Fish Update

When ever I see something new in wildlife, I always like to see if I can identify it. In this case, I could just about see enough detail on the fish the Sanderling caught Sunday. Especially the black stripe running down from it’s eye. I heavily cropped the photo so you could see the fish better…

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After spending most of this afternoon looking through loads of UK saltwater fish websites, I finally found it. The fish’s common names are Butterfish or Rock Gunnel (Pholis gunnellus). It’s an amazing little fish that feeds on small Molluscs in the tidal zone. It often finds itself stranded on beaches or in rock pools. But this is no problem for the Butterfish, because unusually for a fish they can breath air through their gills. The below photo is a closer look at a Butterfish  off a UK fish website…

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Doing this also gives me a chance of posting a different Sanderling photo from Sunday. Slightly better than the one trying to eat the Butterfish. Just a shame this flock of Sanderlings did not surround me in sunshine. Never mind it was still a great experience..

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26.2.17.

Titchwell RSPB & Holkham Gap Trip, with Ken.

We had half an hour sun, and the rest of the day was very dull…14ºC

These Pink-footed Geese were the only two photos I managed with the sun totally out. There were at least 100 Pink Feet. It’s a shame the rest of the day was not this sunny.  Unfortunately it started to go dull not long after this. I ended up working with an high ISO for most of the day…

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On arrival at Holkham we saw at least 500 Wigeon…

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Our main reason for visiting Holkham Gap was to see the flock of Shorelark. There were around 20 birds, but unfortunately they were disturbed to often for me to get any decent photos….

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With the Shorelarks now on our Year List, it was time to go to Titchwell RSPB reserve. I was hoping for a Brambling to pop up for my year list. So it was nice to see and photograph this one…

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We saw two Siskins busy feeding on Alder seeds…

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On the reserve itself it was turning windy, and most of the Avocet grouped together…

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I was hoping for a better Gull day, with a reported Glaucous Gull flying up and down the coast. But we only got to see the usual cast….

Black-headed Gull…

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Herring Gull…

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Great Black-backed Gull…

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Anybody who as ever sea watched, will know Scoters are usually way out at sea, and really hard to photograph. Luckily on this day, they were as close to the shoreline as I have ever seen them. In this photo there are Common and Velvet Scoters. The Velvet Scoters are the birds with the small white patch on their faces. Also the bird stretching its wings showing a white underwing is a Velvet Scoter…

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Thanks to Ken for this photo. It’s obviously me sinking in the sand, and you can just make out the Scoters…

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While taking the above photos, I had a few fly pasts over the sea..

Oystercatchers…

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Plus this Curlew…

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As the tide was coming in, and me trying hard to get a decent Velvet Scoter photo, I was  unknowingly surrounded by Sanderling. I think this was my favourite part of the day. Especially when I noticed one running to a fish on the surface. I’m pretty sure it’s a form of Loach. Both me and Ken then watched this tiny wader try to kill off and eat this fish. At times I did wonder if the Sanderling would give up, especially how it kept wrapping it’s tail round the Sanderlings bill. But after about 5 minutes, it swallowed it down…But it was a struggle at times, and the Loach did not give up without a fight.

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Dunlin with a itchy head…

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Walking off the beach, I noticed something I have not seen, since I used to holiday in Mid Wales. It’s called a Mermaid’s Purse, and is the protective case for either a Shark or Ray egg. I did look this one up, and using my hand for measurements, I now know this is a Lesser-spotted Dogfish, or to give it it’s other name…Small-spotted Catshark…

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I was lucky enough to have a Water Rail show well again. That’s twice in just over a week…

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The day ended with three species of Raptor

Male and Female Marsh Harrier…

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This Peregrine Falcon put most of the reserves birds in the air…

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Then this Red Kite flew high over, which I must admit was a surprise…

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74 for species added to the trip tick list….

