Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Spring Squirrels'

Grey Squirrel, Rosary Cemetery, Norwich
Found time for a quick lunchtime walk in the Rosary Cemetery, Norwich. Amazing how the season is picking up momentum, the Snowdrops are now a memory and the Crocuses which carpeted the rides in the cemetery a couple of weeks ago are nearly all gone and replaced by the yellow blooms of Primroses and Daffodils. High in the trees I could hear the song of my first Chiff - Chaff of the spring.
Approaching the small pond I heard the purr of mating Common Frogs and looking into the water I could make out the swish of Smooth Newts tail.
In the picture is one of the local Grey Squirrels that spent a lot of time on the ground foraging for last autumns acorns.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Mealy and Lesser Redpolls side by side

PicaHD's Mealy and Lesser Redpoll footage

It has been a pretty full on couple of weeks with little time for birding, however I have recently managed a lunchtime session in the hide on the heath at the RSPB's Lodge nature reserve in Bedfordshire. This is always a good spot to watch a wide range of woodland birds come in close to the hide to bathe, drink and feed.

This winter it has offered a great opportunity to watch the two commoner forms of Repoll [Mealy and Lesser] at close range and alongside. The attached YouTube footage by PicaHD nicely illustrates the differing plumage's of the two birds. Certainly during my stint in the hide the odd Mealy that put in an appearance stood out with their appreciable colder, whiter plumage.

Also present were some stunning Siskins drinking from the pool within a few feet of the hide and always fun to see Nuthatch and GS Woodpecker.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Male Teal at Titchwell Marsh

Little Owl, near Ringstead, Norfolk

A cold grey day. Spent the morning looking after our toddler and in the afternoon a family visit took me along the coast road and meant that I could spend an hour at Titchwell. En route I found this Little Owl sitting amongst the Ivy cladding a roadside Oak Tree, my first of the calendar year.

It was bitterly cold at Titchwell with a north east wind and drizzle. So I prioritised my time and spent a pleasant 30 minutes on my own in Island Hide photographing Teal. Leaving aside the terrible light this was a really nice treat, usually the hides at Titchwell are pretty busy places and even when you can get onto a bird to do some photography you run the risk of someone disturbing it just enough to make photography more of a challenge. It was also great because its easy to forget what cracking little ducks Teal are, especially the males and in the flat light their feathers seem to glow.

My walk back to the car was delayed by a number of the ridiculously tame Robins that live at Titchwell and I amused myself photographing them.