Friday, January 28, 2005


There back! These Waxwings were at Westgate car-park, Peterborough today, 28.1.05. Thanks very much for the tip-off, Brian! Maybe I'll try again tomorrow when there are fewer shoppers around, if the sun comes out...

Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Water Rail

What a fine, 'showy' specimen of one of my favourite species. This Water Rail was photographed in Peterborough, Cambs, at lunchtime today (26.1.05), courtesy once more of a lift from Katie Bogbumper herself (indeed she got better shots...).

Want to look a little closer?

The End!
Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Snowdrop in my Peterborough garden, 25.1.05

Nikon Coolpix 4500

Monday, January 24, 2005

Hilarious comedy with Long-tailed Tits

Just thought I'd show you how similar two of my photos are (apart from the background), before there are any accusations of skulduggery of Piltdown Tit type... The right hand bird was a Holkham Dunes on 30.10.04 the left from Bluebell Wood, Cambs, 24.1.05.

Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Mammals etc

One or two mammals at lunchtime (24.1.05) at Bluebell Wood,Ferry Meadows CP, Cambs, included Grey Squirrel...

...and Badgers.

But there were also a few birds, including Long-tailed Tits...

...and a feeding-frenzy of Blue Tits.

Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LERNikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER


A drake and a redhead Smew are hanging out at Deeping Lakes LWT reserve at present on the big lake. Here is the spanking White Nun (the drake), photographed on Saturday (22.1.04).

Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Thursday, January 20, 2005

From the archives... No. 5

It's cold, damp, dark and blinking dreary out there in the late-January evening. I feel like warming myself up with a slice of August (what a fantastic, lovely, warm and wholesome month that is!). So, here are a couple of moths, dibbling around on knapweed and whatnot up on Morborne Hill, Cambs on 6.8.04. The first is a Silver Y, I believe, but the other isn't. I haven't got my moth book here and simply don't know what it is, but I'm sure some mother will be kind enough to fill me in...

Silver Y

Nikon Coolpix 4500

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


A little bit of a snackette can really lure in the birds. Someone has been feeding the birds in Bluebell Wood, Ferry Meadows CP, Peterborough for ages now and it makes a great digiscoping stakeout. So Katie Bogbumper Fuller and I spent lunchtime (19.1.05) snapping away as Great Tits, Blue Tits, Long-tailed Tits and Nuthatches hit the grubbeth (and Robins tried to gouge our eyes out). Here are the best of my Nuthatch photos. Want bigger pics? Check out Weedon

Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Monday, January 17, 2005

Iceland Gull

Iceland Gull is a pretty rare bird in these here parts (ie around Peterborough it's roughly annual), so I was off like a light when I got the call yesterday from Kevin 'Pinkerton' DuRose that he had a second-winter up at Star Pit, Dogsthorpe (his second [first?] home). Katie the Bog made good time in coming to grab me and lift me up there, and we had fine views of the white-and-lovely gullster. On KDR's close-up shots (not mine) you can see the pale iris acquired during the second-winter period.

Second-winter Iceland Gull (and 'friends': Great Black-backed, Herring, Black-headed Gulls...), Dogsthorpe Star Pit, 16.1.05

Second-winter Iceland Gull (and friends), Dogsthorpe Star Pit, 16.1.05

You can sort of make out the pale iris if you screw your own eyes up, on this dodgy shot (the Black-headed Gull on the left is laughing at how poor the photo is).

Then it flew off...
Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Not a Red-necked Grebe

If you are becoming weary of the hundreds of Red-necked Grebe photos on this site, here is a Great Crested Grebe instead. Note the pink bill (the RNG has a yellow/grey bill), dark lores (the area between bill and eye) and white area above the eye (the RNG is brown in these areas) and the long, skinny neck and elongated head. When the RNG was swimming alongside Great Crests, it looked about half the size (at least in bulk).

Great Crested Grebe, Deeping Lakes, Lincs, 15.1.05
Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Friday, January 14, 2005


First-winter Black-headed Gull, Ferry Meadows CP, Cambridgeshire, 13.1.04

Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Robin, Ferry Meadows CP, Cambridgeshire, 13.1.04

Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

More, more, more! Again, again, again!

Want bigger pics? Check out Weedon
Red-necked Grebe, Ferry Meadows CP, Cambridgeshire, 12.1.04

Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Monday, January 10, 2005

Not again!

