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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Catch up from the last week

For a change i have stayed local in my local spot Cannock Chase. The last week has brought plenty of different pics from Chiff chaff, Fox, Buzzards, Great spotted woodpecker and Redstarts. I was really happy to see the foxes again and the young seem to be doing well, sorry now pics as the heather is now just too tall.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

More Pied Flycatchers & Redstarts

After such a good day in Wales last weekend it was decided to visit again on the Saturday with the intention of trying out the hide. This time Ken came prepared with his 300mm 2.8 lens which was a good job as they were very close indeed. The light wasn't really great but the background made up for that. After a few hours we headed back up the hill to the visitors center where we got a few more Redstart shots along with a few Siskin and a flyby Redkite.

Sunday morning was spent at my local Cannock Chase. The week earlier I had spotted a few Redstart's so we packed light and headed off down the valley. Sure enough they were still around we managed a few different shots compared to the ones at Wales.

Whilst watching the Redstart's I noticed a Treecreeper moving around and after further investigation I watched a young Treecreeper fledging from the nest.

On the way back to the car we watched a Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding young.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Redstarts & Pied Flycatchers

Guess what?? Yes another early start and off I went to Wales joined by Ken to try and get some Redstarts and Pied Flycatchers.
We arrived around 8.00 am to be greeted by the warden and what a nice guy he is. The weather was not good but within the first 5 mins there we saw the first male redstart which brought our spirits up on a high.
We were also treated to the fact that a pair of pied flycatchers were nesting near by so this was a added bonus. Everyone kept telling us that we should visit the hide for better shots of the pied flycatchers but we decided to stay put as we had the bonus of the redstarts also.

All in all a great day and I shall be visiting again in the very near future.

Monday, 9 May 2011

7th May - Spring Workshop

My friend Ken and myself booked ourselves on a workshop in Daventry. This was the first workshop either of us had attended so we were a bit unsure what to expect.

The weather forecast was not good and one the way down the M6 to pick Ken up the rain was bouncing off the motorway. When I got to Ken's he started to load the car, after his third trip back into the house I think he had everything but the kitchen sink :) When we arrived the weather had improved a little but it was still raining, we soon met with everybody and it was time to get the show under way.

The bluebells in the woods were out and there were lots of nice fallen tree's for perches. The handler first brought out a Tawny owl which was well behaved. The light was not great and it was still raining, within the first 2 hours and quick look at the memory card and I had already taken over 500 shots.

As the day went on the weather improved and light was just perfect at times. Next to show was a kestrel and what great condition it was in.

The highlight of the day was next being a long eared owl which was just amazing to get close up to.

To finish off the day was a little owl, I forgot how little these owls really are.

All in all a great day out and I went home with over 900 shots to choose from. I would recommend the workshop to anybody thinking of it.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Mon 2nd May (Swans and wood Duck)

Again the weather was good so the plans were to head off to Wales and see the redkites. Plans changed so I decided to rest and spend a hour down my local reserve.
The wood duck was showing well, espically whilst my son was feeding it bread crusts :)

A few arty shots of the swans

Sunday 1st May (Blackcap, Crane, Heron, Pochard)

Following from the very successful day at Attenborough NR we decided to head back again. Call me crazy but yes it was another 4.30 am wake up call. The weather forecast was better light was so hoping for a few more shots of the grasshopper.
Upon arrival the sun was out but it was very windy. The grasshopper didn't show at all but we managed to get some better shots of the Sedge warbler and also whitethroat.
Two blackcaps could be seen but they were staying hidden until the one perhed up for a few seconds.

The highlight of the day was a Crane which flew over, managed to get a few grab shots.

On the way back to the car we managed to get a few shots of a heron and also a red-crested pochard.

Busy Bank Holiday Weekend (Friday 29/4/11)

With a 4 day break and early spring it was going to hopefully be a good few days for some togging. My friend Ken had received the location where a grasshopper warbler was showing well so on the Friday we headed off to Attenborough NR in Nottinghamshire. Guess what??? Yes another early start, alarm went off at 4.15 am and i was in the car heading east by 4.45. Upon arrival it was only around 10 mins before we could hear the grasshopper warbler and within a few mins later we spotted it sitting on a fence post approx 3 meters away :)

The grasshopper stayed around for approx. 15 mins before flying off on its route. A sedge warbler could be heard nearby so that was next on our list. The sedge was somewhat harder to get as it just didn't perch up in the open often. Eventually I managed to get a clear shot.

Next we headed up the path a few 100 yards where a whitethroat was displaying very well.

It wasn't long before we heard another grasshopper calling and this one showed just as good as the previous.

Next to show was a garden warbler and chiffchaff.

In between all the warbler activity a few herons went over.

It was now getting late in the afternoon so we decided to head back towards the cars. A singing Wren was heard and spotted so we couldn't resist the temptation.

A quick stop at the river located at the car park produced great crested grebe, cormorant and swans.