Monday, 29 June 2015

Passing time.

I'm killing half an hour before i head up to Druridge for my appointment with sunrise. This morning it's 04.29 but having had the longest day over a week ago the days are getting shorter and in a few weeks it will be noticable. Make the most of it while you can, that's my motto.
Highlights in the last 7 days ?
Not too many as the birding inevitably starts to slow down for summer. 3 Little Egrets on Cresswell Pond and a single bird of the same species 30 minutes later on the Budge Field. I had a Cuckoo on the fence line to the right of the Budge Screen on Friday. It disappeared into the trees behind a couple of times and was almost on the same post when i looked out from the other hide a couple of hours later having been up to East Chevington. At least a couple of chicks were being fed by Swallows in the Oddie Hide. Speaking of chicks, one pair of Ringed Plover had a single chick on the beach by Chevington Burn while another pair had two. Having seen the odd Yellow Wagtail in and around the dunes just past the Bells Farm cottages over the last few weeks i was lucky enough to get one in my favourite spot for them on the cut grass in front of the cottages. The car making for the perfect hide, as ever.

Elsewhere i did capture this Black-necked Grebe as it got as close as i've seen one at this particular site. Quite heavily cropped though. I have to say that i do love the Canon 6D with its' full frame. I've heavily cropped a few images on my blog but i don't seem to lose too much quality. The autofocus on birds in flight does let it down slightly.
My early starts mean i'm back home by midday usually so i haven't done any Dragonhunting yet up here but that will change soon. Time to dust the macro lens down in preparation.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Kent odonata.

I was house/ cat sitting in Kent for my son recently and had a Dragonfly and a Damselfly on my must see list. The Beautiful Demoiselle was found thanks to local birder Warren on his patch at Pittswood.
By way of thanks i invited him to join me at Westbere Lakes the following day and we both got a lifer in the form of the Scarce Chaser Dragonfly. I picked up on an imm female in vegetation by one of the ditches then we both had a mature male perched on the edge of the Great Stour river which runs next to the lakes.
SCARCE CHASER  immature female.
SCARCE CHASER mature male.
My bonus was finding a Red-eyed Damselfly while i was at Dungeness RSPB. It was a bright but very breezy day and all the Damsels were hunkered down on the leeward side of any vegetation around the gravel pit pools. A female Hairy Dragonfly was also a nice suprise elsewhere on the site.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

The demise of the Cresswell Pond Avocet nests and a Spoonbill.

I returned to Cresswell Pond for the first time in over a fortnight early on Tuesday morning and was saddened to see that all the Avocet nests had been predated and not even the adults were around. I e mailed the trust a few weeks ago to let them know that the first bird was on the first nest here but apart from an automated reply to say they had received the e mail i heard nothing more from them. I watched over the following weeks as more and more birds were deciding this was the place for them to start their new families. The main reason i had contacted the trust was the fact that the nests would be so open to predation whether it be from animals or even humans as access to the sand bar was easy enough from in front of the hide. I bumped into a couple of trust workers putting up a compound on the beach at Chevington Burn for what i thought would be the Ringed Plovers but was inform by one of the guys that it was in fact for Roseate Terns. Whatever it was for when i saw the Avocets at Cresswell i thought that something along similar lines might have been erected temporarily somehow to give the Avocets some sort of chance. Sadly, as it turned out they were left to get on with it and the sandbar is now missing these beautiful creatures. Hopefully the Wildlife Trust will turn their thinking away from Hauxley for a short while and consider a strategy that might give the Avocets a fighting chance of rearing young at Cresswell Pond next year. I'm sure a consultation with other reserves that have these birds breeding there would help them come up with something.
I did have my spirits raised somewhat when a stunning adult Spoonbill dropped onto the pond early on. It eventually made its way in front of the hide and thus allowed for a few images, a couple of which are here.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Early riser.

Spoonbill rising over Cresswell Pond early this morning before the sun broke through.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Falco Subbuteo

With four others hawking over the Water Tower Pits, Dungeness, Kent.