Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Water Rail, Rutland Water

A sketch from early February. A Water Rail was happily feeding among a group of  female Blackbirds in the soggy wild flower meadows. 

Reed Bunting, Rutland, 12 March

A group of nine were feeding in a narrow set-aside strip. Gorgeous birds.

Whooper Swans, Oakham Co-op, 12 March

Middle bird was colour-ringed on left leg and metal ring is visible on right.

Part of a group of 18 adult Whooper Swans that flew very low north over the supermarket car park at 0825. One bird was colour ringed on the left leg but it was too hidden to read. They are presumably birds that have wintered in the Fens and are now slowly beginning their journey back towards Iceland.

Friday, 1 March 2013

The Gambia and Senegal, Jan 2013

A few weeks spent watching wintering Ospreys and other stuff, our (Osprey Rutland Project) third consecutive winter trip to West Africa. JJ and Alagi once again produced the goods and we are already looking forward to next winters return trip.

Lizard Buzzard

Juvenile female Osprey, Scottish yellow 68

Juvenile male

Adult female diving

Black -headed Heron

Black-shouldered Kite, 1st winter

Spur-winged Plover and Croc

Rhinoceros Beetle

Whimbrel and discarded fishing nets. The sea off West Africa is used as an open dustbin but it all washes up eventually. 

Great Cormorants, lucidus

Caspian and Little Terns

Casps, Little Terns and Sanderlings

Yellow-legged Gull michahellis. Very scarce on the Gambian coast and all three that I saw this winter were michahellis.

African Hawk Eagle. Nearly evaded the Wright's radar.

Four-banded Sandgrouse. Actually only has three real bands.

Striped Kingfisher. A woodland and field species that feeds on insects. 

African Green Pigeon. Very inconspicuous when sitting quietly in their fruiting tree.

Very agile when feeding on fruit

Hooded Vulture and dog

Caspian, Royal and a Lesser Crested Tern (smallest in middle) 

Lesser Crested Tern with Casps

Nice comparison with bigger and paler Royal Tern.

Abyssinian Roller at sunrise