Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Kentish Memories

Storm-driven Detritus
 This Greater Flamingo escaped from Whipsnade Zoo and travelled around East Anglia and Kent during 2011. Her Dorvik ring identified her as 'Fiona'. She was less approachable than a wild bird and extremely flighty. Whilst on Burrowes pit she was even elusive, hiding behind heavily vegetated islands and frustrating many hidebound birders.Clearly determined not to be re-interned.

Greater Flamingo(Copyright TD Wright)
Greater Flamingo(Copyright TD Wright)
Please God make an interesting bird turn up in the Axe Valley(Copyright TD Wright)
Those big Dungeness Skies (Copyright TD Wright)
Dungeness Skies (Copyright TD WRIGHT)
Is this a Duck or Dragonfly at Solstice Services?(Copyright TD Wright)
Or something prehistoric-a pterosaur perhaps?(Copyright TD Wright)

Phonescoping Skuas

Skuas are even more difficult to phonescope than gulls.Mostly out at sea and very mobile,they are nigh on impossible to follow with a handheld phone and scope together. However, once in a while an individual bird can be very obliging. This happened to me in 2011 whilst staying at Dungeness Bird Observatory in Kent. Amazingly, a Long-tailed Skua flew along the shoreline and landed on the shingle for a clearly much-needed rest!    
Copyright T.D. Wright!

Copyright T.D. Wright
Thrilled by my good fortune, I celebrated that night with a Steak and ale pie here..
Contort yourself!
The next day, I was surprised to find it again by the fishing boats..  
LT Skua (Copyright TD Wright)

LT Skua (Copyright TD Wright)
It was hovering over discarded fish heads and picking morsels of food even though it was on land.  
What a magnificent Power Station

LT Skua food (Copyright TD Wright)
It then flew out onto the sea and I thought that was that.To my astonishment, it came back ashore and even flew towards me, clearly unafraid of humans. I got an even closer pic..    
LT Skua (Copyright TD Wright)
And another.. 
LT Skua (Copyright TD Wright)

So there you have it. The only skua I've ever phonescoped and it's a Long-tailed! But that's birding-you still don't know for sure what you might find even with a lifetime's experience. I refer to these memories at this time of year when the Axe Estuary offers little excitement. Merry Xmas !
Buff-breasted Sandpiper(Copyright TD Wright)

LT Skua (Copyright TD Wright)

The right way up!(Copyright TD Wright)
Dunge by Night(Copyright TD Wright)

Dunge at Dusk(Copyright TD Wright)

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Review of 2014 Part 3

Now,where were we before I started going through all my phone pix? Oh yes, my DSLR shots of Lesvos.Well, I now realise that they could be better if I started again,so I need to go back really!However, some came out OK and some are of sexy enough species to be worth posting anyway. See if you agree...      
Turtle Dove (I don't see them in East Devon!)
Ruppell's Warbler
Ruppell's Warbler
These were roaming freely around the Island
That's a bit better! I fiddled with settings and moved sideways to improve angle of Sun
This male Ruppell's sang from the same bush every 45 minutes for a couple of days so I ought to have got the perfect shot. Unfortunately, as a non-photographer I didn't make the most of it but at least these pics are mementoes of an exciting bird.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Phonescoping Gulls

The Axe is a small estuary which has its upside as well as down. One of its uses is that gulls are often close enough for us to read their rings. This Intermedius Lesser Black-back travelled to Devon from Northern France via Portugal!

Immature Glaucous gulls are good for phonescoping as they sit still quite often.However,some whitewingers can be so gleaming all-over that they dazzle the poor phonescoper             
Iceland Gull(2nd Winter)
Sometimes bright sunshine is your enemy!Overcast days can produce better gull pix,such as on a visit to Gosport in Hampshire..
Ring-billed Gull
And at Exmouth in 2011..
Sabine's gull
And this recent beauty on the Axe, where I've also phonescoped Caspian before...
OK it's not too sharp but still a 1stWinter Casp!
Phonescoping can also aid I.D. when no DSLR is available.See below
Gull with Yellow legs-but a hybrid not a YL!
Hope these phonescoping interludes are amusing for people-it's only a matter of time before I return to the DSLR, so enjoy this phonescoped backlog for what it is while you can folks!

Phonescoping Lesvos Extra

Little Bittern
I think you will all agree that the quality of my phonescoped pix is 'variable'(to say the least),but I'm adding just a few more to give you a flavour of my first ever Mediterranean holiday,as it was very exciting for me!    
Purple Heron
Little Bittern
I'll find the Name of this!
Cretzschmar's bunting
Masked Shrike
Sorry the Masked Shrike's not sharper-the scopeviews were magnificent!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

More Phonescoped Lesviot Pics!

Black Stork
Black Stork
Black-eared Wheatear
Hooded Crows
Squacco Heron
Purple Heron

Black Stork
Little Bittern
Little Bigfoot!

Squacco etc
BW Stilts
Golden Oriole
Kentish Plover
RB Shrike
Black-eared Wheatear
Golden Oriole
Yes,there was one close by!
Kentish Plover
Red-footed Falcon

Mobile Hide
Lesvos-the'Green Island'
Black-eared Wheatear
Mount Olympus