Monday, November 26, 2012


A Sparrowhawk flew through the garden today no doubt looking to catch some of the birds using my feeders.

Saltholme in the sun

I went to Greenabella marsh and Saltholme R.S.P.B on Teesside last Friday.

I arrived at first light and walked down Greetham Creek as the sun rose.  There were Common Seals hauled out on the mudflats and large flocks of Oystercatcher, Widgeon and Teal on the shoreline and pools.

As I walked on I saw a Red Breasted Merganser on one of the pools and two Barn Owls, one young and one adult,  sitting in the entrance of a nest box out on the marsh. As I watched and took photographs the adult flew towards me, low over my head and out over the marshes. Unfortunately I didn't get the camera on it till it was flying away into the low sun.

Later in the morning I went to R.S.P.B Saltholme where I saw Waxwing and Redwing in the bushes near the car park and also had a very good view of a kestrel perched in the bushes and then hovering over my head as I walked down one of the reserve footpaths.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Holiday in Herefordshire

I have spent the last four days near Ross-on-Wye with some members of the Low Barns photography club.

We visited Slimbridge WWT, Gigrin Farm Red Kite Centre and The International Bird of Prey Centre near Gloucester.  On the way home we called at Old Moor RSPB near Sheffield.
Photography was challenging as the weather was very grey but we had some great views of the wildlife.

The ducks, flamingos and owls are captive birds.  The Bewick Swan, Wood Pigeon, Red Kites and Kestrel are wild birds

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Starling roost

I was at Low Barns yesterday afternoon, with a colleague from the photo club, scanning the river for the otter. No sign!
Walking back to the car park we noticed groups of starlings appearing from all directions. Soon there was a large flock of over 1000 birds wheeling over the reed beds.
At one point there were also 3 Sparrowhawks circling and attacking the birds. You can see one at bottom centre in the first image splitting the flock as it flies upwards.
The images are very poor as it was almost dusk.

Eventually the birds poured down into the reed beds and safety.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Otter - At last!

I went to Low Barns early this morning.  There was a heavy frost and all the lakes had a thin covering of ice.

I went to the river Wear at the west end of the reserve. Looking upstream where there is a deep pool I saw some splashing about 70m away which through the binoculars turned out to be an otter chasing a large fish which it eventually caught.

Fortunately it swam downstream and pulled the fish out about 25m away and started to eat it. I watched it for about 10 minutes until eventually I crept too close and the otter (and the fish) disappeared into the pool.

The fish which I think was a large sea trout was as big as the otter.