Sunday, 27 November 2011

Stunning starlings

Leighton Moss did not disappoint us with a spectacular murmuration seen from Causeway (the starlings flew directly over our heads- incredible sound of wings and they just kept on coming- hundreds of thousands)
Also not one but two bittern! The marsh harriers are still around and we saw a few sparrowhawk (one later on trying his luck with the murmuration)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Short eared owls like London buses

Ever since I was little and my dad sat me on his knee and flicked through his bird book- I have wanted to see a short eared owl. Both Pants and I have been hankering for a short eared owl all this Autumn. Up in Mull we knew there was a possibility of seeing them but nada. A shorty has been spotted at Leighton Moss but for us..nowt!
Decided to head to Wirral to see the family on Sunday afternoon and spend day off on Monday with the gang. We nipped by Burton Marshes on way and lo and behold .. being mobbed by a corvid.. SHORTY!! We ended up watching him for over an hour and realised there were at least two down there. Then took bro up there yesterday afternoon and they were everywhere.
Wonderful wonderful birds. Stunning views of them quartering, then plunging into the reeds. We even got one landing so close to my brother he had to hold his breath to avoid disturbing it.
So you wait a lifetime and they all come at once.
We even saw a male hen harier down at the marsh there in Burton- though only through bins.. too far to shoot (with camera)
Lighting was appalling so excuse the low quality of the pictures..

Friday, 18 November 2011

Murmuration Murmurings

Went to Leighton Moss on Mon 15th. We got some good Marsh Harrier action with two still around and one being attacked by,...well juries out.. could have been a hen harrier and in some pics it seems likely though sooo much smaller looking.

Anyway saw the murmuration which was spectacular - though weather was dark and overcast and we were on the road so the view was overshadowed by darkening hills in background.

Here for your delight our photos (we pray they will improve as a) starling flocks increase in size and b) we get into position and have good light.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Face to face with Fallow and Red Deer on Mull

There's a lot of deer on Mull, though you have to adjust your vision to see them sometimes when they are on a hillside. There are certainly many more red deer than fallow, but we were lucky enough to bump into both, almost literally. Start out early enough in the morning and you could well come face to face with them as they spend the hours before light eating the greener shoots closer to sea level. We had many sightings first thing in the morning, and came very close to having a beast of a stag on our laps as he crossed the road as we sped (if 30mph is speeding) beyond Craigoch.

Anyway, here's a few of the closer calls.