Sunday, 31 August 2008

Birding is cancelled...

For the second year running, The sea cruise from Flamborough is cancelled. This time, I managed to get on the boat, only for the thick fog to force the captain to make the dissision to cancel the cruise. Good decision, I doubt if we would have seen anything any way. Funny thing was that the 'pea-souper', was replaced by brilliant sunshine a mile inland.
So on the way back home, we dicide to do a 'twitch' for the Black Stork that has been posing all week. 2 hours journey to the site... a nice little crowd had gathered...greatings exchanged..."where is it?".."Dunno!..Not here"..oh sugar...twitch cancelled. Still Fairburn is down the road. By contrast there seems to be a few happy birders. And so they should be, earlier, Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Hobby, had passed through..It's just not our day.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Tatton Park Country Fair

In Britain we have just had a Bank Holiday. So while all the Motorways are blocked up. I chose to go no further than Tatton Park for the Country fair. 72 birds of prey where on display, all close enough to get some superb portrait shots. Also it's a great way to get to know what some of them look like in the flesh - I hadn't realised just how small the American Kestrel was. And splendid to.
But for me the best show of the weekend, must go to the Chainsaw tree carvers. I guess as many as 20 carvers from all around the world, came to put on awesome display of sculpting Eagles, Bears, Fish from lumps of tree trunk. One competitor, for me, carved the impossible, A hollowed out box, with a sphere inside - unbelievable.
This event must not be missed if it come around to your neck of the woods.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

What a 'HOBBY' this is..

August..Is Wader-Time...Here in the north, We have two superb reserves for watching waders, Leighton moss in the west, and Blacktoft Sands, in the East. Blacktoft Sands is the second best wader reserve in the country (Minsmere has attracted one more species). First trip to the Wardens office for the upto the minute news. Great! plenty of waders are about. From here we check the hides out on the west. First hide and it is apparent that the Snipe have come out of hiding. Good numbers of godwits too. A scan of the bins along the fringes of the reedbeds, I find 3 Green Sandpipers. The next hide is the main hide for the waders, At the far side, a group of 10 Spotted Redshanks show off the lovely plumage, Ruff show there weird variations of plumage. Also seen Dunlin, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Grey Heron, A single Little Stint, Greenshank, Redshank, Little Egret. A nice selection of waders in anyones book. Marsh Harriers, Barn Owl, as support acts. But the bird of the day was a Hobby, that flew towards us from along away, right over our heads, clearly showing it's streaked under belly, and red trousers. Hobby is a falcon I haven't seen this Millennium.
Total 146.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Back on the Road again..

The foul weather at the weekends grounded me since returning from Egypt. But yesterday, Pennington had something for me to chase. As usual, today is a different matter, with no sign of Little Tern or Black Necked Grebe, but the long staying Garganey, put in an all to brief show from the Horrock's hide. About 60 pictures, mainly with it's head submerged, I find this one I like. Garganey in eclipse, can be difficult to see, they are about the size of our smallest ducks, the Teal, even look the same to an untrained eye. From the photo, you should notice the stripping from the bill to behind the eye. Garganey is another species I didn't get to see last year ( so i give it 2 points). Good to be back, I am in the mood once more. looking forward to the next trip. August is a great month for waders turning up anywhere.