Sunday, April 29, 2007

First light on the Marsh

I took a run out to Frodsham Marsh in Cheshire at 'first' light this morning, arriving around 6am. I mainly went to try and find some migrants in the shape of Whinchat and Yellow Wagtail but could not locate any. However, still managed to have a good three hours with anice bit of varied birdlife.

Meadow pipit in the soft first light
Plenty of noisey sedge warbler in the reedbedsLinnet and Stonechat
Pied Wagtail
A bird you don't often find on the ground, the swallow collecting mud for a nest.
and the highlight of the visit for me a close encounter with a male Northern Wheatear.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Grabbing a moment

I like to keep the camera with me as often as possible just in case the moment arises. For example recently I have been taking some lunch hours to photograph birds. It takes me ten minutes to get to the site near the office which gives me 40 minutes shooting time. These short sessions can be quite productive such as this dipper from this week.

I also have to travel around a lot with work and will sometimes leave home early on my journey so I can have a short stop somewhere en route, as was the case yesterday on the way to Durham. I stopped at Bignall Banks which as two species that I haven't photographed, and intend to concentrate on over the next month, had been reported their recently. These are the pied flycatcher and redstart. I managed to find one female flycatcher during my brief visit.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

More Groppers

Just making the most of the Grasshopper Warblers while they are around, so here are a few more shots from early yesterday monring.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

First Light with the Groppers

Crawled out my bed at first light on Saturday with a specific goal in mind to try and get some shots of Grasshopper Warbler ('Groppers'), a species I have not yet managed to photograph. I must thank a a local bird watcher who told me he had just passed a bird 'reeling' on top of some brambles. I tracked the bramble bush from the constant purring 'grasshopper' sound and then had to wait paitently until the bird presented a clear shot which fortuantely it did. So here are a few of the shots.

What I was realy after was some shots of a bird in full song and after some more waiting and more waiting one eventually obliged.

Finally one appeared where I wanted it, so took a few shots and then back home for breakfast with a smile on my face.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Dunnock and Blackcap

I had a session in some local woods recently and there were a few dunnock that kept hopping up on to perches and bursting into full song. I was not going to waste the oppoetunity as normally the shots of them are when they are scurrying around the ground looking for food.
Blackcaps have always remained elusive to be. I have seen many of them but never been in the right place for a shot. They are normally easy to find from their song but their skulking behaviour which usually see them deep in undergrowth normally results in any photographs having the bird partially obscured by vegetation, like this singing male.

However, on this session I finally managed to get a couple of shots of birds out in the open.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Down on the River
There is a small river that runs close to my office which allows me the time to have 40 minutes photography during my lunch hour, so I paid some visits during last week mainly to get some grey wagtail shots. Grey wagtails have also been a bit of problem bird for me, as I have seen plenty but only ever got one shot, a situation which needed to be rectified. However, the first bird I came across was the resident dipper and I was fortunate to have between me and the bird which allowed a close approach.
I found a pair of grey wagtails and they were in a smilar location on each short session I went allowing to make the most of my 40 minutes with them each day.

The male bird
and unusually perched in a tree having been scared there by a unleased dog.
and the less colourful female
No need to guess what was on the wagtail lunch menu from this shot.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Local birds

Stayed local during last weekend to see what birds were about and if any spring migrants were showing. I came across a couple of grasshopper warbler on my travels but they were staying well hidden in reedbeds. A male linnet, for achange as they are usually very difficult to get close to one foot was more obliging.

I have many stonechat photographs but its still difficult to avoid a male bird in such great condition.
and a Spring migrant in the shape of the Chiffchaff which are easy to locate but can be quite frustrating when trying to get a clear shot of them at a low level.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Battle of the Godwits
This is the last post from the session at Marshside. I was fortunate to be in just the right position in the hide when two Black-tailed Godwits had a dispute. All was fairly short-lived and I think from this sequence of photographs it is obvious which bird won.

Let the battle commence...
The object of the fight appears to be to jump on your opponents head.
Then grabbing them around the neck

and then pushing them down

so they get a good dunking

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Marshside Godwits

Black tailed godwits are one of my favourite waders and look superb in their summer plummage. On a recent visit to Marshside they put on a great display at close quarters. so here are a range of potrait shots taken during the session.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Took a recent trip to Marshside RSPB reserve near Southport and there was plenty of bird action from my arrival. I will post the shots over two posts with this first one being for Redshank and Avocet and the second just for the Black-tailed Godwit (a particular favourite of mine)


The Avocet have made a nest on the island in front of the hide and were offering good views and showing their usual aggressive nature for anything that came close, including mute swans.


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