Saturday, 30 January 2016

Wigeon, gadwall, pochard and shoveler

We're getting much better at identifying ducks! As well as the mallards and tufted ducks, we identified some other species today.
male & female gadwall
There were a couple of pairs of gadwall, and some males that seemed to be on their own.
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At a distance I thought this was a red-crested pochard, but realised he didn't have the right colouring. It is, in fact, a wigeon.
Wigeon (male)
I thought this was quite a nice picture of red-crested pochards in flight.
red-crested pochards
And we saw a few shovelers in flight - such strange-looking birds. But just the one male on the lake.
Shovelers in flight

Shoveler male coming in to land

Wednesday, 27 January 2016


This chaffinch posed nicely before flying to the muddy patch under a feeding table.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Gull & Fish

We don't often see the gulls flying with full mouths - and if we do it's most likely to be a stolen crust of sandwich. This black-headed gull was pretty proud of its catch though.

Sunday, 24 January 2016


For the last couple of years, pretty much every time we've walked around Stockers Lake, someone has said "There's a Goldeneye around the corner". And when we've rounded that corner there has been no Goldeneye. Today we didn't see the male that everyone was telling us was around, but we did see this female.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Blackcap and coal tit

It's not the first time we've had blackcaps in the garden, but it's the first time I've realised they were overwintering with us. The peanut & insect cake is proving very popular with the visitors!

It's also the first time I've identified coal tits in the garden - that skunk stripe is very distinctive but they are so small it took the 70-300mm lens to be able to spot them.

Thursday, 21 January 2016


We've been very pleased to have a couple of jays visit the garden. They are such beautiful birds, but so wary and so clever that you don't see them a lot. Fortunately yesterday it was very bright outside and quite dark in the kitchen, so this one couldn't see me staring at him through the window. This morning it is gloomy outside and I had the light on in the kitchen and they spotted me immediately and took off.

Maybe if I clean the windows I'll get a better picture.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


It's cold! Accuweather reckons it's 3C in the garden today and I think they are right. So the bird feeders are getting a big workout. This little wren wasn't on a feeder though, it was bouncing around the bonsai pots.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016


 While we were still on owl-watch in Heartwood Forest there were a couple of kestrels flying about, hovering over the field the owls had been seen hunting in. One of them even landed on a twig, causing a massive scramble as photographers picked their tripods out of the mud to get in position for him.

Monday, 11 January 2016


Another small bird posing while we waited for the owls to do their thing.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Lesser Redpoll

We were looking for short eared owls when this Lesser Redpoll flew up behind me and started chirping.