Showing posts from 2014

Being a Birthing Partner

I didn't know I was going to become a birthing partner, but when given the job unexpectedly I grabbed it with both hands and lungs! I was visiting the grey seal colony at Horsey to see how they were faring this year during the pupping season. Were they going to be as successful as those up at Blakeney who were already breaking records? Well it seems yes they are, pups are all along the beach so a much larger area is cordoned off to help reduce disturbance. Seals don't understand ropes and I'm pretty sure they don't read signs too well, so they weren't paying too much attention to the designated areas. Seals and pups stretched as far as you could see. Fortunately those mammals that can read were respecting the signs and were even keeping off the beach that wasn't roped off. Excellent! Walking along the top of the dunes with my long lens trained onto the beach I managed to capture some lovely shots of seals of all ages. Some pups were resting quite high up th

Resonant Rooks

November, late in the afternoon and the light is fading at RSPB Buckenham Marshes so I tear myself away from the wonderful whistling wigeon and head back to Buckenham railway station. I'm not catching the train but the platform is a great spot to get caught up in the gathering corvids. Mainly rook and jackdaw make up this roost, and at first there are a few decorating the small stand of trees on the grazing marsh, but soon there is a steady stream of black birds from all directions, noisily announcing their arrival. There seems to be a little jostling for the top most points of the trees then things settle, apart from a little murmuring. Suddenly in unison they lift, it seems someone gave the call to move and the jackdaws continue their joyous recounting of the day to each other as they head to the field with the wires. But there is no room on the wires, for these are sole property of the rooks. Every inch filled but no bird actually looking cramped for space. There they si

You've Got to Love a Shrike & a Crabbing Gull!

Last month I popped up to Titchwell when migration was in full swing pretending to be a serious birder! The main reason for heading that way was the Steppe Grey Shrike at Burnham Norton. Having been rather impressed by the Red-Back at Winterton I thought I would check this bird out too. It was all bit grey that morning, including the bird, but fortunately these shrikes don't mind having an audience while they go about their business of trying to work out why the sat-nav brought them to Norfolk. Two very average pictures for you to decide which shrike is best! Red-Backed Shrike, Winterton late Aug 2014 Steppe Grey Shrike, Burnham Norton Oct 2014 Don't let me influence you but my vote goes to the red back, and not just because it has caught a wasp, its simply a really smart looking bird. Well, once the fret really rolled in, and along with it another load of lenses and tripods, I thought I'd nip up the road to RSPB Titchwell to see what treasures I could f