Sunday, March 30, 2008

Merlin eating Snipe

And it was off, and while it was away, it picked up a Snipe and carried it back...

...and gobbled it (all shots digiscoped)

Reed Bunting

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Unfat Frank

At Ferry Meadows, 27.3.08 (DSLR)

Sky Lark Bunting Finch Bunting

Digiscoped at Maxey pits, 27.3.08


Woodpigeon scoffing Blackthorn buds, Ferry Meadows CP, 27.3.08 (DSLR)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Latest news

A few things of note for followers of my doings (probably just me...)

1. Once more a pair of Robins are nesting in the same spot as last year (when they were successful) among the grape vines in the 'veranda' outside our kitchen window. Same pair as last year? Probably.

2. Blue Tits are also still visiting the box on our garage (also viewable from the kitchen). Last year, the pair's young died.

3. This morning, my local (PBC) year list took a boost with my finding of a Grey Plover over Maxey pits and a group of four Common Scoters (three drakes, one female) at Ferry Meadows on my cycle in to work. These two 'elite' species (by Weedonian definition), take my PBC year list to 125 so far (including 17 elites).

Wheatearn's World of Nature

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Chinese Water Deer


More Wheat

The male of a pair of Wheatears at Maxey pits on 22.3.08 (digiscoped)

Note remnant snow. It was a tad cold...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One of my faves...

Here is a shot I took a couple of years back with ye olde A95e. This back-lit Reed Bunting remains one of my favourite digiscoped shots though, as I recall, celebrated digiscope guru Paul Hacket said of it, with northern frankness: "you don't want to get into that arty farty nonsense, Kiddo!"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

...nearly done

The tadpoles are very nearly bursting forth in our pond.

My knees hurt...

Sunday, March 16, 2008


My first Wheatear of the year was this drake in the usual spot at Maxey pits (as favoured by members of its species for the last three years) on 16.3.08. It had a slightly overlong maxilla, with a hooked tip (just visible on this digiscoped shot).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wall of Sound

Early morning at Old Sulehay. Sadly no Lesser Spotteds, but still:
Buzzard, 2,
Green Woodpecker, 8, at least, calling
Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5, at least, drumming,
Nuthatch, 3, singing on three different territories,
Treecreeper, uncounted, but lots singing and four seen,
Marsh Tit, 1,
Jay, 3,
Bullfinch, 1, singing softly,

Perhaps the highlight, though, was the cacophony made by scores of Redwings, all singing together in the treetops. A veritable Wall of Sound, as Hair Bear would probably have us believe, reminding one, he would continue, surely, of a murmuration of Starlings.

Later, on my cycle in through Ferry Meadows, I heard my first singing Chiffchaff of the year.


Flying Frank x3

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


By the way...

While my mind is full of breeze and I am getting all whimsical, I'd like to speak out loud my love of Joni Mitchell. I fall into the cliche category who like Blue, Court and Spark and Hejira the best, and today on my cycle in I was listening to a few of my faves from the latter.

These were Amelia (three times), Hejira and Refuge of the Roads. I'll spare the cod analysis, but these songs are among my favourites by anyone. So there.

Windy Cycling

In spring 1996, I wrote this 'un:

Laughing as I ride,
fighting the spring wind,
all the way to Nopporo

It felt a bit like this today, but without the Dusky Thrushes, Japanese Pygmy Woodpeckers and Varied Tits at the end of the hard cycle...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Our big-sized pond has frog-spawn. I am pleased.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Nene scenes

Looking west toward the brickworks chimneys (note my bike on left)

Whooper Swans
I took an early cycle down the Nene Washes yesterday morning (9.3.08). The place is overloaded with birds – with thousands of Black-tailed Godwits, thousands of Golden Plovers, thousands of Wigeon. Also loads of Snipe appearing all over the place, and bucketloads of Whooper Swans.

Water Pipit
The highlight for me was the number of Water Pipits – I counted at least seven, but they are so shy and flushable, and fly so far when they do flush and there is so much suitable habitat they could be in that it is very hard to get anything like an accurate count.

I also accidentally flushed a male Sparrowhawk which was carrying something distinctly medium-sized – a Snipe perhaps – but I couldn't tie down what the prey was before the hawk carried it off for good.


The Washes, looking east

All images with Canon PowerShot A640 (some digiscoped), apart from Pintails with DSLR

In-house pugilism

Eddie (red corner) and his cousin Felix (blue) indulging in appalling behaviour...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Poetry corner

My friend and colleague Matt Merritt has just had his latest collection of poetry published.

It's called Troy Town and I even went as far as forking out my own money to buy it! You can click here or contact Matt at: to get your own copy (I don't get a cut...)