Saturday, 15 July 2017

Inquisitive Doe.

I came across this Roe Doe hiding in one of the local farmer's crop fields recently. She was monitoring all the comings and goings along a nearby footpath by sight, sound and smell and probably had a recently born kid also hiding somewhere deep within the crop.


Saturday, 10 June 2017

Spoonbills at Lake Kerkini, Greece.


Another species that I have only ever photographed once before in the UK and at some distance was the Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) so another enjoyable encounter was the 40+ encamped in the drowned forest on Lake Kerniki, Greece.

An adult standing guard over two youngsters in one of the nests situated within close proximity of the very numerous and noisy nesting Cormorants.


The left hand bird (above) of this probable breeding pair was ringed 'V2'. I sent off a report via BTO and received its record history from the Dutch coordinator confirming it was ringed on 20 May 2001 at Lake Kerniki. The only previous reported sighting was in 2010 on the lake.



Linking to:

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Night Herons on Lake Kerkini.



One species that I was hoping to get the opportunity to photograph was the [Black-crowned] Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

I had seen this species on previous trips to the Mediterranean, Morocco and in Bulgaria but the views were often distant or the bird was partly hidden by vegetation. 

This was initially the case in Northern Greece during a drive along the eastern embankment of Lake Kerkini but when we took a guided boat trip out to the drowned forest in the north-eastern corner this all changed.



Their Latin name equates to 'Night Raven', referring to its largely nocturnal feeding habits and crow-like croaking call.

On our approach to the forest I quickly grabbed a few record shots.

Nikos Galios our expert local bird guide and boatman then maneuvered us into a more favourable position for some quality close ups.


Typically perched in their hunched resting position this close encounter certainly made my day.


You can check out the various other species seen during this overseas trip by visiting Wildlife Watching with FAB.

Linking to:
I'D-Rather=B-Birdin'
Wild Bird Wednesday 
Through My Lens

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Squacco Heron.


During a very recent birding holiday in Northern Greece I finally managed to get some shots of a Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) a bird I had previously recorded on visits to Bulgaria, Lesvos and Morocco but the views were either distant or fleeting flight memories. 



Fortunately on and around Lake Kerkini this species is a fairly common  summer visitor and passage migrant with around 200 pairs breeding here (2015).

Often located as a buffy brown shape standing still in the waterside vegetation or disturbed into flight as it moves to another location.

When this Heron is stationary there is no hint of the blazing white upper wing colour that is so prominent in flight.
The following shots were all taken at Mandraki Harbour where this individual flew out to perch on the open marsh vegetation fairly close to my viewing position.





And finally a decent flight shot.

You can check out the various other species seen during this overseas trip by visiting Wildlife Watching with FAB.

Linking to:
Saturday's Critters
I'D-Rather-B-Birdin'
Wild Bird Wednesday

Friday, 5 May 2017

Chiffchaff.


In early Spring the patch livens up with buds bursting, the trees green up and the distinctive forceful sound of returning Chiffchaff's (Phylloscopus collybita) can be heard all around the woodland and open common. My first sighting this year was on 23 March just a little later than the norm.





This individual was monitoring the response by a female to his previous singing session.