Garth Peacock
Sucesses and failures in equal measure

Archive

Wednesday 12th February 2020

Thursday 20th February 2020

Slimbrisge WWT Gloucesterdhire

Wednesday 19th February 2020

To end January 2020...

Thursday 30th January 2020

That's the end of 2019 for me.

Friday 20th December 2019

Disaster strikes

Monday 2nd December 2019

It's still very hard work

Saturday 9th November 2019

A quiet month overall

Saturday 2nd November 2019

Week ending 11th October 2019

Friday 11th October 2019

A quiet week

Friday 4th October 2019

A week of mixed fortunes

Tuesday 1st October 2019

The final catch-up

Tuesday 10th September 2019

Post Romania

Wednesday 4th September 2019

Romania Day 7 - 14th June 2019

Saturday 17th August 2019

Romania Day 6 - 13th June 2019

Friday 16th August 2019

Romania Day 5 - 12th June 2019

Wednesday 24th July 2019

Romania Day 4 - 11th June 2019

Thursday 18th July 2019

Romania Day 3 - 10th June 2019

Tuesday 9th July 2019

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Wednesday 13th December 2017

The last couple of weeks have seen highs and lows for me. It all began on Tuesday 28th November with a visit to Santon Downham in north Suffolk. A flock of Parrot Crossbills were feeding in the area and I had never photographed them before.

They are very similar to Common Crossbills but slightly larger and with much deeper bills. They breed in northern Europe in pine forests and only occasionally migrate to the UK during winter.

There were loads of birders around so it was easy to find them but they never came close so only distant shots were possible but at least it was a new species for me. The males are quite reddish in colour with the females a pale green.

So that was that - a partial success.

After that, I had two trips out - to North Norfolk and to Fen Drayton Lakes with all images being deleted so two failures - well that is wildlife photography for you.

Finally, I revisited Santon Downham on Friday 8th December for another go at the Parrot Crossbills. This time we changed tack and went to another car park with puddles. All Crossbills feed on the seeds of pine cones so must drink regularly so the thought was that they would come to drink in the puddles.

Arriving, there were several people already there and they confirmed that about 10 had been to drink about 10 minutes before but there was a larger flock around and they arrived shortly after we had parked allowing decent shots of both males

and females

After they had left, we decided to wait for another session and this was where the trouble started. The flock arrived in nearby trees, but so did loads of birders/photographers that really had no idea of what was going on - walking in the puddles they wanted to drink in, hanging around without thought for anyone else except themselves and certainly no consideration for the birds. Absolutely disgusting behaviour by both birders and photographers so that the whole session was a complete waste of time as the birds did not come down to drink in these puddles.

After that, we made our way to the picnic area to park and have lunch. It is close to the River Little Ouse where Otters had been reported. We soon found a lone Otter, probably a male, near the far bank

that decided to fish in front of us.

So, overall, a decent successful day to make up for the previous failures.