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Oxon Bird Pics: Autumn/Winter 2020/21

  Marsh Tit, Oxon

18 March 2021

Another visit to the wood. The Nuthatches didn't oblige this time, but the Marsh Tits did. Unfortunately one of them had nasty growths on its head, as did a Great Tit that was even worse. Some infection being passed around at the feeders?

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Marsh Tit, Oxon

18 March 2021

Another Marsh Tit pose!

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Marsh Tit, Oxon

18 March 2021

Marsh Tit with a splash of Blue Tit colour in the background.

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  Robin, Oxon

18 March 2021

Robins were also around.

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  Blue Tit, Oxon

18 March 2021

Blue Tit with "crest" raised.

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  Great Tit, Oxon

18 March 2021

Great Tit completing this weeks quartet.

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  Nuthatch, Oxon

6 March 2021

This wood is one of the few places I can get photos at in current circumstances. This visit was favoured with more species than previously, with pride of place going to this Nuthatch that I've only seen fleetingly before here.

This is a near classic pose on a tree trunk.

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Nuthatch, Oxon

6 March 2021

On the ground.

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  Marsh Tit, Oxon

6 March 2021

Nice to see a pristine Marsh Tit coming in as well.

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  Blue Tit, Oxon

6 March 2021

The most abundant species here!

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Blue Tit, Oxon

6 March 2021

Crop of the shot above.

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  Great Tit, Oxon

6 March 2021

The second most abundant species here!

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  Blue Tit, Oxon

12 February 2021

Back to the wood I visited a couple of weeks ago. I thought I would try my luck at Blue Tit flight shots. This turned out to be somewhat challenging. Of over 2000 shots, this was the only half decent one! Seems like an improved technique is needed.

This time a Marsh Tit did briefly come in but was pretty tatty.

  Little Egret, Oxon

13 February 2021

Continuing very cold, but I was confident this site wouldn't be iced over. This bird even flew towards me before being scared off by a passing walker.

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  Blue Tit, Oxon

12 February 2021

Back to the wood I visited in December. No joys this time with Marsh Tit or Nuthatch, but Blue Tits are always a good stand-by!

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  Stonechat, Downs, Oxon

6 February 2021

It was remarkably sunny up on the Downs late morning, whereas lower down in the vale it had been very foggy! There were two Stonechats present at their spot by the roadside, and this male posed briefly for me.

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  Cattle Egret, Letcombe Regis

5 February 2021

Managed to get a bit closer this time - in its usual field near to the allotments.

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  Cattle Egret, Letcombe Regis

28 January 2021

A somewhat frustrating session in that this bird was wandering around its favourite field without ever coming close enough for good results, but kept on looking like it might.
  Buzzard, Chain Hill, Wantage

24 January 2021

Amazing luck with this apparent road-kill (a hare?) in the snow close to the road but not on it. There were a few raptors in attendance when I drove past, and this one stayed put when I came back even at point-blank range!
 

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Buzzard, Chain Hill, Wantage

24 January 2021

Crop of the photo above. It was close!
 

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Buzzard, Chain Hill, Wantage

24 January 2021

An earlier photo from a bit further away.
 

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  Great Bustard, Letcombe Regis

24 January 2021

Walked out to pay my respects again to this remarkable and obliging bird in the snow!
 

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Great Bustard, Letcombe Regis

24 January 2021

Another shot with a higher view point.
 

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  Stonechat, Downs, Oxon

21 January 2021

I always find Stonechat wary but this was right be the roadside so I could use the car as a hide.

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Stonechat, Downs, Oxon

21 January 2021

Crop of the shot above.

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Stonechat, Downs, Oxon

21 January 2021

As above but the male who briefly obliged very close but not on the best of perches.

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  Cattle Egret, Letcombe Regis

21 January 2021

This bird was playing hard to get today, but I eventually located it and then managed to get this photo (taken through the hedge) when it flew into the Warborough Road lake from the nearby field.

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Cattle Egret, Letcombe Regis

21 January 2021

As above but looking right!

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  Cattle Egret, Letcombe Regis

16 January 2021

Found the previous day in a nearby highly obscured lake, it was relocated today in an adjacent field. Always too distant for good results and also against the light.

Still a considerable rarity, especially in areas local to my home, livening up the lockdown!
Cattle Egret, Letcombe Regis

16 January 2021

See above. 
  Kingfisher, Letcombe Brook

2 January 2021

Back for another long and cold session! Although I only captured one visit of the bird, at least it was longer this time and I was able to get photos of a variety of poses.

Conditions were however duller than last time when the bird appeared.

The last photos from this site for some time to come, given lockdown 3...

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Kingfisher, Letcombe Brook

2 January 2021

Looking left.

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Kingfisher, Letcombe Brook

2 January 2021

Looking up and right.

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Kingfisher, Letcombe Brook

2 January 2021

Looking down and right.

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  Kingfisher, Letcombe Brook

29 December 2020

A very briefly obliging bird. In a cramped 4-hr session, I saw it on this post just once for about 30 secs!

