Aviemore

I have just got back from a few days in Aviemore which was fantastic.

We were hoping for some snow and whilst there was some on the tops the white stuff remained elusive.

We had a walk around Rothiemurchus Forest on the first day. It was quite wild and windy with lots of rain but exhilerating to be out in such a wild place with wild weather. Our wet gear did us proud!

On the second day we went up to the Cairngorms and again warm clothing was the order of the day the scenery even more spectacular.

For the third day I booked a half day session photographing crested tits with local guide and ace photographer Neil McIntyre. He took me to a wonderful spot in the middle of the forest where the crested tits came to within 3 feet!

The light wasnt great but I was very pleased with these shots all taken at 1/5000 again the D810 does the business in low light conditions.

Nest year I might be a bit more adventurous and head out on the hills for Ptarmigan or mountain hare.

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Last Few days of Autumn

I’ve managed a couple of trips out to Spurn over the last couple of weekends.

The weather could not have been more contrasting, last week it was glorious sunshine in light winds and today it was an easterly wind and almost constant rain. Both days produced the goods though.

Last Saturday the light was great for photography and all of the action was around the canal scrape area.

The black redstart was the star of the show showing well in the new visitor car park accompanied by a couple of stonechats.

There was nothing ultra rare but very nice all the same.

Today was a different affair, the wind was blowing off the sea bringing a mixture of drizzle or moderate rain, greta to be out in getting plenty of fresh air.

A walk along the breach proved fruitless apart from some close eiders flying north. Kilnsea Wetland and Beacon Ponds was equally disappointing. I headed towards Sammy’s Point to check out the Richard’s Pipit but before I got chance to look for it a shout came over the radio that a possible Humes Warbler was in the Crown and Anchor car park. It showed as soon as I got there but was very flighty and the light was poor for photography.

Another bird added to the list.

Spurn just keeps on giving and despite the lateness in the year and pretty grim weather it produced yet another star bird reinforcing its position as the premier birding site in the Uk.

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Late Autumn at Spurn

Just had a fantastic couple of days at Spurn- the north easterly winds have really brought in Autumn with a bang.

I started off yesterday with a bit of sea-watching and the very first bird I saw was a little auk. It caught me off guard as my camera settings were wrong but I actually like the blurred effect.

Lots of kittiwakes going north made for a nice photo opportunity. As did the red-throated divers.

Plenaty of ducks moving too and a nice eoder was quite close in shore.

Unfortunately there were no pomarine skuas or petrels for me.

I moved to the canal scrape hoping for a jack snipe but unfortunately there was no sign. However there were plenty of winter thrushes including a nice ring ouzel. next stop was Cliff Farm and Crown & Anchor area. Here a nice great skua flew close and more divers heading out of the humber. Woodcocks were whizzing around and bramblings were calling it had a real autumn feel about it.

Two hooded crows were blogging around and made for a nice addition to the year list.

Today was even better. The day started with a buzzard on Easington straight and then another spot of sea-watching. Not as busy today but still saw a little auk and a few kittiwakes.

There were lots of goldcrests around near the warren and even more at the Crown and Anchor.

There were mealy redpolls at panchos pond then a brambling perched up in front of me and a black redstart was flicking around on the rocks in front of the Crown & Anchor. The barred warbler showed well but distantly in the field behind the crown.

A walk around the Church Field yielded another mealey redpoll and then news of a pallas’s warbler broke. It was on the south side of the gas terminal. Initially it was quite hard to see but eventually showed well for about 10 minutes before heading off.

Back to the Crown for a yellow-browed warbler and then on to KIlnsea Caravan site for some twite. They didn’t show but a confiding black redstart was nice compensation.

More woodcocks whizzing around and a nice merlin was hunting over the humber.

News broke of a possible arctic redpoll along Beacon Lane. It showed very well and it would appear that on the whole the consensus was for arctic it wasn’t 100% certain.

the day ended back with the yellow-browed warbler at the Crown along with another load of goldcrests.

the last 2 days have been classic ‘Spurn’ days and what a couple of days they have been-reaffirming its place as Britains premier birding place.

 little auk

little auk

 ducks

ducks

 eider

eider

 kittiwakes

kittiwakes

 kittiwakes

kittiwakes

 kittiwakes

kittiwakes

 red-throated diver

red-throated diver

 razorbill and gullimots

razorbill and gullimots

 gannet

gannet

 eiders

eiders

 great skua

great skua

 great skua

great skua

 great skua

great skua

 hooded crow

hooded crow

 black redstart

black redstart

 Barred warbler

Barred warbler

 mealey redpoll

mealey redpoll

 pallas’s warbler

pallas’s warbler

 pallas’s warbler

pallas’s warbler

 pallas’s warbler

pallas’s warbler

 pallas’s warbler

pallas’s warbler

 pallas’s warbler

pallas’s warbler

 black redstart

black redstart

 possible arctic redpoll

possible arctic redpoll

 possible arctic redpoll

possible arctic redpoll

 possible arctic redpoll

possible arctic redpoll

 black redstart

black redstart

 yellow-browed warbler

yellow-browed warbler

 yellow-browed warbler

yellow-browed warbler

 goldcrest

goldcrest