Friday 15 November 2019

Garden Firecrest.

My neighbour, Peter, has recently had a pair of Siskin on his feeders and yesterday I was looking out of the bedroom window looking for them when I spotted a couple of Firecrest flitting around in a tall Fern at the bottom of the garden.

Despite the light being very poor I decided to get the camera out just in case they came nearer, which after several minutes they did, feeding amongst the Honeysuckle just out from the window.

Most of the time they were still in the tangle of all the twigs but one did briefly show a little more out in the open and this gave the the opportunity to improve on my past efforts with the camera of one of these tiny but beautiful birds.

Firecrest on the Honeysuckle.

Firecrest. (The view from my bedroom window).

Saturday 9 November 2019


A few weeks ago I was approached by Jessica Lennox, a superb artist from Staffordshire.  She was keen to use 3 of my photos to work on with her latest project concerning drawing various birds using high quality coloured pencils.

The photos she had chosen were of a Kingfisher, a Goldfinch and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.

I was delighted to be able to help Jessica out, and my reward was a signed copy of the work.

Below are the original photos of the Kingfisher and Goldfinch along with the drawings.

Kingfisher photograph.

Kingfisher artwork.

Goldfinch photograph.

Goldfinch artwork.

As you can see the artwork is truly superb and if you would like to see more of her work Jessica does have a brilliant website where you can see many of her amazing pictures.

Of course, I would also like to mention that the photos were taken with the help of Phil Winter who had allowed me to use his hide and set ups.

Thursday 7 November 2019

The Shore of Dungeness.

On Sunday I had a text from David telling me that the Shore Lark at Dungeness was performing well and if I was interested I could join him for another go during the week.

Well, as it has been 9 years since I last saw one of these beautiful little birds I certainly was keen, although with yet another busy week ahead I could only do the Tuesday or Friday.

We decided on the Tuesday, despite the forecast for being clouds and showers as the bird may well have moved on by the Friday.

An early start for the drive to David saw heavy cloud and me thinking perhaps we should have waited till Friday, but after transferring to David's car the weather did start to improve as we approached Kent.

The bird was located quickly once we arrived and we were soon watching the bird feeding around the puddles of the pebbly track, and although the bird occasionally flew short distances, it soon came back to its favoured area, and by staying still the bird also came very close at times.

Shore Lark.

Shore Lark drinking.

Shortly after the Shore Lark arrived at Dungeness it was briefly caught and ringed.  Amazingly, even after that trauma the bird has kept faithful to its favoured area.

Following our wonderful session with the Lark we headed to the RSPB reserve hoping to see some Bearded Tits.  

Before we got to the reed-beds we were fortunate to get a flyover of a group of 3 Cattle Egrets.

Cattle Egrets.

We did also see several Bearded Tits but unfortunately they did not come out into the open, but it was still good to see them.

Also seen during the day was a group of 5 late Swallows, possibly only the 2nd time I have seen them into November.

A really good day, and the weather turned out to be pretty perfect too with mostly sunny skies and for once very light winds.