Monday 20 April 2009

A good weekend photographically

The bad weather this last week brought many good migrants to ground. Sadly, I had to work so missed them all! Aaahh!

Well, on Saturday, I went to Beddington where ring ouzels, and all manner of rare migrants had been seen in the week. I saw none of them! After a walk round the whole site, I decided to go to Barnes WWT. Here I saw sand martins, sedge warblers and reed warblers. Also, a kestrel caught something and came down on a nearby post to eat it. I never got to see what it had caught, but I managed to fire off some of the closest and best shots of a kestrel before he flew off. Here is the best picture:

Male kestrel, Barnes WWT.

On Sunday I went to Elmley Marshes on the Isle of Sheppey and then to Oare Marshes near Faversham. Elmley is great because during the 1.25 mile drive from the road to the car park you often see more than at the hides (which involve another 1.25 mile hike). Also the car is a perfect hide. By waiting patiently, I got a lovely yellow wagtail at close range....

Yellow wagtail (male), Elmley marshes.

.....and a pair of skylarks - one shown here, displaying .

Skylark, Elmley.

Shortly afterwards, a redshank appeared. With the sun behind, his red legs appeared an even more vivid red.

Redshank, Elmley

I started on my walk to the hides but, after about 500-600 metres I met another birdwatcher who had already been down there and pronounced that there was very little apart from avocets and shellducks. I decided not to put in the effort of a long walk and turned back to go to Oare. On the way back I heard the distant call of a corn bunting. Scouring the middle distance revealed it on a gatepost, but too far for a shot that I could dare to post on this blog.

At Oare, there was a single little stint and a whimbrel on the mud in the Swale, again too distant for any decent shots. There was a nice drake garganey at the back of the lake, and I managed some practice at flight shots when a mute swan made a couple of circuits of the lake.

A little egret afforded some close views while touring the lake in search of fish.

Little egret, Oare Marshes.

All in all, an enjoyable weekend photographically even if I didn't make much headway into David Campbell's formidable lead in the year list.

Now, here's a riddle for you. Whose face is this Disney looking character? Those Goofy eyes, that black hair, that funny bearded mouth like the bully in Popeye (I can't remember his name). Who can it be?? Answers on a postcard please...... Well, you can email the answer to me if you can guess. Answer in next week's posting.

Whose face???


  1. Well done Phil, you are an amazing photographer, the Kestrel left me with the word 'how'!?


    p.s- the mystery bird couldn't be a Swan, could it? ;)

  2. Thank you, Billy. You're very kind, but with the kestrel it was pure luck that I was there just at that moment.

    I, too, like the shot which is completely uncropped. In fact, after taking a few shots, I realised I was too close for the 1.4x converter. I was in the process of taking it off when he flew away.

    As for the mystery face...well.. you'll have to wait until next week. ;-)

  3. Some cracking shots there Phil!

    I was a Barnes on Saturday too and probably just missed you. Someone I'd met there a couple of times before, got the Kestrel on the post as well; I'd wandered off just before it arrived - always they way and met up with him not long after that! Apparently it was eating a Lizard (the Kestrel not the guy). We'd seen about 6 lizards in one spot earlier on but in a different place altogether!

  4. I must add that the Kestrel picture is stunning!!! Especially against the plain sky.

  5. Tricia, thank you very much. You know I might have seen you at Barnes but I wasn't sure. Didn't see the lizards, though.

    I like the kestrel pic., but on bird forum people seem to like the yellow wagtail better. Got more thumbs up responses. Good to know that its prey was a lizard. Well, good to know WHAT it was but lizards are so rare it seems a pity they have to be in the food chain!!

    Thanks for visiting.



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