Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Common Crossbills dwindling





just two weeks ago I had 9 singing male Crossbills and several pairs displaying but most of them seem to have left and there are only a few males and immatures left or so it seems; hopefully odd pairs are nesting quietly

Willow Tits






best time of year for finding Willow Tits and confirming territories; this pair are busy excavating a nest hole in a birch stump a fairly typical site in the forest -- they seem to be still doing quite well in some areas in North Lincs

butterflies and merth








earliest ever Orange-tip today in the forest plus good numbers of Brimstones, Commas, Peacocks, first Green-veined Whites and good numbers of Orange Underwing moths

Little Owl



a couple of shots from a very busy road this morning; too late in the day for nice light

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Marsh Harriers and Merlin and weather















here in t-east it has been foggy from dawn to midday for the last 2 days  - this morning it was 3C but one of my returning male harriers was having a real battle with an incumbent pair on his territory -- fog and tele lenses really do not mix -- add a little shadows and highlights and at least I can see which is which! a male Merlin passed by then as the cold air mixed with sun the atmospheric distortion increased to the levels of mirage at 3m -- by evening it was almost possible to get a sharp shot at 20m but not much beyond that -- a frustrating spell of weather for photography just when harrier action is hotting up

Saturday, March 24, 2012

do male Chaffinches have green rumps?


funny things stick in the birding memory; back in 1970 as an RSPB youth volunteer staying at Leighton Moss I recall an issue of Birds magazine arriving with a painting I think by Eric Ennion on the cover and it showed a male Chaffinch with a bright green rump; I thought do Chaffinches really have green rumps as I did not recall seeing it before -- but then you have to look harder thats why artists are such good observers

flying pigs



wing position is everything on flapping birds

Sunday, March 18, 2012

migrants Short-eared Owls




a couple of Short-eared Owls on the local patch this afternoon probably more about as they are moving back

Twite








a remarkable inland flock of 55 Twite at Alkborough this week -- as the first record for the site was only in 2011 and there has never been more than 30 anywhere inland in Lincs before and it has been a poor winter on the coast it begs the question where have they come from Norfolk? lots of singing and courtship feeding