Wednesday, January 30, 2013

some fine geese

OK our local Barnacle flock mixes with the Greylags at times -- this week picked up the four attached -- top three one apparently a Greylag x Canada or large Greylag x Barnacle?

next one Greylag x Barnacle,

next 5 down Barnacle x Ross's or Snow ?? there have been two of these in the flock of a few years but only one this week

and then the least obvious a Barnacle x small race Canada? or a 2nd generation hybrid? it is not even that obvious to pick out in the flock.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


all with Canon 1D4, Canon 500 f4 II and Canon 2x III -- shot of the day at the bottom

a bit better Bittern

mus change subject soon -- even in permanent hides they know you are there something that most people seem to fail to appreciate chatting and laughing in the confines of the box

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Marsh Harriers

three today two juvs and a 3cy male all on the patch -- with raptor photography the importance of background and luck are essential -- there are so many times when you get a bad pose, wing over head, or shadow over part of the bird, or the bird looking slightly away and of course most of the time the sky as a background but just odd times things come together and you get a couple of nice images -- these are a real mix!


up to 5 locally in the last few days but they seem to have come through the freeze well and with the thaw setting in should be OK -- harriers find them all the time and are a good thing to watch

eraser time

Various posts on the blog and discussions here and elsewhere centred around the identification of a Ferruginous type Duck at Barton in October / November 2011 and September 2012 -- oddly I picked it up again on the pits on November 17th but without a scope and got some distant images that indicated it had not become a typical adult drake in that the head was still dark in colour and the profile still did not look like a classic Ferruginous but it was asleep almost all the time; it soon disappeared again but I found t in the duck flock on the Humber off New Holland on January 11th albeit distantly in poor light -- the fact that it was on the Humber with Tufted Ducks did not seem right for Ferruginous Duck and the head still looked dark though it should have been in full adult winter plumage -- today I found it again on a small pit and confirmed that the head is still dark brown, with a mahogany tint, the crown is just not peaked enough, the bill is probably too long but has black extending back from the nail along the cutting edges and it has a white band behind the black nail. As this spot was over 2 miles from where I parked I had no camera with me just the scope so the only images I got were with an old iphone down the scope before it flew off back to the Humber. The iris is now bright white and it is clearly to a large degree a Ferruginous Duck but certainly not 100% -- so notebooks out and erasers in action -- another salutary lesson in duck ID
Top 3 images iphone scoped Jan 26th bottom 3 November 17th 2012

Friday, January 25, 2013

redhead Smew

from the scapular pattern and the head markings I am guessing this is a first-winter drake -- the first fish went down quick but whatever the second was it threw it around a bit  then left it