Cambridgeshire Bird Club
     

Photos from 2005

Please note that the copyright of all images remains with the photographer and no image may be reproduced without the photographer's permission.

Adult Caspian Gulls - Dick Newell 31st December 2005, Landbeach. These are two of three adult Caspian Gulls present. Pictures 1 and 2 show the first bird, a classic individual, illustrating just about every feature you could ask for. Picture 3 shows the second bird, a sturdier individual and probably a male. (The third bird spent the whole time sleeping) Picture 2 Picture 3

Water Rail - Kevin Durose 26th December 2005, Ferry Meadows. Fine portrait

Kingfisher - Kevin Durose 26th December 2005, Ferry Meadows. To brighten up a dull day

Adult Yellow-legged Gulls - Dick Newell 23rd December 2005, Landbeach. These are two of six Yellow-legged Gulls present. Interestingly, they both had pink legs, well coral pink, not bubble-gum pink. The enormous amount of gull behind the legs is one of the give-aways here. The first bird still retains some fine streaking behind the eye, unlike most adults at this time of year. Of course Herring Gulls are now acquiring white heads as well Picture 2

Coal Tit - Garth Peacock 9th December 2005, Grafham. Always a highlight on the bird-feeder

Drake Long-tailed Duck - Simon Stirrup 4th December 2005, Grafham. Some more nice portraits Picture 2 Picture 3

Great Northern Diver - Garth Peacock 7th December 2005, Paxton. Garth couldn't resist it either Picture 2 Picture 3

Great Northern Diver - Jim Lawrence 5th December 2005, Paxton. This bird is irresistible for our photographers Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Drake Long-tailed Duck - Jono Leadley 5th December 2005, Grafhams. Another picture of this accommodating duck

Robin - David Hopkins 5th December 2005, Cambs. A seasonal picture);

Dotterel - Richard Thomas 4th December 2005, Fen Drayton. The age of this bird is debatable. If 1st winter, then obviously a new one, but if adult, could well be a returning bird from previous winters Picture 2 Picture 3

Great Northern Diver - Jono Leadley 4th December 2005, Paxton. Jono finally makes it into the photos section - stunning shot too!);

Great Northern Diver - Stuart Elsom 4th December 2005, Paxton. Another good shot of this popular visitor

Cock Pheasant - Stuart Elsom 3rd December 2005, Grafham. I thought this was rather smart, feeding underneath the bird feeders (SE). Underestimated bird

Adult male Long-tailed Duck - Stuart Elsom 1st December 2005, Grafham. They don't come much nicer than this

Great Spotted Woodpecker - Garth Peacock 29th November 2005, Paxton. Another nice Portrait

Drake Gadwall - Garth Peacock 29th November 2005, Paxton. Nice Portrait

Female Yellowhammer - Garth Peacock 29th November 2005, Swavesey. One of a flock of over 40 (GP)

Juvenile Great Northern Diver - David Hopkins 28th November 2005, Paxton, Diddington pit. I'm sure in Photoshop we could make that bill a little more yell.....

Juvenile Great Northern Diver - Julian Hughes 27th November 2005, Paxton, Diddington pit. So the patterning on the back really is as neat as is shown in the field-guide

Dotterel - Jim Lawrence 27th November 2005, Over Fen. It's always worth scanning winter flocks of Golden Plover

Drake American Wigeon - Jim Lawrence 24th November 2005, Barleycraft. Eliminating hybrids is always important with this species but this bird looks fine. Upper head bottle green with a strikingly pale off-white crown stripe and cheeks and hindneck nicely peppered. The bill pattern is also good with a thin black line at the base and neat dark nail. n.b. in this image direct sunlight has caused a flare on the pink flanks obscuring the shape of the neat white flank patch (JL). Could this be the same bird as seen in previous winters in Cambs.?);

Fieldfare - Adrian George 22nd November 2005, Over Fen. Symbol of winter

Dark-bellied Brent Goose - Jim Lawrence 22nd November 2005, Over Fen. The distinct pale barred fringes to the coverts, scapulars and tertials and the indistinct necklace suggest this bird is still in juvenile plumage (JL)

Lesser Black-backed Gull - Jim Lawrence 21st November 2005, Grafham. Initially, I identified this as a Yellow-legged Gull but after Alan Wadsworth questioned my ID I re-examined my pics of the bird and conceded my error. This gull is in adult winter plumage. The head/neck streaking is too strong for a winter YLG which should show a whiter head with finer streaking mainly limited to the head. The pale yellow leg colour is correct for graellsii. The deeper yellow I had expected for a LBB is a feature of the intermedius LBBs that summer here but these have all migrated by this time of year. The grey tone of the mantle is also a shade too dark for YLG. I had incorrectly attributed this to it being in shadow. The red orbital is good for a summer YLG but not a winter one - It is however another adult winter LBB feature. The head shape of YLG typically shows a flatter crown than this bird (JL). A refreshing admission, I have done it myself, more than once (RGN)

Great tit - Simon Kidd 1st November 2005, Cambs. Action shot

Male Goldcrest - Simon Kidd 1st November 2005, Cambs. Head on shot

Siskins - Jamie Wells 13th November 2005, Paxtpn Pits. Nice pictures in a natural setting Picture 2 Picture 3

Adult Common Tern - Stuart Elsom 5th November 2005, Grafham. Excellent shot of this educational bird. Features supporting adult are: active primary moult, grey wash on breast, black lores and bright orange legs. The carpal bar is a feature of adults in winter, seldom seen in the UK

Male hybrid duck - Richard Patient 20th November 2005, Ouse Washes. Any comments on its identity are welcome Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Adult Common Tern - Jim Lawrence 5th November 2005, Grafham. Winter plumage is not often seen in the UK, and could be confused with an immature Picture 2

Tree Creeper - Garth Peacock 2nd November 2005, Paxton. It is rare to see a Tree Creeper this well let alone to photograph it

Blue Tit - Garth Peacock 2nd November 2005, Paxton. A great portrait

Yellow-legged Gull 1st winter - Jim Lawrence 1st November 2005, Grafham. This injured bird remains faithful to the Dam area at Grafham and provides an excellent opportunity to note the finer details of a Yellow-legged Gull in 1st Winter plumage. Note the pale head with dark mask and that the bill is quite broad and bulbous toward the tip Picture 2 Picture 3

Ringed Plover - Jim Lawrence 1st November 2005, Grafham. This juvenile Ringed Plover, and the adult that was with it, were quite late visitors to Grafham with the majority passing through by the end of October

Black Redstart - Andrew Massey 31st October 2005, Upware. To quote the photographer - 'A grey bird on a grey roof on a very grey day'

Barn Owl - Simon Stirrup 23rd October 2005, Cottenham/Landbeach. Perhaps, one of Dick's birds

1st winter (2CY) Yellow-legged Gull - Jim Lawrence 17th October 2005, Grafham. The almost Mediterranean Gull look to the head and white tail with a crisp black tail-band are the give-aways here

Slavonian Grebe - Andrew Massey 23rd October 2005, Grafham. Good record shots of this regular winter visitor Picture 2 Picture 3

Mute Swan - Michael Lawrence 17 October 2005, Ouse Washes. Atmospheric autumnal shot

Juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper - Michael Lawrence 17th October 2005, Grafham. Picture 2 demonstrates the surprising flexibility of a wader's upper mandible Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper - Kevin Durose 21st October 2005, Grafham. Lovely shot

Juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper - James Hanlon 21st October 2005, Grafham. Record shot. It is noteworthy how the plumage tones of this bird vary among the photographers

