Bird Ringing at Beeston. November 2009.

I hadn't been able to get to previous bird ringing sessions so I was glad the weather had cleared enabling myself and my dad to attend.

It was definitely a House sparrow day, with a handful trapped and not one had been ringed before which was good news. They look so bull necked when in the hand, and the males are handsome little beasts when close up.

Always a delight to see are Goldcrests, and this one was a re- trap. Tiny and adorable little things.

A few finches were caught, with one stunning Goldfinch and a hand full of Chaffinches with two birds of continental origin. These were told by the longer wing measurements, wonder from where?.

This Blackbird was a surprise in the fact that it was a female, the amount of black in the plumage was uncanny, maybe a foreign bird?.

This Blue tit had found a bird sleeping bag, or was it a Blue tit samosa!.
The Great tit was in absolute spanking condition.

And the grand finale was the last bird ringed, what a stunner this Kingfisher was in the hand. You cannot marvel enough at the colours, one of my favourites for sure. I cant wait for next time to see what turns up.

Norfolk. October 2009.

Mid month Sarah and I spent a few nights in Norfolk for our first anniversary, staying in Blakeney we ranged from cromer to titchwell, enjoying the beach walks. The weather was not too good but on a couple of occasions it brightened up giving me the opportunity of some photography.

I love to work with the waders along the shoreline and with patience and careful stalking I am able to get fairly close, and they soon feel at ease with my presence. I sometimes find it frustrating when people come bounding up to where you are because they think there is something special to see or think that you can just walk right up to the birds as quick as you can and then wonder why they've flow away. After taking 20 minutes to approach just a matter of feet I am well chuffed when that happens, take your time and let the birds get used to you there.

I love to work with Turnstones, after careful approach and some time they become most confiding, feeding just feet from you. And for the first time I was able to get some feeding shots of these busy little birds.

Watching them find small morsels among the sponges was great to watch, amazing how they can pick them out tucked away in the pockets. And when one found food the rest soon came in.

There were a couple of grey plover around but one came close and seemed to be inquisitive as too who I was and would move along behind a mussel bed only to peer over and study me before moving along again stopping to peer over at me further down.

A couple of Eider ducks were hanging around the beds and shoreline, feeding and then resting. They too took little notice of my presence after a short time and came in a channel to feed closer before resting up on the beds. The colour on the adult bird was so pastel like but stunning especially the pale green nape.

Whilst photographing the eider my attention was drawn to a Herring gull feeding nearby. After finding a crab he proceeded to detach the legs before devouring the body meat, careful of those claws mind you.

A fight broke out between two curlew, and although a tad distant I grabbed a couple of images. They would wrap their necks snake like around the other avoiding those large bills.

And the last images captured were of a small party of Dunlin, that flew in just a matter yards away. Myself and Sarah edged closer a couple of footsteps at a time with Sarah directly behind me and mimicking my steps until we could just see a couple of them resting behind a small mussel bed. And here we stayed for some time, with the birds totally at ease sleeping and resting quietly, and a great feeling when more fly in and join them, silently interacting with them as if part of the group.

And with sights such as Hen harrier and snow buntings and a couple of swallows still feeding over the water before that long journey south, we headed home too happy after a glorious weekend.

Staines Moor. Surrey. October 2009.