Monday, 25 February 2013

Raven and Others

Another overcast and less than promising day but I was tempted out by reports of a couple of interesting birds over at Langstone Harbour and a Ravens nest being built at Cosham. My first stop was at Warblington Church to see if the Glossy Ibis was still around. It was, and these were the closest views I have ever had of this bird, but without any sun it just looked black and there were none of the deep greens, bronze and coppery red reflections I was hoping to capture. Still, a nice bird and I was happy to see it there.

Glossy Ibis

The bird was visible from the church path which leads through to the Nore stream at Emsworth. I had been there on a couple of occasions to see the resident Spotted Redshank but without any luck. It was high tide so I was not very hopeful of seeing the bird but it was only a short walk so I decided to give it a go.

Much to my surprise the Spotted Redshank was in the water about six feet from the path and showed no signs of moving. I actually had to move away from it to be able to get the camera to focus. It seemed too good to be true and it was. I managed one picture before the inevitable dog walker came along and the dog dived into the water in an attempt to catch the bird.

My remonstrations met with the usual arrogance - it was a Springer Spaniel - that's what they do - what did I expect. When I told her what I expected, I got the ultimate insult, she called me a Twitcher, deeply hurtful!

Fortunately the bird did not go too far and I still managed to get some good pictures.

Spotted Redshank


It was proving to be a good day so I headed off to Cosham to see if I could locate an electricity pylon with a Ravens nest being built on it.

The nest is visible from the footpath running alongside the James Callaghan Drive at the top of the chalk pits. You cannot get close to the nest but you do get superb views.

A nest with a view

Raven - Black birds are always difficult to photograph

Bringing lining for the nest

Female trying it out for size

On the way home I called in at Budd's Sewage Works. First time I had been there and I was amazed at the number of birds present. I was hoping for good pictures of the Scaup but they stayed distant and the female did not raise her head to show the white face blaze that would confirm the identification.

Scaup - male on the left female on the right - white face blaze just visible

I had gone out with low expectations but it proved to be a good day. Plenty of birds about and enough light to get some good pictures.

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