Juvenile Dunlin - Garth Peacock 18th October 2005, Grafham. Another shot of a moulting Dunlin

Juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper - Garth Peacock 18th October 2005, Grafham. More studies of this popular wader Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Juvenile Gannet - Jim Lawrence 16th October 2005, Kingfisher's Bridge. This Juvenile Gannet was found late in the afternoon and had presumably flown inland during foggy conditions in the Wash on October 15th and then 'put down' when it spotted the lake at Kingfisher's Bridge as the sky cleared. Interestingly a second (and different) juvenile Gannet was found at Grafham Water on October 17th but departed early morning on the 18th Picture 2

Juvenile Dunlin - Stuart Elsom 16th October 2005, Grafham. Interesting study of a bird moulting into 1st winter plumage

Juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper - Stuart Elsom 16th October 2005, Grafham. Crisp shot in a nice pose

Juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper - Michael Lawrence 13th October 2005, Grafham. Some excellent and unusual shots Picture 2 Picture 3

Northern Wheatear - Mike Weedon 1st October 2005, Prior's Fen. Amongst the first in the spring and the latest in the autumn Picture 2

Wryneck - Duncan Poyser 3rd September 2005, Grafham. The records committee will not have any problems with this bird

Twite - Duncan Poyser 7th October 2005, Grafham. Very good find by Mark Hawkes and an excellent shot in a nice setting, showing all of the salient features, including a notably longish tail

Juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper - Jim Lawrence 10th October 2005, Grafham. Whilst photographing this bird I was lucky enough to hear its alarm call when a corvid spooked the Dunlin flock. It was quite a surprise as its call was a very high pitched disyllabic 'Zeet'. repeated twice. (JL). Excellent studies of this rare vagrant. Note it has a few second generation scapulars Picture 2 Picture 3

Teal - Jim Lawrence 10th October 2005, Grafham. This sort of marking scheme bothers me. Aesthetically it is awful, and although the bird's welfare is said to be not affected by those who do it, I wonder how they can know. This is a personal opinion only Picture 2

Juvenile Dunlin - Simon Kidd early October 2005, Grafham. Stunning studies of a juvenile that has started moulting into first winter plumage. Apart from its rounded primaries, it will soon be indistinguishable from an adult . The length of the bill is such that it is hard to say whether it is a northern or southern Dunlin Picture 2

2CY Yellow-legged Gull - Dick Newell 11th October 2005, Long Drove, Cottenham. This was one of three Yellow-legged Gulls on Long Drove

Juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper - Chris Martin 9th October 2005, Grafham. The only other wader with an attenuated rear end like this would be Baird's Sandpiper, but the scapular pattern, at least, indicates otherwise, and one assumes that it had a white rump. However, interestingly, the second shot shows a Baird's-like loral spot. This comparison shows the stint size relative to Dunlin. Congratulations to Jono Leadley for this nice find Picture 2

Rock Pipit - Jim Lawrence 5th October 2005, Grafham. Rock Pipits are regular passage migrants through Cambs at this time of year and are most probably Scandinavian birds heading south rather than British residents (JL). With its obvious supercilium, it look s a bit Scandinavian anyway. Picture 2 is a second bird taken by Jim on 10th October Picture 2

Great Horned Owl - Jim Lawrence 5th October 2005. 'Ollie', the escaped Great Horned Owl, is apparently still flourishing in the wild after at least two and a half years since he escaped. Unfortunately the owners of the private site which he favours are not keen to admit visitors (JL). What a fabulous bird! );

Teal - Michael Lawrence September 2005, Godmanchester. In flight

Great Crested Grebe - Michael Lawrence September 2005, Godmanchester. Nice comparison shot Picture 2

Mute Swan - Michael Lawrence September 2005, Little Paxton. In flight

Great Tit - Michael Lawrence September 2005, Little Paxton. Looks like a male

Blue Tit - Michael Lawrence September 2005, Little Paxton. Perky portrait

Robin - Michael Lawrence September 2005, Fowlmere. Stunning picture of a 1st year bird

Juvenile Little Stint - Jim Lawrence 27th September 2005, Grafham.   This Little Stint can be identified as a juvenile by the gingery tones to the edges of its coverts, tertials and upperparts Picture 2

Wheatear - Mike Weedon 24th September 2005, Prior's Fen.   Taken with a Nikon Coolpix 880 through a Kowa TSN-821 telescope Picture 2

Juvenile Lapwing - Simon Stirrup 24th September 2005, Eau Fen. Chilling out

Cape Shelduck - Jim Lawrence 20th September 2005, Fen Drayton. Superficially similar to a Ruddy Shelduck this escaped drake Cape Shelduck can most easily be separated by its distinctive grey rather than buff-coloured head (JL)

Juvenile Knot - Simon Stirrup 17th September 2005, Eau Fen. Another smart juvenile wader

Great-crested Grebe - Garth Peacock 14th September 2005, Godmanchester. Cruising

Mute Swan - Garth Peacock 14th September 2005, Godmanchester. Taking off! );

Kestrel - Garth Peacock 14th September 2005, Grafham. At least hovering Kestrels stay still for the photographer

Juvenile Garganey - Jim Lawrence 9th September 2005, Godmanchester. It's great having this delightful duck breeding in the county

Ruff - Jim Lawrence 14th September 2005, Grafham. Juvenile Ruffs are so much nicer than adults Picture 2

Juvenile White Stork - Terry Simms Early September 2005, Monks Wood. Some more nice studies and a flight shot Picture 2 Picture 3

Marsh Tit - Garth Peacock 7th September 2005, Paxton. Classic shot showing all of the plumage features that might distinguish this from Willow Tit: glossy crown, small bib, subdued panel in wing

Juvenile Red-legged Partridge - Richard Broughton 7th September 2005, Monks Wood. An unfamiliar plumage, this bird is around 5 and a half weeks old. In that time, the brood has been whittled down from 10 to 3. The shot featuring the mother gives an idea of their size at this age (about 2/3 grown) (RB) Picture 2 Picture 3

Juvenile White Stork - Kevin Durose 5th September 2005, Gunthorpe. A good angle

Juvenile Kingfisher - Jim Lawrence 3rd September 2005, Arrington. This juvenile Kingfisher was photographed perched above my garden pond. Note that in common with adult males, juveniles show an all-dark bill though they also show turquoise tips to the breast feathers and duller legs than adults (JL) Picture 2

Wryneck - Jim Lawrence 3rd September 2005, Grafham. Typically elusive, this Wryneck often lived up to its name by turning its head to some extraordinary positions (JL) Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper - Jim Lawrence 3rd September 2005, Grafham. Juvenile Curlew Sandpipers are easily recognised at this time of year by their scaly upperparts and a delicate peach wash on the breast contrasting with pure white underparts. (JL). They are one of the most attractive of autumn waders Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Cattle Egret - Stuart Elsom 3rd September 2005, Brampton. A flight shot for a change

Wryneck - Stuart Elsom 3rd September 2005, Grafham. A very nice find by John Parslow

Juvenile White Stork - Jim Lawrence 1st September 2005, Gunthorpe. The dull bill and legs of this adult White Stork are indicative of non breeding plumage (JL). Postscript: Jim has since submitted a correction: The dull bill and leg colour of this White Stork age it as a juvenile (JL) Picture 2 Picture 3

Whinchat - Jim Lawrence 29th August 2005, Nene Washes. There seem to be a lot of these coming through at the moment [I had 50 on Blakeney Point on 1st Sept]

