Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wood Sandpiper and Turnstone

In the past couple of mornings I have found a couple of decent waders at Maxey pits, which have helped keep the old PBC year list trotting along (now 165 species). Here are some distant digiscoped record shots (the Turnstone is the one in the fancy colours...)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Extreme digiscoping

Here are some digiscoped shots of a few of Banded Demoiselle damselflies. One is noshing on what I think is an alderfly, there is a resting male and a resting female, and I have cropped in on one male to show the detail.
What is extreme about this particular bit of digiscoping is the sharpness and detail brought out by the quality of the scope, enhanced by the outrageous close focus of the scope in question. The damselflies were less than 3m away and digiscoped using one of the new Leica 65 scopes.
The shots were taken during a great morning using Leica gear at Paxton Pits with a few guys from Leica optics and readers of Bird Watching magazine.
We had a brilliant day with great scoped views of singing Nightingale and Turtle Dove.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sounds at dusk...

Nightsounds7899 by Weedons World
I'm sure, dear reader, you have the patience and skill to put a name to any bird or birds you hear in this recording...

Garden pond insects

Broad-bodied Chaser, Four-spotted Chaser and Large Red Damselflies


Barn Owl Battle

More digiscoped Llls

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Limosa limosa limosa 2

This is the DSLR equivalent

Limosa limosa limosa

Once more, I am forced to say: "The power of digiscoping"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fish on Friday, lunch of Kings

I spent my lunch hour in the far hide at Ferry Meadows (I never remember whether it is the Peake or Prestt hide). I'd heard that there were some showy Kingfishers about so settled to eat my lunch there (trying my best to ignore the stench of stale urine which always pervades the hut).
Almost immediatley I picked up a female Kingfisher in the the willow on the other side of the water; and almost immediately after that it dived down and grabbed a tiddler.
Over the next hour or so I watched this bird catch dozens of fish (its success rate was somewhere above 90%, I estimate).
After a while a male came squeaking along and joined the female in the tree (males have blacker bills, females more orange on the lower mandible). The male also fished, though he was more varied in his perch, using waterside reedmace stems as well as lower willows.
Kingfishers always swallow their fish head first (so as not to get resistance from scales, fins or spines), so I was surprised when the male Kingfisher turned the fish around so its tail was pointing down his gullet. Aha, I thought, so they don't always swallow fish head first. Then he flew directly out over the water, fish still in place and the penny dropped: these Kingfishers have young to feed, and they will be fed fish head first!

Work heron

Sunday, May 16, 2010