Sunday, May 11, 2008


This was my first trip abroad with the prime intention of bird photography rather than the usual dash around trying to see all of the specialities in a particular country or area. In fact, this trip was to concentrate on just one species; the Common Crane (or Eurasian Crane as I prefer). During a continued run of poor weather in the winter of 2007, I began thinking of getting away to photograph something more interesting than Coots in the park! As a vague recollection of reading of the spring passage of dancing Cranes in Sweden combined with long lasting mental images of Cranes flying over the Pyrenees in 2004, I began to investigate the opportunity of hiring a photography hide at Hornborgasjön (Lake Hornborga) in southern Sweden. Within a few clicks on the internet I had found the contact address for booking a hide at Hornborgasjön through the Falköping tourist information website. Click here for the full trip report on my website.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Urban Terns

Docklands, East London… at least 20 Common Terns have now returned to breed on the rafts at East India Dock Basin, a Lea Valley Regional Park reserve in the shadow of the Dome, Canary Wharf and the Docklands Light Railway. This weekend, the females were settling in to their nest scrapes as the males brought fish back from the River Thames and the dock itself. Much courtship and matings were observed on the new rafts as well as several pairs regularly disputing with a Canada Goose sitting on three eggs. Other species around included a pair of Little Ringed Plovers, two pairs of Shelduck, singing Reed Warbler, Whitethroat and Blackcap, and several Sand Martins.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Pied Pipers

There have been some rumours from a 'group' on one of the social networking sites that the gulls in Aberdeen are big and scary. Having been there at the weekend I'm happy to report the the roof top nesting gulls are of average size and are no scarier than those in St. Ives. More interesting are the Oystercatchers nesting in Old Aberdeen on flat roofs around the university campus builings and halls of residence. Small groups of piping birds were bombing around, a few were gorging on leather jackets in the park, and one nest was found, just visible on a low building. Thanks to Lisa for the gen.