Thursday, December 30, 2004

Med Gull: 174

I've been craving a PBC-area Mediterranean Gull all year. Kevin DuRose seems to see one every time he rolls out of bed and there has been quite a haul of them locally through 2004. But I had more or less given up (it is after all 30.12.04). Cycling to work this morning, though, I had one of those inkling feelings that a Med Gull was there to be had - though I thought it would be among the gulls at Highlees Scool, Peterbrough, which I pass on my route (and where I had a second-winter bird over many weeks in 2003).
To cut a long story short, I was delighted when I got a call today from my friend Kevan Wolstencroft telling me that not only was the Red-necked Grebe still at Ferry meadows, but an adult winter Med Gull had also been found (by Mr Ferry Meadows himself, Matt Webb).
Bogbumper Fuller and I hit FM once more at lunchtime and soon picked up the gull (PBC 2004 tick number 174 for me) on the same lake (Overton) as the grebe.

Mediterranean Gull (adult winter) with Black-headed Gull fly-by.

Mediterranean Gull (adult winter, left) with Black-headed Gull companions.
Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

The grebe was harder to find and we only got distant glimpses. Instead, I digiscoped this grazing female Teal on Heron Meadows.

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

Possibly the best action, though, was a weasel being mobbed, or at least gurned at, by a Robin near the pontoon bridge dividing Overton and Gunwade Lakes: superb stuff, I love our teeny carnivores!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Fun with grebes

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two scarce grebes at Ferry Meadows CP in December. Left is the Red-necked from today (29.12.04), right is the Slavonian from mid-month (14.12.04).

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

Red-necked Grebe piccies Part 2

Ferry Meadows CP, Cambs, 29.12.04

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

Red-necked Grebe

PBC tick for me number 209! Katie Bogbumper Fuller and I hit Ferry Meadows CP, Peterborough, early this morning (29.12.04) chasing a Red-necked Grebe. Luckily, we picked it up after a couple of minutes, then unluckily, lost it... We returned at lunchtime and together with Kevin 'Pinky' aka 'the Dogsthorpe Dosser' Durose refound it and followed it around snapping like wild things. Here is the first draft of the results. If you want a coupla bigger photos, see Weedon...

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

Garganey at Woodwalton

Last winter, a drake Garganey decided to hang out at Woodwalton Fen NNR, Cambs. Normally a summer visitor, it was surprising to see this bird lingering in the bleak mid-winter on Rothschild's Mere. This winter there has also been a Garganey, often reported as a female on the noticeboard near the NNR entrance. However, it is now having a bit of a moult (26.12.04) and revealing a number of male feathers on the flank and back. So, I guess it is last year's confused drake once more, just coming out of eclipse...

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


This pair of Bullfinches (pink male, duller, though still lovely female) were at Woodwalton Fen NNR, Cambs on 26.12.04. They were in a group of two pairs nibbling away at some buds during the frozen yet sunny morning.

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

Merry Christmas!

Here is a Chringle Robin to wish you a Ho Ho Happy Chriggy! Photographed at Woodwalton Fen, Cambs, 26.12.04.

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

Monday, December 20, 2004

Fieldfares at Eldernell

Eldernell (Cambs) is jammed full of thrushes at the moment – particularly Fieldfares, which are munching berries in their hundreds (16.12.04)...

All with: Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Slavonian Grebe at Ferry Meadows

Yesterday Terry Daunt of Ferry Meadows CP fame, found a Slavonian Grebe on Gunwade Lake. So, one early morning twtich with the Bogbumper later (ta for the lift and ta also to Matt Webb for his early finding by bicycle), and Weedon's PBC tick number 208 was bagged. Hurrah. And a quick return for a few snaps at lunchtime (14.12.04)...

I see you, Baby, shaking that ass...
All with: Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Recent photos

Here are some recent photos. I've been ill all week, but it was nice and sunny today, so I went out and did a few digisnaps...

Tundra Bean Geese, north-east of Dog-in-a-Doublet, feeding in a beet field, 10.12.04. This ropey old shot shows part of a party of 8 tundra Beans with a single Pink-foot. Not the birds' robust structure, strong bill, dark (brown) back, long, orange legs, and predominantly dark tail (with thin white edge). PBC tick 207 for the boy Weedon! The farmer kindly jump-started my car after I let the battery go flat watching these beauts...

Dunnock, Tanholt GP, 11.12.04. It was just having a post-bath preen on this bramble.

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker, Tanholt GP, 11.12.04. This bird was repeatedly drumming, before perching here to preen.
All with: Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Thursday, December 02, 2004


First-winter male Blackbird, at Asda car-park, Peterborough Cathedral in the background, 2.12.04. Needless to say, the Waxwings weren't there today.
Digiscoped: Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER

Eldernell gallery

I spent the day testing compact binoculars, yesterday (1.12.04), so where better to test them than Eldernell, the raptor capital of the PBC area. There were a few Short-eared Owls, a couple of Hen Harriers and Peregrines and some Bewick's Swans passing. And of course, you need the odd bit of digiscoping to relieve the tedium of binocular testing. Here is a wee gallery of some of the best of my snappings...

Hen Harrier (female)

Hen Harrier (female)

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Mistle Thrush
All with: Nikon Coolpix 880 + Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER