Not put up anything on the blog for a bit so here goes - a cormorant. We were in the Curlew Hide at Teifi Marshes, not much happening and then this cormorant came fishing just in front of the hide. Managed about 5 shots - this is the best:
Taken with 500mm lens and 1.4 converter, ISO1000 f8 @ 1/1,250sec.
The number of birds has varied considerable over the last week - from a couple of thousand up to about 40,000. The position of the roost has also varied considerably. When I first saw the roost last week the starlings were roosting on the reeds by the Teifi to the right of the Curlew Hide. By the end of the week they were roosting in the reeds on the opposite side of the path to the Kingfisher Hide. Last night's roost were difficult to count but must have been 15-20k and was in the reeds between the Kingfisher Hide and the Dipping Pond:
This photograph was taken with my Canon 30D camera with my Canon mini-zoom 17-85 ISO800 17mm f8 @ 1/100sec.
After shopping in Carmarthen and the Crosshands we went to Llanelli WWT. As we entered we were informed of a wryneck at the Heron Hide. We went there a couple of times but saw no wryneck but were informed that a great white egret had flown past. When we got to the British Steel Hide we were told that the great white was visible on a nearby scrape. Here is one of the images I took:
Nothing much around the
hides in Teifi Marshes this morning so went down to the Webley about an hour
after high tide. Managed this shot of the whimbrel. Hope you like it. There were
4 curlew around as well as a little egret.
Just as we got to the Curlew Hide today we could see that the gulls were very disturbed about something. It turned out to be this bird - an immature peregrine (according to Richard & Wendy) - though at first I thought it was a hobby:
Today down on the Teifi took over three hundred images of otters - in about 2 hours! This blog is in danger of becoming my otter blog. First saw the two otters in front of the Curlew Hide then followed them down to the bridge (Pont y Priordy). Here are some of the images:
All taken with a Canon 7D with Canon 500mm lens with 1.4 converter ISO 500. This one f8 @ 1/400sec.
This one f8 @ 1/640sec.
This one f8 @ 1/500sec.
This one f8 @ 1/640sec.
This one f8 @ 1/640sec. Looking back at the images there must have been three otters - a mother and two cubs, but we only saw two at any one time.
On Wed. 21st. September, while in the Curlew Hide at Teifi Marshes Reserve a group of (presumably) bird watchers joined us in the hide. When they left, one of the members casually mentioned that they had seen a ring-billed gull between the bridges in Cardigan. On the way home for lunch we decided to have a look. These are some of the images that I managed:
I am no expert on gulls so I had to consult Richard & Wendy on whether or not this was actually a ringed-bill gull. After much discussion and consulting with further experts like Dave Astins the Pembrokeshire Gull expert it was finally agreed that it was in fact a genuine 2nd. winter ringed-bill gull
Given the spectacular success of the Dyfi Osprey Project the Teifi Marshes Reserve is making an effort to set up its own Osprey Nest project. An old electricity pole has been donated by Western Power and the usual Tuesday working party at the Teifi Marshes Reserve has set about to build a nest. When complete Western Power will return and install the pole in an appropriate position on the marsh. Here are, reading from left to right: John Thomas (the group leader), Tommy, Geraint, Gerry and Nick.
Any suggestions on changes / improvements to the osprey nest are welcome, as are suggestions on the way to add the twigs for the nest itself.
There has been - at least one - osprey on the Teifi since the 23rd. August and I have missed it several times. Today - Sunday 11th. September I managed to catch up with it eventually - but at a cost - I missed the second half of Wales' rugby match with South Africa. Half time I received a text from Richard that there was an osprey perched opposite the moorings in St. Dogmaels. After some thought we decided to go to St. Dogmaels. When we got there Richard and Wendy were already there but the osprey was not - it had flown down river some minutes before. Richard decided to go down to the Webley to see if the osprey was down there. I decided to stay put - set up my tripod and waited while Jen sat in the car. The osprey did eventually come up river - on the opposite side to us but at least I managed some distant shots:
Taken with my Canon 500mm lens with 1.4 converter, ISO500 f8 @ 1/1250sec.
