Friday, December 30, 2011

To sum up 2011

My Fair Isle Kep!

Shetland Wildlife asked what were the highlights of 2011.
I had a little think and I shared a few events.
So I wondered how to sum up the year -I decided this should be about Natural History.

Tanzania has to be the tip top best - totally amazing- every day was something new.
I need to sort through Pat's photos and post more on here and on Facebook!
I have a lovely memory with the picture Pat made me of my favourite birds!

Shetland was a refreshing clean air break- not so many lifers but always a sheer joy. Its a lovely place with delightful locals and quite a lot of the visitors are great too altho some did leave a lot to be desired with their wrong headed attitude to birding in the Isles!

Then there were the trips out birding with Bob especially at the begining of the year to Norfolk (3) and the Forest of Dean - the Rufous Turtle Dove on our way home.

The trips to Sussex,Aberdeen and especially The Isles of Scillies for lifers!

Started the year with my UK life list (BOU) on 395 - its now on 411.

The Birdwatch list is 415 - not counted included Northern Harrier, Ross's Goose both seen in Norfolk in January.

So for 2012?

Well I will go on the usual trips to Norfolk and the Forest of Dean - but I want to concentrate on local patch birding, Kent and Sussex birding.
Think I might also try to sort out my London list!

I will be twitching UK Lifers as and when they present themselves.

Local patch - well hoping to do a web count at a special place - but have to sort that out permission wise.

I want to patch watch bird and panspecies (well Butterflies/Dragons mainly) Hounslow Heath.
Sort out whether I am going to have Kempton NR as a local patch.

I have two holidays booked
- in May/June Birding in Finland and Northern Norway (really looking forward to this!)

to Shetland and Fair Isle in October.

I will also be going to Cornwall for a long w/e at the begining of May for the EVENT OF THE YEAR!
Sami and Seths wedding!

They will then embark on walking from Lands End to John o Groats for their honeymoon to raise money for Butterflies in UK.
Details to be seen on Widerscope website and I will post links for the fundraising later.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

osterley and syon

Well a walk was called for this afternoon- first to Osterley where the cafe was closed- so then to Syon where of course the cafe was open- had to search for the coffee as all coffeee shops between Osterley and Syon were closed!

Not so many birds about either apart from some showy and posey Robins!

We caught the sun going down at Syon and the moon was well up!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quick trip to norfolk!

Well there was a Western Sandpiper (WP and UK lifer!) and a Coue's Arctic Redpoll to be seen - and i'd had some grief off a birding mate re the Western!(you know who you are "Gibster"!)

Both in Norfolk- so what to do on the day after Boxing Day- well yes a little trip was on the cards!

So now i am home and both birds nicely captured - altho I did leave them there for others to see!lol!

Now I am preparing vegatables to be cooked after the clash between Harlequins and Saracens on the TV.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A couple to add to the year list

Spotted Sandpiper and Sharp-tailed sandpiper!

plus another long trip for the Greater Yellowlegs!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tanzania photos

I have downloaded a lot of the next photos onto my Facebook site - takes so long on here so i shall redirect to my Facebook site!

I will post on here later- in case you are not on Facebook.

But there will only be a few....blogger uploads so slowly it drives me to distraction!
Here's a Leopard!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Catch up from October

Thanks to Jonathan Lethbridge of Wanstead Birder for permission to reproduce his photos here.
I just love the feisty Firecrest and this one is so feisty and different from most other photos!

then one of the missing birds from the Scilly 4 as I like to call them!
Northern Waterthrush a particular favourite.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Birds from Tanzania

All photos are copyright of Pat Simmons.

