Saturday, 31 December 2011

South Polar Skuas feeding in slick ~ May 2009 Hatteras, NC USA

5 pochard on the canoe lake the other day. december is normally the month for gulls but didn't even see an adult argie, hoping for some east winds soon, or some ice.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

back showing well beside the canoe lake. also 1 argie and 3 pochard seen.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

a short-eared owl flew east overhead then inland whilst i was walking down to the canoe lake at c.2.30pm. seems to be a higher proportion of black-headed/med gulls with hoods than normal for the time of year, or have i just not noticed it before? also seeing quite a few oiled gulls so must have been a local spill

Saturday, 19 November 2011

two xbills over and a v vocal brambling in trees at sandown this morn

Friday, 18 November 2011

devon pics

was cloudy everyday so no chance of getting good pics of the autumn colours

berry head lighthouse

balamory style at brixham

wasn't expecting the river dart to be so disturbed by water sports. seems like everyone from the city wants to spend their weekends in a kayak. not surprising then that i only saw one dipper
in plymouth we visited the aquarium. cuttlefish are one of my faves, wish i'd taken a vid of this one. the jellyfish looked cool as well, wasn't expecting those. was pleased with the low light performance of my new camera.

some slr pics of the otter on my flickr site

Monday, 14 November 2011

stopped off to twitch the otters at blandford on the way home. seems a bit artificial to tick a wild animal in this way but after grilling the waters of the dart for a week i realised i aint got much chance of seeing one in england, and you wouldn't even get views like this in scotland. after missing one by minutes on the first go we timed it perfectly on the second. quote from one woman in the crowd 'this is the best day of my life' !

there are some more vids of the otter on my youtube channel

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Saturday, 5 November 2011

i had what must've been a lap bunting flying west along the cliff at yaverland in the gloom first thing this morning. felt like i knew the noise but wasn't making an exact match in my head. and the silhouette/flight was right being a big and strongly built bird. different to the one i had at culver recently which was instant id, i've never been in a situation where i couldnt id a bird from call before so it's been really bugging me all day! was just repeatedly doing a chu call but not exactly the type i've heard them do in association with the rattle.
am all about the tit flocks now. looked at 6 today but only got 2 firecrests out of it. 4 swallows over the cycle track. most interesting thing up culver was this 'ivy tree'.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

one from the cornwall trip  - mousehole harbour
got myself a new camera for digi/videoscoping to replace the shitty samsung that i've put up with for a couple of years. i had a v quick go on it today and the biggest improvement is the handling, so much easier to follow a subject, panning the scope and holding the camera to the eyepiece. with a stronger zoom the vignetting seems less too. spec wise it's got a 5x optical zoom, image stabilizer, f2.7 lens, 12m pixel sensor and full hd video, with a handy dedicated video button, and is the size of my mobile! great value for £108. cameras have come on so much since the coolpix i bought ten years ago probably for double that price. now i just need a caspian gull on the canoe lake to point it at.

on the subject i had to send my canon lens in for repair recently and the bill was nearly half what i originally paid for the lens! has put me off buying another lens with an image stabilizer a little

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

1 xbill over work
flock of 27 xbills, 19 swallows, 4 blackcaps, 1 wheatear up culver. wasn't any better at st caths - just 1 firecrest. still no pallass's. bring on the gulls

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Friday, 28 October 2011

was watching some long-tailed tits this morning. looking down on a migrant-looking flock in minimal blackthorn scrub on the cliff face at yaverland, in cold light on a crisp late october day, long-tailed tits are hard to beat.
snow bunting at bembridge down, appeared to come up from west car park and dropped down beside fort but nothing more. 5 bullfinches over, 4 wheatears. ring ouzel red cliff and seo flushed (brilliant view for all of a split sec), flew straight out to sea. seo overhead at the canoe lake moving inland. a hummingbird hawkmoth was inspecting each red light on the outside of sandown amusement arcade - nope, none of them were flowers.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

140 gannets east, 4 scoter, 1 manx west, trickle of kits, handful of auks past ventnor, disappointing in sse wind.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Thursday, 20 October 2011

couldn't compete with rob martin's 30th bday bird but a lapland bunting west at culver is still a good one for me (3rd record and 1st on passage). otherwise quiet. 2 ouzels, 2 small flocks of xbills. actually saw some redpolls perched but were just lessers.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

the percentage of mealy redpolls being trapped at dunge lately is interesting/annoying cos i've never knowingly seen one, never get to see autumn migrants on the deck
been down to penwith for a 3 night break staying in whitesands lodge. only find was a wryneck booted out of gorse on coast path at treen, my 1st in uk for a few years. on last morning the wind had veered nw after a sw blow overnight. looking off sennen cove there was a phenomenal gannet passage so we quickly moved on to pendeen where i watched for a couple of hours, the volume of birds so amazing compared to what i'm used to even if it was mainly gannets (est. 6k p/h) and razorbills.

some of the poms were passing over the white water! can just about see me in this pic, down near the sea and soaking up the views - most people were up against the lighthouse wall, pointless. i dunno who put the report of 2 poms and 6 balearics out but they must've been watching with their eyes closed.

a seal put on a good show playing in the surf at porthcurno....

Friday, 14 October 2011

13 shoveler at the canoe lake. on 10th there were about 80 meds there
yesterday did st caths for the first time in autumn. drew a blank but it was another crazy summer-like day, surely the last one now. 1 firecrest at old blackgang road junction. someone needs to take a machete to rocken end.

fog bank rolling off blackgang

rock balancing - it's the new thing that all the kids are doing