Friday, 15 July 2011

Back to Birding

Colin and I were hoping to head up to northern England this weekend for butterflies and orchids, but the weather is pretty bad up there so there is no pint going.
 As I had Friday off, and as it was still sunny down here, I thought I'd drive up to Melbourne, which is not all that far for the Rosefinch which has been singing for a week or so.
 I arrived and the departing birders told me I'd just missed it on the roadside wires. Half an hour later, while chatting to the local postman I heard it singing in one of the gardens and got pretty poor views in a conifer. More birders gradually arrived and we were treated to it's loud song, but seeing it proved tricky. Occasionally it sat in a Eucalyptus above the gate  and though some of us got pretty close up views getting images was very tricky. Associating with Greenfinch, Goldfinch and House Sparrows, it was mobile and at one point flew out into an oat field. We kept watch and it never flew back (so we thought) and were on the point of leaving when it started singing back in a garden-this time pretty close.

 As usual for me, a first summer male, with no hint of pink on it at all.
 The only other birds I got images of were some young Yellow Wagtails.

 A quick stop at Therfield Heath produced numerous Chalk Hill Blue butterflies without the need to walk more than a few feet from the car.

 They were very mobile while the sun was out, but the cloud and wind were starting to build up and I was not able to get any decent open wing shots.

 A final brief stop at Deadmans Hill produced a calling Quail.

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