Sunday, 27 October 2013

Swift, Swift, Swift

What a days birding, Norfolk never lets you down. Yesterday I set out again with Chris, Brendan and Paul to go birding. My spirits were high after last weeks success seeing a SEMIPALMATED PLOVER. We set of at the ungodly hour of 5:50 and arrived in Norfolk around 9 o'clock ready to start birding. We began at Cromer to see if we could connect with the Pallid Swift which had been there the day before, but news of a possible Blyth's Pipit set us running to Clye were we found out it was actually a Richard's Pipit and it hadn't been seen in a while. After giving a look around we only found some Brent Geese, Golden Plover and flocks of both Pintail and Wigeon. We than did a quick sea watch to pass the time whilst waiting for the Richard's Pipit to be relocated the highlights of which were Red-throated Diver and Common Scoter. When the rain started we gave up and headed back towards Cromer to Trimingham where the Swift had been relocated. We arrived at the layby just to be told that the bird was somewhere else further down the road so we immediately headed over there and quickly after arriving we were on the SWIFT sp.. The light was terrible and all I could make out was that it was a swift but some other people seemed confident that it was the Pallid Swift. When the bird left so did we and on to the Lapland Buntings just a few minutes down the coast. On the way I kept my eye on the sky and it payed off, half way to the Buntings suddenly a SWIFT sp. flew next to the car and over the buildings, it's the end of October so Swifts are just as likely to be Pallid as Common. I shouted out "Swift, Swift, Swift. Over the car, over the car, OVER THE CAR" Chris did an emergency break and we got out as the car was moving just to see the swift, it flew over us for a few seconds and than flew on. After a minute it came back round and than left not to return. I am still unsure if it was a Common or a Pallid but it was very near where we later saw the Pallid for definite. Soon we were back in the car and back on our way to the Buntings, we parked about 20 minutes walk away from the Buntings and quickly set off. I spotted a Clouded Yellow on the way and when we got onto the scene we were the only ones there. A Snow Bunting was he first bird we saw but Chris and Paul also found a Lapland Bunting.

Snow Bunting

It hide very well in the crops but showed up to about 6-8 feet from us! The bird must have been injured. After this success we headed back to the Trimingham and stopped at the layby were I instantly spotted the Swift flying low over the hedges. We watched it for a good hour and by the end we were certain it was a Pallid Swift.

Pallid Swift

We than finished the day with Stubb Mills were we saw Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Great White Egret, Red-legged Partridge, Merlin and Common Crane.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Richmond deer

It's been a fair few weeks since I last posted anything, that's mostly due to me trying 4-5 weeks in a row to photograph the Corn Buntings at Pitstone Hill. It's funny how as soon as you bring a camera no bird wants to show itself, I didn't even see one in the weeks let alone get the opportunity to photograph one. Last week I decided to scrap that idea and have a day of photographing the deer at Richmond Park. October is the perfect time to go, the leaves are turning an orangy, brown and falling to the floor whilst the morning become more blue, misty. This is also the rutting season were you can watch the bucks or stags claim different  does and defend their territory by locking their antlers and fighting till one submits or is injured. I enjoy watching this and capturing it but unfortunately today no fights occurred whilst I was watching. But they did seem to be active. Most of the day was spent walking around following the deer but I obtained a few shots but nothing special.

Female Red Deer

Male Red Deer

Male Red Deer