Mink - Mike Lawrence 31st August 2005, Fowlmere. I suppose everything deserves its place in the firmament - but perhaps not here Juvenile

Grey wagtail - Mike Lawrence 31st August 2005, Fowlmere. Good portrait

Kingfisher - Mike Lawrence 31st August 2005, Fowlmere. As with this bird, breeding females have pink in the lower mandible and males are all black. Juveniles start off with an all black bill. With its bright orange feet, this bird is probably an adult female

Cattle Egret - Simon Stirrup 20th August 2005, Brampton. Nice Cow Picture 2

Juvenile Purple Sandpiper - Jamie Wells 20th August 2005, Grafham Water. The lack of any chestnut in the scapulars means this is a winter plumage bird of some sort. But as juveniles do not start their partial post-juvenile moult until mid-September (BWP), this must be an adult which has completed its post-breeding moult. Postscript: don't believe everything that you read, it has been pointed out by Chris Hewson and John Oates, I think correctly, that the neat white fringes to the median and lesser wing-coverts clinch it as a juvenile. The fine streaks on the under-parts are also good juvenile pointers Picture 2

Juvenile Common Terns - Mike Lawrence August 2005, Grafham Water. The second bird looks as though it might be a 1st summer, but it is too fresh, so I reckon it is a juvenile with a rather advanced bill colouration Picture 2

Juvenile Ringed Plover - Mike Lawrence August 2005, Grafham Water. This bird looks fairly dark, so probably tundrae

Juvenile Grey Heron - Mike Lawrence August 2005, Grafham Water. Super shot in flight

Whinchat - Mike Weedon 28th August 2005, Nene Washes. Whinchats are always photogenic

Grey Wagtail - Jim Lawrence 19th August 2005, Arrington. Difficult to age and sex as both adult post-breeding and also the post-juvenile moult can be quite early. There is no sign of a fleshy gape, so probably an adult Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Juvenile Turnstone - Jim Lawrence 19th August 2005, Grafham Water. Always an unusual bird in the county

Adult Sabine's Gull - Jim Lawrence 21st August 2005, Grafham Water. A nice find by John Parslow, this is a useful record shot. Most Sabine's Gulls that turn up at this time of the year are adults

Adult Snow Goose - Garth Peacock 19th August 2005, Wicken Fen. Doubtless an escape from a local collection Picture 2

Adult and juvenile Common Terns - Mike Lawrence 19th August 2005, Grafham Water. Adult feeding young - good action shot Picture 2

Adult Common Tern - Mike Lawrence 19th August 2005, Grafham Water. In picture 3, the bird has started its moult into winter plumage Picture 2 Picture 3

Juvenile Greenshank - Mike Lawrence 19th August 2005, Grafham Water. Now present in many places in the county

Immature Cormorant - Mike Lawrence 19th August 2005, Grafham Water. Well-posed flight shot

Juvenile Wren - Garth Peacock 15th August 2005, Fowlmere. Cracking shot of a skulking bird

Water Rail - Garth Peacock 15th August 2005, Fowlmere. Lovely portraits that make a neat comparison with the Barford Spotted Crake); Picture 2

3CY intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull - Mike Lawrence 31st July 2005, Guilden Morden. This bird was ringed in Norway in July 2003. It was reported next in France in June 2004 and now by myself. It's certainly covered a few miles (ML) Picture 2

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker - Bob Scott 5th August 2005, St. Neots. Good advert for an RSPB nut-feeder

Spotted Crake - John Spaull 6th August 2005, Barford Road Pocket Park, Eynesbury. This is a good find. Probably a juvenile bird Picture 2

Red-legged Partridge family - Richard Broughton 4th August 2005, Monks Wood. A late Red-legged Partridge brood that's just appeared outside my office window. She's started with 8 young, but last year what was probably the same bird (very approachable, hangs around the car park) had 10 whittled down to just one by the time they reached independence (RB)

Cattle Egret - Jim Lawrence 29th July 2005, Hinchingbrook CP. Couldn't resist sending you three more shots (JL) Picture 2 Picture 3

Male Sparrowhawk - Bob Scott 28th July 2005, St. Neots. Lets end up July with the end of a Greenfinch!!. (RES));

Adult Swallow - Mike Lawrence 20th July 2005, Morden. I've seen this perch before

Goldfinch - Mike Lawrence 20th July 2005, Morden. Just gorgeous

Male Linnet - Mike Lawrence 20th July 2005, Morden. There is not much to say about a very nice male Linnet

Cattle Egret - Mike Lawrence 30th July 2005, Hinchingbrook CP. More fine shots) Picture 2 Picture 3

Cattle Egret - Josh Jones 30th July 2005, Hinchingbrook CP. Fine shots of this genuine immigrant (would an escaped Cattle Egret know what a cow was?) Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Cattle Egret - Stuart Elsom 28th July 2005, Hinchingbrook CP. More a scene out of Africa than Hinchingbrook. (In fact, isn't that an Elephant on the right edge?) This national rarity was found by John Lindsell

Juvenile Wood Pigeon - Bob Scott 27th July 2005, St. Neots. It's good to see our ex-chairman entering the fray - and with one of my favourite birds Picture 2

Wren - Mike Weedon 23rd July 2005, Nene Washes. I am not sure of the age of this bird: it's wing feathers look worn, but also it shows some fleshy gape. Great shots all the same Picture 2

Juvenile Sedge Warbler - Mike Weedon 23rd July 2005, Nene Washes. Not long out of the nest

Juvenile Swallow - Mike Lawrence 22nd July 2005, Morden, South Cambs. Super portraits Picture 2

Juvenile Pied Wagtail - Mike Lawrence 20th July 2005, Morden, South Cambs. A very nice setting, plus a comparison with the Juvenile Yellow Wagtail below Picture 2

Juvenile Yellow Wagtail - Mike Lawrence 20th July 2005, Morden, South Cambs. In this plumage, it almost resembles a large pipit

Juvenile Goldfinch - Mike Lawrence 18th July 2005, Morden, South Cambs. Juvenile birds can often look quite smart

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull - Steve Cooper 17th July 2005, Grafham. Educational shot of a plumage not often seen, as this bird will now rapidly moult into 1st winter plumage

Grey Wagtail - Mike Lawrence 15th July 2005, South Cambs. This bird was a surprise drop in whilst I was watching martins in the middle of farmland. It only stayed for seconds then headed south. (ML));

House Martin - Mike Lawrence 18th July 2005, South Cambs. This is a cracking picture of a lovely bird

Swallows - Mike Lawrence 13th July 2005, South Cambs. The martins and swallows are still busy collecting mud and with the juveniles in tow they are obviously rebuilding for the second brood. The juveniles follow and observe and every now and again try picking up something which they fly off with. (ML));

Adult Green Sandpiper - Garth Peacock 20th July 2005, Wicken. One of the signs that Autumn migration has started Picture 2

Female Shoveller - Garth Peacock 20th July 2005, Wicken. What a bill!); Picture 2

Adult Redshank - Garth Peacock 20th July 2005, Wicken. Portraits of a local breeder Picture 2

Male Blackbird - John Le Gassick early July 2005, Cambridge. Nicely photographed in the early morning sun

Sparrowhawk chicks - Richard Broughton 7th July 2005, near Ramsey. Six well grown young. The size difference between males and females is already apparent in the pictures featuring 2 birds - they're the same age (note same stage of feather development) but different sexes. (RB)); Picture 2 Picture 3

