3rd December

At least 7 Leaches Petrels were at Severnside this afternoon. Some of the birds were on the tide line which is where I was standing! The birds were literally on view down to a few metres. The only difficult bit was getting photos. The wind was very strong, the focus was constantly hunting and my eyes were watering. On top of this the light was poor meaning the ISO had to be pushed right up. I was pleased to get one shot out of the 150 or so taken.

Leach's Petrel

2nd December

A poor start to the month starting with a dip. The Great Grey Shrike was nowhere to be seen in the first hour of light but I did have a fly over Crossbill and many Dartford Warblers. One dip down, I made my way to Hengistbury Head for a recently found Pallas's Warbler. After an hour of waiting and only a handfull of flight views, I was not convinced that staying any longer would be productive for photos. 4+ chiffchaffs gave good views. On the way back, I had a look for the Great White Egret with no luck.


29th November

I took the morning off to have a look for the Falcated Duck and the Cattle Egret. The Falcated was not there when I first got to Topsham so I carried on to Budleigh Salterton. The Cattle Egret was present but feeding with Little Egrets that were easily spooked. They all flew off together with me having the chance to get my camera setup. The Falcated Duck was more obliging but needed a little patience as it spent most of the time asleep.

Falcated Duck

28th November

Even the work place can sometimes provide a good photo opportunity. Just as I turned up for work, a Pied Wagtial was feeding in the car park and stayed long enough for me to get the camera out before walking too close to the car to get any more shots.

Pied Wagtail

26th November

With migration coming to an end, I spent the morning taking photos of common birds. Good views of Purple Sandpipers were had after a trip to the local sewage works. Click on the image for more.

Purple Sandpiper

23rd November

It was a welcome distraction to do some photography after the death of my dear pet Lily on Tuesday. At Brean Cross Sluice on the River Axe an interesting selection of waders fed on mudflats this lunchtime. Common Sandpiper and Greenshank gave good views whilst further up river, a Spotted Redshank fed amongst Redshank. The birds unusual feeding action gave it away, by sweeping side to side on the waters edge and also up ending a lot like a dabbling duck. More photos of the Greenshank here, or click the photo


19th November

Great views today of a Yellow-browed Warbler at Apex Lakes, Burnham-on-Sea. Click the link or photo for more on this bird.

Yellow-browed Warbler

18th November

I decided to spend the morning photographing the Woodchat Shrike at Soar. Unfortunately it had a different agenda to me. Click the link or the photo for more info.

Woodchat Shrike Soar, Devon

15th November

At this time of year I start thinking about feeding the gulls on the beach. I check for any rare gulls and any with rings. Nothing much of interest today, just a couple of Common Gulls.

Common Gull

13th November

Back to reality after saturdays excitement. I was looking for sea birds this morning in windy conditions. My attentions focused on a small group of waders feeding on the beach at Uphill. 5 Ringed Plover and 1 Dunlin fed alongside the car whilst I searched for any storm driven birds.

Ringed Plover

11th November

Long-billed Murrelet page added here, or click on the image below

Black Redstart Sand Point 5th November 2006

Whilst on my way down to see the Red-breasted Goose nr Weymouth I received a call from Nick Workman. He had just found a Black Redstart. I decided to have a look for the bird the following day. Fortunately it was still present. A very active female performing acrobatics in an attempt to catch passing insects. The bird was quite wide ranging which required a lot of patience but would come very close at times.

Nikon D200, 600mm, 1.4x converter
Black Redstart

Red-breasted Goose Wyke Regis, Dorset 4th November 2006

I read my pager at 9:30 and noticed a Red-breasted Goose had been found at Ferrybridge half an hour ago. A fairly good drive down had me at Ferrybridge 20 minutes late. That'll teach me to ignore my pager. News had spread that the bird was viewable from Littlesea Caravan Park (off Lynch Road). The place was easy enough to find and I quickly located the bird amongst a large number of Brents. It was a little distant and the light meant that I had to be further away from the bird to get it front lit. It wasn't long before the bird started walking further before flying off towards Butterstreet Cove followed by the whole flock of Brents.

Nikon D200, 600mm, 1.4x converter
Red-breasted Goose

3rd November

So far I have got on well with the 600mm. Its weight has not been an issue yet. I have carried it for a mile and a half three times with no effects on my spine. It is true that this lens cannot be handheld unlike the 500mm. Personally, after owning a 300mm f2.8, this is the most I would be happy hand holding. For any handheld photos, I would recommend a lightweight setup. My portable setup consists of a 70-200mm f2.8 with a 2x converter. It works a treat for every day use.
Below are some shots taken with the 600mm and a 1.4x converter from inside the car. I just wound the window down and propped the lens on the door frame.

Nikon D200, 600mm, 1.4x converter

Grey Partridge