Saturday, December 30, 2006
Just home from Ireland visiting family, managed a couple of short walks during the few days on Bull Island, where I cut my teeth as a youngster. Superb site for gulls, waders and wildfowl in particular and has turned up many a rarity in its time. Best of all, the birds are accustomed to human activity and allow quite a close approach as a result. Apart from a host of common species including Pintail, Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon, Shelduck, Brent Goose, Black and Bar Tailed Godwits, Golden and Grey plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Turnstone, Redshank, Knot, Oystercatcher and more one or two better species seen. Best were 2 adult Ring Billed Gulls present all week. Also present were adult Mediterranean Gull, 5 Little egret, Perigrine and Merlin pair.
Photos; Grey Plover at sunset, Ring Billed Gull, Shelducks; Shovelers, Bull Island at dusk.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
A very dark, cold and wet winter's day produced little, with the exception of 16 Smew at Svärdsnasviken, including several stunning male birds. Low light and distance meant I was unable to digiscope these birds, though I did manage some thumbnail sketches with the use of the zoom lens. Long Tailed Tits were elusive as regards the camera, as was a brief 2nd calender White-Tailed Sea Eagle.
Some good birds reported here over the last week, Golden Eagle on two days, Jack Snipe and Bearded Tit also...
Friday, December 08, 2006
I have rarely worked so hard to see a bird, then again, it has rarely been so worthwhile seeing a bird as this was for me...
This Ural Owl was first reported first on the 22nd of November by a dogwalker. Since then it has ranged over a huge area and proved incredibly elusive for such a large bird. Finally seeing it today was something of a dream realized, a truly beautiful, impressive bird.
The bird initially gave me a stunning view as it perched on a small embankment watching me. It then moved to a more distant fence where it remained for some minutes before flying into the woods. Five minutes later it returned to give a most welcome encore on a closer fencepost before it ghosted off into the woods and dissapeared.
This is the kind of bird one could watch from dawn to dusk and I will be back in the hope of further views of this stunning creature.
Documentary videograb below...