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Thanks to Ken for the photo of me, and doing the above list. Also thanks for your cup of tea. But next time I’d prefer it in a cup, and not over my trouser…LOL

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24.2.17.

Friday…12ºC…Bright Blue Skys, and Plenty of Sun…

After the 94mph winds of Doris yesterday, I guess it was inevitable that there would be trees down at HC. Sure enough it was not long before we saw damage…

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It was still very quiet, but on such a glorious morning it was a pleasure to be out. There seemed more than ever Nuthatches on this mornings walk…

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Blue Tit…

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Chaffinch…

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Dunnock…

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Song Thrush…

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Thanks to Ken for the Tree damaged photo!!!

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20.2.17.

Monday…The morning started off sunny, only for it to turn cloudy. 11ºC

I only had a short visit to HC this morning, and was joined by Ken. It was a good job Ken went, I had earlier checked out the Wardens Office for moths and came up with zero. Turns out I missed this March Moth (4th species this year), and Ken had not….

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The only other photo I took on this very quiet morning stroll, was this Song Thrush….

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19.2.17.

Sunday… Mainly Cloudy…9ºC.

Started the morning off by checking The Wardens Office out at Highgate Common. I will be doing this the next few weeks, in hope of getting my 1st Satellite Moth photograph. No luck today, but I did see this early instar Scarlet Tiger larva….

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Then it was off to Belvide Reservoir, just in case it decided to rain. I will post the photos how the day unfolded. The Kingfisher showed briefly in front of the Scott Hide. It was a shame it was so dull..

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Little Egret flew through distantly…

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Female Reed Bunting from the Gazebo Hide…

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Tree Sparrow also from the Gazebo Hide…

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Two Shelducks were being noisy, and chasing each other round. Well it’s that time of year…

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The Common Sandpiper looks set to stay through all of the winter…

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Grey Wagtail…

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Found a couple of Scarlet Elf Cups…

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Two Great Black-backed Gulls were throwing their weight about most of the day…

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Really enjoyed watching two Great-crested Grebes fish in front of the Scott Hide. At one point they sent about 100 small fish to the surface of the water, and most were jumping over some flattened reeds…

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The Red Head Smew had a rest from the water, and went for a walk on land..

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Two Water Rail showed well in front of the Scott Hide. This made up for the dissappointment of not seeing the Bittern roost. I was there till 5pm, and although Steve and Nigel saw it, I could not pick out the small area of the Bitterns feathers, they could see…

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As always, I thoroughly enjoyed my walk on the wildside today!!!

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18.2.17.

Saturday…Mainly Overcast…7ºC.

Had a nice walk over HC this morning. Just lately every time I was going to The Common, the heavens opened. So it was nice to have some dry weather for a change. It was also amazing to see how much work has been done by the Volunteers. Hopefully this dry spell will continue, so I can have more visits this coming week.

I managed to see my 3rd species of moth this year. With this Dotted Border showing exactly which Nature Reserve it is happy to be in…

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Seeing Snowdrops reminds me of something I read a few years ago. They are supposed to signal the end of the winter. With all the dull weather lately…I can only think…Fingers Crossed…

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12/13.2.17.

Sunday… Rainy with a cold wind. 3ºC

Monday… Sunny, feeling a lot warmer than yesterday. 7ºC

The last two days I’ve been over Swanhurst Park, in Moseley B’Ham. To see the Iceland Gull. Although me and Ken got to see the Gull yesterday, unfortunately it flew off before we had chance to photograph it.

Today was a totally different story with the Iceland Gull showing really well. I was not going to stay long this afternoon (I had been ill overnight), but with this beautiful White-winged Gull showing so well, I could not resist keep clicking away on my camera.

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For such a small pool, and in the middle of a busy town, It was amazing how many Gulls Swanhurst Park in Moseley attracts. Over the 2 days I took a few more photos including what I believe to be this Yellow-legged Gull…

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Below are some of the other birds I took over the two days…

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