Sunday 29 August 2010

Morden Park Ospreys

A second attempt to see the Morden Park Lake Ospreys (left) was more successful than the first, with one bird sitting in a tree with a fish and later being joined by a second bird in flight. Might have got better photos but was distracted by this Grey Wagtail (below) lily-paddling impressively and by the time I looked back the first bird was already in the air and flying away at speed.

Portland migrants

There seemed to be four or five Wheatears in every field on Portland this morning, this one allowing me to approach closer than most. Good numbers of Yellow Wagtail also there - a flock of 20+ flying over being the most I saw at any one time. No sign of yesterday's Red-necked Stint at Ferrybridge around lunchtime but 13 Med Gulls, Black-tailed Godwit and Knot present.

Saturday 28 August 2010

St Aldhelms Head

Enjoyed a bracing family walk to St Aldhelms Head from Worth Matravers today. Despite the presence of two energetic children was still able to get good views of this Kestrel (above) with some kind of rodent kill, and a male Yellowhammer (below). Continuing the yellow theme, a couple of migrant Yellow Wagtails were heard overhead. Excellent visibility from St Aldhelms Head but very few birds moving on the sea.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Middlebere waders

Another Osprey at Middlebere today (see yesterday's post), sitting in dead trees from 14:30 to 15:30 at least - still too far away for photos. This Green Sandpiper was also present, dropping into pools in front of the hide and occasionally spooked into flight by passing Greenshank. A few Grey Plover, Whimbrel and many Black-tailed Godwit present. Very few passerines in blustery conditions.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

August at Arne

Saw a single Osprey from Shipstal Point at Arne struggling to carry a large fish towards Middlebere. Too distant for photos unfortunately, but managed to get closer to this Nuthatch (above)which was moving through the woodland with a mixed flock of tits and treecreepers.

Plenty of Sika Deer around as usual, including several impressive stags, and this fawn (right). Also 21 Little Egret, a Hobby, a few Black-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank at Shipstal.

Friday 20 August 2010

Return to South Stack

Another attempt to photograph Chough at South Stack this morning - plenty of birds feeding in the fields and paddocks opposite and below the reserve car park, but mostly too distant and too dark for decent photos. A flock of five on the cliff edge, including this one (above), was the most I saw together. Had better luck with this Hare which shared a field with a couple of chough, and an obliging Fulmar which repeated the same fly-past several times allowing me to practice some flight photography. Later caught up with a single Black Guillemot moulting into winter plumage in Holyhead Bay.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Choughs at South Stack

A family holiday on Anglesey wouldn't be complete without a trip to South Stack to look for Chough. We all enjoyed the climb of several hundred steps down and then up to the lighthouse. Stopping for a breather outside we were rewarded with good views of this bird which returned repeatedly to the same spot on the lighthouse wall, and gave plenty of opportunity to practice flight shots. Saw one or two more Chough, plus a few raven and many Manx Shearwater offshore, but otherwise fairly quiet for birds.

Monday 9 August 2010

Middlebere Warblers

Many immature birds on show on the Middlebere Farm track today - large numbers of lemon yellow Willow Warblers (above), a few Whitethroats, Stonechats, Swallows and a single Lesser Whitethroat. A family party of Dartford Warblers (below) near the road included this juvenile, while a pair of youg Spotted Flycatcher (bottom) were moving up and down the track. Grayling and Small Copper butterflies also seen among the many Gatekeeper. Yellow-legged Gull, Green Sandpiper, a small flock of Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Greenshank at a very hazy Middlebere but no sign of any Spoonbill or Osprey. Also no sign of the Ospreys reported at Morden Park Lake, but some very worn Silver-Washed Fritillaries feeding on buddleia there with Peacock, Red Admiral, Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell, plus Beautiful Demoiselle on the stream.