Reed Warbler - Mike Weedon 2nd July 2005, Star Pit, Peterborough. Singing bird with Bittern-like posture Picture 2

Drake Ferruginous Duck - Richard Patient 16th July 2005, Fen Drayton. These excellent record shots should make the committee's decision a little easier Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Adult Spotted Flycatcher - Jim Lawrence 6 July 2005, Orwell. And here is mum (or dad)

Juvenile Spotted Flycatchers - Jim Lawrence 6 July 2005, Arrington. After the disappointment of an apparently blank year for Spotted Flycatchers, I was amazed to find three recently fledged young being fed on my garden table (JL). And delightful they are too!); Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Fischer's Lovebird - David Heath 15th July 2005, Cambridge. Exotica are not always as pretty as this

Juvenile Green woodpecker - Mike Weedon early July 2005, Southey Wood. This bird must be near to fledging

Male Yellow Wagtail - Mike Lawrence 13th July 2005, The Mordens. This bird must be feeding young

Meadow Pipit - Mike Lawrence 13th July 2005, The Mordens. This bird may be a juvenile, it has quite bright soft parts

Goldfinch - Mike Lawrence 13th July 2005, The Mordens. On reflection, I can't think of any comment to make about this picture

Male Yellowhammer - Mike Lawrence 13th July 2005, The Mordens. This bird seems to have found some stubble

Oystercatcher - Garth Peacock 12th July 2005, Wicken. This bird is opening a fresh-water mussel

Carrion Crow - Garth Peacock 12th July 2005, Wicken. Crows of any sort are notoriously difficult to photograph. Garth did well to get this shot in the sun, however, once it heard the camera shutter, it was off like a scalded cat

Aberrant Moorhen - Simon Stirrup early July 2005, The Backs, Cambridge. Splendid pictures of the unusual Moorhen lacking any red pigment in its soft parts Picture 2 Picture 3

Common Snipe - Kate Fuller 21st June 2005, Nene Washes. Typical pose in the breeding season

Male limosa Black-tailed Godwit - Kate Fuller 21st June 2005, Nene Washes. In the bright morning sun, this bird looks richly coloured enough for islandica

Spotted Flycatcher - Simon Stirrup late June 2005, Cottenham. Nice to have in your garden - if you can get them

Cormorant - Garth Peacock 27th June 2005, Wicken Fen. Although hard to judge at this age, the shape of the gape looks more carbo than sinensis Picture 2

Chiffchaff - Garth Peacock 27th June 2005, Wicken Fen. A worn adult Picture 2

Oystercatcher - Garth Peacock 27th June 2005, Wicken Fen. Now breeding on many of Cambs. gravel pits and wetland sites

Male Icelandic

Black-tailed Godwit - Garth Peacock 27th June 2005, Wicken Fen. This is probably an early returning failed breeder, rather than a summering non-breeder

Little Egret - Garth Peacock 27th June 2005, Wicken Fen. In breeding plumage, one wonders whether this bird bred in the county

Long-eared Owl fledglings - Ray and David Roche 26th June 2005, Cambs. More advanced in their plumage now Picture 2 Picture 3

Juvenile Crossbill - Ray and David Roche 27th June 2005, Cambs. One wonders whether this bird was fledged in the county

House Martins - Mike Lawrence 28th June 2005, Steeple Morden. Collecting mud Picture 2

Corn Bunting - Mike Lawrence 28th June 2005, Steeple Morden. More bathing action Picture 2

Male and female Yellow Wagtails - Mike Lawrence 26th June 2005, Steeple Morden. Bathing and wading Picture 2

Red-legged Partridge - Mike Lawrence 26th June 2005, Steeple Morden. Portrait of a poser

Female Linnet - Mike Lawrence 26th June 2005, Steeple Morden. Bathing action shots Picture 2 Picture 3

Female Blackbirds - Mike Lawrence 26th June 2005, Steeple Morden. Feeding and drinking action shots Picture 2

Sanderling - Steve Cooper 19th June 2005, Barleycraft Gravel Pits. This late date summer-plumaged bird has legs coloured a strong ochre above and below the knees. Even zoomed up with very clear views I was not total convinced that this was due to the effects of mud as the back of the legs were darker and as it frequently entred the water I think this would have cleaned them to a degree, however they remained unchanged. (SC));

Female Reed Bunting - Mike Lawrence 21st June 2005, Steeple Morden. A popular subject this year, nicely portrayed

Male Pied Wagtail - Mike Lawrence 21st June 2005, Steeple Morden. Cracking portrait

Female Chaffinch - Mike Lawrence 21st June 2005, Steeple Morden. A nice portrait

Meadow Pipit - Garth Peacock 21st June 2005, Ouse Washes. Common drab birds can look great in close up

Aberrant Moorhen - Richard Broughton 22nd June 2005, The Backs, Cambridge. This unusual bird seems to be lacking red pigment. Would hyperxanthism be the correct term to describe its condition?);

Long-eared Owl - Simon Stirrup mid-June 2005, South Cambs. Not often do you see them with their ears down. A record shot, but I am pleased with the result as it was taken at 20:40 in poor light and with the bird in the shade (SS)

Juvenile Male Great Spotted Woodpecker - Jim Lawrence 9th June 2005, Arrington. Both male and female Great Spotted Woodpeckers are still daily visitors to my feeders. Although they haven't brought any young with them yet, this juvenile turned up on his own (JL)

Female Pheasant and chicks - Jim Lawrence 17th June 2005, Arrington. It was a pleasure to see the mother Pheasant bring these two chicks to the garden early one morning. Their antics were very amusing as they were ever alert, quite skittish and very quick to nip into cover at the slightest sign of danger. One wonders what fate befell the rest of the clutch? (JL)); Picture 2

Male Sparrowhawk - Jim Lawrence June 2005, Arrington. For some weeks this locally nesting bird has regularly visited the bird bath in front of our kitchen window. The first two pictures were taken on 18th when it came for a drink and the 2nd three when it came for a bath on the 9th. It appears much paler grey in the first two pictures; this is just down to different lighting conditions. Notice that it has a thin black line running out of the pupil of its right eye across the iris and a diagonal one out of bottom of the pupil of its left eye. If anyone knows why it has these I'd be interested in your views. Previous high speed injuries perhaps? (JL)); Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4 Picture 5

Fledgling Long-eared Owls - Will Bowell 17th June 2005, Cambs. Picture 3, taken on 18th June of the most mature Long-eared Owl from 3 and half metres at one point! You can see it has some quills poking through as ears compared to two days before when it had none (WB) Picture 2 Picture 3

Barn Owl Chicks - Dick Newell 16th June 2005, Landbeach. Ringed under licence, these are my Barn Owl chicks from one of at least 4 nests in Landbeach, 2 of which failed Picture 2

Adult Kittiwakes - Dick Newell 17th June 2005, Landbeach Tip. Most unusual in June, these birds always kept close company and are presumably a pair of failed breeders Picture 2

3CY Herring Gull - Dick Newell 10th June 2005, Long Drove, Cottenham. In case anyone has forgotten what a Herring Gull looks like, this is a 3CY. Note the dumpier shape, shorter wings and paler back than Yellow-legged Gull. The eye-ring on this bird is reddish, so may be it is an out-of-season argentatus which is also supported by its head and bill shape 2CY

Lesser Black-backed Gull - Steve Cooper 10th June 2005, Long Drove, Cottenham. A bi-coloured bill is more a feature of heuglini and also fuscus. This bird is too dark for heuglini and the primaries are juvenile, so no point in trying for fuscus. It is almost certainly intermedius

