Thursday, 30 April 2015
Friday, 24 April 2015
Lesser-spotted EagleA lone migrant making its way north through Israel
Tristram's StarlingThese perky birds seemed to appear out of nowhere whistling their three note
welcome as soon as we stepped out of the car. They were after free hand-outs
and as soon as they realised none were forthcoming upped and disappeared.
Southern Grey Shrike
Brown-necked RavenAnother scavenger that seemed quite used to people.
Family groups of these hardy mammals could be found marauding around the Wadis.
Quite how they scrape a living from the parched earth beats me.
Graceful PriniaThese tiny little birds were singing their hearts out from every clump of bushes.
About the size of our long-tailed tit they gave a welcome buzz to an environment
otherwise devoid of birdsong.
White-crowned WheatearA beautiful bird seen only too briefly as we drove up into the mountains
White StorksWe saw two groups of about 150 birds riding the updrafts over the mountains
Monday, 20 April 2015
We spent most of today at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory, a one acre plot in the middle of a city that is expanding at the same alarming rate as my waistline. The place was thronged with birds and butterflies of all kinds which just goes to show what a few trees and bushes and a strategically positioned pond can achieve. A charming oasis set optimistically amidst never ending miles of concrete. The star of the show was undoubtedly the white-throated kingfisher that sat patiently on overhanging branches waiting for some hapless frog or in one case a baby terrapin to show itself. It really doesn't pay to be small or tasty in this world (Kylie Minogue excepted). There were lots of migrants on show chief amongst them lesser whitethroats and blackcaps, although we also saw chiffchaffs, spotted flycatcher and all too brief tantalising glimpses of one or two warblers that will simply have to be put down as the ones that got away...unless the blurred images I took reveal something more when loaded on a proper PC. Anyway hope you like the following images which give a taste of what we saw today.
Lesser WhitethroatMany of these slim, pale migrants were using the JBO to stock up before
continuing their migration. Most were sporting a ring as this one is.
White-throated KingfisherA resident here and one of a breeding pair.
Who Would be a Frog?
Spectacled BulbulsTwo males having a spat, fanning their tails and wings to show the yellow
under tail coverts to great effect
|Despite its best efforts the kingfisher could not swallow this baby terrapin. It|
eventually popped out of the beak and hopefully was not too badly injured.
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
|In 1977 house martins were a widespread breeding species and the |
observations from central Norwich are sadly no longer likely.
|In 1976 the sighting of a marsh harrier caused us much |
excitement. Nowadays they hardly merit a second glance. How times change.
|Some eggstraordinary records (sorry).|
|To show how widespread and common yellow wagtails |
were in the mid-1970s
|Spotted flycatchers were easy to find as well.|
|As were turtle doves|
|A page from our nest records log. Note the abundance of|
Skylark NestNothing exceptional about that.....except it was found at Mousehold in
Norwich from where these lovely songsters disappeared many years ago.
And finally to give you all a little amusement.........
Scanning the Mud at Breydon in 1979
Scanning the Sea at Sea Palling in 1974
As Ever Sporting a Fashionable Look in 1973
Tuesday, 7 April 2015
YellowhammerWhat a stunning bird, a male in full breeding dress. Unfortunately I couldn't
get any closer before it sought refuge in the dense cover of nearby pines.
Great Grey ShrikeNo way to get any closer to this bird since it favoured the undisturbed
area of the MoD training zone at Grime's Graves.
Friday, 3 April 2015
The bird on the left is female and still retains the light edging to the feathering
which is a feature of winter plumage. It may also be a relatively young bird
perhaps hatched last year. The bird on the right is a full-blooded male.
These birds were pictured this week. Note the summer plumaged bird in the lead.
Black-tailed GodwitThis is a much closer and gloriously colourful bird I photographed a couple of years ago.
Black-tailed GodwitsA wary group showing a staging of moult photographed at Cley in April 2012
Not a very good shot, but the bird was a long way off.
Little EgretShowing off the breeding plumes to great effect