Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A Turnstone Tale 22/03/2011

One of my local patches is Foulney Island. It is an island joined to the mainland by a causeway which is covered at high tide.  This gives the waders some protection from casual disturbance by dog walkers etc. Below is a series of three pictures.  The first one shows a Turnstone in summer plumage that has, just gone over, to use a flower arranging term. The second shows a bird still in winter plumage, plus ring.  This was taken last week .  The bird appeared tired possibly from a long migration flight. As I approached what appeared to be  another ring was on the same leg but above the knee.  I was unsure at what I may have seen.  The B.T.O. have not ringed this species on the tarsus for many years .  This made the bird almost certainly one with a foreign ring. I decided to move the bird gently along the beach.  It hopped along on the other leg for 5 minutes.  I did not want it to fly, just put it's other leg down. I thought the bird I was looking at was a one legged Turnstone and I had got it mixed up within the flock with the first bird.  Eventually it swapped legs although I did not see it do this and then it flew into the centre of the flock.  Only when I got home and viewed my shots did I see the flag on the tibia.  This is a white flag and that denotes a Canadian ringed bird probably Ellesmere Island.  I have sent off the details and am awaiting confirmation  

Summer Plumage

Winter Plumage Notice Ring

White Flag On Tibia

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Purple Sandpipers - 23/03/2011

Not seen as often as they used to be, and normally on rocky headlands, it was a surprise to see three birds in a small flock of Ruddy Turnstone.Only the second time on Foulney Island I hve even seen Purple Sandpipers. I  have been waiting for some time to get photographs and conditions were perfect. Close approach was possible as they and the Turnstone were exhausted. Two tricks were used. They will let you get close if they have the sun in their eyes and if you are at the edge or in the water.  

Decided To Leave The Sleeping Turnstone  In The Shot

As Drawn In Bird Field Guides

Wet Stones Always Improve Photographs

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A Brambling 13/03/2011

A joy this winter has been the number of Brambling.  They have appeared in areas you would not associate with these winter visitors.  The shots below are of one bird that is the last remaining at a feeding station.  I have photographs of him before Christmas but he was much less attractive then.  He has a ring on and you can read 3 characters of probably 7.  This enables me to know it is not one of the few Brambling I have ringed. You should always enlarge photos of birds rings and try to read them.  If you are able to read enough numbers the BTO may be able to identify the bird.  

Notice the Spots 

Not One Of My Rings

Thursday, 3 March 2011

At last An Otter.

An ambition has long been  to see a live wild otter in daylight and if possible to photograph one.  Only having seen them in refuges and at a distance in Scotland it was with great pleasure I took these photographs on England's largest lake and in one of the busiest areas of that lake, the pier at Ambleside.

Notice the reflection of the eye. 

Otter Watch - Jaws Duck Style

Poor Light Causing Picture Noise.