2CY Yellow-legged Gulls - Steve Cooper 25th May & 10th June 2005, Long Drove, Cottenham. Two portraits showing different stages in the progression of the spring scapular moult Picture 2

2CY Caspian Gull - Steve Cooper 10th June 2005, Long Drove, Cottenham. This bird is trickier than most because it is extremely worn - particularly on the scapulars and it has dirty underparts. Some white-headed 2CY Lesser Black-backed gulls can tend towards this appearance. However, the distinctive jizz, long pale legs, and detailed feather pattern on the mantle and upper scapulars all point to Caspian Gull. Note the Little Ringed Plover that snuck into the 2nd shot Picture 2

Reed Warbler - Garth Peacock 7th June 2005, Swavesey. Two nice portraits are trumped by Picture 3 - did the fly survive?); Picture 2 Picture 3

Great Tit - Miss Stoney Spring 2005, Chippenham Hall. This extraordinary bird should perhaps try to exploit a different food source

Dunnock - Garth Peacock 3rd June 2005, Swavesey. I'm glad someone has sent in something other than a gull. This is a very nice picture of a Dunnock

2CY Caspian Gull - Dick Newell 6th June 2005, Long Drove, Cottenham. This cracking big male bird had a green ring on its right leg (??60 - the first 2 digits always being under water), and a metal clip ring on its left leg. It almost certainly comes from Poland. June records of Caspian Gulls are most unusual. Postscript: Apparently this bird's mother was cachinnans but its father was argentatus. The only hint of this in its appearance is perhaps a slightly prominent gonys. The bird was ringed at Wloclawek Reservoir, Vistula River, Poland, 52:39'N, 19:08'E Picture 2 Picture 3

2CY Yellow-legged Gull - Dick Newell 5th June 2005, Long Drove, Cottenham. One of 7 Yellow-legged Gulls in a flock of 120 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, this bird is unusual as it seems to have no 3rd generation grey scapulars, which, when present, makes it easier to pick them out

Intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull - Dick Newell 5th June 2005, Long Drove, Cottenham. At first sight, this stunning 2CY looks a good candidate for nominate fuscus. However, all of its outer primaries, and its tail are juvenile feathers, which means that the bird is almost certainly intermedius Picture 2

2CY Gull - Dick Newell 1st June 2005, Long Drove Cottenham. There is a lot about this bird that looks right for Heuglin's Gull. Assuming I have aged it correctly, the bi-coloured bill, the grey scapulars with a dark shaft-streak, the upright stance and squarish head are all heuglini features - but doubtless it is a very odd Lesser Black-backed Gull

3CY Yellow-legged Gull - Dick Newell 1st June 2005, Long Drove Cottenham. This bird is not really the right shape for michahellis it's wings look too short and the head is rather rounded, giving an appearance more like Herring Gull. However, the combination of yellow legs, red eye-ring, shadow around the eye and something about the bill all point to Yellow-legged Gull, so maybe it comes from Portugal

Sedge Warbler - Mike Weedon 22nd May 2005, Nene Washes. Singing bird in a a nice composition

Male Marsh Harrier - Kevin Durose early May 2005, Woodwalton Fen. This is a nice shot of a fine specimen

Little Grebe - Garth Peacock 26th May 2005, Fowlmere. Dabchick with Three-spined Stickleback

Gadwalls - Richard Patient May 2005, Fen Drayton. Smart birds in good light Picture 2

Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit - Richard Patient May 2005, Fen Drayton. More richly coloured than the local breeding limosas these should be off to Iceland by now, unless they are non-breeders. The first bird, with it's shorter bill is a male Picture 2

Male Whitethroat - Richard Patient May 2005, Fen Drayton. Years ago Whitethroats crashed - it's good to see them back

Sedge Warbler - Richard Patient May 2005, Ouse Washes and Fen Drayton. More singing Sedge Warblers Picture 2

Female Linnet - Richard Patient 21st May 2005, Over. Pink legs might indicate that his bird is a juvenile, as would the hint of a fleshy gape, but its plumage is of an older bird. Besides it was consorting with a male. RP);

Corn Bunting - Richard Patient May 2005, Over. Good to see Corn Buntings still making out in the Fens

Sedge Warbler - Jim Lawrence 12th May 2005, Fowlmere. Unlike Reed Warblers that sing from a concealed perch deep in a Reed Bed, Sedge Warblers are usually more visible and can often be seen flying up from their perch in songflight before dropping back into thick vegetation. JL);

Jackdaw - Jim Lawrence 12th May 2005, Duxford. Like many other species, Jackdaws become far braver when gathering scraps to feed their young. JL);

House Martin - Jim Lawrence 12th May 2005, Duxford. This House Martin was among a flock of 10 birds communally gathering mud during a period of active nest building. JL);

Reed Buntings - Jim Lawrence 12th May 2005, Fowlmere. While this male Reed Bunting proclaims his territory from a blown Reed Mace head, the nearby female (pic2) makes a secretive low-level approach to her nest site in a reed bed. JL); Picture 2

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker - Jim Lawrence 12th May 2005, Arrington. Unlike their rare smaller cousins, Great-Spotted Woodpeckers are on the increase and are regular garden visitors. JL);

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - Jim Lawrence 12th May 2005, Cambs. Now considered Britain's most rapidly declining species these Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers are one of two breeding pairs being monitored by the RSPB in the county this year. JL); Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - Jim Lawrence 12th May 2005, Cambs. Remarkable shot of a male sticking its head out of a Sycamore

Grasshopper Warbler - Steve Dudley 29th May 2005, Woodwalton Fen. Another good warbler shot - singing unawares

American Wigeon - Richard Patient April 2005, Chain Corner. Record shot of bird found by Colin Kirtland [this is too late for the April vote]

Collared Pratincole - Chris Martin 23rd May 2005, Baker's Fen. Another record shot

Collared Pratincole - Bruce Martin 23rd May 2005, Baker's Fen. Another nice find by John Oates. These record shots are not quite enough on their own to clinch it as a Collared Pratincole - but, doubtless, comprehensive notes will be forthcoming Picture 2 Picture 3

Canada Goose family - Jonathan Heath 25th May 2005, Milton. Cute huh!);

Grasshopper Warbler - Jonathan Heath 25th May 2005, Long Drove, Cottenham. A typical view of this famous skulker, taken from 1 metre with a flash

Spotted Flycatcher - David Hopkins 25th May 2005, In his garden. You are lucky if you get these in your garden these days Picture 2 Picture 3

Adult Great Black-backed Gull - Steve Cooper 24th May 2005, Long Drove. Beauty or beast? I think a bit of both. An uncommon age group at this time of year. SC

3CY Great Black-backed Gull - Steve Cooper 24th May 2005, Long Drove. The bare skin around the eye is explained by an ailment, but the atypical dark eye-shadow is harder to explain Picture 2

Male Green Woodpecker - Dick Newell 23rd May 2005, Landbeach. I never knew we had birds like that in our garden! anon Picture 2 Picture 3

Male Whitethroat - Garth Peacock 5th May 2005, Swavesey. Nicely portrayed on top of a Hawthorn bush);

Great Tit - Jim Lawrence 22nd May 2005, Wimpole. A baby Great Tit begging for food shortly after leaving one of my nestboxes. JL);

Sparrowhawk - Jim Lawrence 21st May 2005, Arrington. A rather bedraggled Sparrowhawk that was drying itself in a tree in my garden after a fierce thunderstorm. JL);

