Gary Thoburns Photography: Blog en-us (C) Gary Thoburns Photography (Gary Thoburns Photography) Thu, 05 Apr 2012 09:32:00 GMT Thu, 05 Apr 2012 09:32:00 GMT Gary Thoburns Photography: Blog 120 78 Tuesday 27th March 2012 ]]> (Gary Thoburns Photography) Wed, 28 Mar 2012 13:46:00 GMT Sunday 25th March 2012 Common Yellowthroat (1st Winter Male)    Third time lucky for some photos of the Yellowthroat???

    Yes, not quite what i would have liked, but at least i finally managed a shot, which looks like a bird
(possibly, see what you think).

   Onto the Forest of Dean after, but rather quiet. Did manage Goshawk again from New Fancy view though.
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Saturday 24th March 2012    Went around to Woodford and got better/closer views of them from there. There were 6 in total, all adults.
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Sunday 18th March 2012 Spotted Sandpiper    Chew again today, to try to at last catch up with the 4 Pink-footed Geese, which have been about for quite a while, at Chew and Blagdon. First decent bird seen was a Barn Owl flying around the back of Herons Green pool, it ended up going back to the nesting box and disappeared inside.

   Drove around to Herriotts pool, and spoke to a birding friend who told me the Geese were at Woodford earlier. The Spotted Sandpiper was in its usual place along the edge of the pool, managed one distant shot. Not one of my best.

   So onto Woodford for the Geese. No sign where i was told. Then i picked them up swimming near to Nunnery point. So Nunnery it is then! Got there only for them to fly back towards Woodford. From Nunnery managed my first Sand Martins of the year though, with about 25-30 flying between Nunnery and Woodford. Back to Herriotts, but the Spotted Sandpiper was still too far for pix, there was a Green Sandpiper there too now.
Pink-footed Geese

  At least i have seen the Geese at last, lets see if i can get some photos now. Woodford again and this time i got some!

   Right while my lucks in lets try to see the Long-tailed Duck as well. Went to the No.1 Picnic site, could not see much as i was looking straight into the sun. I drove to the other end of the dam. Looking over the wall i could see the bird, and it was close to the shoreline at Whalley Bank. As luck would have it the gate was open, so i walked slowly along the verge. Took a few shots, then closer, a few more. Finally i was stood on the shoreline and the bird was pretty close too.
Long-tailed Duck (1st Winter Duck)

    The last hour or so of light was spent at Herriotts pool, just to see what happens. Usually a good time and place to see Sand Martins and the first Swallows on migration, but there were none. Did manage the shot opposite of a male Sparrowhawk as it flew by though.

   What a good day it turned out to be, and a good weekend too.
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Saturday 17th March 2012 Red Kite (Juvenile)   Just a quick hour or so to spare this morning, as i have a close friends childrens Baptism this afternoon. Went down to Aust Warth to try and get some shots of the Short-eared Owls there, or maybe the Merlin if i was lucky! As it turned out i was lucky, but not for that reason. A juvenile Red Kite was flying around, it flew out towards Chepstow, i thought that was the end of it, then it flew back over the Aust services area, and back over the Aust Road. Almost right over my head. Got the news out and quite a few people managed to get a view of it.

  Off home and out for a few beers, good start to the day though.
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Friday 16th March 2012 Great Grey Shrike   Thought about going to Chew after work, but the light was not the best. So i thought it would be no good at all for photos by the time i got there! So, i decided to go and look for the Great Grey Shrike, which had been refound at Queens Charlton near Keynsham. The bird had been found earlier in the winter of 2011, but had not been seen for quite a while, so it was nice to know it was still around. Got there to find that the birders there had lost it, after it had showed "very well"! I waited around for nearly an hour before deciding to start walking back to the car. I heard a quiet call, which sounded a bit like a Shrike. I stopped and looked, thinking i may as well give it one last shot! Looking through the hedge, there it was, probably been sat there all the time i had been there. I managed to get a shot through the hedge, then moved to try to get closer and it disappeared!! Found it again a bit later, but it was always distant after that.
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Tuesday 13th March 2012    Went back to Aust again. The weather was nowhere near as good today, but the Owls were there again. At least 3. I decided to take a walk along the seawall towards Northwick Warth. There were lots of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. A distant Merlin, probably the female, was sat on a log. A Short-eared Owl was also staying just out of reach of the camera. The Owl eventually flushed the Merlin, which disappeared sadly. But, i was able to get the other side of the Owl and it then allowed a closer approach. Shame about the light!

Short-eared Owl
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Monday 12th March 2012 ]]> (Gary Thoburns Photography) Tue, 13 Mar 2012 13:52:00 GMT Sunday 11th March 2012     Also there i had the first multiple Butterfly sightings of the year. Brimstone (3), Peacock (3), Comma and a Holly Blue. The Holly Blue, i am told, is the equal earliest sighting of the species this year!

   What to do now was the next question, Exminster Marshes was the decision. Tried looking for the American Wigeon that had been around for a while there. Sadly the light was not from the best direction, we were looking straight into it all the time. On the way out of the reserve, i decided to take a quick look at the area where there had been a Long-eared Owl roosting a while back. We had gone down especially for it with no joy. To my surprise it was back! Showing well, but never quite well enough, always had branches or such in the way.

Long-eared Owl

   Then onto Bowling Green Marshes RSPB to take a look from the hide. Nothing out of the ordinary there, but always nice there. Back to Exminster hoping the Owl had moved into a better position, but it hadn't.
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Saturday 10th March 2012 Adder   Trip to the Forest of Dean today.

