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Saturday, 16 February 2019

My first Song Thrush of the year, early nesting Long Tailed Tits and Short Eared Owl!

The weather this week has been rather nice for February, with plenty of sun and warm temperatures.
Unfortunately this coincided with the development of a particularly nasty cold, which started to take hold on Tuesday and tightened it's grip as the week went on!
By Thursday night I was feeling particularly rough, unable to breathe through my nose and consequently having very little sleep that night.

   Now Saturday, I'm still ill, but hopefully on the other side! I know I'm not the only one, there has been lots of people suffering with bugs etc. In my case, I blame the air-conditioning in my work office, where people such as the boss have been coming in to work coughing and sneezing and kindly sharing their germs around!

    Happily, amid the good weather, I have managed some bird photo's!
The Chaffinches at RSPB Greylake have been posing aerialy for me again, and this time I finally managed to get a shot I've been trying to get for years, 2 male Chaffinches clashing in mid-air, feet to feet! :)

  Also this week I saw my first Song Thrush of the year. That this event happened in mid- February is a depressing thought. Song Thrushes used to be seen daily when I was growing up in Kent. Now it's notable when I do see or hear one. This one was belting out it's song in a tree by a car-park in Langport, Somerset. The sunny warm weather had obviously convinced the birds that Spring had already arrived, further confirmed when I noticed a pair of Long Tailed Tits collecting nesting material and taking it into a spot in a thick Bramble bush! It was fascinating watching them take Lichen from branches for their nest. I hope they haven't started too soon, there's still plenty of time for freezing weather, indeed it was early March last year when the 'Beast from the East' struck, depositing a thick snowy blanket over all of Somerset!

  A late afternoon visit to WWT Steart Marshes rewarded me with great views of a Short Eared Owl! They have been seen regularly here for the past few months, and they are always wonderful birds to see and photograph!

Below are all the photo's I've managed since my last blog post, including all I've mentioned above, plus Raven, Stonechat, Skylark, Buzzard, Stock Dove and more!


^Above^ - The shot I've been trying to get for years.... Male Chaffinches clashing in mid-air at RSPB Greylake in Somerset.

^Above^ - The stunning Short Eared Owl at Steart Marshes in Somerset.

^Above^ - Stock Dove at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Meadow Pipits at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Redshank at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Stonechat at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Starlings at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Song Thrush at Langport in Somerset.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tits nest building at Langport.

^Above^ - Lesser Black Back Gull at Langport.

^Above^ - Female Blackbird in Langport.

^Above^ - Blue Tit in Langport.

^Above^ - Moorhens at Langport.

^Above^ - Collared Dove in Somerton, Somerset.

^Above^ - Black Headed Gull at the Huntspill seawall in Somerset.

^Above^ - Curlews at the Huntspill seawall.

^Above^ - Linnets at the Huntspill seawall.

^Above^ - Skylarks at the Huntspill seawall.

^Above^ - Stonechats at the Huntspill seawall.

^Above^ - Starlings at the Huntspill seawall.

^Above^ - Knot at the Huntspill seawall, as well as a handful of Grey Plovers and a Dunlin!

^Above^ - Juvenile Great Black Back Gull at the Huntspill seawall.

^Above^ - Male House Sparrow at the Huntspill seawall.

^Above^ - Raven at the Huntspill seawall.

^Above^ - Meadow Pipits at the Huntspill seawall.

^Above^ - Redwings at the Huntspill seawall.

^Above^ - Robins near the Huntspill seawall.

^Above^ - Rook near the Huntspill seawall.

^Above^ - Cattle Egrets in my Somerset village.

^Above^ - Jackdaws in my village.

^Above^ - Pale Buzzard in my village.

^Above^ - Woodpigeons in my village.

^Above^ - Robin in my village.

^Above^ - Redwing in my village.

^Above^ - Raven in my village.

^Above^ - Male Blackbird in my garden.

^Above^ - Hiding Goldfinch in my village.

^Above^ - Rook in my village.

^Above^ - Rabbit in my village.

^Above^ - Very pale Buzzard near North Curry in Somerset.

^Above^ - Reed Bunting at RSPB Greylake in Somerset.

^Above^ - House Sparrows at Greylake, with a Reed Bunting in the bottom pic.

^Above^ - Rook at Greylake.

^Above^ - Robins at Greylake, including 'Broke-beak', a long staying survivor with a deformed beak!

^Above^ - Blue Tits at Greylake.

^Above^ -  Flock of Golden Plover opposite Greylake.

^Above^ - Starlings at Greylake, with a female House Sparrow in the bottom pic.

^Above^ - Dunnocks at Greylake.

^Above^ - Great Tits at Greylake.

^Above^ - Goldfinch at Greylake.

^Above^ - Wrens at Greylake.

^Above^ - Showing the size difference between a Teal (Left) and Mallard at Greylake.

^Above^ - Chaffinches at Greylake, with a Great Tit in the bottom pic.

^Above^ - Reeds at Steart Marshes.


  1. Fabulous photos as ever! What equipment do you use?

    1. Hi Claire.
      Thank you very much. 😊
      I use a Nikon D500 with a Sigma 150-600mm contemporary lens.