Thursday, 25 September 2014

Back of the Net

This juvenile Barred Warbler found it's way in to Tony Martin's mist net in his garden close to the Ouse Washes on Monday.  There have been 2 other recent Barred Warblers in the Ely10, one in a back garden in Fordham and a bird photographed at the Ouse Washes RSPB visitor centre.

In the past couple of years several Wrynecks and the county's first Little Bunting have also been trapped by Tony in his wonderful wetland project.  It just goes to prove what a great bit of habitat he's created and what we're missing moving through the area.  I've have taken the liberty of snipping the pics from the Canbridge Bird Club website.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

More spangle

I've been off campus today- up to the Norfolk coast enjoying chats and flycatchers and a very elusive Yellow-brow- but also in the dunes was this lovely Golden Plover. Looking a bit lost, this perfect bird contrasts completely the scrappy moulting adult I painted at Welney.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


A flock of over a hundred Golden Plover dropped in through the dissipating mist as I arrived at Welney yesterday morning, nervously quivering as they settled on the muddy pool. they had circled on stiff wings five or six times, gradually getting lower and lower until they were sure it was safe to alight. Once grounded they jostled and shuffled until each bird had found its place, and then, while some watched, others splashed and bustled in the shallow water. All around them loafed the brown forms of wigeon, shoveler and teal; arranged in rows and huddles like so many stones placed by an ancient people to mark the place for a forgotten reason.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Pectoral sandpipers are good aren't they.

The summer sun had protested against the oncoming autumn, warming the air until the waders at Burwell fen shimmered in the heat as they probed along the muddy edge. Amongst the lapwing and ruff, a few dunlin waded chest deep while a little stint patrolled the shallow. Between them, a pectoral sandpiper ran nervously from one end of the mud-bar to the other, quicker than the larger ruff, but bearing a striking similarity that in the haze made it important to look out for the neat braces down its back to ensure correct identification. 
These small waders have become a fairly frequent visitor to our shores as their breeding range has expanded along the siberian north, and are now as expected as the green and wood sandpipers that breed in scandinavia.