazing!


Mr. Chard & the Grey Phalarope.


After a brilliant day headed back to Cheddar the Black Tern still there and it even flew over our heads!


Almost finished and back on patch y'day with a very low count of 33 species.
Linnet and Kestrel being the highlights.



Did see this a first for me a Grey Squirrel and kit being carried.




She ran towards me keeping her eye on me, them almost at my feet dropped the baby and ran off? The baby squirrel then looked at me then also ran off looking for Mum ?! weird.


Going back to that macro thing, I finally got a dedicated macro lens, Canon 100mm 2.8
Here's a few a the first results.




A bit more practice required but happy so far.


Well thats it, a massive blog but hope you enjoyed my travels, please leave a comment or drop me a email for any advice or help Thanks for now.


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