Friday, 13 March 2015

Sunshine Birding.

We have been fortunate weather wise in the south-east with warmer temperatures and the long awaited appearance of some blue skies. This prompted me about a week ago to make another visit to Thursley Common in the hope of catching the over-wintering Great Grey Shrike in the lens.

Just after crossing the short boardwalk another birder indicated with hand signals that he had the bird in view.

Over the following two hours this bird was very mobile and in the company of 'Geordie' I made several circuits of Shrike Hill as we both attempted to get some photos. Typically the bird never got really close enough so a distant record shot (below) had to suffice for now.

A cropped shot of the perched Great Grey Shrike. Later during my wanderings around the common I was entertained by the flight displays and songs of several Woodlark.

A Woodlark showing its distinctive broad supercilia and stubby tail perched briefly for the watcher.

On Tuesday Anita and I made a late morning decision to drive southwards to the coast and took a leisurely stroll around Farlington Marshes under a sunny sky. 
Unfortunately the tide was well in so we missed most of the wildfowl and wader movement from the harbour onto the grazing marsh but we still  enjoyed the spectacle of the thousands of Brent Geese

I also added Rock Pipit to my year list while listening to the glorious song of the Skylarks as they soared high up into the blue sky.

Brent Geese feeding and flying in every direction and then we spotted one individual (below) that had been colour-ringed and has probably faithfully returned to the UK every winter for the past 10-15 years.

Several species were seen flying out across the harbour including Shelduck (above) and Wigeon (below). You can view more images of flying Shelduck by visiting FABirding.

And finally, any trip here wouldn't be the same without decent views of a Little Egret (below) feeding in one of the small pools. More images of this species to follow in due course.

Wishing everyone a glorious wildlife watching weekend, wherever you are.  FAB.

Linking to Saturday's Critters and I'D-Rather-B-Birdin' ,


  1. Beautiful images...Such fun to meet new birds..We don't see them in the Eastern US..Thanks for sharing..

  2. lovely ducks and birds. i'm enjoying your blue sky and glimpses of sun from your photos!

  3. Frank, what wonderful finds! The woodlark is so pretty. We have enjoyed some fine weather and even some melting here in New England but this weekend another storm is rolling in and I will have to stay home and watch birds through the windows instead! Soon, the migrants will return! Nice photos.

  4. Nice shots! It will be Brant season next week down island. Hope to get some shots next weekend.

  5. Fabulous shots, Frank. It's a pleasure to see your photos of the geese. On occasion, I'll drive out to the lake and watch the ducks, but I rarely see geese.

  6. Wonderful sun to be out birding and you managed quite a variety of species and got great shots of them as well. Did you send in the information about the Brent? thy always like to know. Hope your weekend goes well.

  7. Super shots as always, Frank! I always enjoy seeing what you see when you're out and about. I like the Brent geese - have never seen one except in photos.

  8. enjoyed all of your shots. Birding is a great excuse to be outside in Mother's nature, isn't it?

  9. Great couple of days birding Frank.
    Good shot of the GGS.
    Be interesting to get the 'travel' history of the ringed Brent. Such smart looking birds.

  10. Excellent!!! The one goose, the Brent Goose, kinda looks like a NeNe from Hawaii...I think. I saw one NeNe decades ago, and at first sight of your photo that's what I thought it was. I learned a new species, thanks to this posting.

    Wonderful images Frank.

    Thanks for sharing this link this week at I'd Rather B Birdin'!!

  11. Hi Frank.. Great scenery to take pictures.. Nice shots.. Cheers..

  12. Great seeing the shrike, even if it wasn't close. Perhaps next time. All your pictures are great!

  13. A beautiful and varied bird blog. The shrike is great. I've never seen this myself in the wild. also d bank beeper and egret are beautifully omt see e. The flight images of the geese and wigeon you fine picture.

  14. Beautiful shots. I love the birds in flight as well as the others too.

  15. Great sightings and photos! I love the Brent geese! Thank you for linking up, sorry I am late commenting!

  16. Magnificent pictures! My compliments!
    Warm greetings. Have a nice weekend, Frank! :-)


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