The large group of Corn Buntings, over 700, were drawing in people so I thought I should add to the list. The birds were split into quite a few groups, and actively feeding whilst some groups were happy to rest up in the trees and bushes. The noise was very evident, and the yellowhammers too were in good numbers, I don't think Ive seen so many at one time. Also very evident was the Merlin that carried out frequent sorties of the feeding areas, I have never seen such prolonged views of Merlin before and it was amazing watching this agile little predator, the aerial dogfight displays were awesome but on no occasion did I see it connect with a meal. A truly great experience indeed.
Took a trip to Eversholt to connect with the group of Goosanders there. On arrival they were all together at the opposite end so I only got a couple of record shots, unfortunately before venturing closer they upped and departed,the police helicopter low and nearby was probably not to their liking, not to return. I then located a large flock of siskin mixed with other species. The group numbered a good couple of hundred, and the noise was very evident even on the opposite side of the lake.
I visited Broom in the hope that the weather would break, but no such luck. The Black necked grebe was still present but I was only able to grab a few record shots before it headed out to the middle of the water. I gave it some time to see if it would move closer again but to no avail and so with sodden feet (from flooded track) and freezing hands I called it a day as it got even duller.
Well, a new year and my dad and I were back out with the Beeston ringing group. The weather was good and hopes were high. A decent group of birds were feeding near one set of mist nets with the chance of trapping a first for Beeston. But more of that later.
The green woodpecker in the hand is more spectacular than ever, the different shades of green and that bright red feathering.... stunning.
This male greenfinch exhibited some really bright yellow feathering, giving a lovely contrast on the primary edges, and when the sun shone on it, well it would of looked more at home in a cage acting as a canary!.
Thinking back over the sessions I couldn't recall ever photographing a coal tit so that was a bonus, and I love to see song thrushes, I think they are an underrated bird when it comes to looks, this one was certainly happy to pose too.
While on the subject of underrated, the dunnock must certainly be there, what a lovely little bird they are though, so intricate in the markings. And that brings us nicely onto the 2, yes not 1 but 2 new species to be ringed at Beeston... drum roll and scroll down.
The 1st, an awesome female bullfinch, so elusive in the wild and what a jewel in the hand, everyone was buzzing with this bird. I don't think anyone was bothered it wasn't a male, this was a great addition. The subtle pink tones and distinctive bill... lovely jubbly.
And last but not least.... scroll down.
A lovely delicate looking male linnet, and the 2nd new species to be ringed. The red feathering could be seen on breast and the lovely brown back feathering, well you cant just say brown its more rich to be just brown, especially contrasting with that grey hood. There were a small number seen near one of the netting sites and fingers were crossed from the word "go", how great not to be disappointed. And so to the end of a great morning, Kingfisher on our last visit, 2 new additions today... whatever next?