17.3.16

Thursday…Mainly Cloudy with the temperature around 6ºC.

Yet again a very quiet day on HC.  There have been reports of Oil and Bloody-Nosed Beetles, but as yet I have seen neither. We did see two Woodcock in flight this morning.

Dunnock…

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I’m hoping things will warm up soon, and the wildlife pick up!

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16.3.16

Wednesday, Cool and grey start to the day. 7ºC around 8;30am.

A few signs that spring is here, and the winter is nearly behind us…

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The first sighting for me, of a Slow worm in 2016…

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Looks like this Common Buzzard is interested in a French car…

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As yet, these what look like Invert eggs are Unidentified. Approximately 2mm in Diameter.

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16.3.16

Tuesday, Mainly Sunny with Clouds, 9ºC

I think this was the longest I’ve ever heard a Nuthatch sing. It seemed to go on ages…

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With all the bad weather over the winter, nice to see the picnic tables finally being used…

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Had a great session observing this Common Buzzard. I was luckily in the right position as it landed. Usually they fly off if you get as close as I was today. I watched it for at least half an hour. All the time I watched it never stopped hunting. I swear it was using the passing cars, to see if they disturbed any small rodents under where it had perched. With every car that passed it would move it’s head side to side, and scan the ground even more intensely.

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The next four photos show how a Buzzard fluffs out it’s breast feathers, to tuck it’s leg/foot inside the fluffed feathers. This is to reduce heat loss to the unfeathered limbs..

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At this moment I thought I had been spotted, but it never moved, and it kept on hunting. The other photo here, shows well the Nictitating Membrane covering the eye..

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I seem to be catching a lot of birds with an itch lately. The Curlew Sunday, and today this Buzzard…

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When the bird stood up, I thought it was about to fly off. It did not fly off, see the following photo for reason..

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Oh Well! We all have to go…

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With not much about on HC today…It’s close encounters with what is a common bird for Highgate Common, makes the effort seem worthwhile…Loved Every Minute, with this stunning bird….

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Snettisham & Titchwell Trip.

Sunday 13/3/16:- Mainly sunny all day, with the temperature reaching 8ºC. Although the drive up to Norfolk was hell. Driving in thick Fog with only 100 metres visibility, for nearly 2 hours of the 3 hour journey, was a nightmare.

Going to post my photos as the day unfolded for me and Ken….

Snettisham RSPB:-

With less and less sightings of Grey Partridge in the West Midlands, it’s really a highlight to see one these days. Plus I have never managed to photograph a Grey Partidge, which made it even better…

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Talking of rare sightings in my neck of the woods, it’s hard to believe Greenfinches were once my commonest garden bird…

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I’ve called this photo Cleopatra the Oystercatcher…

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Distant Little Grebe…

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Unlike last year when the tide was out at Snettisham, and there were plenty of Knot on the shoreline. This time the tide was right in, so we only saw around six. The only photo opportunity we got was this distant flight photo…

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Two Ringed Plover…

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This Pied Wagtail was busy looking for a meal on one of the Holiday Chalets…

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Adult Winter plumage…Common Gull…

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Titchwell RSPB..

On arrival at Titchwell, it’s always good idea to check the feeders out. Up to five Brambling   were visiting them. Including this Male and Female…

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The Avocet numbers seemed to have gone down the last few years at Titchwell. But at least this one came close to give us a photo opportunity….

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A small flock of Snow Buntings were on the beach, and also dashing in and out the dunes. Got quite a few photo’s. But I can’t decide which is my best. So I will post some of the better ones…

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Although very sunny with blue skies, the day still had a chilly strong wind. Especially on the beach. These two Turnstones landed and soon got out of the wind, for a rest…

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We didn’t get any close views of Marsh Harrier, this very high Female, that flew directly over our heads was the nearest we got…

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With three Marsh Harriers flying around Titchwell, no wonder this Redshank is looking up…

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Distant Brent Goose…

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Fly over Shelduck…

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Wren…

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As with the Marsh Harriers, we didn’t get many close views of Little Egret, so this distant photo had to do…

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Two male Teals. One of the things I love to see on some ducks is the vermiculated feathers, as you can see down the side, of this Teal in the first photo…

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Bar-Tailed Godwit…

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Two Curlews, one with an itch…

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A noisy row broke out between the Oystercathers. The Oystercather making the most noise, was this one in the photo. It was guarding a Starfish under it’s feet. Luckily the Oystercatcher in the background, seems to have found a tasty clam/meal of its own to eat…

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Unlike Snettisham, by the time me and Ken got to the beach at Titchwell the tide was out. I was hoping for closer photo opportunities of the next few species. So distant photo’s had to be the order of the day..

