Thursday, 7 April 2011

A day on Brading marshes

Finished work at a reasonable time, so decided on the spur of the moment to take a trip onto Brading marshes, passing the sewage works, and onto Centurians copse.
At the sewage works I saw my first Swallows of the year, a pair were flying overhead. I managed to get a picture as one landed on the overhead wires. Spring is here!!

On the sewage tanks, (Not sure of the real names!) lots of Chaffinches and Reed buntings were sifting through the stones for grubs. Very difficult to spot the small birds especially the reed buntings amongst the stones.

A robin was singing from amongst the spring blossom ...

As I passed through the copse, I heard a rustle to my side. Through a gap in a fence I could see a pair of eyes watching me! I tried to get a picture but decided that I needed to get closer. So I walked up quietly to the fence and gingerly peered over it, to be met by a beautiful pheasant hen. i was quite surprised that she didn't fly off or run, and managed to get a nice portrait...

Over the marshes onto Centurians copse, I managed to see 3 red squirrels, all of which were very shy, and not at all interested in posing for my camera! The best pic is below...

The spring blossom looked beautiful in the warm spring sunshine, although there was still a brisk wind...

                                                            All in all a very pleasant day!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Owl's about that !!!

Firstly, apologies for the headline, but read on for explanation!!
Had a free afternoon on saturday, and the weather was fine, so I decided Id visit Bembridge for a change.
I parked up opposite the boat houses, which must be ancient now, as I have lived here for 45+ years and have always known of their existence. Captain Hook and his mate were keeping an eye on me!!

I walked off the main road and started to walk towards the ponds. As I did a Mallard flew overhead, managed a quick series of shots, the best of which is below.

Six Tufted ducks, 3 male and 3 female were paddling round the first pond, along with a swan and the ever present mallards.
Onwards to the next pond. Black tailed Godwits were on show, Id seen my first ones a week or two ago, so recognised them. With them were a similar bird, like a black and white version (!!) being a new birder im ashamed to say I havnt yet found out their name, help anyone?? I have the Collins massive bird book, but not had time to look it up yet (*Embarrassed*) 

Two Shelducks, a Dunnock and a beautiful Chaffinch were sighted shortly afterwards.

Onto the shore at Bembridge harbour I checked a pair of Great black-backed gulls off my life list.
A lone Canada goose posed for me, as did a distant Cormorant, fishing in the harbour. The tide was almost at its lowest, so I decided to call it a day, and returned via the ponds. A robin was singing on a fence post. The views across brading marshes are beautiful.

As I walked along the path, I wondered if the Little owl would be at the hole in the tree. I had heard about it and had seen photos, and a kindly man had shown me the tree on my outward journey. Imagine my delight on reaching the tree, when I saw the little beauty perched in the hole, another first for me. He was about 150 yards away, and my 300mm lens hardly reached, so had to crop the picture heavily. Cant wait till I can afford a 2x converter for my Nikon camera!!

I returned to my car with a big smile, and a few ticks, a very enjoyable hour or so.....