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Kingfisher, Letcombe Brook

29 December 2020

As above; a few seconds before it turned round to look out over the water.

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  Wigeon, Standlake Pit 60

24 December 2020

The approach to the Langley Lane Hide was flooded so it was as well I had wellies on. However on my return, the water has risen to a level higher than their tops!

There were very few birds anywhere near the hide this morning. Only a small flock of Wigeon eventually drifted closer. Shame as the light was wonderful for a change!
 

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  Great Bustard, Letcombe Regis

8 December 2020

What a remarkable and obliging bird!
 

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Great Bustard, Letcombe Regis

8 December 2020

Photo of it in its more usual lower head mode.
 

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Great Bustard, Letcombe Regis

8 December 2020

A slightly earlier shot when the sun was still out.
 

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  Marsh Tit, Oxon

5 December 2020

Some sun for a change! Decided to try this wood for the first time this winter.
 

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  Blue Tit, Oxon

5 December 2020

A brief moment of sun on the perch! These birds were so quick it was difficult to get onto them.
 

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  Great Northern Diver, Farmoor, Oxon

26 November 2020

This long staying bird is remarkably faithful to a small area of the huge F2 reservoir. Unfortunately it is always tantalisingly distant and never seems to come close enough for really good results.

I arrived at 08:30 only to find the reservoir shrouded in fog. It had only partially lifted when this bird came just a little closer than usual, so a fair amount of Photoshopping was needed for this one.

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Great Northern Diver, Farmoor, Oxon

26 November 2020

This shot was taken later on when the fog had gone so there was less problem with the contrast. Also the spread wings makes the bird seem bigger, even though it was further away.

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  Little Egret, Southern Oxon

20 November 2020

The Little Egret was more obliging on another dull day. This was pretty close!

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Little Egret, Southern Oxon

20 November 2020

Another flight shot

 
Little Egret, Southern Oxon

20 November 2020

Remarkably close!
  
Little Egret, Southern Oxon

20 November 2020

Also remarkably close! 

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  Kestrel, Farmoor

19 November 2020

The Scaup were being somewhat un-obliging when I got a call from Bob who asked me to turn around and look the other way, which I promptly did... He was down near the Pinkhill hide with a Kestrel very close by in a tree by the path!

Remarkably it stayed until I got down there for some almost frame filling shots.

An extraordinarily tame bird. Thanks again Bob!

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  Kestrel, Farmoor

19 November 2020

Close up of the shot above.
Kestrel, Farmoor

19 November 2020

Another shot of the tame Kestrel - flexing itself prior to flying off.

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  Crossbill, Buckland

12 November 2020

After a relatively brief visit to Farmoor (see below) I wanted to make the most of the sunny conditions and so headed to this new site near Buckland to attempt to find (and photo) the Crossbills that had been reported from here recently.

A flock of about ten flew in shortly after I arrived and promptly vanished into a tree whilst feeding. They were very difficult to photo being high up in the top of the tree and were generally invisible or highly obscured. This was the only time one appeared out in the open.

  Scaup, Farmoor

12 November 2020

Having been snagged by a fisherman's hook a couple of days ago the Great Northern Diver was unsurprisingly keeping its distance today, but this Scaup eventually proved more obliging in the nice sunny conditions early on today. Thanks to Bob for the heads-up on its presence and whereabouts.

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  Little Egret, Southern Oxon

7 November 2020

A reasonably obliging Little Egret on a dull day.

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  Great Northern Diver, Farmoor, Oxon

6 November 2020

At last a worthwhile bird in Oxon to chase! My first visit was yesterday afternoon when I saw the bird but only distantly as it was way out in the middle of the reservoir. Today, on arrival the bird was showing conveniently from the eastern bank, i.e. very close to the car park.

Unfortunately this bird was keeping its distance so a severe test even for the 500mm lens with the x2 converter and my new R5. Also the light wasn't great. This was its closest approach and it had this low profile the whole time before turning round and swimming out.
 
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Great Northern Diver, Farmoor, Oxon

6 November 2020

Further out and without the earlier sun.
 
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Great Northern Diver, Farmoor, Oxon

6 November 2020

Wing flapping.
 
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  Grey Wagtail, Southern Oxon

5 November 2020

In the sun with a partial reflection. I like the circular pattern of ripples this bird has created.

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  Stonechat, Westcot Down, Oxon

31 October 2020

Two birds were by the roadside so I was able to use the car as an effective hide for this shot. Of the two, only this first winter (I presume) seemed willing to get reasonably close!

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  Kingfisher, Southern Oxon

30 October 2020

It is not easy finding places for bird photography in Oxon currently and the forthcoming lockdown 2 is going to make it even harder!

This is surprisingly sharp considering the distance to the bird which required a substantial crop even when using my 500mm lens with the x2 TC. With the Canon R5, this crop and lens combination gave an effective focal length of just over 3000mm for this photo!

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All pictures copyright Stephen Burch

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