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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Pink-feet at Stodmarsh

Stodmarsh, 11:00 to 14:00

4 Mute Swans, 3 Pink-footed Geese (with Greylags in field by NNR car park), 3 Barnacle Geese, 10 Teal, 3 Little Egrets (Cow Corner), 4 Marsh Harriers, 1 Kestrel, 300+ Lapwing, 1 Redshank (over Marsh hide), 1 Kingfisher, 2 Meadow Pipits, 3+ Water Pipits (Marsh hide), 100 Fieldfare (circa), 1 Bearded Tit (Heard).

Saturday, 23 November 2013

A GWE returns to Conningbrook

Conningbrook GP, 09:45 to 12:15

 1 Great White Egret - flew in from Wye, then at south end of pits before continuing along the Stour towards Ashford.

6 Wigeon, 50 Gadwall (circa), 1 Teal (female), 4 Shoveler, 30 Pochard (circa), 100 Tufted Duck (+), 3 Little Grebe, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Cormorant, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Kestrel, 1 Water Rail, 30 Lapwing (circa), 30 Common Gull (circa), 1 Kingfisher, 3 Green Woodpecker, 10 Skylark (circa), 5 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, 2 Wren, 1 Dunnock, 2 Robin, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Chiffchaff, 10 Long-tailed Tit (circa), 2 Treecreeper, 2 Jay, 1 Siskin (female with c20 Goldfinch & Chaffinches), 1 Reed Bunting (female).

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Getting back on track with the Blog - starting with a Hedgehog photograph.

I am hoping to get back on track with the Blog over the coming weeks. It has become a bit neglected over the summer and autumn.

First up is a photo of a Hedgehog that visited the garden on the 27th October - presumably feeding up, ready for winter hibernation.

More to follow...

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

An update at long last !!! - Yellow legging it to Cliffe Pools RSPB

Wednesday 25th September:

A rare visit to Cliffe Pools RSPB tonight for the Lesser Yellowlegs, which showed really well from the viewing ramp on Black Barn 2. Nice to catch up with a few Kent Birders too. Might be back again for seconds at the weekend.

Record shots below.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Juvenile Swallows at Bough Beech

A rare visit to Bough Beech Reservoir and KWT reserve yesterday (29th June). A couple of families of Swallows provided a few photo opportunities.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Oh Canada Eh - Part 9 - More from Victoria

Thursday 9th to Friday 10th May - Victoria.

After fish and chips at Fisherman's Wharf, we took a nice stroll around the harbour of Victoria. I manged to spot and photograph this Black Oystercatcher - a great addition to the holiday list. There were also plenty of Glaucous-winged Gulls (I think!)

Black Oystercatcher - right side.
Black Oystercatcher - left side.

More Gull photos !!!
On Friday 10th we departed Victoria and Vancouver Island for our final destination - Downtown Vancouver. Waiting for the ferry to depart I snapped these Shags/Cormorants.

The last evening of our holiday was spent dining on a sunset cruise around the Vancouver coastline. The desserts were delicious - all three of them !!! Prior to boarding, this Great Blue Heron showed brilliantly on the pontoon by our cruiser. With Camo Cam tucked safely in the hotel room, Angela lent me her camera so I could get this shot.

Great Blue Heron - this was much tamer than our Greys.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Oh Canada Eh - Part 8 - The Whale Cruise.

After a break, it is back to blogging and more updates from Canada.

Thursday 9th May - Victoria.

Angela and myself had been looking forward to this part of the trip for a long time... the chance of seeing a Whale, something neither of us had seen in the wild.

Our intrepid group of Whale watchers departing Victoria harbour.
My camera by this stage had been nicknamed 'camo cam' by the cruise companies' personnel.
Angela is once again behind the camera.
We traveled straight out to sea while the Zodiac boat headed along the coast. Luck would have it that they would make the radio call first. A quick u-turn and a burst of speed from our captain...

And this was the sight that we saw !!!
A young male Orca (Killer Whale) moving along the coast with his mother.
What a fantastic experience !!!
Angela's photo of the male Orca as the sea mist rolled in over the coast.

The female leading the male. It was difficult to photograph the two Whales together
but Angela managed it.
While we watched the Orcas moving WNW, I managed to
snap a record shot of a pair of Rhinoceros Auklets.
With big smiles all round, the journey back involved a stop at Race Rocks - lots of wildlife sightings here too.
Angela's photo of Race Rocks, the Lighthouse and an Elephant Seal on the slipway.
A colony of Californian Sea-lions.
The lookout.
A bit of a poser this one.
Elephant Seals keeping a close eye on our boat.
Harbour Seals - completing the trio.
Back in Victoria Harbour I spotted this pair of River Otters on the rocks, viewed from our cruiser.

River Otters - we later saw these from Fisherman's Wharf -
closer but more nervous and not easy to photograph.
The fish and chips here was tasty though.
And a flypast to close the successful trip out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Oh Canada Eh - Part 7 - The Ferry to Vancouver Island and Victoria.

Wednesday 8th May

We left Kamloops early as we had a ferry to catch to Vancouver Island and 2 nights in Victoria. Lots of wildlife on the crossing, which was extremely smooth in fabulous weather.

Plenty of Gulls around the ferry terminal - these certainly are not
 the species you would see at Dungeness !!!

Plenty of Bald Eagle sightings around the offshore islands.

Arriving on Vancouver Island, the first stop was at the Butchart Gardens - all photos by Angela.

And then on to Victoria and the best city we visited on the tour in my opinion. The following day would be memorable....

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Oh Canada Eh - Part 6 - Mount Robson & Clearwater.

Tuesday 7th May 13:

Travelling from Jasper to Kamloops involved several stops - the first of which was at the Mount Robson Provincial Park visitor centre.

At the visitor centre, I finally managed to get some pictures of
an American Robin, a bird we saw all over western Canada.
Yes it does have a red breast !!!
A magnificent view of Mount Robson - Angela's photograph.
The summit of Mount Robson. Our tour guide announced that only 10%
of visitors get to see the top of the mountain. Thankfully the stunning
weather meant we were some of the lucky ones.

The next stop was at Dutch Lake in Clearwater.
Another very scenic spot, captured by Angela.
Sadly this was as close as we got to a real Moose. Oh well, a reason to return.
Terrapin ???
We ended the day with the sun going down over the river in Kamloops.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Oh Canada Eh - part 5 - Jasper National Park

Monday 6th May

While in Jasper, we took a couple of excursions out to explore the national park. Lots to see in some spectacular scenery. Thanks to our JAC guides.

Our first view of a Bald Eagle in Canada.
This female was sitting tightly on a nest by Medicine Lake.
Big Horned Sheep - which ended up sunbathing on the road !!! - Angela's photograph.
Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly ? by Maligne Lake.
An evening wildlife trip resulted in this stunning summer plumage Common Loon
(Great Northern Diver) on Pyramid Lake.

A group of Elk showed really well close to the vehicle,
including this collared individual.

A group of Mule Deer showed on a nearby hillside...
... but all were eclipsed by our second Black Bear sighting of the holiday.
Sadly this grass eating Bear quickly moved back into the trees
so my only shot was once again through glass.
A wonderful encounter nonetheless.