Back at the end of April I made the trip to RSPB South Stack on Anglesey in North Wales. I was fortunate to get some very close views of a pair of nesting Peregrines on the cliffs. It was nice to be able to look down on these birds rather than looking up high to see them.
I think I counted three eggs in total, but sadly only one has made it and being fed by the adults.
Keeping a lookout while the partner is on the eggs.
I saw a picture the other day that reminded me of one I had taken earlier this year in Norfolk. Then I realised I hadn't put it on my blog, so thought I 'd share it with you now.
It's a Common Redshank that posed for me on top of a fence post at Cley beach. A lovely pose.
On Sunday morning I nipped over to Frodsham in Cheshire to try and catch up with a long staying Red-necked Grebe. I'd been meaning to get along here for a few weeks, but hadn't quite managed it. The bird had not been reported for a few days, so I was unsure if my journey would be a fruitful one.
After a long walk through head high reeds and nettles, I got to the area where it had been staying and saw a couple of other birders who kindly confirmed it was still here. I had a short wait for it to come to our side of the River Weaver and then another wait for the sun to appear. It was all very worthwhile though as I got to see this lovely bird in all it's Summer plumage. Stunning.
And just for comparison, here it is alongside a Great Crested Grebe.
I seem to be coming across these guys quite a lot recently. They are doing extremely well in this country. There was a time not so long ago when they were pretty infrequent, rare in fact. Thankfully they seem to be positively thriving, especially in the South of the country. This one below was seen in Norfolk, but I also saw four last weekend at my parent's in Essex. These were never seen when I was growing up, but now a visit doesn't go by without seeing at least one.
That foot reminds me of a rattan cane umbrella handle.
This little guy was getting absolutely drenched during a heavy downpour. Clearly wasn't too concerned though as it just carried on scanning the shore line for food. I like the Little Ringed Plover. A very nice bird that is always a surprise to see. I don't know why really. I suppose because they are so small that you just don't expect to be able to see them. I love that yellow around the eye.
Whilst in Wales looking for Sea birds I took a detour to Holyhead after hearing that there were Black Guillemot in the harbour. I parked up and scanned around to see what was about. Not a lot it would seem. So I contented myself with looking out to sea. It was a nice sunny day, so it was pretty pleasant. Then walking back to the car and a few more scans around the harbour and I spotted one. Just bobbing around on the water. I managed to drive a little closer and get some pretty good views. lovely red feet very visible in the clear water. What a beauty!
From Cley beach a few weeks ago, I got the unexpected surprise of seeing five or six Little Terns fishing. Super little birds. They look very light as they float effortlessly through the air, constantly looking down for that fish or sand eel that might give itself up for a snack. I must say, very difficult to capture with the camera though. Small grey bird against grey sky doesn't lend itself to easy focusing and even harder when they move so quickly.
I tried for this bird last year and messed up my timings by a matter of days. This time I thought I'd catch it at the beginning of it's migration to this country. So about a month ago I made a very early start to get down to the Norfolk, Suffolk border to look for these very unusual looking birds. The Stone Curlew is one of our earliest returning migrants. Making it's nest on the ground, it scurries around in quite a comical fashion. Anyway, I manage to see one (actually 5) for the first time, and I enjoyed every minute of those two hours watching them.
The weather forecast for my weekend in Norfolk was for heavy showers and sunshine. With this in mind, my plan was to wait out any rain in a hide or the car. The first rain arrived a lot sooner than I thought. I was the only one sat in the hide when I noticed the sky turning yellow. Then I heard the neighbours upstairs moving some heavy furniture. It quickly dawned on me that this was a storm and that was thunder I heard. So I thought I'd enjoy this storm and opened all the windows in the hide and waited. It came in very fast and the rain was torrential. It last for around ten minutes, but it was spectacular and I have to admit I rather enjoyed myself in there all alone. I can even see the appeal of becoming a storm chaser. Well, sort of.
This poor coot carries on as though nothing is happening.
The Shoveler was less impressed by the bullet sized rain that was hitting him.
This Avocet took an unusual stance of raising it bill in the air.