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Saturday, 16 July 2011

Local Birding

Things have been a bit manic of late with the Peregrines, so I have not been able to get out much locally to catch up, here and there I have grabbed an hour or so, mainly trying to get some half decent photos.

My camera at the moment is a Nikon D80, this will shortly be replaced by a D300, it has a far superior auto focus system and also a higher ISO rating, the theory is that it will give me clearer photos, especially at dawn, this is when peregrines are most active.

Greenshank in the Valley (click on photos to enlarge)

Juvenile Black Headed Gull - this one was at Barking
I managed to visit the Valley the other day, the viewing area now has its resident cattle and the water levels are starting to drop. There seems to be a resident Greenshank along with up to 5 Green Sandpipers. The bird that most of us are hoping for is a Wood Sandpiper, Les Harrison had one early morning but unfortunately it did not stay, with the recent unstable weather, fingers crossed for another.

Ruddy Darter

Black Tailed Skimmer
I also got to see my first ever Silver Washed Fritillarys locally, a stunning looking butterfly and very surprised at just how large they are, well worth the wait.

Silver Washed Fritillaries

Migration is now just round the corner, so I will likely step up the visits to Barking Bay, hopefully if spring was anything to go by with Little Stint, Dartford Warbler, Stone Curlew, Ring Ouzel, Red Breasted Merganser, Greater Scaup and Short Eared Owl, the autumn promises more goodies.

Common Tern pair

My money is on a Red Backed Shrike, I even know where it is going to perch…….

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