For most of the year I find the Wren notoriously hard to spot. Usually in thick dense undergrowth, keeping out of harms way, whilst teasing me with its tick tick alarm call. Come the colder winter months though they are forced from their cover to forage more widely for food, or is just that there are less leaves on the trees and bushes? I'm not sure, but what I do know is that they give much better views when the days are cold. Such a loud song too for a very small bird.
Blackbirds have been very conspicuous of late, and they've been taking advantage of the abundance of berries on our hedges and bushes. It seems that many migrate here from other parts of Europe, but I've yet to truly distinguish these from our own birds. It seems as though some of the migratory birds have a darker browner bill, whereas this one below quite clearly has a more yellow bill.
Plenty to eat here.
This male has Ring Ouzel like scalloping of brown edged black feathers.
Shelducks remind me of Norfolk and Snettisham in particular. This was where I first remember seeing hundreds of them on every piece of water I looked at one winter. Great looking birds and so very colourful. These shots were taken at Martin Mere this Autumn. Look what a difference the light makes to the colour. It's been a very frustrating Autumn/Winter this year. Just not enough light at the weekends for good pictures.
Here's to a brighter year ahead, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you to all of you who visit my blog. I'll do my best to bring you some decent bird shots in the year to come.
I think the one bird that I and many associate with Christmas (apart from a Turkey) is the Robin. I've had plenty just recently outside my window and I've tried to capture them at numerous times in a nice Christmassy pose (if that makes sense). I'd failed miserably. Until Monday when I was off and looking for birds far more exciting. This little chap just appeared feet away from me, clearly checking me out to see what I was up to. So I just let him carry on his business and me mine and we enjoyed a good few minutes together. I think we were both happy. Me with my pictures and he was happy I was not causing any disturbance.
Merry Christmas Mr Robin and thanks for the pose.
A day off today to finish my Christmas shopping went so well that it left me with a little time to pop down to my patch and see what was about. The answer was not an awful lot, well not out of the ordinary anyway. There were though some really super looking Song Thrushes hopping and skipping around one of the fields. A few Blackbirds and Robins, oh and I did see my first Redwing of the year and on my patch too. A goo day all round.
At Leighton Moss a few weeks back, I came across a very large group of very friendly or stupid Pheasants. It was really cold and they really didn't seem concerned by me at all. So I took advantage of this fact to get some close ups. If I'm honest, they were a little too close, but I shouldn't complain I suppose. These game birds usually scare the life out of me when I flush them (unintentionally) so it was nice to wander along the path with them
It's been a while since I've seen a Treecreeper and I wasn't really looking for one when I was at Macclesfield Forest, but the cold seemed to have brought them out in abundance with at least 4 seen in a short space of time. I find that they're one of those birds that I just have to watch once I've spotted one. They're a little hypnotic the way they wind their way up the tree and then down again to the next one, while picking under the bark for food.
A lovely crisp cold morning and -5 showing on the thermometer. It was time to get myself back to Macclesfield Forest and the surrounding area. Lots of Goldcrests around the conifers and Blue Tits and Chaffinches flitting around. I managed to catch up with my first Fieldfares of this winter. I always look forward to our winter Thrushes arriving, and there were also plenty of Blackbirds around. Still waiting to see my first Redwing, but I'm sure it won't be long now before I catch up with one.
With good light, everything looks better and more colourful and nothing beats a bright sunny day.
Even the mallards get me looking back twice to enjoy the beautiful colours on the males head. So vibrant but sadly overlooked quite often. I even managed to get some ok flight shots of this particular duck.
I made a return trip to Tatton Park the other day. This time in search of the Fallow Deer. There were plenty around, but it appeared that the main part of the rut was now over for another year.
There were a couple of stags sat together in the long grass looking rather sullen and past the point of caring. While in the distance a larger male was happily strutting his stuff amongst his harem.
They were really quite difficult to see when they were sat in the long grass. Perfect camouflage.
I love to see the Grey Wagtail when I'm out on my birding jaunts. This little guy was busying himself around the edges of a reservoir in Macclesfield. It's looking a bit rough around the edges and a little scruffy. No doubt from a busy time feeding the young, as these was taken back in the Summer months. Please come back warm Summer evenings.
The Greylag goose is a pretty common goose and I must say a little uninspiring when you walk past yet another one on your walks. However, at Martin Mere I thought I'd try and make them a little more appealing by taking some more interesting pictures. Flight shots are always good, so that's what I tried to. I had varying success, but it made me look at this goose in a different light (so to speak).