12 July 2017

Golden hour at JPR

Week 51, 16 December 2016 - JPR

A few good species had been seen at JPR earlier in the week, so I spent a few hours in the late afternoon hoping to connect with them. But past experience has proven that the scarce species are more often than not 1-day birds.

The Great-crested Grebe was still present on the same pool

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
and there were also a number of Common Pochard drakes in attendance

Drake Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Along one of the quieter roads, I found an obliging Common Kingfisher

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

and later the resident White-throated Kingfisher

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)

As well as a Jack Snipe that froze, but didn't flush, until it was comfortable and then it started feeding with it's characteristic 'bouncing' motion

Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus)

A Greater Spotted Eagle, one of a few, came in low to roost for the night

Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga)
Down at the seaside, I had a Desert Wheatear in soft afternoon light.

Male Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)
Out on the sea were a few Common Shelduck together with Eurasian Coot

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Along with a Ruddy Shelduck - one of the two target birds for the day - but it was a long way off; fortunately is pretty distinctive

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)
The White-tailed Lapwing had a surreal glow in the golden hour

White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus)

Next I went to check the desert area that also has a number of large trees for roosting species.  By now the sun was heading to the horizon at speed. A Long-legged Buzzard had already come into roost.

Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus)
I saw 2 medium sized birds drop out of the sky and went to investigate hoping they may be something interesting; turns out they were Song Thrush and these were taken after the sun had disappeared.

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
On the way out, I saw a silhouette on a branch which was the 2nd bird I was hoping would still be here - Merlin! I had to seriously push the ISO to get a record image and while doing so, saw a second Merlin fly low across the desert, but I couldn't get onto for an image.

Merlin (Falco columbarius)
Overall, a great day out in our premier wetland reserve

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