Little Ringed Plover - Mark Pettit 11th May 2005, Cam Washes. Good portrait of a delightful summer visitor Picture 2

Female Greenfinch - Nick York April 2005, St Ives. It is OK to feed birds in the breeding season, provided the peanuts are in a feeder that prevents them from accessing whole nuts. (Too late for the April vote. ));

Turnstone - Mark Pettit 18th May 2005, Grafham. There have been a few Turnstones in Cambs this Spring. They are smart at this time of year

2CY Yellow-legged Gull - Dick Newell 17th May 2005, Long Drove Cottenham. This bird is more advanced in its scapular moult than the previous bird of this age. Picture 2 demonstrates the characteristic tail-high posture in the water); Picture 2

Intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull - Dick Newell 17th May 2005, Long Drove Cottenham. This is probably a 4CY (3rd summer) bird. It is small, slender and very dark, but there is no way of identifying at as Baltic Gull); Picture 2

Pullus Tawny Owl - Richard Broughton 16th May 2005, West Cambs. Apparently, at this age, they are very smelly

Male and female Starling - Simon Stirrup 13th May 2005, Cottenham. Stunning flight shots); Picture 2

Drake Wood Duck - John Walsh 14th May 2005, Jesus Ditch, Cambridge. A welcome introduction that doesn't seem to cause controversy

Bittern - David Hopkins 16th May 2005, Cambs. This booming bird is one of a few booming bitterns in Cambs. this year

Willow Warbler - Garth Peacock 12th May 2005, Paxton Pits. Exquisite close-ups of an active bird); Picture 2 Picture 3

Hobby - Dick Newell 15th May 2005, King Fishers Bridge. This bird is on its way to catch its next dragon-fly

Hobby - Mike Lawrence 12th May 2005, Fen Drayton. Something of a Fen Drayton speciality, this bird looks as though it is probably a first summer bird

Willow Warbler - Mike Lawrence 12th May 2005, Fen Drayton. Willow Warbler legs can often look dark, as in this bird

Dunnock - Mike Lawrence 12th May 2005, Fen Drayton. Starting to show distinct signs of wear after the stresses of breeding

Garden Warbler - Mike Lawrence 12th May 2005, Fen Drayton. These remarkable pictures demonstrate that, if you look closely enough, Garden Warblers have distinctive field-marks. The distinctive eye-ring reminds one of a North American vireo); Picture 2 Picture 3

Barn Owl - Dick Newell 11th May 2005, Long Drove, Cottenham. This bird was hunting at 11.00 am - presumably it has recently hatched young. The prey is a Field Vole

Grey Partridge - Mark Pettit 10th May 2005, Swaffham Prior Fen. Showing off some very nice feather patterns

Wood Sandpiper - Mark Pettit 10th May 2005, Baker's Fen. Scarcer in Spring than it is in Autumn);

Reed Warbler - Garth Peacock 11th May 2005, Fowlmere. It took 34 poor shots before I managed this one - what would we do without digital cameras? GP);

Reed Warbler - Dick Newell 11th May 2005, Swaffham Prior Fen. A common enough bird, but nice all the same

Cuckoo - Dick Newell 9th May 2005, Wicken Fen. You don't often get a chance to have a really good look at this symbol of Spring

Adult male Montagu's Harrier - Jonathan Taylor 6th May 2005, Nene Washes. My first spring sighting in 11 springs working at the Nene. showing how hard they are to get to grips with in the county. JT

2CY Iceland Gull - Jonathan Taylor 6th May 2005, Flag Fen. This is the latest Iceland Gull that there has ever been in Cambs Picture 2

Barn Owl - Simon Stirrup 6th May 2005, Cottenham. It is certainly good news that Barn Owls are doing so well in Cambs

White Stork - Mike Foley 6th May 2005, Kings Hedges Road, Cambridge. Having seen a large bird in the distance I raced to my car for my binos. When the Stork was so close that I didn't need them I thought of a record photo. By the time I had refound my car keys and opened the boot for the camera the bird was a speck in the distance. So the attached photo may look a bit like a UFO! MF [at least Mike's record shot eliminates Heron, Spoonbill, Gannet, Snow Goose, White Pelican, Crane and anything else that one might dream up] Picture 2

Male Yellowhammer - Mike Lawrence 5th May 2005, Great Gransden. More nice portraits of this attractive bunting Picture 2

Corn Buntings - Mike Lawrence 5th May 2005, Great Gransden. Still occurring in flocks Picture 2

Cock Pheasant - Mike Lawrence 5th May 2005, Great Gransden. Nice portrait of a handsome bird

2CY Yellow-legged and Lesser Black-backed Gulls - Dick Newell 5th May 2005, Long Drove Cottenham. These birds show both the similarity and differences between them. Both ride with their tail high in the water. The Yellow-legged Gull has a heavier bill, darker shadow behind the eye (so the head resembles an enormous Med Gull), and a few pale grey 3rd generation scapulars. Picture 2 shows the Yellow-legged Gull in more detail Picture 2

Female Yellow Wagtail - Dick Newell 2nd May 2005, Broad Lane, Cottenham. With the lack of yellow in the supercilium and throat, this bird is impossible to distinguish from female Blue-headed Wagtail

Male Sparrowhawk - John Hair 28th April 2005, Stapleford. A common garden event these days: Sparrowhawk feeding on Collared Dove

Male and female Yellowhammers - Mike Lawrence 29th April 2005, This pair were in a flock with Corn Buntings feeding on spilled corn around a farm dwelling Picture 2

Greylag Goose - Mike Lawrence 25th April 2005, Fowlmere. Perhaps not to everyone's taste, but Greylags in a natural setting are handsome beasts Picture 2

Male Greenland Wheatear - Mark Pettit 29th April 2005, Paxton Pits. Of course, as with all 'Greenland' Wheatears, one can never be totally sure that a bird like this does not come from Iceland - but it is surely of a more northerly origin than our local breeders

Singing Corn Bunting - Dick Newell 30th April 2005, Broad Lane, Cottenham. Rape is one monoculture which is good for a number of birds, especially Reed Buntings and Corn Buntings

Female Greenland Wheatear - Dick Newell 30th April 2005, Broad Lane, Cottenham. The date alone is almost good enough to diagnose these as Greenland Wheatears. The male bird here, included as a comparison, was taken in Norfolk on27th April (so it is not a competition contender)

Male 2CY Caspian Gull - Richard Patient 27th April 2005, Long Drove Cottenham. Long Drove must now be a strong contender for the best place in the country to see Caspian Gulls. This was 1 of 2 present on this day Picture 2

Ring-necked Duck (apparently!) - Jack Harrison 27th April 2005, Grafham Water. Jack is unlikely to win any prizes for his portrait of a Ring-necked Duck, all 1 pixel of it, but this is a fascinating perspective on one of the county's premiere sites

Turtle Dove - Dick Newell 27th April 2005, Swaffham Prior Fen. Good to see that this bird survived the gauntlet of the Mediterranean shooters

Diseased Blackbird - Garth Peacock 27th April 2005, Girton. This unfortunate bird looks more like Pithacartes than a thrush!);

Goldfinch - Garth Peacock 27th April 2005, Girton. Now a common bird at garden feeders, many folk may get views as good as this through their kitchen window

Little Ringed Plover - Mark Pettit 5th April 2005, Grafham. On its way to breed at one of the many available sites in the county

Little Owl - Mark Pettit 20th April 2005, Swaffham Prior Fen. One of the nicest of introduced species: a very nice portrait

