The latest from Pennington - new formula with added, improved Kingfishers

These are from a few days ago at Pennington.

Good numbers of Lapwing are back after the breeding season when only a few pairs stay. 

Flighty things, sometimes, going up every few minutes, but their acrobatics are fabulous to watch.

They look quite intense when coming at you head on!

A mirrored male Gadwall coming back into Winter/breeding plumage

If the arrival of Swallows heralds Summer, then the return of waterfowl must herald winter and the Teal are already arriving ... this female caught the light in her feathers while preening.

I'd actually gone out because I thought it would be one of the last good insect days. There aren't many flowers left, so the Michaelmas Daisies were absolutely buzzing with critters, mainly Hoverflies, a few late bees and flies and the odd flutterby.

If you're thinking this might be a Footballer (or Sunfly) you'd fail to win the cigar. It's the close relative, Helophilus Trivittatus.

This, however, is a Footballer, Helophilus Pendulus. Feel free to play spot the difference 


And another Hover. As far as I know it doesn't have a common name (Myathropa Florea)

One of the easily identifiable Tachinid flies, Tachina Fera. You've got to love ... well, alright, respect ... something even spikier than Boudicca's chariot!!

Making the most of all this 'food', one of our biggest spiders and a close relative of the Garden Spider, a Four-spotted Orb-weaver. I couldn't make out what it had caught.

"Nobody gives me any mealworms." A contender for 'Saddest Robin 2019'

I already have some others to put up but it might be a couple of days before I work through them - too busy using free time in the sun to take photos and not enough time to process them until the weather deteriorates and I catch up!


Nige   Flickr

  • Stunning photos Nige and cracking detail on the insects, recent sunny weather certainly brought them out over the last week; love the spider too.    The lapwings, gadwall, teal and  deep in thought robin are crackers too. 

    Nigel O said:
    This, however, is a Footballer, Helophilus Pendulus. Feel free to play spot the difference

    I think I recognise it ………….  it's the one making a pass to Daisy and dribbling nectar     lol 


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Stunning shots Nigel I especially like the second one.

    My Flickr photos

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Thanks both

    HAZY said:
    it's the one making a pass to Daisy and dribbling nectar     lol 

    Yep, that sounds like a footballer


    Nige   Flickr

  • I'm not starting a new thread for these, but there are too many to put in Odds.

    Some hawthorns currently have a good berry crop, but if the Redwings don't come soon, the locals will have scoffed the lot. There were eight-ish Greenfinches chewing their way through them.

    One juvenile Blackbird swallowing them whole

    And tossing them back like there'd be no tomorrow.

    There were two Mistle Thrushes in there as well, but they refused the model consent forms so I couldn't photograph them and that was just one tree. The Winter Thrushes are going to have to get a move on or they'll miss out!

    After spending ages stalking a Cetti's, I went into one of the hides and after only a few minutes this turned up.

    This is THE perch to get the KF at Pennington but it's not used that often and it's taken me 3 years to get it. The reason it's the favoured perch is because the shot is uncropped vertically, so you can imagine how close the bird is ... and it was a sunny day, too!

    I know it's male but I'm guessing it's a youngster (from foot colour?)

    More intent on hunting than posing, it soon caught something, although it doesn't look like a fish, and went back to a different perch.


    Trying out all the options - another perch ...

    ... Another meal

    Just showing off his fish juggling skills

    Kingfisher, he speak with forked tongue

    He sort of looks like a small, colourful penguin in this one

    It's not been a good year for photographing KF's at Pennington this year (a mix of dry weather early on and algae blocking the perches later), so I was doubly pleased with this.


    Nige   Flickr

  • Almost missed this thread as it slipped down the list but glad I found it. Wonderful photo captures Nige and what a show the KF put on for you. Can't choose a favourite but forked tongue has to be up there with them ! Last photo does have a penguin stance about it lol . Love the blackbird and greenie too; let's hope the numbers of greenies are on the rise.


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Superb additions Nigel stunning shots

    My Flickr photos

  • Thanks all
    The KF did perform well, much to the appreciation of everyone in the hide. I'd seen a pair chasing each other earlier on another part so wasn't expecting one to turn up there, but they always seem to be travelling around their territory, constantly changing perches, so you never know where they'll pop up next.
    I don't see many Greenfinches, but the ones at Pennington seem to be doing OK now. There are new youngsters every summer.


    Nige   Flickr

  • Just catching up and what a great set to peruse. Love the Lapwings Nigel, stunning shots, Can't really pick any favourites but that sad looking Robin definitely deserves some special grub:-) Glad you are seeing a good number of Greenies, I have noticed a couple coming in the garden too just recently. Was cross today when I saw a hedge cut down outside the school covered with berries, don't know really why it had to go. Luckily the fields seem to have plenty of berries at the moment as I have been forecasting a cold winter on seeing so many.
    Wonderful photos of the Kingfisher, a real treat to see.

    Lot to learn