Hi to my Blog
I do not get out every day, but I have been thinking for a while about doing a Blog, so here we go, I will try and keep it up dated and informed of what I have been doing, I have always been into wildlife and nature, the biggest buzz I get is seeing something for the first time.
Work often gets in the way of the walks and escapades I want to do, but after 39 years in the Merchant Navy I still like my Job.
I do loads of walking, mainly with my wife Elaine, or with my mates from the Wildlife Paparazzi.
Living in Dorset has got to be one of the best places to be, I have seen loads of places around the world and Uk, there is no place like home.
I have not uploaded or written anything on here for a long time, I have had to kick myself back into action.
Here are a few pics I have taken of birds this year
I saw this little Duckling only a couple of weeks ago, which is strange that is so late in the year to see, when I 1st found them there were 3 now sadly only 2 are left.
Here are some Gosling I found at Lodmoor in the Spring
It has been a good year for first ever sightings too, as well as captures in camera.
Starting from the top a Cirl Bunting, I travelled down to Devon with Frank to see these, just past Torquay. Next was the Great Spotted Cuckoo, this arrived on Portland and stayed around for over 6 weeks right through May.
I was working down in Falmouth a bit at the beginning of the year I had some spare time and went to look for an American arrival called a Hudsonian Whimbrel great to see, finally we had a brief visit of a Red Footed Falcon, this is a Female, I only got to see it once before it moved on, all of these are firsts for me in the Uk.
I have been extremely fortunate to see some more new Warblers, firstly a Pallas's and then a Northern Bonelli's both new ones to me.
This was brilliant a Wood Warbler, I was up in the Forest Of Dean with my friend Ben and he found it, gorgeous little bird, on the same day we also got another couple of crackers a Pied Flycatcher and a Hawfinch
We were sat in the tiniest hide to get this it was incredibly close, you can just see a Brambling behind I got some pics of them too.
One of my favourite birds to see come back in Spring is the Northern Wheatear, the Males really are striking
It has been a good year for seeing Owls, I was very kindly invited to Rick and Melanie Symes house to see the Barn Owl behind their garden, fantastic, so grateful for my best ever views of one.
I found another Little Owl on Portland down in the Water Works Quarry by the Eight Kings Pub
And Delighted to get some amazing shots of the Short Eared Owls, we had them around for ages, saved a trip up to Sixpenny Handley
I nearly forgot to say about the Hoopoe we had a few of these around on Portland, great see and finally get some okay shots of
Finally for now a shot of a Black Winged Stilt that turned up at Lodmoor
Thank you for continuing to look at my site, I will now start to up date it more.
As a Footnote I have just started another website, showing my Landscape pictures, it is still a work in progress, but please take a look and let me know how you think I might improve it.
It is :- WWW.Markeggletonphotography.com
I have been to and around Poole Harbour a fair bit this winter.
So many places to visit and so much to see, Brands Bay, as the tide is coming in, is fantastic. A couple of years ago I went to Keyhaven Marshes it was brilliant for wildlife, well Brands Bay is just as good, I saw so many different birds, all of the Waders and tons of Ducks, Wigeon everywhere.
And no shortage of Teal and a few Pintail
There were some big flocks of Lapwing and Black Tailed Godwit constantly on the wing, stopping for a few seconds and then off again.
Under the Hide a Redshank was searching the last of the mud, before flying off with it's customary alarm call.
A pair of Oystercatchers were having a prod in the mud as well, I had to check my book when I got home, one of them had a white band on it's neck, I didn't realise until then, that this shows during the winter plumage, funny I hadn't noticed this before.
One of my favourite spots has got to be Middlebere, the walk is far enough to deter many wildlife watchers, so it is not often busy during the week.
I was there last week all on my own, it was a very high spring tide, the Avocet were restricted to small areas, so groups of hundreds were a great sight.
Loads of Redshank in the field to the East.
They soon lifted when a Marsh Harrier came by, It drifted over the marshes to the west, did a few hang and stoops, great :-)
A Curlew came past looking for somewhere safe to settle.
In the past few times I have been there Spoonbill have been through, saw a Tagged one the other day.
I walked with my Wife and Daughter along with Her Partner, all around Holes Bay a couple of weeks ago, I have been told it is 5 miles it took 2 1/2 hours much of it in the rain, saw plenty though, but didn't take a single shot the light and rain put paid to that, some of the birds I did see were, Jay and Goldcrest in Upton Country Park, in the fields Curlew and Black Tailed Godwit. By the drains a Greenshank and Spotted Redshank, Cormorants diving in the shallow flow, on the Mud flats the usual ducks, Shelduck, Wigeon, Pintail, Teal and of course Mallard, I even caught sight of a very late Wheatear shooting off down the bank.
Here are some earlier pics from Holes Bay.
