1 May 2014

27 Oct 2013

Pictures by Nick Rosman.



Photographs donated by Nick Rosman a Nederlander now domiciled in the UK he is a very keen birder and photographer, we wish him well and good birding.

28 May 2013

An unusual visitor to my feed station, an adult Rook quite an ugly little git
he actually seems partially tame as he will not retreat if you remain 10ft plus from him. 

Bonaparte's Gull (Chroicocephalus Philadelphia)

I was lucky to encounter this rare Bonaparte's Gull at RSPB Elmley Isle of Sheppey on Wed the 1-5-2013 it was on the Wellmarsh scrape.
A rare vagrant from North America and Alaska few records of  this bird in the UK and Ireland it is one of the few gulls that will nest in coniferous tree's
The English name of the Bonaparte's Gull honours Charles Lucien Bonaparte, who made important contributions to American Ornithology while an active member of the academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia during the 1820's. The scientific name Philadelphia was given in 1815 by the describer of the species, George Ord of Philadelphia, presumably because he collected his specimen there.




The Avocets are now in attendance on the Elmley reserve but seem to have competition from noisy Black Headed Gulls, the water on the scrape at Wellmarsh hide is a trifle high limiting the feeding of some birds.

Three of these pictures were taken rcently and two last year..

Redshanks both of these were taken at rspb Elmley they are nesting on the reserve at this time.

The pictures below were taken at RSPB Elmley Monday 27th May, they depict Shelduck and young and a female Shoveler with young.
The shots were taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon 400mm f5.6 lens.


22 Dec 2012

Allhallows 21-12-12

Quick trip to Allhallows on the way back from a nightmare shop, weather was a lovely bright even warm day with visibility excellent.
Resting elbows on the seawall I scanned the shore and mud of the Thames Estuary with the trusted Swarovski bins they revealed an absence of birds of what I was there for BIRDS, but eventually spotted at distance14 Brent Geese and a few Oyster Catcher, 3 bait diggers and of course gulls.
after half an hour I abandoned my quest and made my way home for a very welcome brew.

14 Dec 2012

The 12-12-12 certainly will be memorable as being one of the hardest frosts I can remember, but that said what a beautiful white blanket nature chose to cover her domain with, yes, nature can be cruel but, she can also be an outstanding artist as we witnessed yesterday, I was hoping that today would bring about an action replay but alas not.

Christmas is nearly upon us and not too far off a new year, but before that occurs we have to get over the Christmas two days of mayhem and over indulgence, which brings me round nicely to Christmas dinner, and the unfortunate bird we choose, in Dickens time it would have been a Goose but these modern times Turkey seems to be the preferred choice.

Turkeys are somewhat amusing birds, and as baby Jesus was arriving in the stable some 2000 years ago, the wild turkeys of South America (one of only two species in the world) were being domesticated by the Aztecs Mayans and other tribes of Indians. The Spanish introduced the domestic turkey to Europe in the 16th Century, we then took the turkey back across the Atlantic to North America at a time of the Irish and Scottish land clearances who, among others migrated to the New World taking livestock goods and chattels, to where the second turkey species is domiciled, there domestic potential not being realised.

Up until the 19th century and prior to intensive battery farming of turkey’s  the delicacy on our dinner tables, would have been the bird of that time, the Goose.
The pictures below were taken around Allhallows and depict the very hard frost we had on the 12-12-12.

13 Dec 2012

The plight of the Turtle Dove.

Should you be anticipating a present of two Turtle Doves this Xmas, from your true love, as the carol goes, you will inevitably be in for a disappointment.

Latest compiled figures show the numbers of Turtle Doves have depleted by nearly two thirds in five years, with just 14,000 pairs in Britain the species is in dire straits. The RSPB states that the Grey Partridge - which also features in the song – is also under threat.

Losing six out of ten of our Turtle Doves and three out of ten of our Grey Partridge in just five years, you do not have to be a mathematician to work out the scenario of the next ten years, these figures if correct makes both species an unsustainable wildlife disaster.

These two icons of Christmas are telling us that wildlife not just for them but in general has reached crisis point.

Turtle Doves for the record and for the uninitiated are never here at Christmas they migrate and winter in Africa, it is said that intensive farming in the sub Saharan wintering ground are robbing the birds of natural habitat, the journey back to us they are running the gauntlet of Mediterranean hunters eager to shoot them for the pot.

And finally in all my years in the countryside I have never seen a partridge in a pear tree, and the composer of the carol, we can assume was not associated with birdlife in any way.

I can also say that personally I have not heard or seen a Turtle Dove for four years and have not photographed one for five years.

Happy Christmas.

25 Oct 2012

Trip to Sheppey 25-10-2012

A morning trip to RSPB Elmley, very misty and grey and the temperature was  pleasantly mild, sat in the Wellmarsh hide for a couple of hours, not much to get the heart racing or to write home about, seen on the scrape.   Solitary Grey Plover, Seven Snipe, 50+ Teal, 300+ Greylag at some distance.

Seen on the slow drive to and from the hide, Marsh Harrier, 8 Carrion Crows, 1 Stonechat, fence sitting,  8+ Curlew, A scattering of Plover, Fungi were very apparent, picked myself a great feed of fresh Field Mushrooms.

Greylag Geese

This flight of geese came over the top of Wellmarsh Hide and they are about to join the many greylag already on the marsh.

Fruits of the earth and they really did go down well with bacon and eggs.

Curlew at Distance

Mixed Bunch

Lapwing, and a fungus I cannot identify, Sparrows on my feeder, the sparrow in the centre I think is leucistic.

5 Oct 2012

My Patch 04/10/2010

A visit to my patch yesterday and what a beautiful day it was. Birdlife was not too apparent 2 Carrion Crows , possibly the same Grey Plover harassing a Crow, 6+ Shelduck, a small raft of Mullard, 5+ Little Egret, Flights of Oyster Catcher pushed off feeding by the tide, and numerous House Martins and Swallows no doubt late broods in a final feed before the off.

Natural land drain.

Bait digger, Southend Pier in background.

Interesting shoreline.