Male Linnet - Katie Fuller 26th April 2005, Nene Washes. Presumably a young male, as it still has a way to go to reach full summer plumage

Mistle Thrush - Garth Peacock 20th April 2005, Paxton Pits. Often less conspicuous than its congeners: Song Thrush and Blackbird

Blue Tit nest - Richard Broughton 21st April 2005, Wood Walton Fen. Note the scruffy cup of moss and grass. Characteristically, there are lots of feathers in the lining. Great Tit Nest: still fairly scruffy, but much less grass and virtually no feathers in the lining. Instead, it's lined with hair and fur. Marsh Tit Nest: very neat cup, made of moss (no grass). The cup is lined with hair, wool and fur that has been compressed into a felty layer. (RB)); Great Tit Marsh Tit

Male Wheatear - Mark Pettit 13th April 2005, Swaffham Prior Fen. The brown wash means that this bird is probably a 1st summer. With it's rather orange throat, one wonders whether this might be a Greenland Wheatear, but there is little else, for example its posture, to support this idea. It is difficult to identify Greenland Wheatear with certainty

Chiffchaff - Garth Peacock 20th April 2005, Paxton Pits. Another useful pair of pictures to compare these 2 similar species: the dull, shorter-winged, darker-legged, darker-billed Chiffchaff and the brighter, longer-winged, paler-legged, paler-billed Willow Warbler. Of course, it's much easier when they are singing

Willow Warbler Wren - Garth Peacock 19th April 2005. Yet another excellent picture of a common bird

Tree Sparrow - David Hopkins 19th April 2005. Nice to compare this with the hybrid sparrow of a few days ago

Male Yellowhammer - David Hopkins 19th April 2005. Yellowhammers look good in the sun); Picture 2

Male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - Jim Lawrence Wimpole, 19th April 2005. Now a major rarity in Cambs, these pictures illustrate the boldly white-barred mantle and wings, finely streaked underparts and buffish ear coverts, lores and upper breast. Unlike this handsome male, females have an all-black crown. (JL)); Picture 2 Picture 3

Robin - Michael Lawrence Paxton Pits, 18th April 2005. Great Portraits Picture 2

Blue Tit - Michael Lawrence Paxton Pits, 18th April 2005. Good shot of a common bird

Male Chaffinch - Katie Fuller Milton Ferry Bridge, Peterborough, 1st April 2005. Obviously realises spring is here

Adult Grey Heron - Julian Hughes Paxton Pits, 17th April 2005. Artistic shot

Cormorant chicks - Julian Hughes Paxton Pits, 17th April 2005. This nest contains three unfledged chicks, but I've never seen one feeding another before, if this is what is happening; has anyone else? (JH));

Black-necked Grebe - Julian Hughes Paxton Pits, 17th April 2005. And even better!); Picture 2

Black-necked Grebe - Chris Harbard Paxton Pits, 17th April 2005. A better definition shot

Waxwing - Kevin Durose Nene Washes, 18th April 2005. Waxwing with sycamore blossom makes a change from Waxwing with berries

Green-winged Teal - Kevin Durose Nene Washes, 18th April 2005. Good record shot of this Nearctic species

Meadow Pipit - Mike Weedon Nene Washes, 16th April 2005. Even dull-coloured birds are nice when they pose - especially pipits

Hybrid House x Tree Sparrow - Neal Parkin Little Paxton, 17th April 2005. This fascinating bird shows both the cheek patch of Tree Sparrow, together with the more extensive black chin and throat, as well as grey on the crown, of House Sparrow. It is an interesting question as to whether it is a male or a female. Such hybrids are more likely to occur where one or other species is particularly scarce, as Tree Sparrow is in Little Paxton Picture 2

Black-necked Grebes - Neal Parkin Paxton Pits, 17th April 2005. Small numbers of summer plumaged Black-necked Grebes pass through Cambs. in the spring

Drake Ring-necked Duck - Michael Lawrence Grafham, 5th & 17th April 2005. These 2 shots show some interesting aspects, not often portrayed: the grey secondaries and an iridescent purple ring around the neck Picture 2

Female Marsh Harrier - John Oates Wicken Fen, 17th April 2005. Another poser

Male Yellow Wagtail - Mike Weedon Nene Washes, 16th April 2005. Hard to resist when they pose like this

Female Wheatear - Jamie Wells Paxton Pits, 9th April 2005. All female wheatears should be checked for Isabelline. The dark wing-coverts, and buff supercilium in front of the eye, flared behind the eye, eliminate this possibility Picture 2

Adult female Black Redstart - Jim Lawrence Cambourne, 12th April 2005. Both the wing and tail feathers look relatively fresh, and, as far as one can make out, the tail feathers look more rounded than pointed. One would expect a 2nd calendar year bird to have worn primaries and tail-feathers

Willow Warbler - Mike Weedon Orton Brick Pit, 10th April 2005. Great portraits of a difficult bird Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Drake Ring-necked Duck - Will Bowell Grafham, 5th April 2005. More portraits of this popular duck Picture 2

Waxwing - Jonathan Heath (aged 13) Northfield Avenue, Cambridge, 1st April 2005. Although spring has arrived, they are still here. This one is feeding on Guelder Rose

Drake Ring-necked Duck - Jim Lawrence Grafham, 5th April 2005. Wonderful portraits of this attractive little duck (Thank you Jono Leadley for finding it). No confusion with Tufted Duck here!); Picture 2

Male Brambling - Simon Stirrup Ouse Washes, 3rd April 2005. Well on the way to breeding dress, this bird must be headed north soon Picture 2

Starling at nestbox - Dick Newell Landbeach, 7th April 2005. I put up 3 nest-boxes for Starlings, and now there are birds going in and out of all 3, as well as 2 occupying holes in the roof Picture 2

Male Marsh Harrier (and Crow) - Rob Warboys Woodwalton Fen, 3rd April 2005. Marsh Harriers were previously rare in the county, and this Crow wishes it was always that way Picture 2

Displaying Great Crested Grebes - Garth Peacock Paxton Pits, 23rd March 2005. A common sight around the lakes and pits of Cambridgeshire

Male Reed Bunting - Garth Peacock Paxton Pits, 23rd March 2005. This seems to be a popular target for Cambs. photographers

Nuthatch - Simon Stirrup Nene Valley Park, Peterborough, March 2005. Cracking pictures Picture 2

Cock Pheasant - David Heath Barway, 31st March 2005. These birds are too good to be taken for granted

Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff - Alan Wadsworth Fen Drayton and Wicken, 26th & 29th March 2005. Interesting comparison of a bright, longish-winged, pale-legged Willow Warbler with a duller, shorter-winged, dark-legged Chiffchaff); Picture 2

Long-eared Owl - David Heath & son Confidential location, 30th March 2005. This is a difficult bird to see, let alone photograph. This, however, was a very obliging bird that sat rooted for at least 10 minutes whilst my son and I snapped away from about 20 or so feet trying to contort ourselves out of the car window! (DH)); Picture 2

Waxwings - Chris Harbard Tescos, St. Neots, 3rd March 2005. Good pictures including one bird juggling Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

3CY Caspian Gull - Steve Arlow Long Drove, 25th March 2005. Useful picture of this species in 2nd winter plumage, in classic pose

