Chasing Allsorts

08th December 2008
Well I'm half way through my two week break from work and thankfully the weather has been kind to me.
I spent the first couple of days at my feeding station, I haven't taken any pictures there for ages due to Fred being very busy repairing his workshop and general cleaning of the yard. I still visit it every other day to top the feeders up and to see what birds are visiting it so I thought it was about time I gave it a bash.

Plus it costs me around 250 quid from the autumn to the end of the winter to keep all the birds fed, so the odd picture is the least they can do for me.

I spent a fair bit of time trying for some more Goldfinch on Teasel shots.



I was pleased with this shot of a Marsh Tit, I have four that visit the feeders and they're as fast as you like so managing to get one to stay still for a few seconds rarely happens.



I also have a couple of unwanted visitors, Rats with busy tails, sods wreck the feeders and put the birds off.



All the usual suspects are about too like Woodpeckers and other members of the Tit family...







I noticed a lot of Blackbirds and Redwings feeding on the berries while I was at Freds and decided to try and get some images. The light was very harsh and with no cover for me to hide behind the Redwings proved difficult to capture.





The weather forecast was good for most of the week so later on, I headed up to Norfolk in search of some Owls. I planned to stop off at Welney on route to try and get some more Swan images before heading further into Norfolk.

It's a strange sight when you're driving around Norfolk to see thousands of Swans in the middle of fields.



Two family groups here about to get fighting....



I always try to get there for first light to capture the Swans flying from the reserve out onto the fields.









House Sparrows have been in the news lately, the papers and news channels were reporting a massive decline in numbers due to people decking their gardens and planting bushes that offer no insect life for them to feed their young.

Welney has a nice little group that spend most of their time in the hedges around the carpark, I pulled up and put some seed down to see if I could tempt them out into the open. It took a while but they eventually popped out for the seed.











After an hour or so I went looking for Owls but also on the lookout for anything else to take a picture of. Norfolk has a huge population of Herons, everywhere you drive you see them hunting in the field drains or working a ploughed field for worms.







I also found lots of Fieldfares with a few Blackbirds mixed in feeding on the berries. Still haven't got a nice clean shot of a Fieldfare yet...









I headed further into Norfolk scouring all the fen drains and rough grass fields for any Owls, this can be a lethal past time on the fen roads especially first thing on a frosty morning.
As you can see from this image the roads aren't the best in the world and they don't get gritted either, I've been close to binning the car a few times.



I had no luck finding Owls in my usual spots so I tried a few different areas when I spotted something flying about in a field, bingo, a Short Eared Owl.
I've wanted images of these Owls for ages, I have a local patch that they often turn up on in the winter but it's 360 acres which makes a getting an image tough.
This bird however was in a field the size of a couple of football pitches, result, I got into position and waited for the Owl to come to me. It wasn't long before I'd taken a few pictures.







He/she heard the camera on this shot and gave me the stare.



I was shocked at how well this Owl hunted, it was getting a Vole nearly everytime it pounced.



I stayed with the Owl until the last bit of light of the day.





I had another trip up a couple of days later but unfortunately the Short Eared Owl had moved on from that spot but I did manage a few Barn Owl shots that I was happy with.





All in all I've had a good week, long may it continue...

Thanks for Looking.