Tuesday 21 October 2014

Grey Phalarope and Kingfishers

It has been a while since my last posting what with a dodgy knee, loss of internet connection for days at a time and the feeling of doom having to live without it (how sad is that!).  Can't believe the affect it had.  Anyway apart from that it has been very quiet locally so today I was tempted to drive to the Otter for the grey phalarope.  Was unable to go until lunchtime and arrival there was no sign of any birders or many other people come to that.  However the bird was easily located on the mud close to the lower path beneath the shingle bank.  The wind was pretty strong; I had a job to hold my camera still and this little guy kept nearly being blown over.

The wind was rather cold so did not stay long by which time there were a few more birders tuning up.
And now for my favourite subject on the Axe with a few of my recent in flight efforts.

Nice sized meal

Oh dear - dropped it!


I wasn't quite tall enough for this one.

or this one

And the final 2 were taken a few weeks back over at Chard

Friday 5 September 2014

Little crake and others

These were taken yesterday of the little crake on Black Hole Marsh.  As you can see they are pretty poor photos but it was right at the back of Black Hole Marsh and way too far for my camera really but as it is such a rare bird I thought I'd put them on my blog anyway.  I was lucky enough to have good views yesterday morning thanks to Ian M.  Tim White has the best photo I have seen so far on his blog.  As far as I know it has not been seen again since early this morning.

I was after seeing the little stint today but needless to say it was rather busy in the island hide so was out of luck.  Still here are a few more photos from this week.  One of the 3 ruffs that have been present lately is regularly close by

The one remaining curlew sandpiper

the 3 greenshank

and the water rail near the tower hide.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Curlew sands and another BHM update

The 3 ruffs and the 3 greenshank still remain along with the usual green and common sandpipers, dunlin, ring plovers and a dozen or so lapwing.
The 8 curlew sandpipers from last night had become 6 by the time they returned to BHM from the river about 3.15pm having been absent most of the day.  They were never particularly near but being such beautiful birds still deserve top billing.  The 4 below are with a dunlin.

This turnstone has been present for at least the last 3 days which is quite a rare bird for us here

and a wheatear was showing well on the tramline early in the morning 4 days ago.

The same morning one of the spotted redshanks chose to fly toward the Tower hide and land in the water reasonably close.

Black tailed godwit numbers continue to grow and being such beautiful birds deserve another photo.

My local swallows have had another brood of 4 thus making a total of 9 altogether.  I shall miss them when they are gone they are so entertaining

Some poor pictures now taken of todays marsh harrier that appeared to be being mobbed by godwits and they seemed to give it several attempts.

Lastly 2 of our popular residents.  Predictably one being the kingfisher

 and the second being the often overlooked heron.  I always think they look so ungainly and even a bit evil but here this one looks quite delicate and graceful.  Don't suppose it would if a water vole swam by!

Friday 22 August 2014

How lucky am I? Spectacular birding on the Axe

I am so lucky to live across the road from such spectacular sights as this.  I was just cycling down to the tower hide and as I turned the bend I saw a hovering osprey take a dive down into the water.  Thinking I'd probably missed it catching a fish I arrived to find it had been unsuccessful and watched it being chased off by one lone rook.  It soon returned only to be attacked from above by a buzzard which it soon shrugged off and started its search for a meal.  It did not take long for it to succeed as you can see.