Broad-Bodied Chaser

Broad-Bodied Chaser
Wing Mosaic (Broad-bodied Chaser): Winner, Nikon In-Frame Competition August 2010

Spoonbill

Spoonbill
Spoonbill: Birdguides Photo of the Year 2012 Runner-up

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Swamp Thing

On Sunday 31st July a Western Swamphen was found at Minsmere, Suffolk. Still present a few days later I realised that the only window to see this was to divert a family holiday via Suffolk at a stupid time of the morning on Friday 5th August.  So there we were at dawn after a 2am wake-up.  And what an absolute pleasure it was walking through the woods of Minsmere out into the reeds as the sun rose (sunrise pics by Eve Hines).




A bird with many names; previously known in the guides as Purple Gallinule, now referred to as Purple Swamphen, and in this case the Purple Chicken - Western Swamphen is its current title as the race of south-west Europe.





The bird was seen immediately before it disappeared for some time, before appearing briefly close in and then flying some distance to the far side of the pool.  In between a couple of Bitterns flew around and Marsh Harriers passed over.


A walk back through the woods to the cafe rounded off a perfect morning.  It was gone by the next morning.






Monday, 15 August 2016

Not-So-Common Rosefinch in London

Didn't expect to see this in London in July!  A superb male summer-plumaged Common Rosefinch at Walthamstow Marshes. Singing on and off from early morning, it favoured the aerials above the Anchor and Hope pub, which unfortunately wasn't open for a celebratory drink at 6.30am.

Usual view...




Slightly better view...




That's better....it briefly flew over the river to feed with sparrows just behind us, where I managed to snatch a couple of shots through the reeds.






Thanks for looking.

Friday, 12 August 2016

More Gannets

Almost by accident, I was near Bempton Cliffs earlier this year in March. I managed to spend a couple of hours on the cliff tops. Although early in the breeding calendar, the Gannets were numerous.










A few Kittiwakes were the only other birds present in any good numbers: