Monday, November 27, 2006


Fallow Deer at Burghley, Lincolnshire, 25.11.06
Canon PowerShot A95 with Kowa TSN-823M + 32xW

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bluebell Wood portraits




Canon PowerShot A95 with Kowa TSN-823M + 32xW


Stonechat, Holbeach Marsh, Lincolnshire, 19.11.06
Canon PowerShot A95 with Kowa TSN-823M + 32xW

Monday, November 20, 2006

Black-eared Kite

A potential first the UK, this Black Kite of the eastern race lineatus has been hanging aroudn the Holbeach area, Lincolnshire for a while now. Kevin Durose took me up there yesterday and after a mighty long walk we caught up with it. Here are some shots of it at a range of c300m.
Canon PowerShot A95 with Kowa TSN-823M + 32xW

Monday, November 13, 2006

Shag @ Dog

A couple of weekends ago I headed off to Norfolk (see the Dovekies below) with Ray and Will Bowell. As we were crossing the Nene on the A47 on the very edge of the PBC area (at Ring's End), we spotted a Shag out of the window. Will got some shots, but it flew upstream and we lost it. However, our prediction that it would eventually reach the Dog in a Doublet sluice came true when Jonathan Taylor found what was presumably the same bird there a couple of days later. A week on it was still there and I paid my respects on Saturday morning (11.11.06), while everyone else was headign to Devon to feast on the UK's first Long-billed Murrelet...
As usual, click each photo for a bigger version.
Canon PowerShot A95 with Kowa TSN-823M + 32xW

Friday, November 10, 2006

Greylag close-up

Greylag, Ferry Meadows, 3.11.06
Click it to make it big.
Canon PowerShot A95 with Kowa TSN-823M + 32xW

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Firework Sunset

View from the A47 east of Peterborough, heading home, November 5, 2006.
Canon PowerShot A95

Monday, November 06, 2006

Shore Lark

Shore Lark, Salthouse, Norfolk, 5.11.06
Canon PowerShot A95 with Kowa TSN-823M + 32xW


Little Auks, Snettisham, Norfolk, 5.11.06
Canon PowerShot A95 with Kowa TSN-823M + 32xW

Backlit Reed Buntings

Prior's Fen, 4.11.06
Canon PowerShot A95 with Kowa TSN-823M + 32xW

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Weedon's World 2

Extracts from Bird Watching, November 2006. It's the one with this cover:

Miracles are good.They make our lives a little bit happier. I’m not talking about the miracle of how a Pallid Harrier can stray to Winterton-on-Sea, or the miracle of how my wife let me spend a whole Sunday looking for it. I’m talking about far more fundamental bird miracles than that.
Somehow, the miracle of birth – or hatching from an egg – strikes a strong chord with us birdwatchers. It is truly astonishing how, hidden within a calcified cocoon, a mass of cell divisions can transform a bunch of fluids into a feathered bird, beak and all, ready for the real world.
Last month was one of those birdwatching occasions when I hadn’t run away from family life, and the whole Weedon clan (husband, wife, four-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter) were on holiday in north Norfolk (naturally). Where better for a family day out than Cley? It’s not just one of the best sites for rare birds in the country, it is also a brilliant place to see birds at close quarters – very useful with a four-year-old in tow.
From the visitors’ centre we crossed the road to the boardwalk and soon noticed a Little Grebe in the ditch, on full show. Dabchicks are usually pretty shy creatures, so this was a good start. But things got better when it became clear that its mate was on a nest in the open, just off the near bank.
We stood and watched and I dibbled in some digiscoping – after all, it isn’t every day you get such good close views of these secretive birds.
A bit of whinnying contact calls and a changing
of the parental guard revealed (to even the smallest Weedon) that the sitting bird was on a group of three matt-brown eggs – like dull pebbles on a bed of bright green water weed.
A couple of days later, we returned to Cley and straight away made a beeline for the Dabchicks, to see how they were faring (and to try some more photos, perhaps). I was surprised to see top bird photographer David Tipling on the boardwalk taking photos of the grebes. I reckoned that nest shots were not his typical targets, but he wasn’t there for bird-on-egg pictures – he was there because a miracle had happened, and there is nothing cuter than the tender interaction of new-born fluffy, baby and proud new parent.

The Dabchicks had hatched a tiny humbug-striped chick of their own and we were witnessing its first clumsy hours in the fresh air, free from the confines of the eggshell. The baby had swapped the snug egg for the almost-as-cosy feathers of its parent’s back, and was snuggled under the adult’s wing. Just occasionally, the fluffy, new-born fidget would poke its head out to see the world, or would roll off and have to scramble back up.
Meanwhile, the other parent was diving for anything from little grubs to giant dragonfly nymphs feed its new charge – wonderful stuff.
Two days later, and we were back to check on the grebes. At first, no baby could be seen on the back of the sitting adult. Had the poor thing died while waiting for its siblings to hatch? We worried. Then came a whinny and a change of the guard – three little humbugs tumbled off the back of the standing bird and fell into the nest below.
Three little miracles of nature, alive and cheeping, were sat in the nest.

Coot up close

Coot, Ferry Meadows CP, Peterborough, 18.10.06
Canon PowerShot A95 with Kowa TSN-823M + 32xW