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Back yard birding thread... (Corona virus restrictions)


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Soukous

Our part of the UK, (East Anglia) is blessed with an abundance of reed beds. Hiding in these reed beds and the surrounding marshes is a large variety of warblers - Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler,  Grasshopper Warbler, Blyth's Reed Warbler, Cetti's Warbler to name just a few -  and we should be able to find Bearded Reedling/Tit as well,  but reed beds make a great hiding place, or to put it differently, a great place to hide when someone is trying to take your photograph.

They are noisy enough, so it's easy enough to get close to them, but clear shots are at a premium.

 

In all my searching I have only managed to find Reed and Sedge Warblers so far this year. I've heard others, but not seen them. It was a similar story yesterday at Carlton Marshes, one of the nicest reserves managed by Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

 

Reed Warbler

Reed Warbler

 

Reed Warbler

 

Reed Warbler

 

Reed Warbler

 

 

Sedge Warbler

Sedge Warbler

 

 

Edited by Soukous
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Not quite my backyard but within walking distance is a natural burial ground and nature reserve.  My retirement from medicine last year (shortly to be reversed due to Covid-19) and recent travel restr

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Came acoss this rather jolly sight on our river walk

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Soukous

Then there were a couple that I am not certain of. (any chance you can help me out here Fred ( @Galana )

 

I had this marked down as a Sedge Warbler, but I am not convinced. It looked a bit too large and the eye stripe looked a bit too dark.

 

Sedge Warbler

 

and after adding this to my tally of Reed Warblers, I now think this could be a Marsh Warbler, mostly because of the colour of the legs, which should be darker on a Reed Warbler.

Marsh Warbler

 

Marsh Warbler

 

 

Edited by Soukous
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Soukous

These youngsters also had me scratching my head for a while as I've never seen them at this stage of their lives before, but I think they are Pheasant chicks

 

Pheasant chick

 

Pheasant chick

 

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Galana

Well the chicks are certainly 'game birds'. So odds on to be Pheasant unless very small when Partridge are not dissimilar in appearance. Was there a female lurking anywhere near?

As to your warblers there is no doubt about the Sedge. It's the only warbler with the very prominent supercilium.

Marsh is not shown in your area and forgive the bleeding obvious guide in my book "is seldom seen in dense reedbeds!"

Also adults tend to have  more greenish tinge on the back but I agree the leg colour is a shade too pink to be absolutely certain.

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Soukous
3 hours ago, Galana said:

Was there a female lurking anywhere near?

 

I didn't see one. There were 4 chicks in all and they displayed a level of stupidity that will serve them well as adult pheasants. Also, the second bird in the first photo (okay it is out of focus) shows the beginnings of longer tail feathers than would be normal on a Quail or Partridge. (You'll notice I'm now selecting evidence to support my theory, as all second rate detectives do)

 

Thanks for the confirmation on the Sedge Warbler. I was pretty sure but it seemed massive for a Sedge Warbler, it was Skylark size.

As for the Marsh Warbler, it was something of a 'wish' rather than a real hope. Although this one was hunting amongst brambles rather than in the reed beds and flew off in the opposite direction to the reeds. 

Edited by Soukous
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Soukous

With the sun shining and thunderstorms forecast for the afternoon, I had to go out again.

A few days ago, while walking the dogs I'd heard and then seen a pair of Ringed Plovers by the beach. They are not particularly rare, but I've never seen them here before so I thought i'd try and get some pics.

 

I almost turned right around when I saw how many cars were parked there. usually I see one or two at the most, but the prevailing mood seems ot be that lockdown is ended and we can all go where we please now.

 

Once again it was their call that gave them away. I think they have a nest amongst the vegetation by a tidal pool. Of course as soon as they saw me they flew off so I picked a nice spot and sat to wait. I didn't have to wait for long.

 

Ringed Plover

 

Ringed Plover

 

Ringed Plover

 

Ringed Plover

 

Ringed Plover

 

Ringed Plover

 

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Soukous

This stretch of coast is replete with ground nesting birds at this time of year (yes, dogs go on lead) and foremost among them are the Skylarks, one of my favourite birds.

Skylark

 

Skylark

 

Skylark

 

Skylark

 

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Soukous

A little further along the coast  are some old concrete fortifications dating from WW2. These have been colonised by Barn Swallows.

 

Barn Swallow

 

Barn Swallow

 

and their youngsters are now coming out into the world

Barn Swallow_juv

 

Barn Swallow_juv

 

Barn Swallow_juv

 

 

which is all well and good, but does not bring me any new species to keep my BY moving  :(

Edited by Soukous
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TonyQ

They may not add to your BY @Soukous but they are stunning photos. Beautiful.

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Soukous
35 minutes ago, TonyQ said:

They may not add to your BY @Soukous but they are stunning photos. Beautiful.

 

too kind, thank you

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Galana
6 hours ago, TonyQ said:

They may not add to your BY @Soukous but they are stunning photos. Beautiful.

I agree.

The 2nd adult Swallow is a stunner.

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Peter Connan

I agree too!

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Peter Connan

Spider for lunch...

