Tag Archives: whitethroat

From Sheepcote to Ovingdean

Another reasonably sunny day and a chance to take another local walk, this time from Sheepcote Valley to Ovingdean, along a winding path between the fields.

Path from Sheepcote Valley to Ovingdean

The skylarks were out in number, filling the air with their insistent trilling as they hovered and hunted out insects.

skylark

When they come down to land, they hide in the thicker grass where they are almost impossible to see. I was startled by this one taking to the air (or perhaps it was startled by me).

skylark

Further along, the song changed to that of the whitethroat. This one was flitting in and out of the hedgerow. There were young about, but well hidden and being well guarded by the adults.

whitethroat

whitethroat

Two more treats greeted me when I reached Ovingdean. At the farm just outside the village a pair of pheasants ran across the path. This is the male. The female had scurried away between some farm buildings.

pheasant

I’ve saved the best (in terms of sightings) until last. The swallows and house martins arrived in Sussex a couple of weeks or so ago, but today they were joined by the latest arrival from Africa, the swift. Summer is now officially on the way. About a dozen were flying over the farm, inevitably proving a difficult challenge to capture in a photo so I was more than pleased to manage two swifts in one shot. There really is nothing quite like a swift for sheer aerial grace.

Swifts

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

Posted in Birds, Landscape Also tagged , , , |

Castle Hill Walk (and foxes)

I was out at Castle Hill, a local nature reserve, early this morning. I was killing a little bit of time before going to fix a friend’s computer, but the early start was more than a little rewarding. It was cold, but sunny and I had only gone a short way along the path when I noticed a familiar shape sitting out by the edge of the gorse.

fox at castle hill

I managed to get a little closer, but not much. This is the best of the shots.

fox at castle hill

I’ve seen numerous raptors along the path on previous visits, but had no luck with them today. The smaller birds were busy though including this unidentified bird with a beak-full of insects. I’d welcome a suggested i.d.

small brown bird

Whitethroats I can recognize, though this is the first time I’ve managed to photograph one in flight.

whitethroat in flight

And here’s a more conventional shot of one perched in an adjoining rape field.

whitethroat

Next up (literally) is a bird I can identify as easily by its song as by sight. It’s a skylark.

skylark

Down at ground level a small flock of starlings were feasting on worms and grubs.

starling with worm

Two more photos to close today’s blog. Both are foxes, both were taken in the garden. They’re both exceptionally badly composed as well! The first one was taken through the window this afternoon. I think it may well be the male fox I’ve photographed several times at night recently.

fox

This is definitely the vixen, taken tonight.

vixen

And in case you’re interested, I did manage to fix the computer. All in all a successful day.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens with the exception of the final photo of the vixen which was with the EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

Posted in Birds, Foxes Also tagged , , |

Kestrel, Whitethroat and…

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Posted in Bird of Prey, Birds, Foxes Also tagged , , |