Barbel Angler

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PostPosted: 29/04/12 23:47 
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The sort of behaviour that woman is claiming....attacking a dog in the first place, let alone trying again while she had it in her arms, is so out of character for a kite that you have to wonder if there is a hidden agenda here. "Saw the claws come out" :eek Kites have relatively tiny feet. They are not true raptors at all, so do not use their feet as as their primary killing devices. I understand they are incapable of killing prey anywhere near that size.

All very odd.

Cheers, Dave.

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PostPosted: 01/05/12 21:20 
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Odd indeed. Although as with any wildlife you can never be sure. When I was about eleven my parents took my brother and I to the Gower peninsular for a short holiday. One day after a walk along the beach we crossed the sand dunes so as to walk back to the car through the edge of some woodland. Towards the end of the walk we came to an adventure playground and my parents said that my brother and I could stop and play for a while. There was one problem with this however. A rather large raven, the first I'd ever seen, was perched atop the main climbing frame. As we approached it took issue with our attempts to use its perch for that which it was originally intended. It began to call and show signs of agitation. My dad told us we had nothing to worry about but he soon changed his tune. After swooping down to where we stood its calls became more strident and it began to try to attack us with its beak. We beat a hasty retreat and the bird began to mob us. We dived down a wooded path back towards the car. Looking behind us we seemed to have lost it.

As we reached the open area where the car park was we looked up and saw the raven appear over the trees. We swiftly got in the car whereupon the bird began mobbing another man who was stood outside. He managed to get inside his car without injury but the bird wasn't finished. The next minute it took a liking to the other chap's windscreen wipers.

I honestly can't think of many other more scary moments from my childhood. I think my mum was having visions of Hitchcock's 'The Birds' coming true! It's one of those things that we all have a laugh about now but was bloody frightening at the time.

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PostPosted: 01/06/12 17:33 
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One of the good things about the lack of work is I've had more time for birding recently.

One new spot I've discovered within an hour of where I live is Dartford Marshes. I have a good list for the site in only two visits covering 61 species.

Highlights so far have been great views of Hobby, Wheatear, Redshank, Cuckoo and Marsh Harrier. However by far the best has to be the Black Redstart that I saw yesterday. A first for me and a superb little bird.

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PostPosted: 22/06/12 21:09 
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Joined: 15/10/11
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How about an Alpine Swift on the Trent on Tuesday............ :eek

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PostPosted: 24/06/12 17:32 
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paul whiteing - admin
Joined: 27/09/05
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Sunbeam Alpine on the A1 near Newark? ;)

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PostPosted: 28/06/12 17:33 
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I have three of these lovely birds which visit my feeder every other day or so......................

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PostPosted: 28/06/12 23:36 
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Aren't those goldfinches gorgeous Tom? I have two or three that visit my feeders regularly as well...they only seem interested in the Niger seed though. The problem is, I haven't seen them for about a week now, which is most unusual....hope they are OK.

Cheers, Dave.

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PostPosted: 29/06/12 06:57 
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David Gauntlett wrote:
Aren't those goldfinches gorgeous Tom? I have two or three that visit my feeders regularly as well...they only seem interested in the Niger seed though. The problem is, I haven't seen them for about a week now, which is most unusual....hope they are OK.

Cheers, Dave.


For the last few years goldfinches have probably been the most common bird in our garden after blue tits and great tits. Strangely this summer they seem to have gone off the Niger almost completely. As a result my sunflower hearts are taking a right old hammering.

Dave, goldfinches often have two or even three broods over the breeding season so maybe they're starting a new nest. Might explain their absence. Also a lot of birds become more inconspicuous after breeding when they go through their moult, so once again that could be a reason.

Nice spot by the way Mike.

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PostPosted: 29/06/12 10:52 
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Thanks for that Martin. Another thing that crossed my mind while I was pondering where they had gone, was whether the type of feeder I use was at fault. My Niger feeder is the type where the clear plastic seed container tube sits in a sort of bowl. Obviously, the seed empties into the bowl through slots in the base of the tube as the birds eat it. The point is, we have had a lot of wet weather recently, so I wondered if the seed in the bowl had become nasty because of being damp for some time, or even whether the old discarded shells were building up in there, stuck there by the damp.

