Image

26th December 2017 – WWT Slimbridge

A late start (post Christmas) and an early finish (rain) but there was plenty to see and photograph from the nearby hides. No particular rarities but lots of familiar friends and not enough time to visit the main site.

MT1D0393

MT1D0437Common redshank

MT1D0414

MT1D0498

MT1D0418Lapwings

MT1D0424

MT1D0770Shelduck

MT1D0447

MT1D0503

MT1D0873

MT1D0871Pintails

MT1D0450

MT1D0501

MT1D0757

MT1D0758

MT1D0821

MT1D0826Bewick swans

MT1D0719

MT1D0622Shovelers

MT1D0464Greylag Goose

MT1D0685

MT1D0688

MT1D0692

MT1D0702Tufted ducks

MT1D0684Gadwall

MT1D0616

MT1D0635Wigeon

MT1D0587Teal

MT1D0610

MT1D0611Jackdaw

MT1D0734Wren

MT1D0740Robin

MT1D0670

MT1D0673Song thrush

MT1D0681Blackbird

MT1D0537Blue tit

MT1D0560House sparrow

MT1D0538Rat

MT1D0909

MT1D0913

Flamingos

Click below for gallery of all of today’s photos:

Image

24th December 2017 – Somerset Levels

It wasn’t really a day for photographs as it was very poor light (apologies for creating light in these photos where there really wasn’t light) but it’s worth posting a blog to show some of the things we saw at Westhay Moor and RSPB Ham Wall. It was quite mild and it is also worth mentioning that we had an al fresco picnic with friends on Christmas Eve at Ham Wall (no hiding in the car).

We saw plenty of gadwall at Westhay Moor, a great white egret, shovelers, tufted ducks,  wigeon and even a bull finch.

DSC05340Gadwall

DSC05403Gadwall

DSC05348Shoveler

DSC05408Great white egret (flying right to left – just in case you can’ tell)

At Ham Wall there were more lapwings than anything else, a marsh harrier, several great white egrets, two glossy ibis and lots of mute swans in flight

DSC05507Lapwings

DSC05421Glossy ibis among the lapwings

DSC05425Glossy ibis among the wigeon

DSC05635Mainly lapwings and wigeon

DSC05448Marsh harrier

DSC05547Great white egret

DSC05559Great white egret

DSC05560Great white egret

DSC05631Mute swan

DSC05504

DSC05464Shoveler

We stayed along with several hundred people to see the murmurations of thousands upon thousands of starlings but, even though murmurations took place, they were all quite distant and difficult to see as they didn’t really rise above the horizon.

DSC05662

DSC05650Starlings making their way to join up with the massive roost

DSC05671

DSC05699Difficult to make out the starlings against the hills in the background

There was a bonus at the end as the sun appeared for the first time in the day just as it was setting.

DSC05704Mute swan

DSC05720Mute swan

DSC05710.jpg

Despite the disappointment of the murmurations it was a really splendid day out.

Click below for gallery of photos from today.

 

 

Image

20th December 2017 – Eastville Park

The days are very short and we weren’t able to get out until after 2 pm but, on the eve of the shortest day, my young apprentice and I managed to get a few good spots. We must have seen two different kingfishers in seven different venues and pushed our cameras to extremes in poor light late in the day. The last photo was taken at 3.56 pm.

As well as the kingfishers we saw a grey heron, a grey wagtail, 2 mute swans with a cygnet and a dipper on the way home in the twilight.

We also thought we saw in the lake the movements of an otter and its bubbles but will  keep hoping to get a full sight of it or its family.

Oli’s photos are on his page.

DSC05086-2-Edit

DSC05119-2

DSC05131-2

 

Image

12th December 2017 – St Ives, Cornwall

We arrived in St Ives as the light was fading but I wasted no time in getting a few shots before it was dark.

The turnstones were behaving as house sparrows do at an outdoor café and the only difficulty in getting a photo was that they were too close. The oystercatchers were also not too far off. I’m sure over the next few days we shall have plenty of chance to compare the gulls.

DSC04066Turnstone

DSC04070Oystercatcher

DSC04110Herring gull

DSC04117

 

Image

2nd December 2017 – Eastville Park

We saw so much more on our walk through Eastville Park this morning and this was because we had the help of 2 additional pairs of young sharp eyes.

We lost count of the different times we spotted a kingfisher and enjoyed good views of a grey wagtail and a dipper.

My apprentice’s photos can be seen on his page Oli’s page

DSC03599-Edit

DSC03608-2

DSC03616

DSC03651

DSC03708

DSC03710

DSC03761

DSC03800

DSC03823-2-Edit

DSC03824-2

DSC03829

DSC03841

DSC03847

DSC03867

DSC03897

DSC03899

DSC03904

DSC03811Black-headed gulls on the partially frozen lake.