Monday, September 30, 2019

Unringed juvenile Osprey, Maxey pits, Cambs

From the photos of the underwing, it is safe to say that this is the same bird I photographed a couple of weeks ago along the Deeping High Bank (10km to the ENE). So, this unringed juvenile has been present in the area for at least a couple of weeks.
See this photo (note the wing pattern, particularly around the carpal patch, plus a small bit of damage in the third 'finger' back:

And here is a comparison of the right wing, to again emphasise that this is the same individual.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, Eldernell, Cambs

Distant record shots, but a PBC area 'find tick' for me ( as well as PBC year tick number 185).

Monday, September 16, 2019

Juvenile Osprey, Deeping High Bank, Lincs

This (apparently unringed, certainly on the left leg) juvenile Osprey was a nice find along the Deeping High Bank on Sunday morning (ie yesterday). It was initially hunting along the river (Welland) and flew up as I drove along. I pulled over and whistled off some shots as quickly as I could. Shame about the cloudy sky. This is my second Peterborough area Osprey of the year, after the one I found on 2nd very close to my home in Peterborough, which was also a juvenile. The bird shown above, crossed to the Cambs side of the river and drifted south-west towards Peakirk and Glinton, followed by a Buzzard. If you are wondering, I am identifying it as a juvenile based on the very neat trailing edge; the 'chequered' flight feathers; the ochre feathering on the underwing coverts; and the 'spotted' (not solidly black) greater coverts; the chest patch; the barred tail; and the pale fringes on the upperwing.

Stoat, Deeping Lakes LWT, Lincs

I think this is a youngish Stoat (not particularly big) and looks to to be the same wee beastie which was hunting the entrance track at DLLWT a week or so ago. I pished it in!

Otter, Ferry Meadows CP, Cambs

One of three I saw in the park on Friday 13th.

Migrant Hawker

It seems the secret to getting these dragons sharp is to massively underexpose them, which seems to work for me at least...

Willow Emerald damselfly, Ferry Meadows COP, Cambs


I found these with Chris Park and Chris Rawlinson of the Nene Park, and they are apparently new for the country park, which is pleasing. The males are the skinny ones with the curved, grasping tail-end apparatus and the females are chunkier with more of a stiff ovipoisitor for inserting eggs in the bark of willow.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Young Peregrine scaring Lapwings at BLGP

First-winter male Redstart, Castor Mill

Last Sunday (9 September), Hugh Wright was out with his family, walking the fields down at Castor Mill, near the River Nene, and found a female type Redstart. I came down to check it out and while the Wrights picnicked and paddled in the mill stream, I waited for Hugh's Redstart to come out of hiding by the old windmill. I waited and waited, and then a Redstart appeared. But not Hugh's female but a nice first-summer male. The female did re-emerge for a bit and both came and posed in one of two hawthorns in the horse paddock. A Robin occasionally came and bullied them, especially the young drake. In the evening Don 'Mr Redstart' Gardener and I converged at the spot and after walking the fence line turned up firstly the female, then the young male, as seen here. Great birds! The young male was the fourth Redstart I have found locally, this year (all males) and I have now seen six Redstarts (but no Black Redstarts) in the PBC area in 2019.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Little and Large

There is a remarkable size difference between the two Spoonbills which are currently hanging around at Eldernell, on the Nene Washes, Cambs. The juvenile is a titch, while the adult (on the left of this photo,) which also bears some colour rings, is much larger. Yesterday morning, both, while I was chatting with Andrew Gardener and scanning for birds, from the Eldernell car park, both birds took off from their favoured flooded farmland and thermalled pretty high before returning to said farmland. At one stage, a juvenile Peregrine attacked the smaller bird in a speedy stoop, and nearly clipped it, but the Spoony just evaded the cheeky attempt! I guess these flights were precursors to moving on from the area. Next stop, Ferry Meadows CP?

Male Redstart, Eldernell, Cambs

This beauty of a Redstart was in the classic 'Redstart hedge' alongside Eldernell Pit, yesterday. It is the second male I have found there this year (the first was seen briefly in the spring) and the second seeming adult male I found over the weekend (I also had an apparent adult male along the entrance track by the east pit at Deeping Lakes LWT on 31 August). Additionally, I saw a male at Ferry Meadows CP, that Don Gardener found a couple of weekends back. So, in all, I've seen four Redstarts in the Peterborough area this year (so far), all males and three of which I found myself. The bird above is about as pretty as Redstarts get at this time of year, as the younger and fresher birds tend to have their colours 'masked' by buff feather tips.