Tuesday, 2 September 2014

MOULTON QUARRY 1st SEPTEMBER 2014

The last two evenings after work I have been up to Moulton Quarry. It's only a three and half mile cycle from my home and it beats what counts as entertainment on TV of late.
I am having to rename Moulton Quarry to Pitsford Quarry. There is a sign at the entrance saying so.
It has been an interesting exercise to see what I think of the pit now some of the summer visitors are leaving, but also what is/might drop in and new birds I hadn't noted during the summer.
GOLDCREST

GOLDCREST
I found four Goldcrest on Sunday evening which was added to the site list. On Sunday I clocked a Kingfisher darting through the quarry floor, but since it didn't land on the site I wasn't to quick to add it to the site list. I did this evening add it to the list though. As I sat trying to photograph the Willow Warbler I heard it arrive. It was well hidden amongst all the willow in one of the pits as I looked down from above. I got on my belly and waited with the only clear perch in view.
Now all the pits have water in them but I cannot see any exits for them into a main watercourse so didn't think any fish would be in them.
WILLOW WARBLER
But I could hear (not see) it splashing into the water, followed by wing flapping and brief moment later a bashing sound, which I am confident enough to say that was it knocking it's prey before swallowing. I was getting a bit frustrated thanks to the willow when after about ten minutes it perched right near me on a small elderberry bush, to my right about 2 foot away, staring right at me, BUGGER, way to close for the 500mm, I did try, even on the close focusing setting it would not focus, too close, so not wishing to be rude... I stared back. This was the closest I have ever been to one, it's bright orange chest was dazzling  I dared not breathe, it was on the bush for ages just staring and tilting it's head, sod it I reached for my phone and was going to film it, I grabbed the phone, changed the settings, zoomed in, I was going to get one helluva video, pressed the play button, BEEP, from pressing the play button, the Kingfisher beeped too and flew off to the other pit, idiot.
I managed a photograph tick this evening though of a Lesser Whitethroat which was bird I have seen many times but due it's elusive nature was a bit of a bogey bird photo wise. This was on the big wood pile which is a bit of a favourite spot of mine there is always something to photograph here.  This image is a bit better then a record shot (don't worry I have a record shot coming) I call this a BANKER ie Got one but room for improvement, one in the can!
LESSER WHITETHROAT
I stayed at the wood pile. There was also 2 Common Whitethroat adults and this younger bird, it still has a slight gape. All 3 flew off together.
COMMON WHITETHROAT

COMMON WHITETHROAT
DUNNOCK

DUNNOCK

LONG TAILED TIT

DUNNOCK
The site seems to be an evening roost for smaller birds with all sorts roosting in the thick willows of one of the pits. The most numerous is the Goldfinch, followed by Linnets as this flock came into roost I grabbed a proper record shot of the whole flock wasn't easy but I got them all in one frame so I could count them when I got home... 35. The Yellowhammers that were prevalent on the site during the summer have all but vanished, not a surprise as during the winter I am lucky to see one around here. A mini migration further south?
MY WAY OF COUNTING BIRDS, 35 LINNET
Just as the light was fading I could here a Common Sandpiper, it got louder and louder, it was heading this way so got down and tried my best at hiding, it dropped down into the pit I was sat near, closely followed by a second one, calling away (might be able to see it's bill open in the image below) the bird in the pit called back and I now had two and another bird on the site list. I checked my settings and with only 1/20th shutter speed and a very high view I didn't bother pressing the shutter, no point just to flush them. Confirmed they were definately Common and not Green Sandpipers I left them to it.
I am hoping for a few more passage birds from this site, hopefully this autumn :-) come on birdy God's a Wheatear or Wryneck would be nice...oh and you got two record shots too lol
ONE OF TWO COMMON SANDPIPER

10 comments:

  1. A great set as always.
    A pity about the Kingfisher but often it is reward enough just to sit and watch.

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    1. Thank you Adrian, to be fair the Kingfisher turned the tables by human watching:-) it was so close.

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  2. As always Douglas, another excellent set of images. It's shame you missed out on that Kingfisher shot though, now that you know where it fishes from maybe you'll get a better chance next time?
    Looking forward to those Wryneck images too!...lol...[;o)

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  3. I never even knew there was water where the KF was fishing the willow is so thick, I shall need huge amount of luck lol. Yeah if not Wayne then Glossy Ibis would be nice :-)

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  4. What a splendid couple of evenings you had, Doug. I really envy your close views of Kingfisher, but not sure that I could cope with the frustration of not capturing any images. Nevertheless, you got a great set of images anyway. I particularly like those of the Goldcrests - it's not often that they stay still enough to capture them - well done you!!

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    1. Thank you I seem to get lucky with Goldcrest, they're a very confiding bird I find. The Kingfisher was a delight I can't really grumble about lack of image this time normally I'd be gutted too. Wait until I say more about the LO's around the area.

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  5. Great Images and storyline Douglas, this site will I am sure turn up trumps for you .... keep up the good work !

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    1. Thank you John, it's one of them sites I really like, not sure what winter will be like though

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  6. What you have been out and didn't find another new Little Owl site???? Great post Doug, some impressive images too! The encounter with the Kingfisher was obviously a memorable one, I 'm sure you will get it next time?

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    1. I only have record shots of the LO's from this site. I think around my little spots we've had a good year for them but more to come on the Little Owl side of things soon I want some decent images first lol

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