I haven't mentioned Arne or some of the other spots, but if you get a chance visit Poole Harbour, you never know what you might see.
more on my Website :- http://markeggleton.zenfolio.com
Happy days until the next one :-D
I have been struggling so far this month with my photography, I have taken hardly any pics that I like.
I went down to Lulworth to get the sunrise, my 12-24 lens would not work with the new camera, so 24-105 is the main landscape lense, the sunrise wasn't that good anyhow, here are a couple of pics from that morning.
My wildlife pics have not faired much better either, full of noise and soft focused, I tried at Lodmoor the light was low and the moor was flooded, little to get enthused about, I did see a great little Grey Wagtail in the old tip, at the end of Weymouth Bay Avenue.
I have also been to Radipole, surprisingly I didn't see any Reed Buntings or Beardies, the Common Gull was washing in the usual place
A Heron dropped into the Sedge across from the look out on the loop, which was nice
And as always the Cormorants were on the rocks, I saw a Rat in a tree feeding on Berries, now that was a first.
In Weymouth the Grebes are in the Harbour.
Again a dreary day when I got the Red Necked and Slavonian Grebes.
We went for a long walk up the Fleet, started at Chickerell and marched through the mud to Rodden Hive, up over the Hill to Langton Herring before walking back to Chickerell, Knackering to say the least in the conditions, I did get some shots of a Brown Hare, also saw some Grey Plover in the Fleet at Langton.
Yesterday was a bit better I ended up going to Poole harbour, then tried Wareham Forest before shooting up to Blandford for the Otters and finishing up on the Owls again at Wyke Down.
Finally, we did have a Bewick's Swan down at Woodsford, out in the fields, very difficult to get close too, I had to walk a fair distance and cross a muddy field to even see it, again then it was a long way away, but still here it is.
Happy Days until the next one, more pics on my Website :- http://markeggleton.zenfolio.com
Radipole Lake, it has been very productive lately, In the still and sunny days the Bearded Tits have been about, there are some showing at the Concrete bridge and reports of more by the RSPB shop, their special metallic ker--ching call can be heard all over the reserve, when they climb up the sedge to feed in the sunshine it is always special, the Bird watchers send themselves into ecstasy when they show, okay, yes, they are a fantastic sight.
For the last few weeks the concrete bridge area has been the place to be, also hanging around on the top of the Sedge are Reed Buntings, I have only seen the females, but there are plenty of picture taking opportunities.
On the water off the Buddleia Loop, the Gulls like to wash and preen, I'm not into Gulls/ Shytalks, but I was taken by the beauty of the Mediterranean Gull, it is a cracker, there has been a rare sight of a Common Gull as well, I got some shots of it washing and flying.
Sometimes if you are lucky, you will catch a glimpse of a Little Grebe diving under the water, even better a Water Rail out in the open, saw some last week out on the ice, caught one inflight chasing a rival out of it's patch.
Over at the North Hide, the Kingfisher makes a regular appearance, the RSPB have put out some perches for them to land on, for the best views, it is best to use the lower windows, now and again the Marsh Harrier will fly around hunting for food, they seem to be resident here now.
And of course at this time of year, the ever present Robin.
Radipole Lake is well worth a wander at any time, just to stretch your legs, do it, you never know what you might see, I bumped into a young lad taking pictures here last week, I was trying to see what he was shooting, then saw it, A Brown Rat in a tree eating berries, wow!! seen them tons of times scurrying around, but never in a tree eating berries, great to see not only the Rat, but someone so young and keen out taking pictures of wildlife, Look out Chris Packham you have competition :-D
More pics on the website, thank you for reading my blog, Happy Days and Happy New Year
Winter time around here throws up some great birding opportunities, This Eider Duck came within 10-15 ft of me down in Portland Harbour, I have never been this close to one before in the wild.
Great Northern Divers migrate south, some hang around Portland harbour, the Fleet and Weymouth Bay, again up until last Winter I'd never had the chance to get close to one, this Winter again I got lucky , one came in close near the Sailing Academy.
Mergansers are abundant, they are already pairing up, so there is plenty of squabbles going on, when the Sun catches them, they are stunning. I heard a report that there were some Velvet Scoter showing over at Ringstead Bay, I had never seen one of these before so I popped over there, they were a very long way off, but I got the added bonus of a Slavonion Grebe swimming around with them, 2 first's in one day.
I want to get down to Bincleaves this winter, it is a great place to see Grebes, the cliff path has long since fallen away so getting there is a problem, but I will work out a way.
One of the most impressive sights we get is the Brent Geese, there are 3 or 4,000 around, when you see a massive flock take off it is amazing, we went for walk from Chickerel to Moonfleet and back the other week, found about 1,000 or more in a field, I waited for ages for them to fly, it didn't happen until we had moved on.
There are loads more pics on my website of all of these birds, in the Autumn Winter group.
I am so far behind with this blog at the moment I have so many uploads to do, this week I will try to get on with some of it.