Saturday, 31 May 2008
i made some calls while i was at work, arranging lifts for the second i had finished, having passing off some in the mean time. 19:00 and i was with Dan and Ant again, bouncing our way along to East Sussex.
We arrived shortly after 20:30 and i got my first flight glimpse of the RIVER WARBLER immediately, followed by te bird singing. Very brief views were obtained of the bird both in flight and in vegetation, which was stalked relentlessly and never given the chance to get up and sing the way it clearly wanted to.
We last heard it sing at 21:45 in near darkness, where the bird was still fairly mobile, (dont worry we stood well back from it to avoid any further disturbance).
Haha!! i had it really, just decided not to tell anyone ;-) (c) Ashley Howe*
*Please note that this picture was a photo of another photograph from below deck, there i've told you now, so i dont want anybodt being a twat about it!
We arrived at the outcrop 15 minutes late of schedule in thick fog, and i was feeling like death-warmed up. Combined with minor sea sickness (for the first time ever) and minimal sleep over recent days.
A rock covered in shit!! haha but what a place, the outcrop before and after the fog came again (c) Ashley Howe
To cut the long story, short. And as everybody probably knows. We didn't see the Black-browed Albatross. Nor anything else for that matter! Bonxies were plentiful, but much less Arctic behind traulers. Stormie and Manx Shearwaters occasionally...However birds following the boat at times allowed decent photo oppertunities:
A selection of photographs from the boat, starting from the top: Fulmar (top 2), Kittiwake, Grey Seal, Bonxie, Gannet, Kittiwake (c) Ashley Howe
Back in Ullapool Harbour probably the best bird of the trip was found. An Iceland Gull, probably a second summer, as there seemed to be afew grey adult feathers appearing on the back of this individual.
This Iceland Gull surprisingly brightened up the day (c) Ashley Howe
Continuing to drive South after that, we stopped briefly at a Layby, and immediately had a male Ring Ouzel, a nice addition to the trip list.
No work required at all, just sat there for a split second and could hear it from the car. (c) Ashley Howe
We began our journey North, with nothing really worth of note, there were no Slav Grebes breeding at a site this year, but on a breif visit to Lochindorb on our way through. Still raining heavily throughout, a reaonable excuse not to get out the car. But we did manage to tick off a distant summer plumaged Black-throated Diver, a fishing Osprey and Red Grouse...hey at least it was something for the trip list.
Continuing further North we got to Ullapool in good time...BORING!! A brief search around the area got us Fulmar, Grey Seal, Black Guillemot, Shag. But nothing to really get any of us excited.
Eventually boarding the trip began, and after continuous briefings and safety chacks, followed by tea, we bwere well on our way. Bonxies were the only half-decent thing i saw before i went below deck for the night.
The mainland from the boat heading out into the 'Minche?' from the boat. (c) Ashley Howe
On arrival, it took abit of walking around before we found the right viaduct....(we went to the wrong entrance duhh) but bloody hell, this is by far my best Red-foot. Showing well from the viaduct, looking down, although in a vegetated tree, rather than the obvious bare deadens that it had been showing even better till Corvids mobbed it.
it's a shame this beast wasn't in one of the dead trees, but still showed very well, appeared comfortable in this area. (c) Ashley Howe
Sunday, 25 May 2008
I was quite proud of myself if i do say so myself, i rather like the silhouetted shot against the sunset :D, and the picture below of the Red-footed Falcon shows abit of the orange on the breast. (c) Ashley Howe
You now me, nothing but photos of the highest quality of course!! But yeah, you get the picture - its a female Little Bittern (not a male as reported). (c) Ashley Howe
My Dad left me, and i had arranged to get a lift home with David, who wanted to leave early. Unfortunately we managed to miss the Nightingale and EO Warbler. Bit of a bitch to say the least!
Well...unfortunately we arrived just abit too late, around 21:00 where it was a little too dark to say the least. Oh well time to hit the pubs, rayyy!! As we decided to kip the night in the car, just in case, our theory was it would rude not to.
After a few, pints/smirnoffs we were pretty much....ummm....pissed. At least it made sleeping in the car abit more comfortable. Early morning soon came around, and we moved back up to the heath. A Nightingale was singing, like it was last night, a few Dartfords were knocking about. But nothing really to get us excited. Someone claimed hearing it, but nothing came of it.
The only thing that tempted my camera out the rucksack, sorry guys, i know i should ahve taken pics of the pissheads!!(c) Ashley Howe
By 07:30 we were on the road home, i got a bollocking as i had work that morning...oops...and hadn't arranged no-one to cover me..haha
Saturday, 24 May 2008
The male of the pair feeding.(c) Ashley Howe
The RSPB were on site, setting up a perimeter fence around the flash...wow they really are discrete about these things, and just about disturbed everything else. Leaving the Stilts in peace, we headed North to Lytham.
Sadly after hours of searching along a wide stretch of beach, we couldnt find the Ross's Gull....aaaargh, i was pretty cheesed off about this one, as it had been there for yonks, and the one day i decide to come up, its pissed off!!
A few days later it, popped again. SHIT!! and i was incredibly tempted to give it another go....till it was found dead, sod it!
Unfortunately these were the best i could muster up, no doubt others got better. (c) Ashley Howe
Has to be up with some of the best of my previous Hoopoe shots, but a record all the same Take a peak here and here. (c) Ashley Howe