Saturday, 28 July 2007

Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher

Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher, Perinet, Madagascar, October 2005.


Sanderling, May 2005, Titchwell beach.

Rufous-collared Sparrow

A dirt-common species in Central and South America, this Rufous-collared Sparrow was in a hotel garden in Costa Rica.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Resplendent Quetzal

The next 'bird porn' installment, and another from Costa Rica - Resplendent Quetzal.

Monday, 23 July 2007

A Broom sunset

A view over the new workings. Nice sunset, no birds.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Sun? Ah, that'll be summer then...

As today's been sunny I had a look at Sharpenhoe Clappers. I wanted to try and catch the last of the Dark-green Fritillaries and the first of the Chalkhill Blues. Dispite the fresh wind at the top there were plenty of butterflies. Lots of Chalkhill Blues (see the first pic below) with many of them fresh looking individuals. The Fritillaries were a different story however, with many of them looking a little worst for wear.

Plenty of crickets and grasshoppers about. Not sure of the species of the next two though...

I really like photographing Skippers. I think it's because they sit still and are usually accomodating. Below are a couple of Small Skippers. Tring to find an Essex Skipper amongst them is a long and tiring task, which I have yet to master...

Good numbers of moths were in the grass too, again, I don't know the species of any of these three...

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Little Egberts

Spent a few hours today messing around the local pits. first stop was Octagon Fm, where I immediately found four adult Little Egrets. The pool here looks excellent for a passage wader or two this autumn, but all I got was a Common Sand, a Ringo, and a Green Sand. In the spring I found a superb sum plum Curlew Sand on here (see here), so my hopes for the next couple of months are high.

4 Little Egrets at Octagon farm

Next stop was the otherside of the bypass at Meadow Lane. I was surprised by the shape of the pit here. The spring produced virtually nothing on it, apart from the odd Dunlin. Now it looks much better with plenty of water still present (surprise, surprise!) and a few birds too. Two juv Little Egrets were the pick of the bunch, but there were plenty of Black-headed Gulls roosting too.

Juv Little Egret at Meadow Lane

I moved in to the brick pits after Meadow Lane and Coronation ClP. It's aways good for loafing gulls and today was no different. Only about 50 Lesser Black-backs but with them were eight Yellow-legged Gulls.

I finished off with a short look at Rookery South. Only a few birds in here today, but as I was scanning for Hobbies and stuff over the pit I picked up a Snipe flying over. Not a bad day.

Now, writing this back at home in Broom it's just started to pour down. I was going to pop down the pits, but I think I'll wait a while now...

Black Terns at Broom

Seven of the fifteen Black Terns at Broom GP tonight, 20th July 2007.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

A day at Mins

A day off. So we decided that we should go to Minsmere. After a leasurly roll out of bed we eventually got to the car park sometime around 11am. A quick spin down to the Bittern hide and after a 20 minute wait we life-ticked Bittern for Carrie. A great view as it flew right in front of the hide. Plenty of Marsh Harrier action too, with a pair of juveniles mouching around in the reeds close-by...

Back to the cafe for a spot of lunch (nice jacked spuds!) before a walk up the road to the canopy hide. I've never really seen much from this hide, as it looks over, well, trees. However this time was different, I wasn't looking for birds, I was after seeing a butterfly! Purple Hairstreak to be precise. The weather was still looking a little dicey but sure enough we got a good view of a Hairstreak in the Oak next to the hide.

After this minor triumph, we tried our luck at Silver Studded Blue's out on Dunwich Heath. It was rubbish. We only saw a handful of butterflies, most of them Graylings.

Back to the reserve and the best bit - the Scrape!

So, where's the mud and water gone? It seems to be covered up by all that vegetation. Still, it's good for breeding gulls. Two pairs of Med Gulls out there, this one had three chicks...

After a short (but rather hard) shower, we had a look at the Little Tern colony on the beach. It was excellent! Fantastic views of the adults feeding chicks. Almost worth the trip alone in my book.

A family of Stonechats were remarkably tame just along from the tern colony. These shots were taken uisng my 30x eyepiece and my S80 hand-held. I was quite impressed, especially as the light was so flat at the time.

A bit of rare plant spotting too. This is Marsh, really!

To round off the day we sat in one of the hides looking through the terns in the vague hope a Roseate was amongst them. Unfortunately didn't find a rosy tern but we did get this male Marsh Harrier sit on a post not too far away...

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Golden-browed Chlorophonia

A bit of 'bird porn' to start - a Golden-browed Chlorophonia from Costa Rica, taken in March 2007. A classy bird this one!

Med Gull from the bedroom window!

Well, almost from the bedroom window. It was actually found from the spare room window while scanning through a loafing flock of Black-heads on the field behind my house. Quite chuffed with finding it as Med Gulls are one of my favourite gulls, and they're still scarce enough to be a nice find in Beds. One from your house makes it a bit more special though.

I haven't actually gotten around to finding out what the house list is on so far. We only moved in in early May and the garden is very bare with mainly grass and very few plants. There is however a large installation of bird feeders now though! I'll leave the rest for another post. Here's a shot of the Med...

Friday, 13 July 2007

In the begining...

Well, as I've had this blog for a while now I thought I'd finally use it for something. And that something is ramblings, and putting pretty pictures I've taken up too. And what a good day to begin with eh (note date)!

So, to start with I'm going to add a spider I found in my house last week. It's probably the first record for Bedfordshire....maybe....

This baby is Theridion familiare - thanks to Ian Dawson for the id. Apparently quire a rare spider. However coincidentally Col Campbell (a work collegue of mine) also found one in his house near Cambridge just a few days later, so maybe not that rare?

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