Sunday 10 January 2010

Big-chill birdwatching

The big freeze brought some weird and wonderful wildfowl to Brands Bay in Poole Harbour, including a pair of Red-crested Pochard, a lone Barnacle Goose and a female Goosander (pictured). After a couple of hours freezing in a sheltered hide you can only marvel at the resilience of the birds which are preparing to spend another night on the ice as you head for the warmth of home. A pair of peregrines causing mayhem at dusk adds further peril...

Monday 4 January 2010

Mediterranean winter

A stunning adult winter Mediterranean Gull graced the seaweed at Middle Beach, Studland, with Black-necked, Slavonian and Great Crested Grebes off-shore. Where else can you have a bacon sarnie, a cup of splosh and watch quality birds like this from the window? Did somebody say 'Knoll Beach'?...
Many redwings and fieldfares on Studland this morning - spent a happy hour photographing them from the car window in Middle Beach carpark (pictures of Redwing here) before ending the day with the Bitterns at Hatch Pond in Poole.

Saturday 2 January 2010

Lapwing New Year

Spending New Year with friends in Kent allowed me to revisit possibly my favourite nature reserve - Elmley in Kent. Sheppey was ridiculously cold this morning, but the light was fantastic, the Lapwings approachable and the mixed flocks of waders massed on the scrapes restless and spectacular. Having left Kent a few years ago, returning now makes you really appreciate the flocks of Marsh Harrier you used to take for granted.