   From New Fancy View i had up to 3 Goshawks, plenty of Buzzards, Ravens and at least one Sparrowhawk. Lots of Siskins in the area too. There was a family party of Wild Boar in the clearing below the viewpoint, but they kept hidden most of the time. A late Redwing was seen, and a Peacock butterfly, first of the year for me i think!
   Also an Adder along the path in one of their usual spots.
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Saturday 3rd March 2012
   Decided again to move on and maybe come back later. Drove to Cosmeston lakes near Penarth. Had a walk around the area before finding the drake Lesser Scaup, with Tufted Ducks, but could not get close enough to the area it was in for photos. But, did manage some shots of the adult Whooper Swan there. A small compensation i suppose.

Whooper Swan
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Sunday 26th February 2012
Snow Bunting (Top: Female, Bottom: Male)

   Second stop was Kelling to try to see the Arctic Redpoll, which had been around for quite a while. No sign, no reports on pager either. Found out it had been there first thing in the morning, but hey no worries!! Then on to Titchwell RSPB. This has always been one of my favourite reserves, but not anymore sadly. There has been a lot of work done to the place and not all good im afraid. Hopefully the work will improve the place in the long run, but for now seems dead, up to its old self. Still we saw 2 Velvet Scoters on the sea, female Hen Harrier, Bittern, 2+ Spotted Redshanks and all the usual stuff at Titchwell. So not too bad, just doesnt feel right, maybe its just me?

Spotted Redshank
Velvet Scoter (Pair)

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Saturday 25th February 2012
Common Crossbill (Male)
Common Crossbill (Female)

   Then to Minsmere for the rest of the day. There were 17 Bewicks Swans on the road in. Half a dozen Smew, at least 2 Bitterns and another half a dozen Marsh Harriers, not a bad day.

Marsh Harrier (Immature Male)
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Monday 20th February 2012 ]]> (Gary Thoburns Photography) Mon, 20 Feb 2012 11:46:00 GMT Saturday 18th February 2012 ]]> (Gary Thoburns Photography) Sat, 18 Feb 2012 11:15:00 GMT Sunday 12th February 2012
Spanish Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

  The Junco was only my second for the UK, after one a couple of years ago in Somerset. But, that one didnt show as well as this one! The Spanish Sparrow was my first, a lifer, for the UK. I have seen lots abroad. So, my first lifer of the year, good stuff!
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Saturday 11th February 2012   Got to Herriotts pool, where a Smew had been reported on the pool itself. Saw Gareth Jones near the bridge over the channel, so had a look there first. There was the female Smew, showing really well in the channel.
Smew (Duck)

  After that, while our luck was in, went around to Stratford to look for the Yellow-browed Warbler. Took a while, but finally got it feeding in the cut reeds, odd for YB Warbler. It was working its way towards us, so i got the camera ready. It then decided to fly off, it flew in front of the hide, so we all went in, and found it in the little reedbed on the far side of the pool in front of the hide. It showed well, in good light, but anyone who knows where the bird was knows, thats a little bit too far for decent pix of a bird that small!! So, i was quite happy to get the shot below.

Yellow-browed Warbler

  Not a bad first trip out, lets see how long that luck continues though!!!

  If anyone reads this blog and wonders where my Sri Lankan pix are, here is a sort of answer. We saw approx. 250 species of bird on the 2 week trip. Very good! But, i photographed 190+ of them. Even better! So, sadly will take a while to sort them all out. I will sort out a 'Best Of', and add them asap.
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Saturday 14th-Saturday 28th January 2012 Gallicissa blogspot, and maybe if you fancy a trip to Sri Lanka you can contact him. I would highly recommend him, but even higher, i would recommend a trip to Sri Lanka, fantastic birds and wildlife, very friendly people, and nice and warm too! Along with the birds seen, i also saw my first Asian Elephants, Leopard, Water Buffalo and other wildlife, which included many Butterflies, Dragonflies and Moths too.

Black Bittern
Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush

Chestnut-backed Owlet

Sri Lanka White-throated (Legge's) Flowerpecker
Sri Lanka Bay Owl
Sri Lanka Scimitar Babbler

Sri Lanka Frogmouth
Sri Lanka Small Barbet

Sri Lanka Woodpigeon 

Serendib Scops Owl 

Sri Lanka Yellow-fronted Barbet

Sri Lanka Blue Magpie

Sri Lanka Junglefowl 

Sri Lanka Spot-winged Thrush
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Sunday 8th January 2012
Spotted Sandpiper
   After the shots i got, the bird flew across the pool, came back, flew over the road and landed on the lake side of the bridge. Went over thinking this should be really good for photos, but the bird went under the bridge and spent a long while under there! Was seen near dusk again, not sure if it was seen inbetween or not? Went back around to Woodford Lodge again. The Gull was sat on the pontoons, looking as though it was fully fed. So i went back to the car. In the car park, there were 4 Bullfinches feeding on some berry bushes. They flew into the top righthand corner of the car park, so we followed. The Bullfinches were feeding on the floor, which i have not seen too often. They were eating Sycamore seeds, not seen that before either! Last thing i had not seen before, were at least 30 Bullfinches together, absolutely brilliant, what beautiful birds!!!

Bullfinch (Top & Middle: Males, Bottom: Female) 
  This will be the last entry for a couple of weeks i would think, i am off to Sri Lanka on Friday. So, will be showing off my holiday snaps on here next time i add an entry! Cant wait!!!!!!
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Saturday 7th January 2012
Ring-billed Gull

   No sign of the Spotted Sandpiper today, the spit it has been showing on is now underwater, so it has to either return to the pool at Herriotts or go altogether, lets hope it stays around! Would be nice if it stays into summer plumage.

   First Jack Snipe of the year, was showing from Stratford hide, asleep most of the time, sadly! There were at least 6 Common Snipe there too. 2+ Ruddy Duck and a drake Scaup were also seen from there. Looks perfect for Water Pipit at the moment too, but none seen.
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