Thursday, 10 September 2009

Birding at Stourhead

Last Sunday I didn't have much else on so I decided to revisit an area that I'd surveyed earlier in the year for the British Trust for Ornithology. Stourhead is about 15 minutes south of Frome and has been one of my favourite areas to survey so far.When I arrived there were a couple of blokes with bins looking out over the lake. Apparently an Osprey had been seen fishing here for the past 10 days. The Osprey wasn't there when I arrived so I settled in to wait. After about 1.5 hours I saw the bird fly in to the far side of the lake where it settled in a dead tree. The scope views were great, but I hoped to see it dive for fish.That wasn't to be, but after sitting there for about 5 minutes, it lifted off and started to fly towards me. The light was pretty terrible, but I managed to get a couple of OK record shots.It flew off strongly to the south and that I believe, is the last time it was seen. I was very lucky to have seen it at all. It will now be well on its way to Africa by now I'm sure.Another migrant on its way south was this Northern Wheatear. They spend the summer in this country and breed mainly in the north and west of Britain. It is another bird destined for Africa.
One of our resident birds is the Grey Wagtail. They like to breed on fast flowing rivers and streams.Maybe this bird spotted the Osprey before I did!It appears to be a young bird due to the slightly buffish colouring to its upper breast and white throat. It has the longest tail of all our three Wagtail species.

10 comments:

Roy said...

Well Jennifer, that is absolutely brilliant, an Osprey.
You got some great images under the circumstances and the Wheatear. They are both probably jumping off from Portland about now.
Oddly enough I have had more success this week by staying in one place and waiting for the birds to come to me.
(I know, called you Jennifer, but you haven't done anything wrong - honest)

Roy said...

Footnote:
We did say that was going to be a good place to visit in the future.

Mary said...

Wow...the osprey shots are great! I really like that 3rd one with the way the wings are bent. Also, I love that young wheatear....so cute!

Quiet Paths said...

These all are up close Jenny! I love the motion in the Osprey.

John said...

Jenny,

Love the Osprey photos, you have done very well there. Love the Wheatear as well, it is that time of year again....

John

Steve B said...

I so enjoy seeing you little gems.

Eve said...

I love the pictures of all the birds Jenny but that Wagtail is so cute looking up!
I really must get out and do some birding today!! You got me motivated! Great Osprey shots!

Chris said...

Hi Jenny,
This is a very nice posts with several good shots and a lot of nice observation, especially the osprey!! COngrats, and have a nice week end.

Jenny said...

Hi Roy, I can't do anything with your name! That's not fair! (-: Yes, I'm hoping they're both well on their journey southward. It's a hazardous trip!

Hi Mary, yes Wheatears are lovely, plus they pose nicely unlike some other birds! (-:

Hi Christine, I had my camera on continuous shooting, so was able to get some good motion shots. If only the light had been better!

Hi John, I love migration time. Spring and Autumn are my fav times of year, tho I love winter too.

Hi Steve, we do have some nice birds, ditto on your side of the pond, specially the sparrows and Warblers!

Hi Evie, yes I like that shot too even though it's not quite sharp. I hope you got out and saw some birds......

Hi Chris, thanks, hope you've had a good weekend so far too.

Rural Rambler said...

Better late than never, finally got on the 'puter. The pictures of the Osprey, stunning. The third being my favorite. The little Wagtail an awesome series of photos. When we were in D.C. we had an Osprey nest we visited everyday in the cove we spent most our time in. It is just about our best memory of our time spent there :)