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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Something has sprung!

How soon we forget – not that long ago EVERY day was dark, dreary, miserable and overcast and light levels so low, photography wasn't an option. Now it is wall to wall sunshine and there aren't enough hours in the day.

So here are some images from out and about and briefly, a coal tit from the garden; Martin popped around and a quick walk locally revealed a Bullfinch (no photo) and SPOOKILY no sooner had I finished the sentence 'I have only ever seen one Golcrest hereabouts over many years, I don't think there are any', than two minutes later, flitting about in the hedgerow was a Goldcrest. I could only manage a record image, so you know I'm not making it up. Spooky indeed! Two sightings in twenty odd years (but that's probably my lack of ability than there not being any). 

Godwits at Newton Marsh, a male in summer plumage with an immature male of the Icelandic variety I believe; Lapwing, Shoveler, a male Teal, some Wigeon action and on another visit no sooner than I was mentally bemoaning how quiet it was when I found this Merlin. Smashing.

Boinnngggg! (or was that just Zabadee passing?)

Coal Tit in the garden 
Goldcrest – spooky
Black-Tailed Godwit, Icelandic, male and juvenile male
Lapwing – becoming territorial
female Shoveler
male Shoveler
male Teal
Wigeon fly by
spooked Wigeon, harrassed by Coot and Lapwing
Wigeon, retreat to water
male Wigeon
female Wigeon
the Wizard of Newton Marsh – Merlin

Strewth, it's nearly the end of March and I have only posted 4 posts, hmmnnnn – too busy birding!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

a first and a first and a first...

Lesser Redpoll is a first for me and a first for my local patch, two turned up before being spooked by a dog walker and all I could manage is a very poor record shot – included so you know I haven't completely lost the plot.

The first frog spawn was about a week ago, I didn't make a note of the date and the first blossom has been out for about the same time.

The first butterfly of the year flew by above eye level with positive intent and then had the audacity to fly back again. All I could see was 'small and orange' and at first I though it was a skipper but dispelled that idea. I haven't given too much though for an id. Too small for a comma which is often the first I see hereabouts.

The first singing chiffchaff is about apparently but I personally haven't heard it and that blazing flash of blue gave away a departing Kingfisher.

The male and female grey wagtail have been clocked, as last year but only once after about 8 recce's. Too many dog walkers and a bit too cold to date I fear.

There is a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming away at times and I think I know the dead trees, but not seen him or her yet (although I had junior regularly in the garden a few years back).

The bullfinch have become harder to find and only fleeting views, although I had a female today out of the thick hedgerow and up on the top branch of a tree, clear blue sky and bright sunshine... then another dog walker! 

I have been taking some time to record the garden birds so here are some more!

my first Lesser Redpoll
feeding on willow buds – only problem is there are three miles of them hereabouts!
two Goosander from earlier during that 'grey' period
the first buds of spring – played havoc with my allergies!
there's some drumming going on
I have been concentrating on trying to photograph Coal Tits just lately

one of the Dunnock's; the female up to no good as usual
I have been trying to catch up with this female blackbird – so thrush-like
the distinctive white throat attracted me to this individual

one of three robins hereabouts
a lot of wing flapping going on
and the local Long-tailed Tits have been obliging (at times)

oh, and another first; two mallards mating...

nothing unusual about that and not the first time I have seen two mallards mating, but the first time I have sen two male mallards mating!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

more bull and... and...

I've been checking up on the local bullfinches and they have been around, it takes me about an hour to catch a glimpse, here and there and managed this image of a male, all others are similar to the original post and...

Last year I spent some time in the company of a single and then a pair of grey wagtails over an extended period, if you want to be bothered click on Grey Wagtail in the left sidebar listing to see those images;  ... well the 'and' is one has returned and I am hoping for further views and photo opportunities over the coming weeks; it has been a bit too cold hereabouts for too many insects, but the forecast for the coming days looks better and...

I have so many images I haven't archived properly and certainly haven't used on the blog, so here are a few of our more 'common' birds taken hereabouts.

Bullfinch (male)
Grey Wagtail has returned
Great Spotted Woodpecker (female)
Chaffinch (male)
Reed Bunting
Great Tit
Blue Tit

Coal Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Monday, 5 March 2012

What a load of old bull...

We seem to be lucky in these 'ere parts as there have been sightings of bullfinch, not common to the Fylde allegedly (said a spokesperson).

I think I mentioned in an earlier post, Martin had popped around and while talking and 'birding' outside we clocked two or three bullfinch in the trees nearby – well they have been making a pleasing return, or that is I have been out checking up on them. They are a devil to find and see and take some time and patience. I have seen two males and two females, so I am guessing two pairs. So the first set of photos attached are indicative of how difficult it is to capture these rascals 'on film'. They are deep in the undergrowth and difficult to get a focus upon, so fleeting images only I'm afraid, again record images.

spot the birdie....

I was incredibly lucky in 2009 (before I was birding and blogging) to have two bullfinches visit the garden daily between August and September, often two or three times a day. The second set of images record that fact. Again difficult to photograph and I didn't have the equipment I have now, nor the camera! Incredibly the female approached to within twelve feet (four metres?) of the patio windows – as you can see, feeding on black sunflower seeds. Sadly there has only been one or two fleeting appearances in the last three years, feeding in the garden on honeysuckle berries but as I finish this I am off out to see if I can see the local bullfinches once more. I fear they will disappear again but hopefully in the coming months, I'll manage one or two better images. Everything's crossed.