hit counter

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Impressive Hawfinch

Searching for food!
A nice close up of a male!

Female Hawfinch!

Good numbers of Hawfinch were showing really well at a site in Cumbria recently, so a trip was planned to get the chance to see these elusive birds.Usually you cannot get any where near to them, but this last few weeks the birds had been reported constantly feeding under the Hornbeam trees amongst the leaf litter.
Using my car as a hide I managed to take numerous close range shots without disturbing the birds.They blended in really well with their surroundings and coupled with the low light under the trees, these few shots were the best I could manage!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Buzzards And Corvids!

The Kite swoops in regardless.
This Rook helps himself to a free meal!

The Buzzard takes centre stage!

Usually the Kites don`t land on the ground but this one IS a bit different!

Ravens close in! Solitary Rook
The Kites invariablly take centre stage at Gigrin,but its nice to observe the
antics of the Buzzards and other Corvids there.Its not often you see these birds at such close quarters,as the`re usually just a blip in the sky.
The Buzzards seem to have a lazy approach to the ongoings and seem to stay in one place to feed.The Ravens come in,take a piece of meat and stay on the edge. Last but not least the smaller of the birds the Rook grabs what he can and takes it to a convienient spot on on the outskirts of the field, usually accompanied by a few of his compatriots to devour his meal!All in all, interesting to watch these birds feeding in their different ways!!!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Kites Aplenty (part two)

Very pale Red kite(morph)
The Morph Red Kite was easy to pick out.

A pleasing site!

The Black Kite,(escapee or from the continent?)

Notice the very square tail.

Close encounters!

Carrying on from my last post,it was interesting to watch the two indifferent Kites competing for food.The light coloured bird only seemed to appear about 3 times to feed during the 3 hours or so I was there.It wasn`t in any way pestered by the other birds,but seemed a little wary of things.
On the other hand the rare Black Kite was as boisterous and bold as could be,and must have entered the affray at least a dozen times that I saw!It was easy to lose sight of the bird with so much action,but it always reappeared in the thick of things at some point!
There seems some debate about the origin of the Black Kite,but it is a more than welcome guest at the location and for it to stay so long,it seems to have settled in very well!Maybe in the next few weeks it may decide to move onto its breeding territory,where ever that maybe.Thats the wonder of Nature, you just don`t know what`s going to turn up next!
In my next post, I`ll show a few images of the Corvids and Buzzards that have also got in on the party at Gigrin Farm.So bye for now then!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Red Kites Aplenty!

Waiting patiently!
Coming in to feed!

Good close views!

Lovely feather detail!

Soaring gracefully!

With the weather being favourable ,I made the decision to visit Gigrin Farm in Powys,home to the Red Kite feeding station!The birds are fed human grade meat every day at 2 o clock by the land owner.As you can imagine the Kites Buzzards and Corvids home in on this free banquet!
Not only is it good for the well being of the birds it gives fantastic close up views of all the action!There are various hides/view points to watch this amazing spectacle unfold.Usually the corvids are hanging around first to gorge on the free offerings ,with the Kites soaring in the distance.As soon as the farmer starts distributing the meat the feeding frenzy begins in earnest.The Kites are swiftly flying in, picking up pieces of meat in their talons,never landing on the ground
but skimming in low and fast!They then proceed to digest the meat on the wing.
There must have been up to 150 Red Kites present at any one time,although at the moment numbers were well down due to distribution to their breeding territories!I`m led to believe there can be as many as 500 birds present mid winter!
It was a bonus to see a Black Kite and also a very light looking Red kite among the throng of birds there,I `ll write about these and the numerous Buzzards/Ravens and corvids in my next post.I hope you enjoy the pictures!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Little Pecker Located!

Nearly impossible to see when the leaves come.

Not very good light.

Distant views.

Found him at last.
Having failed miserably to locate this little fella recently ,I decided to make another visit to Moore nature reserve in Cheshire.I`d noticed that there had been numerous sightings made adjacent to the carpark, in the tall trees.Spured on by this information, I drove the 50 or so miles in high hopes.
On arriving at the carpark, I was greeted by thick fog!Anyway it was a morning out if nothing else.Typical or what!
Trundling down the path, scanning the tall trees, a slight movement caught my eye,looking up something was flitting about,probably a Nuthatch I thought!Then plain as anything tap tap tap tap in rapid succession,no it can`t be, I`ve only just arrived.There about 15 yards away, half way up an ash tree was what I`d come to look for, the Lesser Spotted,bloody hell!Luckily my camera was prepared for the occasion and I rapidly fired off a volley of shots before it disappeared into the mist.Although the light was rubbish, I had that warm glow of contentment you feel ,when a plan comes together!I suppose it was luck to stumble on it like that,but it took me 5 journeys and 500 miles to obtain a few half decent images of it.Next time I`ll try to capture it in better light,thats providing it gives me another opportunity!