Friday, 22 November 2013

Another good find in the fens!

'Hug a Hoodie', quipped Cameron. And if I could have got close enough I would have. Yesterday I took a wander round Woodwalton Fen and found a hooded crow. Not a bird that floats your boat? Well in Cambs over the last few years they've been as rare as pallid harriers. This individual represents my first in the county and (by the following day when found still to be present) the first twitchable one in a decade. Nationally (specifically in Scotland) it's not a particularly rare bird but I was still pretty chuffed though a bit frustrated when my camera's focusing mechanism jammed. I still managed one shot - can I bring myself to share it here? OK, why not? Please email me if you wish to purchase a framed print of this stunning portrrait, already tipped to be Cambs Bird Club Photograph of the Year 2013 (It's the bird on the right by the way)!

I would like to thank my camera for focusing on the cars in the background - great job, you really did them justice!
I seem to be having a lucky run birding locally in the fens and yesterday was my first trip out since finding the Northern harrier at the Ouse Washes. I've been out around 10 times since May (average of perhaps 2 - 4 hrs in the field) and have found 6 county rarities including 2 BBRC's (one a potential 4th for Britain). This is WAY better than my usual hit rate. I've been going out mainly midweek which helps but I think it's luck mainly - being in the right place at the right time. Anyway it's certainly opened my eyes to the potential of this area. If I lived a bit closer I could go out more often and who knows what's out there to be found?! Then again I'll probably not find anything now for the next few years. Luckily I twitch too so I'm still guaranteed to see some good birds one way or the other.

And now to keep your mind off that slightly tempting stonechat with the funny tail that you'd have gone for had it not been on Scilly (and as an apology for the hoodie shot above) here's a reminder of what hooded crows can look like - a few birds I've taken in Scotland in recent years.

This one taken at Loch Ness. But is it a hybrid? Might have to do some reading up

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