Forgot about these!. May 2012.

These are some images that I had forgotten to put on the Blog!
Taken mid way through May, there were 2 female Wheatear which were occupying the same patch, with one more dominant than the other and chasing the other off. This bird here shows a lot more colouring to the underside and more brown than grey on the upperparts, perhaps more akin to the Greenland race. 

And with some new perch material they performed beautifully, set up against a crop field.

This female Yellow wagtail put in a brief appearance, showing a very grey head compared to the other birds around.

Home and Away. Mon 28th May 2012.

 After finishing my last night shift I grabbed my gear from home and headed up to Bev's. After a couple of hours it didn't look like anything new, bird wise, was about. Plenty of Sedge warblers and another Common Whitethroat, but centre stage went to the numerous Banded Demoiselle's flying along the river bank vegetation. 
 I then had some work to complete on the computer and luckily for me I can see the garden pond from where I sit. And on looking out I noticed a large dragonfly which landed on the ivy covered fence, and lo and behold I was looking at my first female Broad-Bodied Chaser in the garden. But unfortunately the bugger departed before I returned with my camera. And so as a consolation I managed to get a few record shots of a pair of Large Red Damselfly.

Cream-Coloured Courser. Herefordshire. May 2012.

 It had been some time since I last twitched a Mega with my Dad, and so an early start was in order for this beauty. After a 3am start we arrived in glorious light and set about heading to the trig point on England's highest golf course. And what a view, absolutely stunning in every direction.
 And then onto the bird, and a lovely stunner stole my eyes this morning, it would prove to be a delight and pose favourably. From the start it was evident that the local Meadow pipits did not like this beauty sharing their patch and they viciously defended it. They aggravated and pecked at it, continuously, forever moving it on.

 It flew out of sight at one stage and once I had relocated it, it obligingly ventured closer and closer, and came so close to Kev Joynes and myself that I even stopped taking images just to admire this gorgeous bird, mad I know.

 What a morning, a great trip out for my dad and I and meeting an old namesake Kev Joynes, stunning bird, stunning scenery....what more can I say...stunning.

Carr-Swallows over the Border! May 2012.

 News of 2 Black Terns at Bev's got me grabbing my gear and legging it from the house. When the last movement of these a week or two before had me searching to no avail, I couldn't let these go a miss from the site list.
 On arrival they were still feeding around the lake and so I set up next to the mobile hide and tried my luck for some images to record them there for Bev. 'Bloody Hell' I thought the swifts were bad enough trying to photograph!, these come a close second. Although showing close at times the size and agile flight of these elegant little terns challenged me for sure.
 But although not to draw shots I at least was happy with some images to boot. They actively fed on the flies above the water, jinking left to right and as I pulled focus.... they jinked again.

 Fantastic little birds, they found Bev's lake to their liking, resting up on the tern raft to preen then back to the air and feed again.

 And so the site list continues to mount, Bev had mentioned Bullfinch had been seen too along with a not welcome Mink!, I shall have to keep an eye out for that, and hopefully it will not set up home and decimate the wildlife there.
And if your wondering about the title, Carr-swallow is an old Cambridgeshire name for Black tern.

"Bev Gets New Weathervane for Hide"

 "Goose shaped Weather vane"
 With the forecast for a sunny start I got to Bev's just after 6am and set about seeing if anything new was in. There were up to 3 Sedge warblers holding territory and whilst photographing one I saw a Common Whitethroat flitting through the bushes, a new one for the list.

 After spending some time with the 'Sedgy', I noticed there were a large number of Swifts around, feeding above the lakes surface,in the air and buzzing me as they fed over the grass, wow were they close.
 The wind had strengthened, and it was bloody cold too, I had had to scrape the ice from the car earlier. But I thought why not have another attempt at photographing the Swifts, they seemed to pose nicely until the camera was on them, no doubt laughing at me from above.
 But I persevered and grabbed a few record shots, they are so fast and un-predictable with their line of flight, but they do put on a great show. I cursed a couple of times!, but ended up laughing to myself as they sped around me picking up insects rising off the grass just feet away, goading me into attempting to capture them on camera in a game they knew they had won, awesome.

Beeston and Mothing (or lack of it). May 2012.

 My Dad and I visited the Beeston Bird ringing session over the weekend and although it was not raining for a change, the bird numbers were very low, with the best species being a male Blackcap whilst there, it failed to produce anything near what was to be expected. But still that's the way it goes, and we were kept busy watching Holly Blues and Orange-tips. John Day had trapped a few species of Moths but that said the weather was not proving good for mothing, I had not been able to put the light out in the garden for some time and every time I tried, it would start raining or become just too windy for anything to be on the wing. The bloody weather is truly getting on my nerves, and with only the second attempt this year I got the light out over the weekend of the 12th/13th. Well bugger me if the temperature didnt bloody drop one night and then the wind pick up just after 2 hours the next. Numbers were low and with just 4 moths on the 1st night and only 2 the following!
Always unpredictable whether they are going to pose or play up', but most helpful when they rest up next to their namesake in the book.

Early Morning Trip. May 2012.

 I spent a couple of hours out soon after first light, hoping for some Barn owl images but although seeing one I was not able to get any shots.
 I checked the middens and there was a fair amount of activity, although at that time of the morning the light is fighting against me and so I was happy to get some early morning pics of a female Wheatear that was still present.
 She posed well on some beet piles whilst feeding. There was a male bird further along as usual but he was not near enough to photograph.

 A pair of Grey Partridge came close enough to have their photograph taken, the crops looked over saturated when the sun shone on them, really vibrant but a great contrast against the grey of the partridges.
 There was a lot of Hare activity going on, mostly pairs of adults and a couple of younger ones, but they were all too active and whenever I slowed down I would just get a view of their backsides disappearing into the crops.

 A Little owl was seen out hunting as well as a good number of Common Whitethroats.

'A new addition from above'. May 2012.

 A few hours were spent up at Bev's, and the light was not too great but I thought I would still give it a go and get some images. The Terns were still active and a couple of Arctics still present.

The terns were very active and passing close in front, this particular tern (above and below) has a very dark bill, not a colouration Ive seen before.  

 The Black necked grebes were still present and showed very well in front of Bev's mobile hide. They were still harrassed by the Great crested grebes mind you, and would move around the lake.

 Then just before I planned to set off home everything took to the air and so eyes went to the skies, and sure enough my first Hobby of the year and for the site was circling overhead.