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Saturday, 21 January 2017

Stoat on the ice, Curlew, hovering Chaffinches and a plethora of Tits!

The week got off to a pretty grim start weather wise, but as it progressed the Sun came out providing some lovely light. It was still cold though. Bitterly cold!
    At Greylake much of the water was frozen. A Stoat took advantage of this and ran across the ice into a reedbed in front of the hide looking for Snipe or Ducks hidden within! It was unsuccessful on this occasion, but others in the hide had seen it catch and kill a Snipe earlier in the day, and a few days earlier someone had photographed it catching a Teal!
   Still, it was wonderful to see it, and I even managed a few shots! They're animals that are rarely seen out in the open, so I felt very privileged!
    In the car-park Chaffinches and Reed Buntings were coming into the feeders and hovering momentarily, giving me the opportunity to fire off some mid-air shots with varying degrees of success. Even with decent equipment, nice light, quick reflexes and the right camera settings, these are tough shots to get! Luckily I managed some nice sharp photo's.
   On separate occasions this week I got some nice shots of Long Tailed Tits. I love these sweet tiny birds. If not for their long tail, they'd be the smallest bird in Europe! They're also a challenge photography-wise, they're constantly on the move and rarely 'pose' in full view!
   RSPB Swell Wood provided many more Tits for me to test my photography skills, aswell as the obligatory Nuthatch or 3!
   I also managed probably my best shots of Winter Thrushes ever, Redwing and Fieldfare.....rather flighty birds and usually hard to get close to!
   At the beach at Sand Bay near Weston Super Mare I saw Shelducks, Dunlin, Grey Plovers and Curlew. I was very pleased to get some nice shots of the Curlew! All in all, it's been a good week!

 In other news, 2 of the Worlds most respected Ornithologists, Hadoram Shirihai and Lars Svensson, have chosen 3 of my bird photos for their forthcoming bird book, 'Birds of the Western Paleartic', an epic work 17 years in the making!! I'm hugely privileged to have some of my work in this new important book, and very excited! :)

 If you are on Facebook, please 'Like' my nature page there and say hello!
Here is the link;

Now for the photo's of my week, hope you enjoy them;

^Above^ - The Stoat on the ice at RSPB Greylake!

^Above^ - Hovering Chaffinches at Greylake.

^Above^ - Reed Buntings in flight at Greylake.

^Above^ - More Greylake Reed Buntings!

^Above^ - Robins at Greylake.

^Above^ - Dunnocks at Greylake.

^Above^ - Blue Tits at Greylake.

^Above^ - Curlew at Sand Bay, North Somerset.

^Above^ - Flock of Dunlin at Sand Bay (With 3 larger Grey Plovers in the bottom pic!)

^Above^ - Oystercatchers at Sand Bay.

^Above^ - Stonechats at Sand Bay.

^Above^ - Carrion Crow at Apex Park in Burnham on Sea.

^Above^ - Redwings at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Robins at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Song Thrush at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Redshank on the river just outside Apex Park.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tits at RSPB Swell Wood.

^Above^ - Marsh Tits at Swell Wood.

^Above^ - Great Tits at Swell Wood.

^Above^ - Coal Tits at Swell Wood.

^Above^ - Blue Tits at Swell Wood.

^Above^ - Nuthatches at Swell Wood.

^Above^ - Robin at Swell Wood.

^Above^ - Chaffinch at Swell Wood.

^Above^ - Rat in my Somerset garden.

^Above^ - Woodpigeon in my garden.

^Above^ - Wren in my garden.

^Above^ - Starling in my garden.

^Above^ - Goldfinch in my garden.

^Above^ - Blackcap in my garden.

^Above^ - Collared Dove in my garden.

^Above^ - Blackbird in my garden.

^Above^ - Herring Gulls at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tits at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Mallard at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Black Headed Gull at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Fieldfare at Greylake.

^Above^ - Redwing at Greylake.

^Above^ - Golden Plover at Greylake.

^Above^ - Great White Egret at Greylake.

^Above^ - Shovelers at Greylake.

^Above^ - Snipe at Greylake.

^Above^ - Teal at Greylake.

^Above^ - Male and female Wigeon at Greylake.

^Above^ - Starlings at Greylake.

^Above^ - Wren at Greylake.

^Above^ - House Sparrow at Greylake.

^Above^ - Female Chaffinch at Greylake.

^Above^ - Flock of Dunlin at Greylake.

^Above^ - Lapwing at Greylake.

^Above^ - Tufted Duck at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Jackdaws at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Common Gulls at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Coot at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Cormorant toilet time in flight at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Very distant Goldeneye at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Young Mute Swan at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Mallards at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Canada Goose at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Herring Gull at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Black Headed Gulls at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - ...And finally, boats on the estuary outside Apex Park.

I know, quite an epic post this week with lots of pictures!
 Hope you enjoyed!
Until next time,
Carl :)