Friday, September 6, 2013

 No shark fishing or mini adventures this week. Instead I decided to spend my valuable and limited time off slightly too hungover for comfort. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and remaining glued to the sofa I decided to go and feel sorry for myself at the Bird Hide instead. With the shop being only a few minutes walk away it was the perfect place to sit in a quiet area with fresh supplies of the necessary bread, meat and juice required to make me feel human again.
The water table is now quite low on Tresco and therefore our wading birds are enjoying the mud and shallow waters around both of our pools. This tiny Dunlin is one of the most common of all waders in Britain and sometimes flocks of thousands can be seen in estuaries and shorelines. Not this lonely little guy, he was on his own.

Grey Herons are usually extremely shy. They seem to be happy to be viewed from afar but the smallest disturbance will often send them off on their way. I have countless shots of the back of Herons disappearing off into the distance. However with approximately fifteen of them populating Tresco it was not too long before one flew in to see what the fishing was like.


Our two juvenile Citrine Wagtails (top photo) are still with us and I was happy to get some better shots of the visiting birds. The bottom picture of the three is of the Wood Sandpiper on the left and a Pectoral Sandpiper on the right. I quite like the thought that the Wood Sandpiper is visiting us on the way from Northern Europe down to Africa whereas the Pectoral chap has been blown over from the East of America. These two closely related birds have travelled a long  long way to end up in the same square metre a stones throw away from me and my headache.

Chiffchaffs are so named due to their call, it's hard to describe a 'song' in words so I won't bother. I suppose the easiest way to put it would be that once you hear it's two tone call it all makes sense. Although essentially they are just small brown warblers I quite like them. They often have a slightly gold tinge to their feathers and often you catch a glint of yellow just flitting out from a hedge and catching a fly before disappearing into the vegetation. Although a small number remain with us all year round we have a huge influx in numbers around late Summer.

Red Darters and Blue Darners are still in good numbers and look slightly extra terrestrial to me sometimes...
I usually like to finish my blog entries with a 'final' photo and I have been putting off writing this particular post for a few days as I have been camped out trying to get it. I've now almost given up. Time to explain.
I saw a Kingfisher. I saw my first ever Kingfisher in Britain. Not only did I see one but it came and landed on the Bird Hide three feet above my head. It then treated me to a little fly past before heading off into the trees near the centre of the lake. I was quite stunned at how beautiful they are. I was stunned enough to get some of the worst photos ever.
The fact that my head was not quite 100% and knowing I had to get a better picture I decided to play the waiting game. Surely it would have to make an appearance again. It did. This time it gave out a distinctive call and flew straight out in front of me. It then decided to hover, dive straight down, catch a fish and fly off! I was amazed! If I ever had a photo opportunity it was that. I must have fired off about fifty shots in ten seconds and when I went to look at them I was greeted with fifty shots of a beautiful azure blue fuzz on a crystal clear background. Bloody Hell! Not one decent shot.
This above picture was the best I came out with. Not much after what I witnessed. As a result, I have been camped out down at the pool for the last four nights just to see if lightening does strike the same place twice. Apparently it does not. Although I have seen our new colourful passer by every night I have not had him anywhere near close enough to photo and I doubt I'll witness another performance for some time. I suppose the purpose of this nonsense and waffle is to tell you we now have a Kingfisher on the island...
So final photo time. One beautiful European Kingfisher majestically diving down towards it's unsuspecting supper...



  1. Some great photos here Max. I too have seen a KF in the flesh but didn't have the camera with me and anyway doubt I would have got the pic as they move so fast and are so tiny, so you did really well to capture these.
    My hangover cure is cranberry and raspberry juice and salted crisps- seems to work so may be worth a try next time :-) it's the vitamin c, the fat and the salt. Hope you're feeling more human again now.

  2. Thank you! I find sympathy and copious amounts of food and drink fix me. I had to stop going down to the same bird hide and staring into the distance before it became some form of strange obsession!

  3. A great selection of images, I think the Heron looks like a dinosaur, especially the one with its wings up just about to land. They are beautiful birds and so big when flying overhead. I love the call of the Chiffchaff, I know summer is on the way when I hear them. Well done on the Kingfisher photos-ok you might not be too pleased with them buy hey-you got it on camera and I've enjoyed looking at them!