Tuesday, June 30, 2009

the big pterodroma

an article with full details and the full set of photos of this bird taken off Nesseby Varanger on June 6th 2009 will be in the next issue of Birding World. 

Sunday, June 28, 2009

tern art

hovering Common tern sequence

Avocets in better light

always seems a bit odd to see them swimming

reedbed avos

a distinct shortage of suitable nesting sites around the Humber has seen 16 pairs trying to breed on a bit of mud in the middle of a reedbed on the local patch; the greylags have done their best to extend the mud habitat but there seems little chance of any of the chicks surviving to fledging as all they have to feed on are the small muddy patches at the base of the reedbed -- the changes in bird behaviour is always an education; I had been stood on a busy road watching this family for some time with no reaction from the adults but when two people stopped to talk to me both parents made a sudden aerial attack only to immediately settle back down with the chicks

Common Tern

9 days after the back incident I managed to get out and hold the lens up today for a few shots; nothing great as it was  dull and humid and little bird action but at least things are on the mend

Cormorant and poo

for some bizarre reason this Cormorant sits on the edge of this breeding tern raft every day; at about 10 minute intervals the 4 - 6 Common Terns attack it from above leaving it well splattered with poo and no doubt a severe headache but it simply does not move and in fact doesn't even react; another Cormorant nearby was rather more nervous and dived under the water every time it was attacked even plunge diving from one of the tern's posts where it had been sat

Greylags v phragmites

we used to have a lot of reedbeds on the local patch, in fact we still have but we also now have 250 Greylags, beautiful wild geese with a splendid array of calls; during their wing moult though they consume a rather large acreage of the edge of favoured reedbeds and produce the rather obvious results shown above

Friday, June 26, 2009

moon in the forestlens

last night I managed to get mobile enough to do some Nightjarring -- the birds were terrific but I failed to capture any images; maybe next time with a better back! Today after a bit of a set back the garden was all I managed with the Canon 24-105 lens that I now use for most landscapes including all of the Scandinavian ones

more landscapes from the far north

I have been immobile for a week now due to the back problem so only just managed to pick up a camera with the 24-105 lens last night; I have taken time to add a few scenic images from the Finland / Norway trip to http://nycteagallery.blogspot.com/ --- here are one or two more images from the same trip -- Neljan is the spot for the grossers but they are rather better than the hot chocolate! the red area on the Nesseby peninsula upper image highlights the location of the most bizarre sighting of the trip soon to be revealed

Thursday, June 25, 2009

a few random additions

the quaint church at Nesseby noted here -- more on a sighting from this location soon

Friday, June 19, 2009

Steller's Eiders

on our first trip to Varanger we saw just one adult drake Steller's but good numbers of immatures and females, on the second visit no adult drakes and just 18 immatures; this year amazingly there were 3 adult drake sin a total of six birds; one male paired to a female then this group of four birds, 2 drakes, a 2cy drake and a female all at Vadsoya; they often came in close to the shore but long grass meant that it was not possible to creep up on them and get shots without grass intervening

Steller's Eiders 2

there was a lot of fighting between the two adult drakes and the 2cy drake; the latter seemed to be paired tot he female and was trying to keep the two adults away