Friday, 30 November 2012

Waxwings and Thertford Heath

On sunday headed to Aylesbury where there been around 20 waxwings reported for a few days. At first no sight but then after a few minutes a flock of aroun 15 landed on the rowen berries at first just waiting patience then a few moved before been followed by more. Then after a while had a few started going down for drink at the puddles after the rain the night before where there were also a few Pied Wagtails and chaffinches feeding at this level. Then a few more Waxwings flew in to join in the feast.

Up in the tree
With a bite
Balancing act
Reflecting Waxwing

Next stop as the day was still young was a walk around Therford Heath doing the circular walk from the village of Therford walking through the fields came across a herd of Fallow Deer at least 60 in number with many sprinting past me as there were feeding around the shooting range. Futher on had lots of Redwings and Fieldfares feeding in the hedges along with finches mainly Chaffinhces and Goldfinches with good numbers of Buzzards and Kestrels hunting. Heading back to Therford had a nice Barn Owl hunting in the fields had a big flock of Corning bunting before a nice sunset to end the day.

Few of the deer
Running deer

The farming landscape
Sunsetting over the trees

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Wiltstone walk

On sunday had a nice walk with the local RSPB group around Wiltstone. With a frosty morning lots of leafs were still icy so a typical november morning. From heading up the steps lots of wildlife around with a fine looking Buzzard perchered on a nearby tree before walking around with Mallards Tufted Ducks and Mute swan showing in the early morning sunshine while in the hedges lots of Fieldfares, Blackbirds and a few Redwing. In the tree alley to the hide lots of Goldfinches over and Dunnock, Robins and Tits flocks feeding.

At the hide had two snipe feeding one quite open to the right of the hide and one hidden in with the Lapwings while viewable from the hide was the duck flocks with lots of Teal and Wigeons along with a few Pochard and two Whooper Swans but suprising no Gadwall. Also around were Grey Heron and Little Egret.

We then headed around the back where we had distance sighting of Kestrel and Red Kite along with Greenfinch before around the Grand Union Canal section had a flock of Linnet with Goldfinches before we had some Lesser Redpoll feeding on the seeds nearby. Then back around the side of the Reservoir had good view of Rook and on the bank to end a good day Grey Wagtail and the wintering Water Pipit.

Frosty Leaf
Swan in early morning sun

Tufted ducks in early morning sun
Dunnock in the hedge
Snipe out of the reeds
Landing swan
Feeding redpoll
Water pipit on the edge

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Slimbridge Visit

Had a visit to Slimbridge with a few of the people from Spotter Jotter so nice to meet up a few of the people again After everyone arrived and a few latecomers!! we entered the main reserve which had lots of mainly captive Ducks and Gulls in the main area with some very photographic Black-headed Gulls and Whooper Swans, Tufted Ducks and lots of Crows, Jackdaws and Rooks. After that area we headed to the main birds pens with lot of unusal birds including Flamingoes, American Wigeons, Black-Winged Stilts, Nenes and many more.

After a food break we headed to many hides where there lots of Wigeons, few Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Pochard, a few Geese and a distance Buzzard. Walking further down heard a flock of Fieldfares above and a few Robins and Wrens hiding in the hedge but in the Kingfisher hide had lots of birds feeding around the feeders with good numbers of Greenfinchs and Great and Blue Tits. Further out we got could see the flocks of waders with Golden Plovers, Dunlins and Lapwings which sometimes get pushed up to the air to avoid a possible bird of Prey.

We then walked back to the next lot of hides where we had some good views of a Buzzard close up and some people had a Kingfisher also with Pintails, Coot, Moorhen and a few Bewick Swans waiting to be feed to end the day.

Captive Whooper Swan

Black-headed Gull

Close up!!
Rook Close up
One of many Wigeons
Great tit
Captive American Wigeon
Bewick Swan one of 8 on site
Sunsetting on a great day

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Iceland : The final day

Started the final day with a intresting sunrise and lots of Redwings, Pink-footed Geese and Whopper swans heading over maybe south to england a mystery that will remain be nice in the winter when seeing them back home the journey that they taken.

After watching the birds and the sun rising headed to Skálholt which was an religious centre in iceland for many years between 1045 to 1785 where is was used by the bishops of thoese times and even today is used for many cultural events.

Next stop of the day was a visit to the crater of kerio which is along dead volcano but the colours in the rocks give it a migical feel. Then ended the hoilday by having a light sight of the northern light though not as strong and variable as the nights before.

Whooper swans flying over

Skálholt Catheral
View from Skálholt

Kerio Crater
Lights over the fields

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Iceland Day 6: Glaciers and waterfall revisted

After another Sunrise had a little walk up the hill behind the house giving some nice views of the loch before we headed to the glacier of Mýrdalsjökull via the Seljalandsfoss and
Skógafoss waterfalls in better condition than previously and in fact where they were on location do some filming for Thor 2.

 At the bottom ofMýrdalsjökull we where told about the volcano of Katla which is predicted to be the next volcano in Iceland to go after Eyjafjallajökull which when in april 2010 bring airtravel to a stop in europe. We headed up in the jeeps to the glacier which had its first snowfalls of the year days before on top of the ice which covers its all year round giving some nice views over the valleys around before the sun started to set slowly into the sea.

Mode of transport!!

Sun heading down

Ice crater

The valley below

Friday, 2 November 2012

Local Slavonian Grebe

Over the last couple of weeks had a Slavonian Grebe showing very well at Wiltstone reservoir showing well to a couple of feet at times the first record in hertfordshire since I been birding reguarly. This bird is looking like a first winter bird but being no expert i just enjoyed the bird which was often cleaning of fishing though i only once saw him up with food. Also around was a Black-tailed Godwit, Little Egret, Teal ,Wigeon and the pair of Feral Whooper Swans making quite a bit of noise.

Caghting the fish

Black-tailed Godwit
Little egret