Friday, 1 March 2013


.....the horrible snowy, cold and damp miserable winter weather and HELLO spring....that should ensure we get nothing but rain and tornados from now 'till Autumn just to make sure I'll do a rain dance. What a difference twenty four hours make. I got up early and walked the dog and noticed despite the cloud it was quite mild. I didn't take my camera but was cursing my luck, straight away a flock of about 150 (and that's a cautious count) Dunlin and easily more Sanderling, some of which were losing their white winter plumage and going their mottled brown plumage but only a little and mostly around their heads. I did go back for my camera and returned, couldn't locate the Sanderlings and the Dunlin were heading for their high tide roost site, not very big and not very accesible without flushing them so I left them to roost but did grab one fly-by flock shot of part of the flock.
Go on count them, I always underestimate the numbers to avoid being called a stringer etc. Recent days on the island have seen subtle hints the seasons are changing some Brents left and I watch them head towards France (only 5-7 miles away), I've so far counted 13 Sandwich Terns, sadly I dipped on two birds a Black Redstart (couldn't find the location without satnav) and 6 Great Northern Divers. I did bump into a lovely birder called Susan who informed that there are definately Puffins on the island in spring, sadly only eight nested last year.
Since it was dull'ish today I opted for a woodland walk, plenty of light in there (???) but was glad I did, I swear it was like walking back in time, the wooded area sits in a narrow'ish valley and in parts has bracken it was like looking at something from the jurrasic period and today the woodland birds must have felt the change, everything was calling and wrestling for the best nesting spots. Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Greenfinches,Wrens,Dunnocks,Robins,Nuthatches,Great Tits,Blue Tits and Long Tail Tits the loudest and very feisty, common species but it was actually very loud and way past dawn. I thought I managed a Short Toed Treecreeper image but further scrutiny revealed it to be a Common Treecreeper also a few Red Squirrels and a couple of Jays had me skipping down the lane like Graham Norton back to the car.
The sun was poking in and out, so I headed for one of the resevoirs on the island hoping for a Kingfisher I waited for a bit (ok an hour and a bit) but got bored, took some Great Crested Grebes images and then opted for some........
......yep Marsh Harriers. Sadly by the time I got to my spot the clouds covered the brief sunshine so the image below is from last week.
 Sorry another one for good luck heh, heh, heh.......
Thanks to Susan who took me to show me were the Cirl Buntings are and handing me the Jersey birding website details, I've opted for self-restraint on the Cirl and decided not to venture close enough for a decent image or even a record shot. Apparently these "odd" looking buntings used to breed all the time over here and then disappeared as a breeding species, the site (which is very public) is home to the first breeding pair in over ten years, so I 've decided to leave them be and let themselves re-establish their sites, it looks like a pretty vulnerable spot, not only being near a very popular beach but also a golf course they're going to have a hard time and I felt I didn't want to add to their troubles by trying to get an image.
I also managed a few Stonechats and Linnet's but haven't got around to processing them yet. On the way home I headed for the Little Egret colony, 19 birds in total but was "scope" views only as the field is VERY private and Susan warned me not to venture in, I won't go into it here, but think cute brown cows so some more respect paid, it was fascinating watching them though and put a big smile on my even bigger grumpy face also noteworthy was a male and female Kestrel fleeing away, I was so busy trying to photograph them I totally missed the Peregrine chasing them, never seen that before, so I jumped out of the car and grabbed a record shot of the peregrine then turning it's attention to a Lapwing (I might process them). However both Kestrels and the Lapwing got away, the Lapwing "pee-weeting" away whist wiffling like mad, the peregrine didn't stand a chance of catching it in level flight. The other curiosity over the last couple of days that made me smile was a field that has public access and planted in the field was a sign saying "WARNING BREEDING SKYLARK BUILD THEIR NESTS ON THE GROUND IN THE FIELD, STICK TO THE EDGES, PLEASE" apparently put up by the owner and not the Wildlife trust etc...restored my faith a little


  1. Sounds like you're in heaven with an angel called Susan. Great shots, and birds Doug.

    1. I haven't bumped into many birders over here (there is quite a few) but those I have all have been really,really friendly and helpful makes a pleasant change to the norm'

  2. An average to middling day in birder land. Wish I could lay claim to any of these. One day hopefully. Thanks for so much constructive criticism.

    1. Not a problem Adrian, when I started off I received the same hints/tips etc from one or two bird photographers and I always said to myself to do like wise..karma etc

  3. The Great Crested in flight is a good 'un Doug.

    I like the idea of that sign; let's hope people take notice.

  4. The grebe was one male defending the honour of a lady from another male, quite amusing to watch.
    Yeah that sign made me laugh but the bloke is HUGE so I feel sorry for those that ignore it, not a birder, just a nice landowner who likes his larks