Snettisham, Norfolk. April 2009.

I decided to spend the morning here, but on driving up there I was to find fog all the way, I hoped that it would burn away but after a few hours it had only just started to lift and to be replaced by bloody cloud. So I made good of what was there and it eventually lifted to give sunny skies for the last hour or so whilst there.

There were plenty of swallows skimming the water for flies, and approaching the beach the scrub land held a few common whitethroats and a solitary sedge warbler. There were a few hundred brent geese out on the flats and frequent skeins flying inland. There were good numbers of shelduck all over the place and a single marsh harrier scouring the farmland nearby.

Along near the first hide I saw a whitethroat moving in the scrub, but as it began to sing I realised it was not a common but a lesser whitethroat. I decided to spend some time trying to get some shots as there was not much else to photograph due to the light. It proved a tricky little bird frequently singing from just below the bank out of sight. But every now and then it would perch atop the bushes and I could grab a shot . It appeared quite dark on the back but the improving light made it appear different when viewed from certain angles, a nice little bird all the same, and very vocal.

Hertfordshire. April 2009.

I started to venture down to the nearby dumps' to see if there were any wheatear and yellow wagtails around. And not to be disappointed I saw at least 3 yellow wags' and a pair of wheatear. Due to the time of day there was still considerable heat haze coming from the dump, so it was a waiting game until one of the wheatear ventured close by to get a shot. Lovely to see these birds return but I doubt I'll have one as approachable as Nigel, Andy and I were to experience back in 2007.

As I was leaving the dump i saw a single yellow wag' atop a hay bale, and so I slowly reversed to where it was now feeding on the ground picking off the yellow dung flies. The yellow on some of these birds are so vibrant, I never tire of photographing them, and I'm sure by the end of this summer I'll have plenty more.

Beeston Bird Ringing.April 2009.

What a quiet morning it turned out to be. The weather was cloudy and cold and the birds were just not moving about. The only captures were a handful of common birds and the only notable one being this re-trap coal tit, ringed back in 2007. What had hoped to be a morning full of warblers ended up a early finish.

The moth trap had been put out the night before, and that too was quiet with just 5 moths, 3 were hebrew characters, 1 muslin moth and 1 swallow prominent.
Hopefully better luck next time.

Old Whinchester Hill NNR.Hampshire.

Monday 13th April 2009. My dad and i travelled down to Hants' to connect with the White Throated Sparrow. On arrival the bird had gone to ground just before we arrived and so the wait started. Around three hours later we were attracted to a call behind where everyone was watching, and at that moment it alighted a bush and promptly flew into the scrub at the back of the car park. it was then to give reasonable views by peering through the gaps as it fed on the ground, photos were not obtained due to the undergrowth but we got good views at times. The bird then flew up and out back to the same bit of scrub it originated from. Being present since november last year,its a shame that the warden did not want people to turn out for this cracker of a bird, still thats his loss, he could of accrued some donations over all that time.

Cambridgeshire. April 2009.

I spent a few hours up in the fens and was glad to be able to watch a pair of Marsh Harriers. It was a sight more akin to titchwell or minsmere, lovely to see them reeling over the reed beds, always harassed by the local crows they gave a great aerial dog fight display.

The chiffchaffs were vocal as was a solitary willow warbler showing well amongst the tree tops. A pair of linnets showed well albeit briefly and the ever present singing cetti's warbler which as usual did not show itself, they sound so close yet are invisible to your eye.

I then got a last viewing of the harriers before they drifted off high, followed as usual by a determined crow.

Stewartby, Bedfordshire. April 2009.

This cracking Grey Wagtail was feeding on the sewage tanks at Stewartby, it would feed on the tops of the tanks and hop up onto the treatment pipes as they came round then either hop off the other side until the next one approached or just ride it out for a while. Also feeding over the tanks were 30+ Swallows and a few Sand martins, great sight to see them back, and a couple of them were really quite dark reddish on the breast, it was a shame the mists didn't lift so as to grab some shots. Along with a few Chiffchaff singing i also heard my first Willow warbler of the year.

Warts and Wings.

This large toad was photographed in my garden, I had seen frogs and toads in the pond before but this one was out in the open and was irresistible not to get some images before it disappeared.

I had gotten a few moths whilst on nightshift in Hertfordshire, the better weather had brought a few out on the wing, although on my second night working i didnt see one moth. Anyhow, whilst photographing them Sarah brought in this caterpillar she had found in the garden, a Lunar Yellow Underwing.

Early Thorn.
Small Quaker.
Shoulder Stripe.
Nut Tree Tussock.
Brimstone Moth (Below).