Sunday, 26 July 2009

Martin Down, June 25th 2009

I have not been to Martin Down for 3 years, I could not help noticing how similar this place is to were I stayed last year in Bovaria, Germany, hills with different coloured fields and something else both places had in common - Yellowhammers!
Just after I left, I got down the road and noticed a Buzzard perched directly above me, so I poked the camera through the sunroof of the car, definately an unusual view, if I had to title the picture it would be "Buzzard's backside", the Buzzard does not look too happy with the angle, maybe it should co-operate more when I'm taking photos!
Early in July, I was lucky enough to be at Christchurch Priory just as a family of Kestrels were fledging.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Peregrines at Chichester Cathedral

I had booked a day off work for something important that got cancelled last minute, best thing to do in this situation I thought is go out with the camera!
I had to choose between a couple of different places and in the end decieded to go to Chichester Cathedral, were there was an RSPB "Date with nature" event. To be honest I was expecting to get a static bird on a (an iconic) building, instead the whole Peregrine family treated me to an amazing flying display, the young Peregrines testing their skills, on each other mostly.
The RSPB staff there were very knowledgable and helpful.
All this took place in the cathedral court yard, timed this visit just right, felt privelleged to watch this, will visit same time next year!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Andalucia Holiday 10th -15th June 2009

In the afternoon on June 13th after a bit of local sightseeing I wanted at some point to try and photograph Lesser Kestrel at Vajeer De la Frontera as I noticed them a few nights before when we went to a restuarant there. I noticed they had nest holes in a building just above the roadside I tried to time the shot just as they were flying out, but I could never time it right! The Lesser Kestrels spent most of their time on the wing catching insects. The next day we went to Tangier, Morocco, then the next day it was time to leave and too early to have anymore camera time, but I did quickly photograph a Crested Lark (I think thats what it is) at a service station car park near Marbella, then after getting lost one last time, we made our flight just in time, overall a busy, but enjoyable holiday!

Andalucia Holiday 10th -15th June 2009

June 13th 2009.

After the excitement of the night before, it became apparent the most action occured at the coolest times of the day and after a tip off from Stephen that the morning was a good time, off we set for La Janda again. As soon as we were in the main area Black Kite became apparent, a Marsh Harrier, whilst looking similar, identified itself by its series of low glides, and then when we reached the sparsely wooded hillside at the centre of the action I noticed Jackdaws were harassing a medium sized raptor, it took a while to get a positve I.D, in the UK medium sized raptors are quite easy to seperate,Buzzard was suggested, but I now have it on good authority that it is a Dark Variation Booted Eagle.

Andalucia Holiday 10th -15th June 2009

These photo's where taken on the same night at the same place (La Janda) as my last post on June 12th 2009, as we drove further I noticed that a group of Griffon Vultures had landed in the field, I did not see why, although they kept staring at this particular cow, to be honest the cow looked perfectly healthy to me! I needed to turn the car around to go back the way I came in and noticed that a Black Kite had also landed further up the track, grounded Raptors are much easier to photograph than those in the air!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Andalucia Holiday 10th -15th June 2009

Flew into Malaga from Bournemouth, picked up the hire car (long wait) and decieded despite it being later than planned, went my original planned route to our destination via Ronda. My Mum and I were staying with Stephen Daly - Andalucian Tours, at his cottage near Barbate. We didn't make a good first impression, underestimating how far our extended route was, getting lost a few times in darkess, arriving about 10:30pm. Apart from the size of the area (bigger than Portugal apparently), the other thing is the scenery, breathtaking! Anytime you venture anywhere near the coast, Morocco is clearly visible, the first time you see it, it's exciting, then after a few days you find yourself muttering "Oh there's Africa again". On the 12th we were taken on a tour to look for Raptors in particular, on the 14th we went on a touristy day accross the ferry from Tarifa for a day tour in Tangier, Morocco.
As soon as we were close to Ronda on the first day I was on the look out for Griffon Vulture, saw the odd single Vultures high in the sky, it was further south when we reached a crossroads, that suddenly vultures filled the sky, took a few shots and as soon as they appeared, they were gone.
On the first day, we did a bit of local exploring, further up the coast near Zahara, I caught sight of something sat on a post, which turned out to be a Little Owl. Next day was the tour, saw many different raptors (most at a place called La Janda) and more impressive scenary and stopped for some local food. After amassing an impressive list, towards the end as it became too hot, it went a bit quiet. I also recieved some good photography tips from Stephen, which was good as my autofocus stopped working at the beginning of the tour, Stephen advised me to get to grips with manual focus and use the sports setting. I was itching to practice this more, so as soon as it cooled down, remembering how to get to La Janda, I persuaded mum to go back again.
As soon as we got there, Purple Swamphen were showing better than earlier, and Griffon Vulture and Black Kite were very visible.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Linnet, Stonechat, Chaffinch, Wren. Late April, May 2009.

Wren at Hengistbury Head, Late April, Chaffinch and Stonechat at Beaulieu Road Station and Linnet at Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes Lete May 2009.