Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Friday, 6 May 2016

May has started well

The weather here, at least, has been feeling more like summer just recently.
Time to put away the sweatshirts and dig out the t-shirts.

The birds have been pretty good too.

The first of May found me sitting on the edge of Incombe Hole, photographing a Red Kite as it soared around in the sun.

 A stunning bird.

Further along the fields I found a bird that is on the 'red list'.

Corn Bunting

A place called Pitstone Hill, and a pretty sure bet on finding these farmland birds with the jangly call.

A couple of days ago I woke early. Very early.
I hadn't slept much that night and I was feeling wide awake.
I decided myself and Whisky would go out somewhere.
I decided on RSPB Frampton Marsh, in Lincolnshire.

Although it's an RSPB reserve and they are not happy having dogs on their reserves, (even on a lead), but quite happy to have screaming kids running around, Frampton Marsh has plenty of public footpaths, all around the reserve. With some planning, some luck, and maybe a scope, it's possible to see pretty much of all what's there.

The main part is off limits to dogs though; the part where the hides are, but who wants to sit in a stuffy hide on a hot day?

As I was getting myself sorted in the car park, and Whisky was having a good sniff round, another birder came over and asked, 'is the Stilt still here?'

Now this was early in the morning, and a couple of cars were already here, so I asked,
'Stilt? Didn't know there was one, I've only just got here.'

It turned out there had been a Black-winged Stilt on the reserve, a rarity, and it was just along one of the footpaths that we were heading too.

A lovely bird, and it certainly attracted a large crowd through the day.
Glad I saw it early on, and avoided the 'circus'.

A long walk in the sun gave us some cracking birds during our visit. Turtle Doves, Short-eared Owl, Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer ................... and even a pair of boxing Hares; all from the surrounding footpaths.

A very obliging Sedge Warbler gave me a few shots,

and at the side of the path,

an Avocet.

And on the boggy bit,

A big group of breeding plumage Dunlin.

Always worth a visit here, even if I can't get onto the reserve 'proper'.

And finally, I must add this.
Recently a Black-headed Wagtail has been seen at RSPB Titchwell.
This prompted a post in the Bucks local bird group, which went ..........

Apparently the recent Black-headed Wagtail at Titchwell was found by a couple on holiday from Bucks. Anyone know who they might be? Dawn Balmer is trying to find their names per twitter.

Adam Bassett

I had to chuckle at this. I mean why would you need to know who they are?
Will they be getting a prize? Does it mean that because they came from Bucks, it counts as a half tick/record for Bucks?

For goodness sake, some birders are a strange lot.
It seems we have our fair share here in Bucks, because another message relayed today was

06/5  11:20 : Probable Wryneck : Little Marlow GP.
In the bushes opposite the small cottages on the approach path just before the gravel pit. A shape moving in the bushes and a strong clear peep peep peep ringing call.
Another birder arrived and heard the bird which had relocated in the bushes beside the last cottage on the right. He felt it was a young bird of an unknown species. I mentioned Wryneck but he was unsure. When I reached home I played recordings on Xeno-canto. Completley convinced it was this species.
Graham Langley

Oh, so many probables and might bees.

Chin chin

Enjoy your weekend, and I hope the sun shines on you.


  1. This is a magnificent post.
    The Kite is a cracker but not a shabby shot in here.

    I often hear birds tweeting so can empathise with the poor bloke. We had a bird ramble here this week and they moaned at Molly for barking. The racket they were making it's a wonder they saw anything I heard them coming ten minutes before i saw them.

  2. Brilliant flight shots of the Red Kites.
    Looks as though you had a great visit to Yellowbelly country.
    The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust also ban dogs from most of their reserves.
    Unfortunately a minority of antisocial, thoughtless dog owners spoil it for most.

  3. A stunning set of images Keith...oops!...can't stop...off to check the shrubbery in the garden, I think one bush has just started to 'tweet'!...[;o{

  4. Whata wonderful varied postsof great birds today keith. Great to see the corn Bunting and marvellous that you saw the Stilt. Although, like you I am a dog lover, dogs can be a nuisance and a woory tobirds if they chase them and often they do although i know Whiskey does not do that Great shots of the Red Kite and that certainly was an obliging Sedge. Usually they are deep in thicket. Love the avocet standing shot although it is also lovely to see it in flight. Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. The Black Winged Stilt is a gorgeous bird given the numbers being found in the UK over the last week let's hope they attempt to colonise here in the UK

  6. Thanks Adrian. I had a great time watching the Red Kite. Not often we can get that close, unless we pay to sit in a hide while they're being fed.
    Rambling birders; it really is a wonder some of them see anything. They'd be better off going down the pub for a natter.

    Thanks John. I think Frampton Marsh is a great reserve; one of my favourites. It is a shame dogs under control are not allowed. Maybe one day.

    A tweeting bush? You should get pictures of that Trevor, you could make some money.

    Thanks Margaret. I've had some great days recently with some good weather too. The Kite was amazing. It's a shame I can't take Whisky with me everywhere; but I could take a screaming kid. Crazy isn't it.

    Cheers Doug. I'm sure that will happen in the not too distant future. 15 to 20 years from now, we could be getting all sorts of rarities becoming the norm. So long as some of the Europeans stop shooting them. We might even have Turtle Doves back in numbers.

  7. Loving the Stilt and your Avocet awesome birds!! And that kite what a beauty! SO happy you shared this outing, some new birds of your part of the world for me to enjoy!!

  8. Glad you enjoyed them Sondra. The stilt is a rarity for here ......... the Red Kites are becoming more common now, thankfully.

  9. What a beautiful post! The flight shots are my favorite ... I can never get good ones. And I've never seen Red Kites (even virtually). Loved all the birds ...fantastic area for birding.

  10. Thank you Sallie. I have some great areas not far from home; I'm very lucky.

  11. Fantastic image son the Stilt Keith, what a find.
    Hm! Strange lot, some birders from Bucks.

  12. Thanks Roy.
    Yea, I think Bucks Birders top the list for the fruit loops out there.