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Superb Starling

Hildebrant Starling


Augar Buzzard

African Fish Eagle

Thursday, November 03, 2011

greedy moorhen keeps the geese at bay

Well it wouldn't let me publish the Moorhen sequence i will have another go later.
The surprise meeting was with Colin (I am 82) as we were going into the Peacock Tower he and his friends were just comoing out- last time I saw Colin was on Shetland the morning he was returning to England!
We had spent a very interesting week on Shetland with Shetland Wildlife and being guided by Hugh Harrop (himself) usually Hugh goes with the photographers group.
This was the week of the Lesser Grey Shrike - who we saw each time we went to see it!
The dip of the week - all the way to Fetlar for a Grey-cheeked Thriush who went overnight before we got there- that would have been a nice Shetland tic! Even more sad though was it would havce been a liferfor everyone else in the group. We gave it a good go but also it was not to be. But we were waiting for our ferry back to the mainland(the last of the day) and a couple of birders told Hugh about the Little Bunting- back(a little bit further on where we had just come from- so we all jumped in the minibus and hared off - got the bird - hopping by the side of the road just where they said- for a few mins - quick pics and then hared back and just got on the ferry as it was closing its barrier! Otherwise we would have had to stay overnight and sleep in the van! a Close Shave!
Hadn't meant to talk about that but it was fun! Oh and the mad twitch from one end of Unst to the other in failing light to see the Black -headed bunting!and then the rush back for Dinner! Great times!
Back to Barnes-
lets see if the Moorhens will post?

Barnes and a surprise meeting!

Camera says "Where to -today?" I say not sure "wonder if Pat can spare a couple of hours- we havent been to Barnes for a while and we can get good coffee there and have lunch"
So camera gets its way and we are off for more practise. I looked on the web before we left- Booming Bittern! and a cast of lovelies! (linnet, redpoll, grey wag, Peregrine and other raptors, Redwings and Fieldfares ......)

well they obviously had decided to move on by the time we got there or went into hiding- well the Bittern hid!

Still practise was useful.....
Bird of the day - wild - Common Redpoll - but the light was horrid by then so not good for pics!
They have also stolen my "Crane" dont know where thats gone but I miss him!

Lots of fun with a Greedy Moorhen - stopping Redbrested Geese and others feeding from the supplied food!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

QE2 Reservoir and Bushey Park

Monday - I went to QE2 Reservoir in the afternoon to see a Shorelark - sans camera.(Not really expecting to go I hadn't taken everything with me! Interesting going to a new reservoir especially getting in- a bit strange in reality. Those of you who have been understand what I am getting at!
Its a long walk from one end to the other and tricky spotting the quarry but what a lovely bird!
I shall be on the look out for a photo from a photographer as this bird was a really good looker!
Adventure over I returned home to discover the muscles in my back had decided to rebel again and I was unable to go out to a meeting!

Tuesday was a horrible day to start - but it got better - I decided I need to test out the back again and thought where might I go. Yesterday I had driven through Bushey Park and that seemed like a good place to go today. I could get a bacon butty and a good coffee or hot chocholate - and then there were also other important facilities!
Plus thenice part of the park I like has a separate cp where not everybody parks!

Great bacon butty and very lovely cappacino - off to the facilities and then to the empty cp - well empty except for a pair of Crows - carrion who were in mid bathing!
What an opportunity to try out the new camera again (yes I had got everything in the car this time!) well a car is a useful hide and had fun with the two Crows who bathed in two pools and were great bathers - time and again they were disturbed by vans or lorries working in the park driving by their fav pool but they went back again and again and I got some shots! see below.
I had a nice walk andmanaged to pish up some garden birds but not for long enough to get any shots! LOL!
except some starling who flew into the top of a tree!
Jay, Magpie, Robin, wren, Blue and great tits all eluded me- think they were having a laugh!
Then I had a flock of Crossbills fly over me! Great!
At the end of the walk on my way back to the car I was surprised that a stick turned into antlers and a roar from a stag who had been asleep in the long grass and stuff!
He stood up bellowed and went back to a shattered sleep. He looked totally knackered - I was very glad that I hadn't been the reason he gave up his hiding place -but others who walked near him!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

mixture of stuff


I didn't realise how difficult it is to take photos of Crows - this one wouldn't stop moving! lol!
It was as if he was saying you are not going to get me - all of me and if you do it will be out of focus!haha

more birds in Osterley