Oh Lordy! The Red-necked Grebe is back on Overton Lake, Ferry Meadows CP, Cambs, today (10.1.05) and so I dashed down with the Bogbumper to slam it onto the old PBC year list (now at 86 species) and try to resist digiscoping: some hope... here we go again:

Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Mandarin and Hawfinch

Today I did a spot of digiscoping despite the ridiculously high winds. I popped down to Woodwalton Fen and saw not much, but as I was leaving I refound the drake Mandarin that has been hanging about the last few days. As I didn't see one locally last year, this was a good year tick and a chance for a bit of digisnapping.

Drake Mandarin with Mallard, Rothschild's Mere, Woodwalton Fen NNR, 8.1.05.
Drake Mandarin with Mallards, Rothschild's Mere, Woodwalton Fen NNR, Cambs, 8.1.05.
Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Kevin DuRose later told me he had refound the Hawfinch at Ferry Meadows, so I popped down there and with Katie Bog and KDR we located it for less than five minutes before it melted back into its leafy alternative state and disappeared... Still I managed a couple of half-decent snaps.

Hawfinch, Ferry Meadows CP, Peterborough, 8.1.05
Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Hawfinch is one of those birds that everyone wants to see, with a reputation for shyness and being ultra-elusive. This one (above) is pretty bold, but uses its brilliant camouflage to stay still and blend and shape-shift when it feels like it.
It is also one of those species that I consider as a classic Weedon's World of Nature bird of the old school (from back in the day, no less). When my brothers and I went out to the local 'downs' (or fields and woods on the hilly chalk of the Surrey North Downs) as boys, we had two main birdwatching aims: to see Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and to see Hawfinch, both of them scarce as hen's teeth for most of our youth.
One of my brothers saw Hawfinch years before me, and when I finally had one flying by me (when out on my own one day) no-one believed me... However, when we later found a Hawfinch (or was it two?) repeatedly returning to the same blob of mistletoe in the middle of Devil's Den Woods (great name, eh?), we had a chance to hang about day after day, watching it come and go and getting our fill (at quite a tender age) of this magnificent finch.
Then again, I remember as a student in Bristol, ambling to the uni one day and glancing to my right, I saw a Hawfinch at eye-level in a tree, not eight feet away, just say there looking at me while I looked at 'e.
Oh Lordy, I've started now... In 1996-97 I was living in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan and one or two of the parks there were great for Hawfinch (yes the same species, though the additional presence of Japanese Grosbeak in the local avifauna was not unwelcome...). Hawfinches were regular visitors to bird-tables in Maruyama Park, as I recall. In fact, now I'm rambling, I remember one day watching them for a while and a Japanese guy noticed I was into the birds, so whipped out the paperback birds of Japan (split into water and land birds and in Japanese), opened it on the finch page, and after a brief conversation (broken Japanese and English), he insisted on giving me the book.
Ah, fond memories – but wherever you go, the Hawfinch is always a fantastic bird.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Ferry Meadows birdies

Went down to Ferry Meadows today (6.1.05) with the Bog, specifically to digiscope a Hawfinch which failed to show... never mind.
This is what I came up with instead:

Great Spotted Woodpecker (female).

Great Spotted Woodpecker (same female, different tree).

Bullfinch (male).

Robin (why does there have to be a branch or two in the way?).
Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Year list kick start

I had a great start to the year, with a dash around Baston Fen on 1.1.05 bringing some juicy rewards in the form of a Short-eared Owl being seen off by two Barn Owls, a Buzzard and a group of three Bearded Tits including a glorious male (no photos though). The next day saw me hitting Eldernell and twitching a Long-tailed Duck at Prior's Fen, found by the mighty Phil Todd (surely the same 1st-winter male [duck that is not Todd] that had been up at Deeping Lakes LNR the month before). Prior's also had drake Smew, a couple of Whooper Swans, seven Goldeneye and a jack Snipe on offer. All in all a good start to the local PBC year with 75 species bagged already.

Fieldfare feeding on worms like a Blackbird, Eldernell, Cambs, 2.1.05.

Barn Owl, Eldernell, Cambs, 2.1.05.

Whooper Swans (plus Mutes), Prior's Fen, Cambs, 2.1.05.

1st-winter Long-tailed Duck, Prior's Fen, Cambs, 2.1.05.

1st-winter Long-tailed Duck, Prior's Fen, Cambs, 2.1.05.
Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER