Monday, January 30, 2012

Half Century Birding

For my 50th birthday I chose to spend the day with some birds, starting in Salthouse and Cley and making my way west to Titchwell and Thornham where the Barn and Short-eared Owls displayed in the fading light.
Highlights were the two sparring Rough-legged Buzzards and the flock of around 40 Lapland Buntings at Burnham Overy, 25+ Red-throated Divers at Cley, some Redpolls of various guises at Titchwell and overall around the 100 species for the day with the sun shining throughout.  The "HB" Snow Bunting was pretty tame and came very close at Salthouse.
I can thoroughly recommend the White Horse at Brancaster Staithe where an ejoyable birthday concluded with a lovely meal of some Mullet & Monkfish washed with Adnam's ale.

Monday, January 16, 2012

El Sparrow and more

A rare opportunity arose to visit the New Forest where a series of good-to-see birds have settled.  The Spanish Sparrow at Calshot is no doubt a ship-assisted vagrant and the Dark-eyed Junco at nearby Hawkshill Enclosure could be too but never the less, two nice birds popular with visiting birders and in the case of the Sparrow, helping the locals in Calshot to raise money for local charities.  Photography opportunities were'nt ideal so these images are of "ones I prepared earlier" taken in Israel and New Jersey.   The best bird was however the male Crossbill that posed nicely in the winter sun.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On Reflection & Bully

Hard frost and bright sunshine this morning tempted me out.  The Water Rail on the river is a first for me, usually only heariung them or ocassionally seeing them on the settling lagoon.

Bullfinch is a bird I struggle to photgraph as they always hide amongst the tangle of branches.  This was one of three females feeding on the buds of this hawthorn.  Has the mild winter so far caused the bushes to come into bud already?