Thursday, 17 April 2014

First Orange Tip of the season

I called in at Breney Common this morning to see if any Orange Tips were out yet.  Just one male was found at this woodland site on the west edge of Bodmin Moor.  The temperature this morning was only 11 degs so I guess maybe the heat of midday will entice a few more out later.  I managed to get a few shots away when the background wasn't competing for attention - not easy in woods!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

A few more Purps

These shots were taken this morning in much better light than in the week.  The sun has just brought out some of the purple sheen on the scapulars which gives this bird its name, Purple Sandpiper.  The map below shows the breeding and wintering range of this species.  I was lucky enough to see this species on its breeding grounds in the high arctic in Northern Norway a couple years ago.  The tour leader pointed out a favoured area on the side of a windswept mountain in the tundra, and this is where this bird will be in another month. 

Breeding and wintering range of Purple Sandpiper

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Purple Sandpiper action shots

I saw about twenty Purple Sandpiper this morning at the usual place at Jubilee Pool, Penzance.  Most were roosting but one bird was determined to feed at the water's edge and in the surf.  Only one bird was showing any hint of the summer plumage purple sheen in its feathers.  Perhaps another month and the plumage will change.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Roseate Spoonbills in Florida

Roseate Spoonbills were locally common in small numbers is most suitable habitats.  They are wary birds though, and I only had a couple chances to get any decent shots.  The first image is a pair of adults and the two below show a first year bird. The species is a resident breeder in South America, mostly east of the Andes and in coastal regions of the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, the Gulf Coast of USA and on Florida's Atlantic coast at Merritt Island.  The photo's below were taken here.  They are indeed stunning birds and one of Florida's speciality birds to see.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Least Bittern deals quickly with a green frog

This female Least Bittern snatches a green frog from a pool at the Green Cay Wetland site near Miami, Florida.  It all happened very quickly.  The frog is pulled from the water, shaken to death in a milli-second and swallowed.  We only saw two Least Bitterns, a male and female, both at the Green Cay site.  Of all the wetlands we visited (scores), this place was my all time favourite reserve.  Truly stunning and only set up in 2005.  

Green Cay Wetlands, image by Eva Matthews.