Tuesday, 16 December 2014

MOULTON QUARRY 14th&16th December 2014

A mixture of really poor weather and rubbish work has again prevented me from getting out and about. With typical "Doug's" luck the good weather has coincided with my shift patterns. The days when I wanted to get out on the bike and explore the wind's been against me, seriously cycling into a strong head winds really blows, at times it almost feels like you've not even cycled anywhere but backwards but the occasional lifting of head into the cold wind did confirm I was moving forwards...just not very far. I won't mention icey paths and mushy leaves that has twice had my rear wheel overtake my front wheel how I haven't ended up on my arse not quite sure
So I kept local and went up to the quarry on Sunday and today. It's been a bit quiet up there of late. The Kestrel is still hunting on the site but in good light always a bit distant (see image below) and in poor light it would be within touching distance.
The Snipe haven't been seen on the last few visits nor the Chiff-Chaff. Did on Sunday get a Goldcrest flitting about really low to the ground and almost got some flight shots, lack of shutter speed meant they were a bit soft but reasonably pleased with this portrait.
Some Long Tailed Tit took my interest and despite their hyperactive nature and slow shutter speed got one I was happy with.
Today I was hoping for a bit more what with the good light. Plenty of common stuff, especially with Blackbirds and Robins there always seems to be quite a few on site. I attempted Fieldfare flight shots but were a bit small in the frame, some Yellowhammer and Linnet and a solitary Meadow Pipits were the only semi-interesting birds.
I went to Doug's pit, still no Snipe looking around the net/twitter a few are up at nearby Pitsford reservoir so perhaps the ones from this site have moved up there. The other bird in the pit that would look good in the light were Reed Buntings of which there was a lot of but all hiding behind willow branches. The one bird that never let's me down is the Blue Tits on the Bull rushes.

Upto four at a time feeding away. Fascinating to watch as they cling on with their tiny feet. Their bills opening to their full extent and after a few pecks easily slicing through to the good stuff...


It's always a joy to photograph these doing this and when they pull the Bullrush apart the cotton like remains of the seed drifting like snow and covering the ground.


Saturday, 6 December 2014

CHIFF-CHAFF, MOULTON QUARRY 6/12/14

It was gloriously sunny today so as regular as clockwork spent some time up at the quarry.
Finally getting some Fieldfare's and the odd Redwing in the hedgerow. Photographic opportunities of my favourite site regulars, the Kestrel and Sparrowhawk have been tempered by some rather domineering Rooks. When either two turn up within the confides of the quarry one or two Rooks give chase. When a Buzzard strolls through a flock of 5-6 Rooks give it hell.
Plenty of common birds are filling the hedges too. But also Yellowhammer, Meadow Pipits and a solitary Grey Wagtail.
Got this male Bullfinch with a Dunnock trying to get a bit of attention in the background, think it's called photobombing, need not worry it was distant.
As always I was hoping to get images of Snipe, I figured with the falling temperatures the shallow'ish water of Doug's Pit would freeze forcing the Snipe out a bit, it was frozen but not enough. An attempted snatch and grab on the Reed Buntings by the Sparrowhawk flushed out 5 Snipe, which was nice, I've had 6 before but of late had only been able to see 2 in the dense overgrown pit.
One of the things I had hoped for since I've been visiting the site is that the sheer number of Chiff-Chaff on the site earlier in the year might mean one or two over wintering birds, I managed a distant shot of one that today, along with the warm sun this had me thinking of spring....or should that be wishing?

Saturday, 29 November 2014

MOULTON QUARRY 29/11/2014

What's the saying? What a difference a day makes. What a difference too. Sunny,  blue skies and warm too the digital temperature gauge on the phone peaked at 16°c.
I headed off to Moulton Quarry and my self named pit. Bird wise it was bit slow. Two Snipe that never broke cover, two Teal, Kestrel, Grey Wagtails, three Meadow Pipits, Sparrowhawk, two Buzzards, 1 Little Owl, just five Fieldfare, Song Thrush and other common stuff.  Didn't bother counting the Linnet, Finches and Tits too many.
I was disappointed in the Fieldfare numbers as one long hedgerow on the site is screaming out winter thrushes. It has plenty of berries and even apples waiting to be scoffed up.
Good numbers of Reed Buntings too.
MALE REED BUNTING

FEMALE REED BUNTING

FEMALE PREENING 
The other good photo opportunity came courtesy of a Blue Tit feeding from a Bull Rush.


I kind of filled by boots with this little chap quite enjoyed watching it so I'll apologies for a bit of repetition here.

And the last two...