Friday, 15 May 2015

Osprey at Ferry Meadows CP, Peterborough

This Osprey has been seen around Ferry Meadows for at least the past week. The bird has been seen fishing on both of the larger lakes at the park and with photos by Mike Weedon showing a blue ring on one of its' legs the people from nearby Rutland Water Ospreys came on Wednesday of this week to see if they could read the ring and possibly identify the bird. They were successful by reading the ring as saying 3J, showing it to be a female bird hatched at the Manton Bay nest of Rutland Water in 2013. This is the birds first return to the U.K. after spending her time in Africa and she has chosen to spend a bit of time in the local area, very decent of her! Time will tell whether she will move on to Rutland Water or elsewhere, until then she is proving to be a very popular bird with the visitors to the park and I may try and get some more photos in due course!

Being 'mobbed' by a Carrion Crow, showing the enormous size of 3J

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Red-rumped Swallow at Ferry Meadows CP, Peterborough

Preening whilst in flight

Being harassed by a House Martin

Some record shots of the Red-rumped Swallow which was found on Sunday morning by Matt Webb. It was seen in the company of House Martins around Overton Lake and Roman Point for most of that morning and then again in the evening. I saw it again on Monday morning and it was again reported that evening and then again this morning. A nice addition to my PBC year list.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Hudsonian Godwit at Meare Heath, Somerset

The Hudsonian Godwit is a rare bird, only recorded twice before in this country and the last time was in 1988. A bird that breeds at scattered sites from Alaska to the Hudson Bay, but this female had found itself in Somerset in the company of more familiar Black-tailed Godwits. The bird had first appeared last Friday (24th April) and was seen by a lot of people on that Saturday, but then it flew and was not seen again. That was, until the 29th April when it was noted again in the same place, in the company of the same Black-tailed Godwits. A twitch was definitely on the cards, after all, this is quite possibly a once in a lifetime bird.

Myself and my friend Chris Orders made the journey on Sunday morning amidst pouring rain and poor visibility. On arrival at the car park, the rain stopped, but the clouds still filled the sky and we made our way to the birds' favoured haunt. There were a few birders present, all telling us of the birds continued presence, although at that time it was out of sight. We waited. An hour and a half went by with 'booming' Bitterns and Great White Egrets in breeding plumage to keep us entertained and then the majority of the Godwit flock took to the sky from its out of sight position and there, amongst the paler Blackwits was the bird we had travelled to see, the female Hudsonian Godwit. Easily identified by the dark underwings, the bird whirled around in the sky for a minute or two and then proceeded to land, this time in full view. Scope views were excellent, showing the 'Hudwit' in all her glory. A summer plumaged bird that was slightly smaller and shorter-legged than her cousins and an overall darker appearance with a slightly upturned bill, reminiscent of a Bar-tailed Godwit. The group did fly a few times, but after the third time they proceeded to stay firmly on the ground with their bills tucked under their wings for at least an hour and a half. At that point we left and made our way back to Peterborough.

Slightly harder to identify in this picture, but I assure you, the bird is there! Can you see her?