Thursday, 20 May 2010

Grey Day

This prime example of a Grey Plover was the second Beds tick of the week and a cracking bird all round. Unfortunately he didn't come any closer than distant, hence the unflattering photo. Nice of him to stop of on his way to the Arctic though.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Frasier Cranes

Steve's call did interrupt Eastenders but I couldn't turn down a Beds tick and lifer. Once I'd set sky plus, I drove irratically to Quest pit to tick off these dog-sized birds. They're as close to Ostriches as you're gonna get in Bedfordshire!

Sunset Sedgie

Iberian ZilpZalp

Monday, 17 May 2010

Derbyshire Dippers (and Grouse)

The (in)famous Lathkill Dale proved pretty poor for photography despite amazing conditions. After walking in entirely the wrong direction we eventually came to the waterfall and were met with singing Redstarts and Grey Wags but the black and white birds were thin on the ground. We had two pretty shy individuals so we decided to cut our loses and don oxygen masks to begin the ascent to the summit/car park. We then made our way to Padley Gorge where we found a really confiding bird with an aesthetically pleasing mouthful of ex-invertebrates and a penchant for standing on cliched mossy rocks.

The birds of the day for me though were the Red Grouse. These game birds don't get much press but they really are good value for money with a bizzare call, an amazing ability to run hilariosuly and a face made for whisky. It was only when I read up on them when I got home that I found out they were endemic to the British Ilses! Long live the Red Grouse!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Ashwell's Dung

The middens between Ashwell and Dunton are again stocked full of good classic farmland birds. The stars of the show are the 4+ Wheatears that aren't shy about having their pictures taken. Well worth a re-visit, if only it was in Beds...