5 February 2014

Icy roads in town too.........





I had an afternoon off yesterday and headed down the river to look for the big flock of Common Crossbill I'd seen a couple of weeks ago. There were only about 7 or 8 birds this time but I could get fairly close.





There were several males of various ages and in various hues of red.....





Lighting was a bit of a challenge as they clambered round the trees, backlit one moment, in shade the next..........

There were some females too.......







Not much else around, some Coal Tits were in among the pines too.....


And there were NINE Great Egret on the river, a pretty impressive count for a shallow concrete stream........along with a lone Grey Heron.




One thing I noticed when I got back and checked my photos was the huge number of large dust spots..............since I got my new lens I actually take lenses on and off the camera (the above shots were all with the 100-400L). There were no dust spots on Monday's pics so some dust must have entered some time since Monday afternoon. I gave the sensor several blasts with a rocket blower but it didn't shift anything. So after four and a half years I may have to manually clean my 7D inside for the first time..........

It is extremely icy in town. The pavements/sidewalks look like glass and I had to wear spikes the last couple of days just to walk around. The icy conditions are a result of rain falling on the packed snow last weekend followed by several days of freezing conditions. Nasty.

Not much else around in town. Flocks of Dusky Thrush, a few Hawfinch, 5 species of duck including Goosander. Today was very quiet but I did see one small bunting like bird briefly. I coudn't get a decent look at it, let alone a photo. However I instantly knew it was something unusual. It flited between a couple of bushes and then belted off somewhere probably never to be seen again. I thought it may have been a Pallas Reed Bunting (smallish, greyish, darkish head) but I will never be sure............so can't count it.

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Ayuwat, they are pretty much my favourite bird...........

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  2. HI Staurt Marvellous close up of the Crossbills. I have only ever seen them her (N.I) once before.

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    1. I've only ever seen Crossbills once in the UK, in Scotland May 1984 and they could have been one of 2 (or even 3) species...............

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  3. Great set of images! Dust is a nightmare at times - good luck with the cleaning - I get mine done for me when needed.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    Replies
    1. Yes I'm approaching it with some trepidation........

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  4. Lucky you to see the Crossbills, and fabulous shots too!

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    1. Thanks, it is lucky as they don't come every year. Looks like 2013/14 will be a Crossbill winter......

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  5. You did great to get the crossbill shots. there's nothing worse than small birds moving constantly in and out of changing light and shade.

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  6. Hi Phil, but at least they were around long enough for me to fiddle around with my settings............

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  7. Those Crossbill bills are amazing - some good images too.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, yes they are pretty unique......

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