Dunlin…

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Sanderling, plus a size comparison with two winter plumaged Gulls…

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Grey Plover…

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I’m not very good with winter plumaged gulls. But going by the pale window, on the inner primaries, I would say this is a 1st winter Herring Gull…

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Close to where we saw the Snow Buntings, there was a dead Seal, which had been washed up onto the dunes. In the very far distance, there was another large seal shaped object on the beach. With no movement, we presumed it was another dead Seal, and mainly ignored it for the next hour or so whilst on the beach. Later.. not sure if it was me or Ken, but while scanning for other birds, one of us noticed it lift its head up. With the beach really quiet, we decided to go and have a closer look. Turns out it was a Grey Seal. We did not get to close, so as not to distress it. Took a few photo’s and left it to enjoy the late afternoon sun, and fall back to sleep. We reckon it had about an hour to wait before the tide came in.     What a Great way to end the Day….

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Well almost, we did see this Jay in the Car Park…

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70 species of Bird ticked for the Day Trip to Norfolk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12/3/16

Saturday….Sunny with Blue Skies… 4ºC

Must admit at the moment it’s very quiet over HC, and we are finding it hard going, to see any wildlife to report on.

With no Moths at the Wardens Office we decided to have a walk over Mere Pools. Sitting on top of one of the hedges down the lane , was a Song Thrush enjoying the early morning sunlight…

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Always nice to see Lapwings on farmland close to HC. Last year a pair built a nest close by, only to have it ploughed through by a farmer. Better Luck this year I hope….

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There were 4 Tufted Duck on the pools (Only managed to get 3 in this photo)…

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Wood Pigeon Tree….

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Greylag Goose coming into land…

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Always nice to see the Hot Air Balloon’s, usually means..sun is shining and no winds. So I’m hoping for more Hot Air Balloon type days this year. Photographed over Brant Hill in hazy sunshine…

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Great Tit…

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We got to see our first Bee on HC this year. I’m almost sure that the Queen of the Red-tailed Bumblebee emerge first. So I would guess this is a Queen Red-tailed Bumblebee. How it was walking, it looked as if it had only just woke up…IMG_9300

Female Kestrel…

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With it being so quiet on HC, me and Ken have decided to have a trip over Norfolk tomorrow. Looking forward to the day…not the 4am start.

 

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6.3.16

Sunday… A mixed bag of weather really, but even in the sun there was a cutting cold wind.

Me and Ken decided to have a trip over to Belvide Reservoir (Permit Only) today. But we did check out The Wardens Office at HC to check for Moths. Unfortunately even the Winter Moths seem to have abandoned us at the moment.

So today I will report on our trip to Belvide Reservoir…

One of the first birds we saw was as usual, a very friendly Robin. I still find it hard to pass up a chance to take a photo…

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Just before I took this photo of a Wren, it had a big struggle with a larva of some sort. I must have taken 20 photos of it with the larva, but with it moving so quickly, not one photo was in focus….

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Belvide Reservoir always gives you good opportunities to photograph Great-spotted Woodpeckers….

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Nuthatch..

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Distant Cormorant…

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Tufted Duck…

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By the Coot (top) and the Moorhen (below) photos, you can see how the weather and light conditions were changing….

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Male Reed Bunting…

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Male Chaffinch…

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Male Goldeneye..

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Always a pleasure to see, and photograph Tree Sparrows. But the numbers of this beautiful Sparrow do seem well down…

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Three Shelduck seemed to be displaying…

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Great-crested Grebe…

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Male Teal with a pair of Mallards…

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We were a bit unfortunate with this Curlew, it had been sitting on a nearby island, from the very impressive new hide.I must admit, I think I put it up by opening the hides windows. So I had to settle for these two fly over photos instead. Anybody who knows me, knows I hate disturbing any bird, for the sake of a photo…

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Not long after a good number of Lapwing landed quite close by…

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In amongst the Lapwing was this Pied Wagtail…

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Oystercatcher…

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Lastly on the bird front, an un-tickable Black Swan, but still worth a close up..

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Thanks to Ken for sending me this Stourbridge Homosapiontotally enjoying his visit to Belvide Reservoir. Always a fantastic place to visit if you love birds as much as me and Ken…

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4.3.16.

Friday, Sunny but a cold -1ºC.

Although cold, it was a lovely morning for a walk over HC.

This Green Woodpecker was just staying out of the frosty grass, and keeping in the sun, digging the softer ground, looking for breakfast…

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The Goldcrests were flitting about as normal, almost making it impossible to take their photo…

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Is Spring on its way? The Frogs obviously think it is, with a nice big clump of Frog spawn in the smaller Island pool…

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Song Thrush…

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