Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Mediterranean Gull

Well, what a day! Got off early on the bike but just as I was starting to pick up speed down Greenhill towards Bullock Road a young rabbit darted out from nowhere straight into the front wheel. I didn't even have chance to brake and found my self lying painfully on the edge of the old road in a mixture of mud and bramble.

Checking for damage I didn't seem to be too bad and the bike was OK but everything was a bit of a mess so I decided to head home and get cleaned up. Just behind me lay the body of the rabbit; it had been killed outright! One bonus anyway, that went in the pannier and will provide a nice meal.

On getting home I found that my camera had taken a hit to the zoom button and battery compartment and wouldn't start up. Bollocks! The A640 has been a brilliant camera and you can't get them for love nor money now. I checked and couldn't find one second hand.

Managed to patch myself up and bike into work on time so at lunchtime headed into town to find a replacement. I liked the sound of the A2100, which has the same close focus ability as the A640 (1cm) and very little vignetting with the scope. A bit of an impulse buy but thought I'd try it out.

Turns out not to be as configurable as the A640 and the lens is no where near as sharp, as the shots below will testify but it will do for the time being.

On the way home from work I checked out the hides at Ferry Meadows and was delighted to find this juvenile Mediterranean Gull with a small party of Black-headed Gulls on the reserve. An ideal opportunity to try out the digiscoping abilities of the new camera.

138 Mediterranean Gull

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus, juvenile

Digiscoped with Canon A2100 and Leica APO77 x20

Monday, 20 July 2009


Earier in the year I made a few rides out to the Nene Washes, most notably to get Cattle Egret, but failed to find any Garganey, despite seeing them while driving out that way. Today I decided to check out if there was any water on the High Wash, which often has waders at this time of the year. On the way I discovered quite a bit of water on Stanground Wash and this was attracting a few birds, including ducks, gulls, terns and a few Lapwing.

So I stopped and deployed the scope to check it out. I soon came across a Shoveler and then picked out a Wigeon. I couldn't find any waders other than the Lapwings (but the potential was there) then noticed a smaller duck slip into the water and start feeding. Although a bit distant this was clearly a Garganey and a very welcome addition to the list.

I'll have to make some more lunchtime trips out to here while these conditions persist. Wood Sandpiper should be a possibility.

137 Garganey

Tuesday, 14 July 2009


A persistent puncture meant I was in the car yesterday. I was on the way to Maxey when I realised time was getting on so stopped at Southey Woods where I found a party of 18 Crossbills. Clearly an invasion was underway but that is an awkward place to get to on the bike.

By the time I set off this morning it was already gone 7am and I reckoned I'd need a bit more time to get to Southey so set off up Greenhill to go in via Orton BP instead. Imagine my surprise when a flock of about 10 Crossbills flew low right in front of me calling. An astonishing record for Elton and a massive stroke of luck that saves me a ride out to Southey that I was not relishing at all.

136 Crossbill

Saturday, 4 July 2009


Been cycling to work most days in the past weeks but this is a difficult time of the year to advance a year list and I've succeeded only in increasing the number of kms, accidents, injuries and punctures!

So it was nice today to be gazing out of the bedroom window when an Osprey headed north along the far side of the Nene over the water meadows, circling occasionally to give good enough, if rather distant and hazy, views.

135 Osprey