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29th December
I was returning home and happened to stop to check through the gulls in this field when it became apparent that the swans behind the gulls were in fact Bewicks. Without my camera again I decided to try digiscoping them with my newly acquired Samsung NV3.

Bewicks Swan

28th December
I forgot my camera this morning so ended up video-scoping the Red-crested Pochard at Cheddar Reservoir. The bird spent most of its time asleep but eventually posed for some photos.

Red-crested Pochard

20th December
I video scoped this Golden Plover today as it helps to keep practicing this tricky craft. I doubt a digital SLR setup could have managed as good a shot as this due to the distance. Even digiscoping may have been a bit of a struggle as not many compact cameras have a 10x optical zoom. This bird was one of 6 in a field near the cider apple farm on the road to Brean. A little further down the road I stopped again to photograph this scandinavian race of Redwing. This was one of many in the same field. A winter thrush influx in the south-west at this time of year is an expected annual event. Since late autumn they have been steadily working their way through the country feeding in orchards, berry trees and favourable fields.


Golden Plover

19th December
During the last 3 days there have been a small number of fieldfares coming to a berry tree in road where I work. I was going to come back on the weekend and photograph them when it was quiet but I had an opportunity to snap them today. Only about a minutes worth but managed a pleasing shot.



I brought my camera with me today half expecting a mega alert from Devon about a Great Blue Heron. The effort wasn't wasted as I had good views of a Spotted Redshank. This time I gave the 1.7x converter one of its rare appearances. Giving 1020mm focal length the redshank came out OK.

winter plumage spotted redshank

16th December
I went back to Bowling Green Marsh for another attempt at the dowitcher again this morning. Despite picking out the bird regularly it was nearly always asleep so I just made do with some photos of the Garganey.



15th December
My first stop of the day was for 2 Black-necked Grebes at Cheddar Reservoir. The birds gave me the slip initially but settled down in their usual spot by the Cheddar tower. After this I made my way to Bowling Green Marsh for better shots of the Long-billed Dowitcher. Unfortunately the bird was flushed along with most of the waders prior to my arrival by a Sparrowhawk. I did however get very nice views of a Garganey which looked like the same one I saw last month.



Black-necked Grebe

13th December
My 5th attempt for the Long-billed Dowitcher was successful today. The bird was showing closer than I was expecting so was pleased to be able to have a go with the camera rather than video scoping. It was great to see the bird but the highlight of the morning for me was a Robin feeding just inches away from my feet. It came back another two times and showed no fear. The dowitcher flew off after ten minutes of shooting so I took some shots of this obliging Lapwing whilst waiting for the dowitchers return.


Long-billed Dowitcher