Thursday, 19 December 2013

December 2013 Forest of Dean Tit Photo's: Willow Tit and Crested Tit still required!

Spent a lovely morning photographing these in the Forest of Dean UK. Beautiful birds. Need crested Tit and Willow Tit to make up the collection!
Blue Tit

Great Tit

Long Tailed Tit

Marsh Tit

Sunday, 8 December 2013

December 2013 Tundra visitors to Slimbridge Gloucestershire UK

Sometimes it is easy to forget how lucky we are to have a relatively mild climate in winter and this attracts birds that breed in the Tundra to our shores in winter.

Bewick's Swans
Bewick's Swan
Huge flocks of Wigeon  grazing on the wet grassland
Widgeon lovely colours in close

Sunday, 24 November 2013

November 2013 Slimbridge Icon comes alive

I have often looked over this Slimbridge icon from the Rushy Hide, but it becomes alive when these majestic cranes enter the view.

Common Cranes

Sunday, 10 November 2013

November 2013 Siberian Chiffchaff Slimbridge WWT

Enjoyed the morning at Slimbridge and spent some time trying to photograph a rarity the Siberian Chiffchaff.  It's great when there are a few people of like minds all trying to get the shot.
Siberian Chiffchaff

Siberian Chiffchaff

Siberian Chiffchaff

Sunday, 3 November 2013

November 2013 at Slimbridge WWT UK

It has been very rainy with poor lighting lately.  "Sunny Intervals" that will do.  Trip to Slimbridge early morning to see what's around.  Excited to see Common Cranes in the entrance fields: what would I have given for that only a few years ago.  Got close to a really colourful lapwing and also a heron perched surveying where to go fishing next.


Saturday, 19 October 2013

October 2013 Juvenile Little Grebe

In to Autumn you can often see some of the juvenile birds from the year doing there best to survive.  This Little Grebe is obviously making out ok.  They have a lot to learn to survive their first year but watching this one he has certainly got the hang of fishing, regularly surfacing with a fish.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

September 2013 2nd Year wild Common Crane at Slimbridge WWT

A second year wild Common Crane (No Rings on Legs) has now been around Slimbridge Wetland for the last few days.  Previously the cranes seen have been those released as part of the Great Crane Project.  Its really nice to have a truly wild one around.

Wild 2nd year Common Crane

Monday, 23 September 2013

September 2013 Pink Flamingo's southern Spain

Pink Flamingo's Odiel Salt Marsh southern Spain.
Pink Flamingo's southern Spain

September 2013 Azure-Winged Magpie southern Spain

Spent a week all inclusive at Punta Umbria in southern Spain but still managed to get the camera out on a few occasions. The Azure-Winged Magpie was a real treat.

Azure-Winged Magpie

Azure-Winged Magpie

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

August 2013 Cormorant forest bird?

Had a trip to the Forest of Dean on the bank holiday Monday.  First stop Canop Ponds.  One thing I did not expect to see was this Cormorant fishing.  May not be the fisherman's best friend but still great to see drying out in the sunshine in this classic pose.

Cormorant drying out in the sunshine

Sunday, 18 August 2013

August 2013 Spoonbill Slimbridge Gloucestershire

I remember seeing this bird in bird books when I was a young boy.  It seemed one of the birds that would only ever be in books.  It's great to see this one regularly at Slimbridge Gloucestershire even though it spends most of its time asleep.



Tuesday, 6 August 2013

August 2013 Little Miracle Willow Warbler

On last years holiday we went to the Gambia which entailed a flight across the Sahara Desert.  Looking down from the plane the sand and baron wilderness seemed to go on for ever.  Its amazing to think that the Willow Warbler  weighing 7-15 grams migrates across this vastness to breed in our country.
Sometime between now and October he will return to sub-Saharan Africa.
Good Luck on this amazing journey!!!
Willow Warbler

Monday, 29 July 2013

July 2013 Avocets Feisty Waders

I was watching some of the Avocets that have successfully raised young at Slimbridge this year. I remarked to one of my friends John (Who is always there) that Avocets don't seem to like Shell ducks as they are always squabbling.   He replied Avocets don't like anything even other Avocets! I could soon see what he meant!!

Always squabbling
Avocet action

July 2013 A good time of year for Sandpipers in Gloucestershire

This is a great time of the year for migrant Sandpipers.  Here are some shots of the ones most likely to be seen.  There are some rarer species found occasionally in Gloucestershire but getting to know these is a great start with identification.
Common Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

Sunday, 7 July 2013

July 2013 Hot and Sunny - Dragonflies

Sometimes in mid-summer the birding can go a bit quiet.  When it's hot and sunny in July it's great to get out by some water and see what dragonflies are around.

Broad Bodied Chaser in flight

Broad Bodied Chaser

Emperor Dragonfly in flight

Emperor Dragonfly Ovipositing

Four Spotted Chaser

Saturday, 22 June 2013

June 2013 Common Cranes in flight over Gloucestershire

Don't believe I would ever take these large beautiful birds for granted.  Here's hoping they will soon be a successful breeding bird in Gloucestershire.  They came so close this year. The young bird that hatched from the egg at Slimbridge didn't survive, but hopefully it will happen in another year.  They look so great in flight it's really exciting to see them.

Beautiful, Awesome Common Cranes. 

Monday, 17 June 2013

June 2013 Many birds now with young in Gloucestershire UK

Its great to get out early and find out what is breeding in Gloucestershire.  There are many birds with young now.

Black Headed Gulls

Newly fledged Sedge Warbler
Stretch those wings but don't loose balance!

Oyster-catcher chick well grown

Friday, 14 June 2013

June 2013 Thinking back to The Gambia Last year

Just looking back over the pictures from The Gambia.  A lovely place for bird life.  Really enjoyed my stay.  What a peaceful scene this guy on the beach with few possessions looking out over the sea, taking no notice of the vulture flying by.

Kotu Beach The Gambia

Monday, 10 June 2013

June 2013 Oyster Catcher Chicks growing well

It is great to see the pair of Oyster Catchers that I photographed earlier on their nest, having now raised three chicks that are doing well.  They are great noisy parents who chase away any potential predators vigorously.

Oyster Catcher with well grown chick

Saturday, 1 June 2013

June 2013 The beautiful Gilfach Nature Reserve Wales

Spent a lovely weekend at the fabulous Gilfach Nature Reserve in Wales.  Beautiful walks in oak woodlands and a long side a magical mountain stream.

River Marteg

Dipper on the River Marteg
Male Pied Flycatcher
Marteg River Valley

Male Redstart

Saturday, 18 May 2013

May 2013 Oyster Catcher

Not a very common breeding bird in Gloucestershire.  Great to see this one incubating on nest in a willow tree. Lets hope that they are successful at breeding.  Would always be a welcome thing to have more of these feisty waders around.  Love the deep red eyes.
Oyster Catcher on nest

Sunday, 12 May 2013

May 2013 Beautiful iridescent bird found in garden

Yellow bill, iridescent blue purple plumage, covered in white and beige streaks.  Do we take these these declining birds for granted?  They are on the red list of rapidly declining birds. They do look good when you really look!

Common Starling 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

May 2013 Little Egret

I remember first seeing a Little Egret in Gloucestershire about 6 years ago.  I had to text home to say that I might be a bit late as there was a Little Egret getting closer as I was waiting with my camera.  Times really change quite quickly in nature and these birds can now be regularly seen around wetlands.  About 150 pairs now breed. Its still great to get this close and I would never take this sort of close encounter for granted.

Little Egret
Little Egret fishing