Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatears have a reputation of being very approachable so we decided on a trip to Devon.
It was a little dissapointing, although the bird was showing really well it was always on the apex of the cottage roof. The light wasn`t good either and we struggled. But, just once it came down on the lower slates for just a second.I took about 150 shots and deleted all but 2.
Ah well perhaps the next one will be on a nice sunny beach!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Short-eared Owls.

As winter approaches there appears to be an influx of Short-eared Owls into Britain. They are being recorded in good numbers in most Counties.
Glamorgan usually gets a few in most years. Llanilid, being most reliable with 2 this winter. These are not playing the game and are hunting late in the afternoons when the light is gone!
But these at Rumney Great Wharf are at the moment  hunting at 2 o`clock and are at least 6 birds present!

When you see these Owls up close they are more like mammals than birds, they are watching your every move and photographing them is not easy, well, getting close enough.... Guess I got lucky!
If they continue to stay and hunt early afternoons then i`m sure there will be some stunning shots. Untill then.

Sunday, 13 November 2011


10 days ago I tried to push a stick in the edge of a pond, the pond which I have seen a female Kingfisher recently. The bed of the pond is bedrock, so I found an appropiate stick and set it in a bowl of concrete, returned 2 days later and carefully chose a perfect position and placed the stick.
Yesterday I returned with a hide. After about 90 mins. it appeared out of the blue. What should I do, fire off the shutter or wait for that better pose? Nerves and excitement got the better of me knowing I can return soon! A few seconds and it was all over. Another 2 hours passed and it came in again but this time I was caught  out looking for Goldfinches. I missed a golden opportunity with the light being that magical glow that we always want!
 A male and female Stonechat came in to see what the fuss was about, that, at least broke up the boredom of staring at a stick.
So back for another 3.5 hour session this morning. The Kingfisher showed for a while in a Hawthorn tree but never came in to the perch!  WATCH THIS SPACE!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Izzy revisited.

Had a few hours available this afternoon, and with a complete cock up with weather forecasts thought I would give it another go.

With a lot of rain on the menu ( sunshine on and off ) I thought I would have it to myself, which I did more or less. But it just wouldn`t allow me that 10 ft closer!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Isabelline Wheatear.

News of an Izzy Wheatear at Wernfrwyd on the Gower on Saturday afternoon was too good to believe!
I never expected it to stay with a very clear night.
An early morning text from Mark Hipkin saying it was still there, and with the sun shining I just had to go!
 So, Nigel Addicott, Alun Hughes and myself arrived with the bird showing reasonably well, running very quickly from one pile of horse shit to the next pile! I decided that with the bird moving left I would wait at the furthest `pile`, gradually it came closer and closer. This I did twice and the Wheatear responded moving away from the loud crowd of birders assembled.
One or two local birders mouthed off (names witheld) when I left the crowd and stayed to the track, one of the comments I heard was "Look out here we go" simply because I walked a little closer to get a shot which the bird was about 40 yds away! but still on the track.
Hope these guys appreciate the photographs when they next recieve their Bird Report!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Isabelline Shrike.

It must be 20 years since I last saw an Isabelline Shrike so when this beauty arrived at Porth Clais near St. Davids I new sooner or later I would go and see it. With great photos of it on various websites and unable to go on Sunday ,Tuesdays` weather was looking good with overnight rain on monday, very good chance it would still be there.
Rob Mitchell and I arrived early, and after about an hour it showed on tall weeds in the middle of the field but eventually came down to the gate to where we were waiting.