Monday, April 30, 2012

Masked Lapwing

One of the birds we saw just about everywhere, but this soggy individual at Cairns esplanade was just about the only one I got round to photographing...

Cairns megapodes in the rain

Australian Brush-turkey

Orange-footed Scrubfowl

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Southern Cassowary gallery

Etty Bay, Queensland, Australia, 21 April 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Iberian Chiffchaff, Castor Hanglands NNR

Iberian Chiffchaff a by Weedons World Iberian Chiffchaff b by Weedons World Iberian Chiffchaff c by Weedons World Three recordings of this intriguing, potentially extremely rare bird near Peterborough. The bird employed two types of song, one typically Iberian Chiffchaff advertising song and the other resembling Chiffchaff song, which may represent the typical Iberian Chiffchaff conflict song. You can hear both types here. In spells, it stuck consistently to Iberian Chiffchaff, though on first singing, it employed both types.

Kookaburra digging up grubs

This Laughing Kookaburra was digging insects (eg what appears to be a beetle grub) from the mulch at the base of a tree in the small coastal town of Yorkeys Knob, just north of Cairns, Queensland (22 April 2012). I think it may be a female; the brighter male was patiently keeping watch in the low branches of the tree above, before coming for a feed himself after she flew towards us.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Firecrest at Murrow

Marie Barton has the most wonderful garden, a true oasis in the fens. In addition to the superb new wildlife pond, the garden has plentiful trees and all sorts of other goodies going on and is always full of birds. Close followers of the blog with good memories may remember I went to twitch a Pied Flycatcher there last autumn.
Today, she had a male Firecrest and I rudely invited myself along for a look. This was my fourth ever Peterborough Firecrest and easily the best views I have had.
Firecrest is one of those magical little birds which just ooze charisma. And this little fellow was a real cracker!
Thanks, Marie.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

From the Archive... No. 22

I digiscoped this male Ptarmigan last April on Cairngorm. This was the full, uncropped frame. One of the things I have noticed recently comparing digiscoped and DSLR photos (ie comparing the RAW images from the digiscoped Canon PowerShot S95 shots with those of my Canon 30D though a 300mm f4) of the same subject is that the colour is subtly different. The digiscoped images are a little too blue, lacking in yellow and magenta tones. This photo was not taken in RAW, as it was taken with the Canon PowerShot A640, but I decided to tweak the colours in Photoshop to make them more like DSLR images.
Anyhow, I rather like this Ptarmigan. Do you?
For best viewing, click the image and make sure it is scaled to 100% (click again if necessary).

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Long-eared Owl

A nice year tick today, this was the best view I have had of a LEO by day for years...

Feeding Cranes, east of Peterborough

Digiscoped from the other side of the road, hence the number of vehicles whizzing by on the A47...

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Monday, April 02, 2012

End of March PBC year list update

Last week in March, 2008, I was on 125 (inc 17 'elites'). Year total: 189 (my record total)
Last week in March, 2009, I was on 131 (inc 22 'elites'). Year total: 187
Last week in March, 2010, I was on 126 (inc 15 'elites'). Year total: 177
Last week in March, 2011, I was on 130 (inc 18 'elites'). Year total: 183
Last week in March, 2012, I am on 134 (inc 21* 'elites'). Year total: ??
*22 in modern counting with Smew as an 'elite'

As you can see from the stats above, this year I've had my record Peterborough area year list total since 2008, for the period to the end of March. This is certainly promising, as is the number of 'elite' species, though, looking at the stats above, there is not really a clear correlation between the start of the year's action and the final total. Still, there is no harm in feeling positive as the glorious months of April and may come along.
Highlights of the year so far have included Glossy Ibis (2), my second ever PBC record and only the second record locally since 1828; flyover Snow Bunting, PBC tick number 237; Great Grey Shrike, my first locally since 2002, and only my second locally; Sandwich Tern, my third local record and first away from Ferry Meadows CP; Brent Goose and tundra Bean Geese.