Sunday, 31 December 2017


 My last post of 2017, so it seems fit to do a bumper "odds 'n' sods" since my last post was such a long time ago.
Just been super busy, mostly work. Delevering plaster board, insulation materials to sites it's our busiest period. And getting shed loads of snow didn't help, yes got stuck in snow on one site and my Moffat (fork truck) sinking in mud on another site it's been stressful
So have crammed as much birding in as the weather would permit, concentrating locally and a few border raids into Norfolk.
The Barn Owl above was once such raid into Norfolk the ride over was a bad omen as fog was getting thicker I almost ran over a Tawny Owl that was sat in the middle of my lane on A419, I swerved round it and stopped put my hazards on and went to see what was wrong with it, typically as soon as I got out it flew off...cheers.  As I arrived an hour before dawn sat and waited the fog cleared quite quickly thanks to the drizzle of rain so was surprised to even catch the Barn Owl hunting. High IS0 (10,000) but couldn't resist.
The day improved as did the birds I pulled into Brancaster my eyes almost immediately locked onto a Long Tailed Duck. Using the car as a hide it came in so close

 Last one, you look closely at the bottom of the frame you can see the ripple of water & shoreline. Never got one so close in

Fly through Curlew, Stonechat and Snow Buntings and a seal pup  were the other notable species on this trip

Locally it has been a bit quiet. Plenty of decent sized Starling murmarations have entertained, I think the best as it enveloped you in the action was Storton Pits, a local wildlife trust site that sits next to the rugby stadium, football stadium and the town centre. Only snag was it happened in near darkness as they roosted in the reed bed. The noise from the reed bed of the chattering starlings was an eerie experience.

OK they're crap, but the sun had actually gone down and was reliant on a combination of street lamps, high iso (12,800) and tweaking like mad in processing, that's how hard I work for you lot lol.

Kingfisher, was hoping to get better images once the last of the leaves fell off, but the river is too swollen for any action

Redwing, Fieldfare and Green Woodpecker all taken on the industrial estate I work on.

Day after boxing day I mounted another border raid into Norfolk.
A lot of the meadows and marshes I stop off at early a.m. were flooded so opted to head straight over to Salthouse.
I was pleased to see 3 weeks on the seal pup had matured and got fatter and moving around a fair bit.
Again more Snow Buntings of course
And Turnstone
Brancaster was on the bird front quiet with the exception of two distant Merganser's flying through. Had my lunch and plumped into going to Titchwell.
I try (and fail) not going to Titchwell due to my addiction for Sanderling. I love the little wader. I bumped into fellow togger from Northamptonshire, Ricky, who told me about a Barn Owl. I promised to meet up with him after I had my Sanderling hit.
A few images later I joined him, I'm limiting myself to just three for now

And of course a Turnstone
I met up with Ricky. Watched Marsh Harriers coming into a roost and a Bittern, then the Barn Owl. It has to be the closest I ever came across an owl in the wild. Flying past within feet of other birders. At times even on the closest focussing range settings on the lense I struggled to get focus with the annoying flashy green light on the viewfinder telling me so, but wow. So close.

The last one my favourite as it was Side-lit (from the left) and opted for spot metering, got away with it...just.
So that's it from me in 2017.
I wish you all a very happy 2018


  1. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you. I wish you good health, happiness and peace in 2018 What a splendid post filled with amazing sightings of all these birds, I am a bit jealou of you seeing a Snow Bunting twice.

    1. Three times for Snow Buntings (got them again today) such a tame bird.
      Thanks and hope you too have a great 2018

  2. Great selection to end the year on. Heres to a grand 2018

  3. Super selection of birds (and the seal) and great selection of shots to finish off the year with Douglas. You also got to play in the snow and make some mud pies...every big boys dream come true, I'd say! Lets hope 2018 is just as enjoyable!!....have a good one...[;o)

    1. Don't mind getting stuck in snow that was my fault but the Moffat, one minute I'm driving along the next I've sunk about 2 foot! Any deeper and I'd struggle to get put lol.
      Have a bird filled 2018 Trevor

  4. Happy New Year, Doug. Pleased to see you've been getting some decent bird photography action. All are super images, but I have to nominate some as being particularly special to my mind - Goldcrests, Green Woody, Sanderling (especially the one with the starfish!) and (of course!) both the Barn Owls.

    Give us some more soon please! Best wishes - - - Richard

  5. Your wish is my command Richard. The amount of starfish on the tideline was unbelievable, never seen so many.
    Have a Great 2018 Richard and let's hope we figure out what's with the LITTLE OWLS, someone suggested a plausible reason and that's the increase in population of Tawny Owl's