 

GreenwoodODP-4.jpg.4b704433d3c4b5c8ce97796273e11717.jpg

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offshorebirder

Very cool thing to have (feeding young) in one's backyard @Peter Connan!    Green Wood-Hoopoes correct?

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Peter Connan

Thank you very much @offshorebirder. Yes, that is correct.

I am actually rather surprised. Winter is really just starting (and shaping up to be the coldest one in several years), yet several of the birds around seem to be collecting food rather than eating, and the weaver has started building nests and getting into his dancing suit!

Edited by Peter Connan
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Towlersonsafari

a different look at our most common butterfly, the Meadow Brown, and a nice Cinnabar moth seen on my day off walk

_6140445_DxO.jpg

_6130314_DxO.jpg

Edited by Towlersonsafari
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Soukous

It would be wonderful if the birds spotted (and photographed) bore some relation to the hours spent looking. Sadly that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment and with bushes and trees now in full leaf everything is harder to spot.

I took a stroll downto the reed beds at North Warren yesterday afternoon. A Red-footed Falcon has been sighted there for the past 3 days. It is also a decent place to find Bitterns. But not on this day. No Falcon, no Hobby.

The day was saved though by a pair of Marsh Harriers that were very active over the reed beds. I spent an hour just watching them. For some reason they preferred the reeds on the far side, but occasionally they came closer.

Looking at the photos afterwards I thought my lens must have been struggling to focus, but I think it is more likely that it was me that was struggling to keep them in focus at about 120 metres.

 

For a while we only saw the female

 

Marsh Harrier - f

 

Marsh Harrier - f

 

Marsh Harrier - f

 

Marsh Harrier - f

 

Marsh Harrier - f

 

Marsh Harrier - f

 

but eventually the male gave us a fly by

Marsh Harrier - m

 

Marsh Harrier - m

 

Marsh Harrier - m

 

 

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JohnR

An antidote to @Soukous's beautiful pictures, some of this year's fledglings seen in my garden in the last few days

 

Great spotted woodpecker feeding young

20200618_2246_1DX2-800.jpg.c1ae40666aa92b7e6afc35212ad8841f.jpg

 

GSW fledgling on feeder in face-off with a goldfinch

20200618_2224_1DX2-800.jpg.c77e1dcd87898c59776084d21c93201e.jpg

 

male chaffinch feeding fledgling

20200610_2100_1DX2-800.jpg.5baf696e3356e192420ef1d19af813c0.jpg

 

a bedraggled starling fledgling. The nest in in my eaves but one fledgling is hanging around feeling sorry for itself in the rain.

20200618_2251_1DX2-800.jpg.fa16a4264fbedf45f3e669f8c2ff2bed.jpg

 

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Kitsafari

I've been too lazy to take photos of the birds in our backyard, but yesterday the blue-throated bee-eater came lower so that I could take a better shot of it. It had a big moth in its beak and it was whacking it hard to kill it. then it flew off to feed a juvenile waiting very silently close by. Unfortunately, the prop is a lamp-post, but this being an urbanised country, man-made structures are unavoidable. It's just incredible that wild birds in Singapore have adapted - albeit at declining numbers - to living with humans and in a much developed environment. 

 

DSC08093-Edit.JPG.c3f65eec077f664b0426e68d47ca3b8c.JPG

 

  

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Soukous
4 hours ago, Kitsafari said:

I've been too lazy to take photos of the birds in our backyard

 

No matter how lazy I was feeling I would try to photograph a Blue-throated Bee-eater, or just about any Bee-eater to be honest. 

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Towlersonsafari

We have had a couple of visitrs to the garden, one very reular-to the extent it has made a temprary burrow system in the pile of stuff that pretends its a compost heap, the other a newcomer, only seen a couple of times and so the fox  photo's are shot through an unwashed  conseravtory window with a panasonic 100- 400mm lens at 1/60th-still lovely to see and it seemed to be eating some unripe cherries

_6180741_DxO.jpg

_6190843_DxO.jpg

_6190899_DxO.jpg

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Towlersonsafari

And as this was seen at a reserve we would not have been too if the lockdown had not occurred, a photo I am very pleased with, a roosting Marbled white showing its beautiful soft cryptic underwings

_6201483_DxO.jpg

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Zim Girl

Gorgeous butterfly and very cute fox.

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Kitsafari

Finally picking up my camera again when I'm not blitzing through 70 episodes of a Netflix series.

 

A juvenile black-naped oriole looking for its parents to feed it. 

June 21

 

DSC08106.JPG.71c55fd2fb40a4c1d985b3c9b58c6ea6.JPGDSC08108.JPG.fda693bcd84bae4341701a4bb09f1746.JPG

 

 

a flock of noisy masked lapwings passing by - first time I've seen it in my neighbourhood. I was too late to capture the flock, but managed a pair.

June 16

 

DSC08044.JPG.cab8e2b658c4e3fa5cd7c8ae1019cc45.JPGDSC08050-Edit.JPG.47c4a255a63dbc08566d09e5999bd42b.JPG

 

 

Juvenile blue-throated bee-eater - we discovered there were four bee-eaters so we suspect two may be juves. it's been calling from the tree in front of our house. 

June 26

 

DSC08117.JPG.62a008cc34d4c56d6e2b1f9672735184.JPG

 

 

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