It's difficult to tell just by looking at it because Niger seeds are so tiny. I will empty the thing and fill it with fresh seed, and see what happens then. Mind you, if they have gone off in a huff because the seed was naff each time they visited recently, it may be a while before they return, because it took them months to find it in the first place. The other birds found and used the other feeders long before the gold finches turned up....or is that because the gold finches are seasonal visitors, and my feeders first went up last winter?

Cheers, Dave.

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PostPosted: 01/07/12 07:54 
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I had this little fella on the feeder this morning.........................

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PostPosted: 31/07/12 08:56 
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micky holtom - owner
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I have noticed the lack on young ones due to the late floods , this pair
have only one sibling .

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Image


Perhaps they will breed again late summer.

Micky

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PostPosted: 03/08/12 16:01 
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Not a Bird man myself, Had 5 Woodpeckers on the lawn yesterday, Parents and 3 young.They Did not seem bothered with me going to the shed.
Thought i saw a Chaffinch up the Upper Benyons yesterday, but it was Micky Kingfisher.


Ray. :mad

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PostPosted: 03/08/12 18:33 
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did nt get any photos but had a huge cormerant working my swim today. :mad

i kept swirling but not showing its self , thought it was fish rolling untill it came flying out the water, no wonder the fishing was slow :mad

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PostPosted: 07/02/13 16:30 
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micky holtom - owner
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My friend Robin on the Kennet today.

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Micky

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PostPosted: 07/02/13 19:34 
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Was he robin yer bait Micky :b

Cheers, Dave.

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PostPosted: 27/04/13 19:49 
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It would seem things have been quiet while I've been away. Luckily it seems this is one area I've managed some pb's recently.

Amongst my best moments birding this year have been: Common Crane and Hen Harrier on Sheppey; a first local Red Kite (a bird that ties me to my beloved Kennet valley); three lots of Waxwing, including one lot from the garden window; a great weekend in Dorset with Kev inc. Snow Bunting, Long-tailed Duck, Spoonbill, Red Breasted Merganser, my first Bullfinch for approximately 25yrs and a flock of c20 Yellowhammer feeding at the end of Kev's garden; a first local Pied Flycatcher for 14yrs; Slavonian Grebe on a tiny pond in Dartford.

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PostPosted: 04/05/13 10:26 
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Nearly forgot the flock of 20 Hawfinches at Mickleham in March. This was under half the number in the full flock!

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PostPosted: 04/05/13 10:28 
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Went to Dartford Marshes yesterday. Managed my first Wheatears, Hobby and Sand Martin of the year. Also had a lifer in the shape of a drake Common Scoter out on the Thames. Earlier I watched a Harbour Porpoise surfacing not far offshore.

Here's a record shot of the second Wheatear, not great quality as it was shot on my iPhone through my bins.

Image

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PostPosted: 04/05/13 22:16 
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Martin Stevens wrote:
Went to Dartford Marshes yesterday. Managed my first Wheatears, Hobby and Sand Martin of the year. Also had a lifer in the shape of a drake Common Scoter out on the Thames. Earlier I watched a Harbour Porpoise surfacing not far offshore.

Here's a record shot of the second Wheatear, not great quality as it was shot on my iPhone through my bins.

Image


Considering the way you had to shoot it Martin, I think that is a quite magnificent shot. Mind you, I do think you should have run down and moved that reed stalk before taking it :lol

Cheers, Dave.

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PostPosted: 05/05/13 08:51 
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David Gauntlett wrote:
Martin Stevens wrote:
Went to Dartford Marshes yesterday. Managed my first Wheatears, Hobby and Sand Martin of the year. Also had a lifer in the shape of a drake Common Scoter out on the Thames. Earlier I watched a Harbour Porpoise surfacing not far offshore.

Here's a record shot of the second Wheatear, not great quality as it was shot on my iPhone through my bins.

Image


Considering the way you had to shoot it Martin, I think that is a quite magnificent shot. Mind you, I do think you should have run down and moved that reed stalk before taking it :lol

Cheers, Dave.


Yeah, pain in the arse. I did get two shots unobscured but unfortunately camera shake is a major hazard with this method and both suffered from it.

Apparently it's a popular method for record shots with twitchers but they normally have the benefit of a scope and tripod.

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