Thursday, 22 October 2009

Lower Moors on St Mary's

One of my favourite places to go birding on St Mary's is Lower Moors. This is situated just north of Old Town Bay and is about a 20 minute walk from the house where we were staying. It is an area of reedbed with a pond that has two hides to look out from. This year there was an awful lot of algae covering quite a large percentage of the water which was pretty for photographs, but not so good for the birds. This photo below was taken one evening with the warm light of a beautiful sunset.One of the things I like about Lower Moors is that you can get quite a bit closer to the birds which made for some nice photo opportunities. This Common Snipe was happily feeding away about 15-20 feet from me.Here it is cropped in a bit.I like this shot alot, if I could just have got a nice glint in the eye, I'd have been a VERY happy bunny!This one is taken against a more camouflaged background.As well as two hides, there is also a well placed bird blind which we all made use of. This is Geoff, David and Jane watching something intently.Then it was my turn, we were probably looking at Snipe again as this is a favoured spot for them. I took a couple of short videos of the Snipe which I hope you can view by clicking on the following youtube links: and I'm pretty new to putting stuff on youtube, so please let me know if it works ok.This photo of a lovely Grey Wagtail was taken in poor light so when cropped made it quite a 'soft' photo. They're such graceful birds with that long bobbing tail and subtle colouring.This next set of photos was taken in that beautiful warm evening sunlight. An adult Moorhen gradually made its way closer to the hide where I was sitting. I've never managed to get a decent photo of Moorhen, but these didn't turn out too bad. I love the rich colouring and reflections made by the bird and the grasses.

Not such gorgeous lighting, but this young Moorhen was puttering around in the grass just in front of my hide. They continually flick their tails up and down and this is used by the adults for display and warnings too.
Now, can you guess what this is??? Yes, the humble Starling having a preen on this handy perch which was sticking up in the middle of the pond! Looks like a yoga position to me! (-: I had a fun few hours in the hides at Lower Moors on this trip.


sharon said...

Love the shot of the Starling, Jenny - I would never have guessed what it was!

dog trot farm said...

Jenny, I just called to my husband and said "honey look at this photo" his reply "oh my goodness" that last photo is amazing!

TonyC said...

Hi Jen, Yep lower moors is my fave spot on the islands too. No Jack snipe this time??

John said...

Hi Jen,

Love the Snipe photos...You can get very close to the birds at Lower Moors like no-where else.

Love the Starling photo, please do not try that at work LOL.


Rural Rambler said...

Jenny I have to tell you, honestly truly starling popped right in my head when you asked but I thought I was looking at the feathery butt end and then I took a good look! That second picture of the starling looks like a cheerleader move! Great picture of the humble Starling :) St. Mary's is beautiful.

Eve said...

What a silly bird...hahaha or is that Scilly bird? Either one I guess! That's a very funny picture Jenny. Love the post, the birds are great! Having a blind is really the way to go isn't it! The photos are lovely...I'm going to see if I can get the videos to run.

Anonymous said...

The Snipe shots are really good Jen.
The Starling - Yoga.? it looks painful to me{:)

Mary said...

All so wonderful! I love the reddish grasses in that first shot. The snipe is so neat. I really like the close up shot and the videos were great because I got to see how it acts. Great moorhen shots. That last Starling photo is priceless....he looks like he is doing the splits. LOL!

Jenny said...

Hi Sharon, thanks for dropping in and commenting on my blog. I was in the right place at the right time for that shot!

Hi Julie, thanks for that. Glad the hubby liked it too! (-: I hope that Starling didn't hurt himself! (-:

Hi Tony, missed JSnipe by one day unfortunately, not for lack of looking!!!

Hi John, I wouldn't like to try that ANYWHERE! Yikes! (-: Will you go again to the Scillies?

HiPix, well done, I don't think I would have guessed right! I'll take your word about the cheerleader move. We don't have 'em over here.

Hi Evie, yes I like blinds so long as they have the gaps at my height! (-: As least you can see all around you with those unlike a closed in hide. Hope the vids worked. I think they should.

Hi Roy, you're right about the painful yoga! When I tried it a few months ago, I aggravated an old shoulder injury! Glad you liked the photos.

Jenny said...

Hi Mary, glad you liked them all and very glad the vids worked. Don't they remind you of a sewing machine the way they feed? (-:

Chris said...

Hi Jenny,
What a nice post again. I love the snipe shots. This bird is so hard to get nice pictures off. But you did it well there. This place looks like a good place for birding and I guess you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing!

Quiet Paths said...

What an uncomfortable Starling position! Really great photos. You must have had so much fun. The Snipe is fascinating to me because there is a joke in our family about taking non-locals out for a Snipe hunt. The joke being: Nobody knows what a Snipe is - not even us. Well, I guess I cannot claim ignorance any longer!

Jenny said...

Hi Chris, yes I did have alot of fun here. It was great to watch the Snipe go about it's business with me being just yards away.

Hi Christine, glad you're in the know now! (-: In response to your comment in the previous post, yes it does seem that each island has it's own 'feel' about it. I will be posting about my fav island somewhere in the next few posts.