Monday, January 30, 2006


Muntjac, Woodwalton Fen, 29.1.06. Click them for bigger versions

Canon Powershot A95 with Kowa 823 + 32xWLER

Great spot

The Great Spotted Woodpeckers at Lord's Holt, Eldernell, are having a real old territorial battle at present. There appear to be two males competing for the alder-dominated territory, which comes complete with a ready and willing female.
Click the image for the big version.
Canon Powershot A95, Kowa 823 32xWLER

Friday, January 27, 2006

Crossbill experiment

Crossbill, Southey Wood, 12.1.06.
Click on the image for another whopper.
Yes I know, it is yet another one of those Crossbill shots. Please bear with me, I'm just experimenting with ways of storing and displaying images. And this particular shot hasn't featured here before (especially with a bit of sneaky tidying of branches)...
Talking of which, take a look at these different head shapes. It's the same bird, but look at the radical difference in expression from one second to the next! The flatter version is the frame before it took off to come down to drink.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Redstart revival

Redstart, Brez, Picos De Europa, spring 2005. I have just rediscovered this photo (many of my shots from last spring were lost for ever in a hard-drive crash), and thought I'd reintroduce it as an experiment with loading photos. Click for a big version.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

From the Archives... No. 8

Migrant Hawker, Barnack Hills and Holes, 30.7.05. A reminder of summer...
Nikon Coolpix 4500

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Mealy Redpoll at Deeping Lakes LWT

Male Mealy Redpoll, Deeping Lakes, Lincolnshire, 21.1.06
Canon Powershot A95 through Kowa TSN 823 + 32xWLER

Goldfinch teaser

Goldfinches on teasel, Deeping Lakes LWT, 21.1.06.
Canon Powershot A95 through Kowa TSN 823 + 32xWLER

Monday, January 16, 2006

From the Archives... No. 7

Long-eared Owl, Peterborough, winter 2005.
Canon Powershot A95 through Kowa TSN 823 + 32xWLER

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Southey feeders

It was back to Southey Woods once more this morning (Sunday 15.1.06) for another go at the Crossbills. They turned up just as I was going, but in the meantime Kevin Durose, Will Bowell and I relieved our photographic urges with a game of single digiscope versus two DSLRs. A couple regularly put out seed for the small birds (and the odd Jay and Great Spotted Woodpecker) and it is very good for Marsh Tits. It was very gloomy, but once more some shots at 1/30s and 1/40s show that photos are possible in gloom. Shots around seed are never the prettiest, but still...

Marsh Tit

Coal Tit

Male Great Tit with a parasite or growth on the right of its head (click for big version)

Male Chaffinch
Canon Powershot A95 through Kowa TSN 823 + 32xWLER

Saturday, January 14, 2006

X marks the spot

I returned to Southey Woods again in very poor light this morning to check out the now 17 Crossbills. It took them about an hour to get thirsty enough on pine seeds (feeding just by the car-park) to come down for a drink in a puddle. By that time I had to dash home to take my daughter to her ballet class, but just managed to get this shot off to grip off the assembled DSLR mob (who were having even worse problems with the light). Like the Turnstone shots I took the other day in gloom (see below), this female was photographed at 1/40s, proving once again that hand-held digiscoping is more than adequate...

And while I'm at it, here is yet another shot from 12.1.06 of a male at the same site.

Canon Powershot A95, through Kowa TSN-823 + 32xWLER.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

X-files with a twist

Thanks, Brian 'The Natural' Stone, for taking me to Southey Woods, Cambs, this lunchtime (12.1.06) to see the party of Crossbills there. There were at least 14 birds, and they were bold as brass, as they came down to a tiny puddle in the car-park. It was one of the most thrilling digiscoping moments I have had. Superb stuff. Enjoy the photos (which show a distinct bias toward the gorgeous males, something the usual car-park inhabitants of Southey's car-park would no doubt appreciate).

The gathering begins

A male finds a perch near the puddle

Then comes a little closer (click for a big version)

Detail of the head

A quick look before a hasty drink.

This male (female in background) has a bill crossing the other way.
Canon Powershot A95 through Kowa TSN 823 + 32xWLER

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Brent Geese

One day I must return to Lady Anne's Drive, Holkham, Norfolk, and do some serious digiscoping in winter sun. The geese there are abundant, tame, diverse and spectacular. But when it is very dull and you are in a hurry, a mere record will suffice.
Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 8.1.06
Canon Powershot A95 through Kowa TSN 823 + 32x WLER

Monday, January 09, 2006

Norf Norfolk

Where's your head at?

Thanks to Ray and Will Bowell for giving me a lift to North Norfolk yesterday, to join the PBC expedition (8.1.06). Many pleasant birds were seen and much pleasure was had by all despite the gloom. Titchwell turned up some goodies, including a couple of Slavonian Grebes off shore, but at the time, I was distracted by the Turnstones feeding on the strandline. This bird found a bit of dead bird (gull?) a really tasty treat (click first for a bigger version). If only it wasn't so dark...
Canon Powershot A95 through Kowa TSN 823 + 32x WLER

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Pre-Chrimbo finches


Mealy Redpoll
My 2005 PBC area annual list reached its final total of 174 species after a message from Josh Jones saying he had Mealy Redpolls at Baston and Langtoft pit sent me scurrying up that way (23.12.05). The birds were not hard to find in the Alders among the Lesser Redpolls and Siskins, but they were devils to photograph (they always had branches in the way). There are at least four Mealies (or, daftly, Common Redpolls) still present in early January.
Canon Powershot A95 through Kowa TSN 823 + 32xWLER

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Baston Fen birds


Reed Bunting
I went to Baston Fen, Lincolnshire, yesterday (2.1.06). Highlights for me were a Jack Snipe I flushed and one of at least three Sparrowhawks there virtually whacking my shoulders as it skimmed through a reedmace bed where I was watching a Stonechat. I'm trying to discipline myself to giving my subjects more space in the image when I crop them. I hope this will work.
Canon Powershot A95 through Kowa TSN 823 +32xWLER