Friday, 31 October 2008

Spurn Again - Mainly Redwings

Black Redstart
Stonechat (female)

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Wednesday Special - Old Moor

Wren - on wrong camera setting!
Record shot of Ruff
Record shot of Heron
Pretty similar species seen as yesterday, but Kingfisher was more elusive and Golden Plover were absent - possibly because their feeding grounds of the day before were iced over. The light was probably better today, but the wind was much cooler. The Linnets showed well, but the Siskins & Redpolls were missing. The Greenshank in excellent light was a nice bonus, but was too far away to be photographed. The Whooper Swan was back, but was further away. Again, this new venue for the classes was commended!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Tuesday Special - RSPB Old Moor

Ruff (c) 2008 Philip Hargreaves
All pictures for this remainder of this post are (c) 2008 Maurice Gordon
Ruff Whooper Swan
Whooper Swan
Record shot of Kingfisher
Green Sandpiper - thanks Bob!

The biggest surprise was the length of the journey – it only took me 70 mins - I was expecting a journey of closer to 2 hours. The highlight today was probably the Ruff, which gave the closest views we’ve ever had of this species during the classes. It was a “lifer” for some there today. It was good to see the Whooper Swan, but it didn't stay long! However, for spectacle the Kingfisher took some beating, speeding here & there & hovering several times whilst looking for food. There were about 15 Golden Plover, which looked excellent in the morning sunshine. Also present: Green Sandpiper (thanks Bob), Long-tailed Tit, Siskin, Goldfinch, Wigeon, female Goldeneye, Shoveler, Snipe, Teal and a flock of c15 Linnet. As I was leaving a Redpoll flew over the car park. This seemed to be a popular venue, and may be added to the permanent Autumn schedule for next year!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Burton Bushes Fungal Foray

Stump Puffball (thanks Rich)
Fairy Caps
Honey Fungus or Bootlace Fungus
Chocolate Fudge Cake with Cocoa powder!
Turkey Tails
Ear Fungus (underside)

Birds seen: Treecreeper & Goldcrest.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Autumn Friday 5 - Reedbed Wildlife

Goldcrest (c) 2008 Bob Silcock
Kingfisher (male) ditto
Bullfinch (male) ditto
Common Darter

The highlight in the afternoon was the Kingfisher, whilst the Bullfinch held the honours for the morning session. We did hear the Bearded Tits again in the morning, but they were elusive and further away. There were Siskins & Redpolls around, but they were very hard to track down. The afternoon Goldcrest was charmingly confiding. There were a pair of Goldeneye - the first drake of the winter!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Autumn Thursday 5 - Tophill Low

Record shot of Kingfisher
Great Spotted Woodpecker (female)
Pheasant (female)
No Bearded Tits today, for the first time this week! However, we saw the Slavonian Grebe on both sessions, plus Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Wigeon, Goldeneye (female) [1st of the winter], Curlew, Redshank, and heard Treecreeper in the car park. The above pictures were all taken in rather poor light.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Autumn Wednesday 5 - Estuary Wildlife

Bearded Tits - a good image is worth repeating!
(c) 2007 Maurice Gordon
Stonechat (c) 2008 Maurice Gordon
Stonechat [female] (c) 2008 Maurice Gordon
Togetherness is keeping a certain distance apart....
(c) 2008 Maurice Gordon
Curlew (c) 2008 Maurice Gordon
Redshank & its footprints!
Kestrel (c) 2008 Aileen Urquhart
It's behind you!
Tasty! (c) 2008 Aileen Urquhart
Mute Swan Cygnets (c) 2008 Aileen Urquhart
Today represents the first time I've had Bearded Tits (4+) on two consecutive days and at 2 different locations. Also today male Marsh Harrier (pm), c.20 Wigeon (pm), c.1000 Pink-footed Geese (pm), 4 Stonechat, Snipe, c.50 Golden Plover, Lapwing, Curlew, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, c.20 Shoveler, c.100 Teal, Ringed Plover, Shelduck etc.

However, the most remarkable event apart from the dog training exercise - it does take place outside 1970s Blue Peter progs! - was at the end of the afternoon session. We were asked by a very polite self-appointed dictator, not to take up every viewing place overlooking the estuary. Apparently, we were blocking up places pre-booked by people who come "every day" to look at the view, and they can't bear not being able to look at it for one day while the location is introduced to some people who have never been there before! They obviously aren't happy at sharing "their" car park with incomers!