Taken with the same kit f8 @ 1/2000sec. - both shots overexposed by one stop to compensate for the back lighting.
When Richard returned he mentioned that in front of the Webley Hotel there was a group of 5 knot and one curlew sandpiper:
Cormorant are nearly always perched on dead trees in the river but usually too far away to get decent photographs, this one was perched fairly close to the curlew hide:
Taken with my Canon 500mm lens with 1.4 converter, ISO500 f8 @ 1/1000sec
When we got to the Creek Hide we noticed that there were two snipe foraging around the creek - at a fair distance. The tide was coming in so as they moved with the tide they also came closer to the hide, but the light was quite difficult - we were looking directly into the sun:
This was f8 @ 1/320 sec. - over exposing the image by one and a half stops to allow for backlighting.
We went originally to the Gann but walked around and did not find any birds - except for the usual gulls. Called back in St. Brides and managed a few birds. The first was a linnet - I assume a female:
Taken with my usual kit f8 @ 1/3200sec.
The swallows were gathering on the wires and flying around but they were far too fast for me with the 500mm lens, but two goldfinch did land in front of me. I guess an adult with one young - still begging for food?
Sunny morning so decided to spend some time down on the Teifi. On the way in saw a Little Egret. During the morning saw the juvenile Great Crested Grebe again - this time a bit closer and with better light:
We also saw three snipe in the short reeds in front of the hide, a curlew, grey heron, cormorant - all making up a very good morning's photography. Then to make it brilliant we came across two young otters - later joined by their mother at the sluice gate by the Cardigan entrance to the reserve:
It was sunny this morning after the mist had lifted so we went to the Creek Hide to see if we could get a view of the Water Rail. No luck - only the moorhen were on show. On the way back to the car we stopped off at the Curlew Hide - there were a couple of little egrets about but not close in. Then we saw this bird swimming near the opposite bank. It behaved like a cormorant - diving and presumably fishing. Open to suggestions as to what the bird is:
Richard D tells me that this is a juvenile Great Crested Grebe. Apparently this is unusual for the Teifi at this time of the year.
Have not seen a kingfisher close enough to photograph for over a year so it was wonderful to see this bird today at the Creek Hide. Also present a couple of hundred Canada Geese, many mallard, some Teal, a coot (unusual for Creek Hide) and a single Little Grebe - so a good day. The kingfisher made it a wonderful day:
Did not see the red necked phallarope or the spoonbill but still had a good day. In front of the South Pond hide there was a pair of oyster catchers feeding their two young:
Taken with my Canon 30D (my Canon 50d got smashed up when I went to Skokholm) - ISO400 500mm lens f8 @ 1/500sec.
As usual there were birds I could not identify. In the hide along side the shop by the canoe safari I took the following photograph. At first I thought the birds were Ruddy Shelduck. In fact there were some Ruddy Shelduck quite close to these two, so that I could see that they were completely different:
The other photograph of interest during the day was not a bird - in fact it was an otter. The enclosure is surrounded by perspex screens making good photographs difficult but I managed to stand on a (low) wall and one of the otters co-operated by perching on a log quite high up from the water.
Taken with the Canon 30d 500mm lens, ISO 400 f8 @ 1/250sec.
On Thursday (16th. June), as it was a nice day we decided to go down to the Gann near Dale to see if there were any interesting birds there. Unfortunately we timed it to low tide and the Gann was empty of birds - in the end we were counting crows and gulls! After lunch we decided that it might be worthwhile calling back at St. Brides. When we got there there were several groups of linnets around the bay - including youngsters. Here are a few of the photographs I took:
It is now time (first week in June) that the young Greater Spotted Woodpeckers start coming in to the garden. It starts with the adult birds feeding frantically, filling their beaks with food and returning to the nest:
This one is a male woodpecker taken with my 500mm lens in the garden - ISO640 f8 @ 1/200sec.
Here is a young woodpecker in our cherry tree:
Taken with the 500mm lens, ISO640 f8@ 1/400sec.
And the shot that I was waiting for - the male woodpecker feeding its young: