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Monday, 31 October 2011

Great Grey Shrike at Cannock Chase

After not getting any shots of this gem last year I was determined to get some this year.  Seeing all the reports on the web I thought it was about time I took a look.  I had visited the area earlier in the week but had no success in seeing the shrike.  Saturday morning I decided to visit again and this time I was not disappointed.  After approx 1 hour with others I finally spotted the Shrike but it was distant, by the time we had walked around we were joined by approx 8 others all trying to get good views.  At this point I decided that it would be best to split up from the group and take my chance by myself, am I glad I did?? YES.
As the others moved closer the Shrike left his fav. perch and landed straight in the tree I had pre-focused on :)

I was so happy I finally got a half descent shot.  After this I spent the next few hours watching the Shrike to learn about his flying patterns and fav. perches.

The plan for Sunday was to visit Bradgate but on Saturday night looking at the weather it was decided to try and get pictures of the Shrike with Ken. 

A quick early walk to the location resulted in no sighting of the Shrike but this was expected as the sun hadn't come up yet. 

A little later Ken turned up and we set ourselves up in what I thought was a prime location.  It wasn't long before we were joined by Steve Seal and Dave Hutton.  It wasn't long before Steve spotted the Shrike in a tree top.  Just as predicted it came straight to the tree we had set up for. 

The Shrike continued to show very well and continued to show in its fav. holly tree.  As time went on we were able to get closer to the Shrike resulting in some great photo's.

After several calls for directions our good friend Pete turned up to also get a few shots.

All in all a great day with good company and a good looking bird. 

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Norfolk Trip

I had been looking forward to this for some time now and my expectations were high.  A early morning start to pick up Ken and we headed east to the coast.  We arrived at Horsley around 8.30 hoping to see the Shrike but as usual it was not present when we arrived.  Now it was time to decide what to do?
1) Do we wait as it had been showing very well every other day
2) Leave and head north as we only have two days to visit everywhere we wanted

We both agreed it was best to leave and head north to the next stop as we were already short on time.  As we know now this was prob a big mistake :(

Our next two stops didn't produce any snow bunting which was the main objective.
The next stop was good old Salthouse and we were both sure we would see something.  Indeed we did but it there was only Turnstones around but we manged a few pics.  I opted for a different surrounding to the usual water shots.
Next stop was Titchwell even though we had no luck there the last time we visited earlier in the year.  Upon arrival we were told a Jack Snipe had been showing.  We opted to stop on the main beach trial to see if any bearded tits were around, lucky for me I set the camera up and had it ready + 2/3rds just incase something flew by.  Within a few mins. a bittern came out of the reeds and took flight.  A quick dash to the camera and took it off the tripod with Kens help I manged a few in flight shots.  I was very happy as these were actually the first shots of a bittern I have ever managed.

 We decided to head off towards the crowd where the Jack snipe had been showing.  It didn't take long before Ken spotted something but it was a common snipe but we managed a few pics at least.  I eventually spotted the Jack snipe but it was well covered and lying down and no shots were taken. 

After a few hours we headed towards the beach and got a few black tailed godwits on the way.
Upon arrival at the beach we could already see a few Sanderlings and Turnstones so we headed further down to the incoming tide.  The after sun was just perfect which allowed us to get a few nice shots.
 Once the sun went down we watched the Marsh Harriers coming in to roost which was nice but too dark to take any pics.  I will keep the next 24 hours brief :(

Arrived at the B&B and it was great

Had good food with a pint
Watched a live band set up and decided we should at least hear them so had a few more beers
Listened to the band with a few more beers
Went to sleep
Woke up to rain :(
Had a nice full breakfast
Still raining :(
Took a few shots of bucks at the deer park
Still raining :(
Made the long 4 1/2 hr drive home

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Getting ready for Norfolk

With a few days off work I am getting myself ready for a two day trip to Norfolk.  Lets just hope the weather is good and the birds show?  Will be posting on my return and wish me luck. 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Small Birds at Cannock Chase

I have to say I am very happy that the small birds are showing again at Cannock Chase.  There seems a assive influx of fieldfare at the momemt and with it being clear and decided to grab myself a few shots.  Sunday was spent with Ken and we spent a few hours again shooting the mixed bag which was present.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Mixed Bag

Spent Saturday at my local Cannock Chase with Ken and it as great to see some birds coming to feed again.  During the 4 hours we got to see and photograph Nuthatch, Siskin, Redpoll, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Willow tit, Bullfinch and lots of the regulars like robins, blue tits, great tits etc. 

Below are a few of my favs. 

Thursday, 13 October 2011


Manged to spend a quick 45 mins at Bradgate this week to see what was around.  I managed to see a few red stags but they were all very distant.  Lots of bucks around though and at times they were just too close.  Hopefully will return early one morning when the weather gets a bit cooler. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Cannock Chase Stags

I haven't posted for a while as there really hasn't been much happening.  I am glad to see rutting season start early this year as I have already had some great sighting, the problem is getting a good picture. 
I am working on a few area's of the chase at the moment and trying to explore new area's when i get chance.  Here are a few but more will hopefully be posted as time goes on.