Saturday, 13 August 2011

Night of the Owls

Late evening visit to Holywell tonight, myself and Stephen got down to the pond at about 20:30, it was just going to be a quick visit.

2 Dunlin were seen feeding on the public shore in the beautiful light of the setting sun, their reflections seemed to glow on the water. We moved on to the East Pool where all was quite, after moving off from there it wasn't long before we heard the Little Owl calling, and then the screech of Barn Owls with quick glimpses of ghostly movement.

A Tawny Owl could be heard in the distance, calling from the dene.

Heading back up past the public hide at roughly 22:00 we could hear a Tawny Owl calling from what sounded like the housing estate. Getting closer and closer to the houses we were still confused as to its location, but positive it was a Tawny Owl. Following the sound we pin pointed it to a tree in a row which the lined the street. After a few minutes listening and watching we caught the silhouette of a bird flying from one tree to another along the row.

It was great to see local residents watching and listening from their front doors.

You've got to love Sparrowhawks, your voice is needed

Your voice is needed, Mr Richard Benyon MP has the opinion that England's Raptors need no further protection, and doesn't need to follow Scotland's lead.

Read the full story at Raptor Politics 

Make your voice heard, I know I will be.

Sparrowhawk Feeding from Cain Scrimgeour on Vimeo.
A short clip from a project filming a local Sparrowhawk nest. Cain Scrimgeour,

I'm away in Switzerland for the next 15 days, hopefully I'll see some new species.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Quick Visit

Quick visit to Holywell tonight, (with Brian and Tom), 2 Black Necked Grebes still present, see Tim's blog for some nice shots. Also 11 Gadwall, and a eclipse male Wigeon. No sign of any waders, apart from 7 fly over Golden Plover.

Spotted Redshank was present on Beehive Flash.

I'm expecting an interesting post from Phil tonight.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

I love my patch, Part 2

August 3rd was my first evening back on patch, heading down quite late the aim of the night was to see how the Barn Owls had faired, I was extremely pleased to find 3 individuals, of which 2 I think are this years fledge chicks. Moving on to the Dene a Tawny Owl family could be heard calling, the first young I've heard calling on patch. BD text me informing me of a Green Sandpiper, which I could just make out in the failing light, along with a lone Redshank and 4 Snipe.

Back the next day to find Joe's Spotted Redshank, which was showing extremely well, joined by 2 Green Sandpiper. BD joined me later, but with a lack of Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank made a brief appearance but didn't hang around. We headed up to the North Pool, and were rewarded with an adult Barn Owl, Joe arrived not long after this, but the Shank still wasn't present, just as we turned to leave it came plummeting out of the air, presumably from the Beehive Flash.

The next morning I arrived at Holywell for 04:00am with the plan being to photograph some of the passage waders, kitted up I headed for my chosen site, getting into position before the light began to break. As the light began to build I could pick out both Greenshank and Green Sandpiper, it was now a waiting game. The time passed relatively quickly with the whirring of ducks close over head, and the very close proximity to a Moorhen, I began snapping, firstly distance objects then steadily closer as the light grew. Following the Greenshank it gradually moved closer and closer towards me, until it was literally 30cm from the lens, to close to focus, happily feeding. The feeding must have been good as the Green Sandpiper soon joined it, and I sat watching both birds for a good while before they began moving into range, stopping to the noise of the shutter, then continuing on. The chance of great light and better shots was lost when a female Sparrowhawk flew from the North Wood, where her family could be heard calling.

A Grey Wagtail family and a lone Dipper were down the Dene that morning as well.

It wasn't long before I was back, picking Brian and Stephen up at 17:30 in search of the waders and the reported juv Black Necked Grebe. It proved to be an exciting and busy evening at Holywell, with Stephen picking up 4 lifers, including a juv Med Gull. Bumped into John down there as well.

Here's some photo's from the night, but my best images are below this post.

Juv Med Gull

Two leggy birds (Ruff and Greenshank)

Black Necked Grebe

This post was planned to be published yesterday, but I had an unexpected visit, and over night stay to the Hospital. I was discharged this morning, not wanting to waste the rest of the day my Dad and I headed for Whitburn in search of the Humpback, unfortunately we didn't connect with it, but it was good to get out.

Tonight I've been rearranging my blog, I'm planning to post my better images as the size below from now on, but as always with the smaller images, double click for some more detail. Any feedback on the new layout would be great, especially its causing any problems or difficulties :)

And finally I have a new blog to plug, a volunteer from SLS, she's now in South Africa and proving to be a challenge to keep up with !

Green Sandpiper

Friday, 5 August 2011

I love my patch, Part 1


Green Sandpiper

A few images from this mornings session, cut short by a passing Sparrowhawk.

Part 2 (the text to accompany this post) will follow.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

One from before...

Here's an image I took in my last session filming the Sparrowhawks. 

Sparrowhawk with chicks

Holywell posting will resume shortly :)