Friday, 29 August 2008


We've had this monster in our bathroom for the last couple of nights. This evening Carrie had enough and I had to usher it out the door. Not before I took a few shots mind you. This is the Giant House Spider Tegenaria duellica (previously know as T. gigantea) and the leg span of the males can reach up to 75mm!

Cosmic leafhopper

Insects never fail to amaze. This is a Rhododendron Leafhopper Graphocephala fennahi, apparently introduced to the UK from the US in the early 1900's. It's an amazing coloured beastie. The Lodge, 28th August 2008.

Yellowhammer sunshine

Yellowhammer, Broom, 29th August 2008. Crap light tonight, but the sheer brilliance of this males plumage upped the shutter speed enough (using spot metering) that I got a sharp image.

Buntings really are a wonderful bunch of birds, aren't they?

Autumnal Robin

Robin at Broom, 29th August 2008. Robins are one of my favourite species to photograph. They are always full of character and usually sit still long enough for me to grab a few shots!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Bairds Sandpiper video, part 2

Another video of the Bairds Sand at Paxo. Quite chuffed with seeing this one as it was a UK tick. Seen plenty in Ecuador and the US though...

Bairds Sandpiper video, part 1

Bairds Sandpiper, Pumphouse, Paxton Pits, 27th August 2008. A stunning juvenile bird. Only the second (or third) record for Cambs, and just a few miles north of Bedfordshires only record at Wyboston GP (albeit from 13-24th Sept 1961!)

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Surprise Little Grebe shot

Remember my effort at digi-DSLR-scoping? Well, I found this one tonight amongst the masses of images I took that day. Very reasonable I reckon. More perseverence may be needed...

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover, Texas, May 2008. Looks just like a Grey Plover to me...

Forsters Tern

Forsters Tern, Texas, May 2008. Looks just like a Common Tern to me...

Least Tern

Least Tern, Texas, May 2008. Looks just like a Little Tern to me...

Volcano Hummingbird

Volcano Hummingbird, Costa Rica, February 2008. This one has an exceptionally short bill so it probably a juvenile.

Volcano Junco

Volcano Junco, Costa Rica, February 2007. Very tame birds. This one hopped around the car wheels.

Crested Barbet

Crested Barbet, South Africa, September 2005. Wacky looking, but stunning with it.

Young Kestrel

This juvenile Kestrel allowed an exceptionally close approach. These shots are taken with just my Coolpix. Broom, 24th July 2008.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Magic Tree Frogs

Tree Frog, Blackwoods Camp, Goa, December 2007.

When we stayed at Blackwoods, there were lots of these wonderful frogs in our 'bathroom'. It wasn't so much a bathroom, more an open topped toilet/shower!

Anyway, very often you'd open the loo lid and get surprised by one of these things leaping out at you. Most of the time they'd hop out of the toilet, but sometimes, especially when you flush, they fall back in, doomed for the cesspit!

Well, that's what you would think happened, right? Wrong! As if by magic, the next time you'd go to the loo, they'd be back in exactly the same place. How they get back so quickly is a mystery, as that loo has a ferocious suck on it...

Oh and don't worry, this one wasn't photographed IN the loo, it was on the wall just beside it.

Keel-billed Toucan

Keel-billed Toucan, Costa Rica, Febuary 2007. That has got to be one of the best looking beaks of all birds?

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler, Costa Rica, February 2007. Big and bright; just how I like my warblers!

Laughing Gulls

Laughing Gulls, Texas, May 2008. Ha ha ha...

Saturday, 9 August 2008


Small, cold toned, short-billed, stint-like - is this an arctica Dunlin? Broom GP, 9th August 2008.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Black Arches

Moths aren't usually my thing, but this one appealed. Black Arches, The Lodge, 7th August 2008.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Ringed BHG

White colour-ringed Black-headed Gull at Broom GP, 4th August. It's always interesting to find out where colour-ringed birds have come from. After the sucess of my green ringed Yellow-legged Gull, I've been looking for others. Unfortunately this is the first one since then I've been able to read!

Anyway, I think this is from the Cotswold Water Park scheme in Gloucestershire. I've sent the man an email so will find out soon enough...
And the man replied...
"Yes this is one of ours. From the ring number I could tell it was 3 years old and I was hoping to be able to give you a long sighting history, but interestingly this is the first time it has been seen since it was ringed as a nestling. Some of our birds return to breed and get resighted back at the Water Park, I suspect this one has moved elswhere perhaps to one of the colonies in the Thames valley.
EN54591 N 1 12/06/05
Cerney Wick, Gloucestershire
2C91 S 6 Sighted 04/08/08 Broom GP,
Bedfordshire (119 km, ENE, 3 yrs 53days)"

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Singing Wren

Wren singing at Marston Vale Country Park, Beds, 25th April 2008.

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