Thursday, 27 February 2014

Perched Siskin.

Today with the college i went down to the new forest to look at the museum they had there before going on to a place called Blashford lakes which is very good for looking at birds. One of the hides there had several feeders in-front of it and was covered with birds. In fact, we heard them before we saw the hide. I saw my first Siskin and my first Redpole in among a large variety of the more common woodland species. I would definitely recommend it as a place to visit.

I took the photo below ( of a female Siskin) as it was eyeing up a spot on the very full bird feeder. The light was tricky so it was hard to take a half decent shot without any motion blur so i had to use my lowest aperture setting and an ISO of 1600.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Seafood eat food.

After the recent storms me and Debby went for a walk along the beach in Eastbourne, we found starfish and lots of other interesting bits and bobs. The gulls were doing the same thing, this one had found a whole dead crab, washed up on the beach. We watched as it dived down and picked it up from on-top of the sand, timing its dive to avoid the waves. However the other gulls were soon chasing after it. I took this photo after it landed and was trying to eat it before the other gulls caught up, as you can guess, it wasn't there for long before it was forced off its perch.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Starling Murmuration

Over the weekend me and my girlfriend Debby to a trip to Brighton to see the famous starling murmuration. A great big gathering of starlings that happens every night through the winter. They are here is large numbers as some are migrants from Russia and Scandinavia.

We waited on the pier (where the roost)  for a while and became a little bored, until we saw one solitary starling, and before long we were surrounded. Luckily there was just enough light for me to be able to get some photographs, the two below are my favorite :). Definitely an experience i would recommend and one i will never forget :).

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Mystery raptor... reveal ! (Wild Bird Wednesday)

The mystery raptor from the photograph was in fact a common buzzard (buteo buteo). The common buzzard has a very varied plumage. The reason that this one was particularly white could be one of two things (I must point out that this was after substantial research :) ).

Firstly it could be simply a juvenile as they have paler plumage, it is its full size but may not have developed its adult plumage yet.

The second and in my opinion more like reason for the large amount of white on its chest could be that it is a visiting buzzard from Scandinavia, where the buzzards there are in general a lot paler in appearance due to the more snowy habitat they live in. However they cannot hunt in permanent thick snow cover and so some migrate to relatively warmer places such as here in the south of England for the winter.

Apologies for the poor quality photo, but it has been edited to make it as clear as possible :).
(Information from the BTO and RSPB).

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Mystery Raptor?

I haven't posted much on my blog recently as i have been very busy, college, life etc. However due to the floods my train route now has a bus replacement service and takes me and my friend who i commute with (Megan) past a overflowing river. On one journey back last week we saw a large white bird.

Usually i would accept i have no idea what something is when i see it and look it up when i have the time, but this really bugged me. Especially because i had been trying to learn all of Britain birds of prey in detail and i still didn't know what it was. All we (me and megan) could really remember after seeing it from the bus window was that it was white on its chest with dark wings and it was very very large.

Therefore this weekend when my girlfriend Debby was visiting we went to look for it. When we arrived we got amazing views of a common buzzard. We watched for quite a while as it used a dead tree to spot movement below and ambush its prey.

However unknowingly to me Debby had sneaked off, determined to beat me at my own game and spot the mystery bird (which me and Megan had narrowed down to either a honey buzzard or osprey by now). She pointed out the smallest white patch in the thickest trees which to me, in all honesty seemed like a clearing, but as i was telling her that it moved.

At this point i became, admittedly a little over excited. As it was white, and a little bigger than the near by common buzzard. Even though this was our only view (below). A couple of minutes later however it shuffled along its branch and gave us a better look.

Have a guess at what you think it is, comment or keep it to yourself. I will post an clearer image with I.D by this time next week. I know its a bad image, and the reveal is not of top quality, but its just a bit of fun :). Also well done to Debby for the spot :D.