Friday, 29 March 2013

Burton Marsh

A longer day than expected at Burton Marsh, as we were expecting it to be Burton Wood. A quick recon trip ended up taking all day as we waited around for Siskins (plenty) and Redpolls (never showed). The feeders are patrolled by boisterous families of Brown Rats which have become quite tolerant of the visitors.

Water Rail and Snipe were visible by the visitor centre but the awful plank hide/fencing around it make it almost impossible to a) get down to anywhere near ground level or b) even get the barrel of a large lens through the gaps. This is extremely frustrating, even for using binoculars if the birds are at an awkward angle (and when aren't they?!)

Jackdaws are nesting in the trees, although they need to either learn to pick smaller twigs or pick a larger hole to nest in.

Water Rail on the run

Brown Rat


Jackdaw with nesting material


Brown Rat nibbling



Female Chaffinch

Male Chaffinch

Male Siskin

Female Siskin

Male Siskin


Snipe and the early worm

Jackdaw pair nesting

Mallard interrupted

Greylag/Canada cross

Brown Rat

Male Siskin by catkins


Grey Squirrel raiding the squirrel-proof feeders

Friday, 22 March 2013

Garden Snow

A mixture of snow and birds was in the garden so we aired the kitchen thoroughly by poking the camera out the window all morning. The light is still in the wrong direction, but with overcast skies and reflective snow the exposures were coming out a lot better than usual.


Feral Pigeon

Feral Pigeon

Blackbird and grass

Blackbird on ivy

Collared Dove

(Temporarily crested) Long-tailed Tit
This female blackbird has become quite adept at raiding our fatball feeder. Initially she would fly up and peck from underneath but has now learned how to hold on, at least for a while.  The male is just now learning the original flying-leap method (when he's allowed to, the female definitely wears the trousers in our garden).

Female Blackbird

Long-tailed Tit in swirling snow

Collared Dove

Long-tailed Tit

Greenfinch on budding branch


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Moore & Moore

Two trips to Moore Reserve, a week apart. The first week heavily overcast, freezing cold (forgetting our waterproof trousers we ended up shivering under our groundsheet during lunch). The Lesser-spotted Woodpecker was showing and drumming quite regularly but never coming close enough for a good shot and in terrible light.
Trying again a week later we had much cleared skies, proper clothing and crowds of twitchers trying to see the LSW. Which never showed up all day. I think it just stayed away because of all the people *grumble*.
There were also a pair of juvenile Iceland Gulls (which had flown by the time we got there) and a female Smew (too far away and in failing light to get good shots). Hence only a few, poor shots, but at least we got some exercise.

Lesser-spotted Woodpecker

Great-spotted Woodpecker


Grey Squirrel

Great-spotted Woodpecker

Lesser-spotted Woodpecker

Great-spotted Woodpecker

Little Grebe



Plane climbing from Liverpool Airport