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.
Click below for gallery of all of today’s photos:
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.
Great 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
Glossy ibis among the lapwings
Glossy ibis among the wigeon
Mainly lapwings and wigeon
Great white egret
Great white egret
Great white egret
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.
Starlings making their way to join up with the massive roost
Difficult 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.
Despite the disappointment of the murmurations it was a really splendid day out.
Click below for gallery of photos from today.
My young 12 year old apprentice photographer and I were out before sunrise looking for otters this morning (his idea not mine) and saw one on the lake. We also heard a tawny owl.
Once the sun had risen we were treated to the display of 2 male kingfishers and 3 grey herons fishing. The best of the kingfisher photos are his.
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.
A very dank misty morning as we walked around Eastville Park. However, there were some good sightings of some colourful birds to cheer us up including a wood duck and a kingfisher. We struggled as much as some of the birds with the icy conditions.
Video of kingfisher
Click below for a gallery of this morning’s photos
It’s been more a day for being inside today, so I’ll start with an inside “bird” photo from the Tate St Ives.
John Wells 1907-2000
Sea Bird Forms
Oil paint on board
These turnstones sum up the weather conditions nicely:
But it didn’t rain all the time
Great black-backed gull
Spent more time dodging the heavy showers rather than looking for birds. Thought I might see some pelagic specials but only saw a song thrush, a dunnock and a robin; oh and quite a few gulls, turnstones and pied wagtails.
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.
On a gloomy Monday morning in December its amazing how much a kingfisher can lift your spirits and throughout my walk through Eastville Park this morning I had plenty of sightings.
Click below for gallery of this morning’s photos:
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
Black-headed gulls on the partially frozen lake.