Waxwings. Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Dec 2008.

I made a short visit to try and catch up with the 6 waxwings that were frequenting a housing estate in Stevenage. After a short while waiting and driving around the roads a birder stopped me to inform they were back at their usual spot.

I set up in my car around the back of the houses and waited for them to hopefully come down to feed on a solitary bush full of berries. and sure enough after not too long a wait they flew down and fed. The weather was not too great but i was able to grab a few shots before they alighted back to the trees. You never get tired of seeing these little gems, fantastic.

Welney.Norfolk.December 2008.

For the last couple of years I've visited Welney to capture images of the swans wintering there. On this occasion it was a clear cold morning that looked promising. As the sun started to leave the horizon everything was bathed in a glorious orange glow. The swans started to leave the reserve and fly over the bank to feed in the fields. I set myself up and waited for them to pass overhead.

You would hear them and try to judge where they would appear giving just seconds before they were in the wrong position to capture images. This proved to be fun trying to get some decent shots and certainly kept my mind off the below freezing temperature outside the car. I also tried for some silhouette shots against the sky that was still a deep colour but clouding over.

It didn't take long for the sun to gain some height and show the swans true colours. What bugs me is why the WWT reserve opens at 10am. By the time id gained entry to the reserve most of the swans were off feeding in fields and the weather had taken a turn for the worse and the light was awful and so i had to call it a day. Just a hour or two earlier would of produced more images from better weather instead of having to wait for the opening and impending dullness. Oh well next year might be better.

Sandy RSPB.December 2008.

After finishing my last nightshift i had a couple of hours sleep before taking a walk around Sandy RSPB. Even though id only been home for a short amount of time the window had refrozen, creating almost feather like imprints. Amazing to see how the frost forms in such intricate patterns and detail.

Once at sandy i went to the pool at the back of the house to look for the kingfisher but gardening work nearby would of kept it away so after a game of cat and mouse with redwing,the redwing won, i moved to the hide. The usual species were present and also a visiting muntjac feeding on the spilt seed.

Rough Legged Buzzard.Reed.Hertfordshire. Dec' 2008.

On the 3rd of December after a night shift i got myself back up to Reed for the rough legged again. After 3 painfully cold hours i was about to give up when it appeared from the east and proceeded to fly across to the west side of the A10 and perch on a hedge.

It was slightly closer than the last time and the light was a lot better, giving good views. There was about 5 common buzzards present and the hen harrier was seen often, south and east of the farm. There were quite a few fieldfare and redwing present and a couple of hundred linnets were very active. I then called it time as i couldn't feel my toes anymore...

Reed. Hertfordshire. Nov' 2008.

Despite not being able to connect with the rough legged buzzard again, despite reports of the bird being there, and whilst on site?, i was able to get some images of common buzzard and of the peregrine falcon which was present, and it seemed to have a jessy attached when i zoomed in on the images. I may try again to see if the rough legged is still there, the public footpaths transect the farm area and so most of the fields can be checked.

Rough Legged Buzzard.Reed. Hertfordshire. Nov' 2008.

Myself and sarah spent some time trying to connect with the Rough legged buzzard at Reed in Hertfordshire. The weather was bloody awful on occasions but good views were had in the end. On the afternoon of the 18th i went back in the hope of connecting again and was able to gain a few more record shots. There were numerous buzzards in the area but as soon as the rough legged showed you just knew that was the bird. The tail stood out immediately and then you took in the rest of the plumage, along with the hen harrier and red kite it was a very productive site, with thanks to the landowners for their time and patience and in stopping to take time to talk,thankyou.

Norfolk, November 2008.

Sarah and i stayed in norfolk for a few nights as a late honeymoon, on the way to blakeney we stopped off beside a field containing huge numbers of pink footed geese. The sun was getting lower in the sky and the clouds thickening so as more pink footed' flew in i grabbed some shots of them against the light so as to get some silhouette images. Amazing to watch and listen to them overhead, and how they just drop a wing and tumble down losing height, they almost turn themselves over.

I wanted to visit horsey in the hope of photographing the grey seal colony there. Sarah had not been before and was hoping to see some pups. On arrival there was significant workings going on with machinery, it looked like there wasn't any seals present. But a little further on we began to pick out the seals and eventually locating some pups on the beach. They weren't bothered by the workings at all, the pups sleeping as the lorries drove past within yards.

It was great working with the seals and some behaviour that i hadn't noted the year before was great to watch. The adult seals seemed to be paired up and playing and frolicking around in the water, with what looked like the female standing atop the male as he lay in the water. The weather was pretty good but the wind was very strong at times with sand blizzards sweeping across the beach and seals. It wasn't long before id rattled off over a 1000 shots and so we then left the colony. The next morning was our last but despite a good forecast the weather was in fact awful so we ended up walking the beaches at holme, but we did watch the yellow browed warbler there which was a great finishing bonus.
Below are some images from the grey seal colony.