Whos keeping an eye on me....

Monday, 30 May 2011

Moorland Hunter

I am lucky to live close to a wonderful moorland location...... the scenary is stunning and yes it can be bleak (even in the summer) but the habitat is home to a number of very special species of bird. Red Grouse, Curlew, Golden Plover as well as a variety of raptors all make it their home.

However the Short Eared Owls are very special, especially when they are so confiding as I this fella was on Sunday evening. 


Surveying his patch

eye to eye contact

I`m watching you....

alarm calls from the Curlew

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Birding in and around Norfolk .... the images!

6 days birding in and around the Norfolk area.... A great place to top up any year lists, but for me a chance to visit some new locations and even better a chance of a few life birds.

Skylark (Frampton Marsh)

Drake Garganey (Frampton Marsh)

Sedge Warbler (Cley)

Avocet (Cley)

Meadow Pipit (Titchwell)

Grey Heron (Minsmere)

Yellow Wagtail (Cholsey)

Greylag family (Titchwell)

Grey Plover (Thornham)

Little Grebe (Titchwell)

Yellowhammer (Swanton Novas)

Kestrel (Cley)

Little Egret (Cley)

Ringed Plover (Cley)

Oystercatcher (Thornham)

Turnstone (Cley)

Oystercatcher (Cley)

Barn Owl (Stiffkey)

Oystercatcher (Stiffkey)

Shorelark (Cley) 

Friday, 13 May 2011

Far out in the east... Day 7

End of week 1 and a day of travel.  We are now heading for the rain-forest of Taman Negara. The weather had given out to be wet, which you dont mind too much while travelling, however it stayed dry until we reached our destination.
A quick check of the hotel gounds before we left Frasers Hill.... a few now familiar faces showed up

Long Tailed Sibia

the funky Chestnut Capped Laughingthrush

but best of all this fella....
Chestnut Crowned Laughingthrush

We had not picked up this species while at Frasers Hill, so to get it as we left the grounds of the hotel was a bonus... even if I did manage to chop his head of the image....

..... however the best was yet to come. One of the target birds for the location was the
Red bearded Bee-eater
we had mangaed to miss it during the 3 day stay, so we were a little disapointed to be leaving without seeing it, by a huge stroke of luck, we had stopped in the town for petrol when a chinese visitor noticed binoculars around our necks and asked if we had seen the Bee -eater...."no"
"Go back upto the town and out the otherside look for a hotel with a checkpoint hut and search around there"
We had 30 minutes before the road opened to leave the site... within 10 minutes were onto a pair
How about that for a spot of luck......

we had to drag ourselves away... it was hard but we had a long journey ahead.
We knew we may be able to get Whiskered Tree Swifts somewhere along the journey.... we just wernt quite sure where.... after a few hours of driving Jeff pulled the car up to a halt fairly sharpish and told me to look at the tree we had just passed....

some eye sight or what

Whiskered Tree Swift.... its a stunning bird

in more or less the same location we picked up this brilliant
Thick Billed SpiderHunter

as well as this
Oriental Honey Buzzard

Gey Rumped Treeswift, Needletails and Baya Weavers were all located, although this is as near to a Baya weaver the camera got..... there nests!!

We arrive at the river.... park the car and get the river taxi with the luggage, its all forest from now on.
Excited? ..... very

Quickly got these characters on the hotel grounds
Thick Billed Green Pigeons

Drop the bags off and have a quick wander into the trees, easy peasy...

female Red Naped Trogan

soon after
Rufous Woodpecked

But be warned..... it wasnt all this easy... the next week will reveal all

However this little charmer was our neighbour every morning and evening for the next week. he roosted in the same branch outside our chalet
Dark Necked Tailorbird


at home... roosting

this chap also roosted in a tree close to the Chalet.... hover it didnt move for 3 full days

Red Tailed Rat Snake

Friday, 6 May 2011

Far out in the East Week 1 Days 5 & 6

2 more full days at Frasers hill.....  an early start to try our luck for some thrushes. We were fortunate to quickly bag a Blue Whistling Thrush as well as a stunning Orange Headed Thrush, then we picked up a colourful Green Magpie..... it wasnt even light yet.

A drive to Jeriau waterfall didnt get us out target bird of Silver Breasted Broadbill but did get us an Everetts Whiteye and plenty of Grey Wagtails and Drongos.... this looks to be a prosperous area to bird, maybe we were just very unlucky as we found it very quiet.

Back up at the town we tried the well trodden but productive Telecom Loop, here I got my best views of Cuckoo Dove

This Ashy Bulbul was one of many Bulbul species seen

Red eyed Bulbul

Other Bulbuls included Black Crested, Streaked, Hairy Backed, Yellow Bellied, Spectacled, Cream Vented amongst others, however one of the best for me was the
Stripe Throated Bulbul

and yet another stunning Barbert species, this time a

Black Browed Barbet

The bird waves at Frasers Hill were usually productive, today we were fortunate to get a shot of this

Yellow Bellied Warbler

one of the highlights (yet again on the Telecom Loop)

Long Tailed Broadbill

a long drive down the new road brought us virtually face to face with a stunning Raptor.
We accidentaly flushed and disturbed this Blyths Hawk Eagle, however he rounded a nearby corner and was sat perched when we arrived

one of the stars of Frasers Hill has to be this species
Chestnut Capped Laughingthush

some of the other species seen were Siberian Thrush, Speckled Piculet, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Bar winged Flycatcher Shrike and this wonderful


and a rather funky looking
Chestnut Crowned Warbler

Day 7 was going to be a day of travel and a long journey to the Rainforest at Taman Negara