Friday, 18 May 2018

Grey Wagtails along the River Leen 17-05-18

Working next to the river Leen has its benefits, including an occasional glimpse of a Kingfisher and migrants in the bushes. 

A regular sight are the Grey Wagtails that are resident in the area and breed nearby. 

So, on leaving work on a particularly sunny late afternoon in May, I was delighted to see an adult male and juvenile Grey Wagtail. The adult was rather wary and gave the youngster a good feed, before flying up stream and allowed me to get a few nice close shots of the juv, before it joined its father.

Goldfinch close-up! 16-05-18

Not a lot to say about these, but the photos I've been trying to get for a while now.

This bird was patiently waiting to get on the sunflower heart feeder, while three of his buddies were having their fill.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

A showy Garden Warbler - 11th May, 2018

I was at Attenborough again. It seemed very quiet on the reserve with the number of singing birds, a fraction of the previous two weeks. However, walking along Barton Lane past Kingfisher hide, a Garden Warbler posed for photos. Normally relatively skulking, or at least evasive, this bird seemed happy to perch out in the open.

Garden Warbler

Monday, 7 May 2018

Going for a paddle - 7th May, 2018

After finishing the March birdnews for the local bulletin, I had a day out around Nottingham and stumbled upon this Mistle Thrush. I was pleasantly surprised how close he or she came and then disregarding me entirely, went for a bath.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Nice weather and a new camera

Having had a Panasonic FZ1000 for nearly three years, and with another Dutch trip in the offing I wanted to upgrade to a new bit of kit. Reading the various reviews online, I decided that the Sony RX10 Mk 4 was the one. It's pricey but after less than a week, I was impressed with its capabilities and I am still getting to grips with all the functionalities. 

The biggest trick was working out the optimum focus setting among the multitude of options, but so far I am happy with the results. The camera has a high burst rate of 24 frames per second, which is useful for shooting birds in flight.

The focal range of 24-600mm is very useful, although I am resisting the urge to go full zoom, all the time and seeing what the 400mm - 500mm offers. Focusing on birds in flight at 600mm is very difficult, but one acquired at a lower magnification, the camera seems to lock on as you zoom in.

Below is a selection of photos taken in Nottinghamshire on 5th May and 6th May, 2018. Friday 5th was mainly cloudy with glimpses of sunshine and the flatter images of the Great Crested Grebe and the Red-crested Grebe were the result.  Saturday the 6th was virtually unbroken sunshine with cloudless skies.

Great Crested Grebe - Attenborough NR

         Red-crested Pochard - Attenborough NR

Common Pheasant - Collingham Village

Lesser Whitethroat - Langford Lowfields

Greylag Goose - Langford Lowfields

Sedge Warbler - Attenborough NR

Common Whitethroat - Attenborough NR

Grey Heron - Attenborough NR

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Going off the rails - Not!

Hearing about some obliging Water Rails at Attenborough Nature Reserve, I left work early on Friday 9th March and with still decent light despite the bubbling cloud, I was gob-smacked by just how unwary the birds were. Three in all, with a little patience I was able to get some amazing images of this normally retiring species. A supporting cast of Greater Scaup, Little Egret, Dunnock and Robin, made for a pleasing early spring birding afternoon.

Water Rail



Rotten Apple Bird

The beginning of March saw the so-called 'Beast from the East' arrive, bringing snow and sub-zero temperatures. This was largely over-hyped by the media, although it was bad enough for me to stock up the feeders. Seeing a few flocks of thrushes gathering locally, I realised it was time to bring out the bletted apples.

Throwing these out on the morning of 2nd March, it wasn't long before a Fieldfare was munching away, just a few metres from my kitchen window. He defended his fruit against all comers, especially other Fieldfare. I was able to get some unusually close images, showing the beautiful markings on this bird.

As a point of interest, the Dutch name for Fieldfare is Kramsvogel, a name derived from Old Dutch and relates to their love of rotten apples!