Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hatfield Forest

Hatfield Forest with new camera. First an appointment with a local favourite that has eluded me so far this winter and an old camera. The female Scaup was on Hatfield Forest Lake, together with a Shelduck, several Gadwall, Teal, a couple of Pochard, 4 Greylag Geese, 2 GC Grebes and the usual Canadas. A Kingfisher flew past, 2 Cormorants sat in a tree, and the usual woodland birds were in evidence.

I got a photo through my Kowa scope with the Samsung camera and a contraption, but the results are beginning to speak for themselves. I’m reluctant to criticise the set-up, and in someone else’s hands it may produce better results. Below, the best of a bad bunch, is the Scaup in classic pose. Note the diagnostic white face patch!

I intend to get a lens shortly to enable some decent bird pics on the new camera, but until then will be attempting to get to grips with the myriad controls and options on the basic camera/lens combination. We (self and D#1) found a dead tree and took pictures of some of the funghi on the branches. One of these funghi is called (I think) King Alfred’s Cakes. It’s a great name and you’ll have no problems working out which it is.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Went to Thorley Wash Saturday pm to look for Barn Owl but drew a blank. Had to make do with superb Kingfisher, 4 Redwing + 7 Fieldfare, plus a Water Rail squealing as dusk fell. Sunday morning a ♀ Blackcap in the garden hedge.

My previous posting on Slav Grebe and BNG was superbly illustrated on the Portland Obs site. these are almost certainly the same birds.

In the absence of bird excitement another fossil; again, anything on the beach that isn’t an obvious pebble is fair game, and this one is (I think …) Myophorella Clavellata, a 150 million year old bivalve

Monday, February 12, 2007

Half Term

A wet weekend in Weymouth. I got out to Castle Cove on Sunday Morning. I gave the undercliff close scrutiny for the wintering Yellow-Browed Warbler, but after an intensive five minutes search gave up and watched the bay instead. I had a smashing Great-Northern Diver pointed out to me in a conveniently flat Portland Harbour, and then down at the Yacht club was shown a pair of Slavonian Grebes close in, and further away a pair of Black-Necked Grebes. I got a bit of a lesson on the BNG’s, as at first inspection they had the same clean black-and-white appearance as the Slav’s, but on closer inspection the profile was distinctively different. I also had the wintering Velvet Scoter pointed out to me but at that distance I couldn’t honestly get anything on it. Otherwise a couple of handfulls of Great-Crested Grebes, lots of Mergansers, a couple of Shags, and amongst the gulls a number coming into summer plumage.

Later in the day we went to Worbarrow Bay, but the gale-force wind limited time on the beach. I got to try out my new Camera – a Canon 30D no less – but sadly the same old photographer.

Rarity chasing in Cambridgeshire part 2.

Last post left you on the edge of your seats as your intrepid birders ticked off the first of three potential rarities and headed off in sea...