Wednesday, 19 November 2014

SACRIFICING A GOAT

Well no work for two weeks, yippee. Yet I was soon deflated as I drew back the curtains this morning..grey,damp and misty....bollocks. So tonight I've kidnapped a goat, built an altar in the shed and have sharpened the meat clever the goat will GET IT tomorrow if we don't get some sun, you have been warned!! Talking about sheds I did get some time in it and the garden. First up is the Goldcrest, on our local park, Eastfield Park, I see a lot of these whilst walking the greyhounds. There is also one always in the garden.
GOLDCREST,BACKGARDEN 15th NOVEMBER
I can get quite close to these and am thinking of slopping the 300mm f2.8 to get some flight shots, though this was taken from the shed using the 500mm in between sips of tea and bacon sarnies..yum
GOLDCREST, BACKGARDEN, 19th NOVEMBER 
The other nice surprise is the Chaffinch, OK very common. However last time we had any in the garden was a couple of winters ago and we had heavy snow which in turn brought in loads to the garden, currently upto 7 at any one time, weirdly all but one is a female. 
FEMALE CHAFFINCH

FEMALE CHAFFINCH, "NOT COMMON OUT UNTIL YOU STOP PHOTOGRAPHING ME" 
GOLDFINCH

BLUE TIT
Won't bore you anymore with common stuff from the garden for now. Hopefully my next post won't be about a messy end for a goat...maybe :-) oh and check out John Finlayson's blog out he's been getting some excellent starling murmaration at his local reserve Titchmarsh, his blog can be found on the list down the side of this blog or here JOHN'S BLOG

Friday, 7 November 2014

THE POTTING SHED

STROPPY GREENFINCH

GREENFINCH
  Just a few from the shed. I've struggled to get out recently. Mostly down to weather. And the good weather coinciding with my shifts..git.
BLUE TIT


BLUE TIT

GREAT TIT
COAL TIT

COAL TIT

STARLING

STARLING

WREN 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

STONECHAT

I fancied a cycle and really fancied a Stonechat picture too. I knew thanks to local reports a pair had been showing quite well up at Blueberry Farm at Maidwell. So set off from home in Northampton via the quarry and along the Lamport railway line which for those outside of Northamptonshire is an old railway line that now is footpath/cycle path a small section is still used for a "classic" collection of trains. The cycle path as a result is flat and even and there were a few nice diversions en route. Spring Marsh just after the Spratton Crossing is interesting but as the name suggests better in the spring, only bird of any interest were the odd Reed Bunting. The tall hedgerows were full of berries (no hedge trimming) but no Redwing and Fieldfare. Quite a few Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits overhead. A couple of Buzzards too. I got to Blueberry Farm and bumped into fellow Northants birder Stuart who pointed out where both birds were...far away lol. Though Stuart reassured me they would come closer and had been.
I didn't see the Short eared Owl but think I was in the wrong field. Whilst talking to Stuart we did have a Buzzard and heard a Tawny Owl calling,  given it was quite bright I was surprised. 
FEMALE STONECHAT
 After a while sitting it out on a convenient log pile and the few people around had gone and it had decided to cloud over they popped up right by the track as Stuart had said they would (cheers mate)
MALE STONECHAT
I think there is three and not two, 1 male 2 female. I think the female is the better of the two images some good light would've been nice we did have some good light,  but sod's law no Stonechat. 
To prove it look a Buzzard and blue sky too.
 I was pleased to get the Stonechat. Okay they're not a "mega" but for me they're a bit special. We only get them in Northants in the winter. The special bit for me is that before I was a birder I used to walk my dogs around Summer Leys and I saw a male bird and some friendly birder told me what it was before pointing a female out too. They just ignited a flicker of curiosity at the time. I even remember the birder doing a really good impression of the birds call with just his mouth, no sound recording or "app" very good birder he is. We used get them all over the County but in recent years a bit thin on the ground. I rarely see one at Summer Leys or Mary's Lake these days. So for me I was glad to try and photograph them. Will try harder next time though. If you want to see some proper Stonechat images go and read RICHARDS BLOG
On the way home stopped for a passing and noisy tit flock near Spratton Road and got this Blue Tit, I like to think it's taking a leap of faith into the dark :-)...