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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Common Redpolls in South Shropshire

One of the 20+Common Redpoll at Newcastle upon Clun with over 120 Lesser Redpoll and 100 Siskin.
  A visit to Newcastle upon Clun in South Shropshire last week produced lots of Marsh Tit, 100+Siskin, 130+Lesser Redpoll and over 20 Common Redpoll. Up to 3 Dipper were on the Folly Broke with Red Kite in the valley. Near Bridges up to Long Mynd, we flushed 40+Brambling feeding beneath the Beech Trees that borders the road.

 Record shot of one of the Common Redpoll 
Lots of Marsh Tit in the south of the county

Both Buzzard and Red Kite were all over the shop

Went to have a look at the 2 immature/female Scaup that have been present at Prisorlee Lake for the last few days
Juvenile Mute Swan

Nearby just down road from Prisorlee near Kynnersley, this Great-black backed Gull was getting stuck into this dead sheep 
Elle feeding baby Screech Owls

Tawny Owl

While were in the south of the county, we made a visit to Kington Owl Centre and as you can see we had an awesome time feeding and holding the owls. Here's me with a Giant Eagle Owl. 

All the owls loved being scrached behind the neck and if you stopped, then they would gently nip you to let you know that they wanted you to carry on

Steven Paul "Elliott" Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in Texas, and resided for a significant portion of his life in Portland, Oregon, the area in which he first gained popularity. Smith's primary instrument was the guitar, but he was also proficient with piano, clarinet, bass guitar, drums and harmonica. Smith had a distinctive vocal style, characterized by his "whispery, spiderweb-thin delivery" and used multi-tracking to create vocal layers, textures and harmonies.

Monday, 16 December 2013


Male PARROT CROSSBILL at Holt Country Park

  I couldn't leave Norfolk without seeing the Parrot Crossbills at Holt Country Park. There had been over 20 birds showing on and off in the area and last week I managed to catch up with 9 birds in a clearing including 4 males. Through the scope they looked good and nearby there were also 26 Crossbill. and 2 Red Kite.

All 9 birds showed well in good light
Just a little too distant for the camera though.


Red Kite Elmarie Humphries

During the stay we went see the floods from Salthouse
Elle ringed two new species out of 51 birds, Marsh and Long-tailed Tit, thanks to Andrew Cannon at Natural Surroundings  Only two miles from Cley towards Holt. Great place to spend the day and they do a very tasty veg soup.

Long-tailed Tit at Natural Surroundings.There were also 6 Brambling in the area

Are second visit to Holme Bird Observatory produced the Short-eared Owl again Elmarie Humphries

The SEO shared this field with thses ponies Elmarie Humphries

Before we hit Norfolk, we stayed at my uncle Tony's in Lough, Lincs, for a few nights and way into the early hours of the morning we listened to non-stop jazz. Here's Dave Brubeck. Thanks Tony for great music and steak.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Short-eared Owl at Holme

Short-eared Owl at Holme.

  Monday just gone, just after 08.00, driving down the track towards Holme Bird Observatory, we flushed a Short-eared owl at very close range. Instead of flying off, it landed on brambles at a distance of a few metres. We observed it for a good 15 minutes as it made short flights from post to post in front of the car, before flying off. Before this, outside our digs where we are staying in Plumstead, we heard 2 vocal Tawny Owl and had cracking views of a Barn Owl on the A148 near Fakenham.

Top two pics taken by Elmarie Humphries

This by far was the best views we've ever had of SEO
 Looking from the obs towards the village, Holmes-next-the-sea Elmarie Humphries
During Elle's two morning ringing sessions with Gary Elton at the observatory, we also managed to see Hen Harrier, lots of Marsh Harrier and Muntjac

This female Great Spotted Woodpecker was already ringed
This Red Admiral took advantage of the warm sunshine just outside the obs building

As we pass the tip next to Edgefield on our way to Holt every day, we always see Red Kites hanging out with the gulls. Top two pics taken by Elmarie Humphries
Before we hit Norfolk, we had a two day stay at Spurn where Elle ringed a single Snow Bunting thanks to Paul Collins and Tim jones

This female Sparrowhawk flew low trying to flush out the small numbers of Blackbird that had just arrtived near to the point

Great black-backed Gull

Spurn Point

The freedom fighter 'the great Nelson Mandela' passed away a few hours ago. When he made his first visit to the USA, after his release, there were music and film stars performing at the LA Coliseum for him. As you will hear at the end of this song, Kris Kristofferson says that the most honored thing that ever happened to him is when Mandela came up to him and asked him to sing the 'Eagle and the Bear' which at the the end of the chorus he sings 'Until the day we free Mandela, all the world will be in chains' This footage is at 'The Nobel Peace Center Oslo, Norway at the Music Freedom day 2008' Madela won the Nobel Peace Prize with F.W. de klerk in 1993.