2CY Caspian Gulls and a mystery gull - Jim Lawrence and Dick Newell Long Drove, Cottenham, 24th March 2005. The first picture is by JL - a classic Caspian Gull. The second picture by DN is of one of the birds from 2 days ago, and surprisingly it is ringed! The mystery is the grey-backed gull on the left. As we focussed (literally) on the Caspian Gull, we casually identified this bird as a michahellis, but didn't observe it properly at the time. Opinions for both Caspian Gull and Yellow-legged Gull have been cast - I am on the Caspian side of neutral Picture 2

Male and female Reed Buntings - Will Bowell Maxey Gravel Pits, 24th March 2005. The female here (picture 2) is a particularly nice portrait Picture 2

Male Grey Wagtail - Will Bowell Maxey Gravel Pits, 24th March 2005. Grey Wagtails seem to be much commoner in Cambs than they were in the past Picture 2

Green Woodpecker - Jim Lawrence Grafham, 23rd March 2005. Great portrait of a now very common bird

Drake Red-crested Pochard - Jim Lawrence Paxton, 19th March 2005. This bird was energetically courting a duck Mallard. They may be paired, or perhaps the ardent RCP was just in amorous pursuit of the Mallard as opposed to having cemented a relationship. (JL)

Meadow Pipits - Jim Lawrence Grafham, 20th March 2005. These two shots, taken in similar light conditions from the same angle, show the enormous variability between Meadow Pipits at this time of year. The first, rather smarter (fresher plumaged?) bird is quite warm toned with a rich buffy breast and generally much browner tones to its plumage. The second is particularly pale grey toned with frosty edges to many of the crown and mantle feathers (JL) Picture 2

Male Reed Bunting - Jim Lawrence Grafham, 20th March 2005. Cock Reed Buntings achieve breeding plumage by late winter moult of selective head feathers and by abrading the frosty pale tips to last year's feathers. There are one or two pale tips still to be abraded to reveal the pure black face and crown whilst the greater coverts and tertials are old and heavily abraded. This individual can probably be aged as a 2CY by its pointed tail feathers (JL)

Male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - Mike Weedon Woodwalton Fen, 20th March 2005. Pretty good getting a shot like this these days

Male Reed Bunting - Mike Weedon Ferry Meadows, 18th March 2005. Probably born last year,as it is yet to complete its moult);

Dunnock - Mike Weedon Ferry Meadows, 18th March 2005. Underestimated and under appreciated are Dunnocks);

Male Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit - Mike Weedon Nene Washes, 20th March 2005. Cracking birds at this time of year);

Mystery bird - Mike Weedon March 2005. No, it's not an octopus. Picture 2 will reveal some more); Picture 2

1st winter Caspian Gulls - Dick Newell Long Drove, 22nd and 23rd March 2005. These 2 birds on successive days seem to be female and male (also a 2nd winter and adult present on 22nd) Picture 2

Male Grey Wagtail - Brian Stone Maxey Cut, 21st March 2005. It is worth looking for Grey Wagtails around any weir or lock now

Scandinavian Rock Pipit - Neal Parkin Paxton Pits, 20th March 2005. The greyish head, and supercilium might suggest Water Pipit, but the overall grey tone of the bird with a yellowish cast to the underparts indicates Scandinavian Rock Pipit, coming into summer plumage

Male and female Common Scoter - Neal Parkin Paxton Pits, 20th March 2005. Two birds taking an overland short-cut

Female Stonechat - Mike Weedon Nene Washes, 6th March 2005. Smashing little bird

Barn Owls - Dick Newell Landbeach, Cambridge, 4th March 2005. This is the kind of view we get in our kitchen of our garden Barn Owls: female on the left, male on the the right Picture 2

Waxwings - Phil Wigglesworth Northfield's Avenue, Cambridge, 4th March 2005. More nice portraits of the Northfield Avenue Waxwings Picture 2

Waxwing - Mark Ward Northfield's Avenue, Cambridge, 3rd March 2005. This bird is from a flock of 26 now

Waxwing - Jim Lawrence Eynesbury Tesco Car Park, 3rd March 2005. Although Guelder Rose seems to be a favorite food at this time of year, this berry seems to be whitebeam (sorbus sp.)

Treecreeper - Jim Lawrence Woodwalton Fen, 3rd March 2005. Good reference picture of a common bird

Female Lesser Redpoll - Jim Lawrence Woodwalton Fen, 3rd March 2005. This particular bird is quite tricky to distinguish from Mealy (Common) Repoll

Thrushes - John Oates Lode, 1st March 2005. This is not quite a like-for-like comparison as it shows a 1st winter Song Thrush and an adult Mistle Thrush - on John's garden fence Picture 2

Red Fox Cambridge, February 2005. A mammal for a change: this fox visits a friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous, every night for a snack

Waxwing - Chris Martin Northfield's Avenue, Cambridge, February 2005. We have had less than our fair share of these this winter Picture 2

Bullfinch - Darren Frost Needingworth, 13th February 2005 - Good portraits of very shy birds - male and female. They are remarkably small-billed compared to the invading eastern Bullfinches last autumn); Picture 2

Tree Sparrow - Simon Stirrup Ouse Washes, February 2005. Inspired shot of this now scarce bird

Male Sparrowhawk - Maggie Morton Maggie's garden, 20th February 2005. An increasingly frequent garden spectacle now - a mixed blessing for some

Sawbills - Jim Lawrence River Welland, 16th February 2005 - This handsome drake Red-breasted Merganser joined a drake and two duck Goosanders one of which is shown in Picture 2 Picture 2

Goldcrest - Garth Peacock Swavesey Gravel Pits, 15th February 2005. Garth did well to get this shot of a very active (presumed female) Goldcrest Adult Mediterranean Gull - Josh Jones Grafham, 5th February 2005 - This is a difficult bird to get good photos of in Cambs Picture 2

Yellow-legged Gulls - Jim Lawrence Grafham, 12th February 2005 - 1st winter (2CY) and 2nd winter (3CY) - easy to pick out when you know how Picture 2

Long-tailed Tits - Jim Lawrence Arrington, 12th February 2005 - photogenic little fellars Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Fallow Deer - Jim Lawrence Wimpole, 3rd February 2005. Nice for a change - this group includes 2 white hinds

Grey Partridge - Jim Lawrence Wimpole, 3rd February 2005. I wish there were more of these about

Goldcrest - David Hopkins Witcham, January 2005. Just how often do Goldcrests feed on peanuts?);

Fieldfare - David Hopkins Witcham, January 2005. It's not often that you see thrushes other than Blackbirds demonstrating albinism (or is it leucism or schizochroism?));

Marsh Tit - Garth Peacock Paxton, 26th January 2005. Given the previous educational shots by Richard Broughton, might we guess that this is a female?);

Water Rail - Mike Weedon Peterborough, 31st January 2005. Lovely portraits of an elusive bird Picture 2 Picture 3

Kingfisher - Michael Lawrence Fowlmere, January 2005. These are gorgeous Picture 2 Picture 3

Bridled Guillemot - Jim Lawrence Pymore Bridge, 29th January 2005. Bridled Guillemots are more common in more northerly populations Picture 2 Picture 3

2CY Caspian Gull - Dick Newell Butt Lane, Milton, 28th January 2005. Now do you doubt that these things are easy to pick out. Not a bad shot for 1/20th second on a gloomy day. Picture 2 is a different bird taken on 7th February at Long Drove) Picture 2

Drake Smew - Jim Lawrence Far Fen Lake, Fen Drayton, 26th January 2005. Nice shot of a local speciality

Great Grey Shrike - Jim Lawrence Wimpole, 26th January 2005. I'm not sure pictures of this bird are going to get much better than this

Nuthatch - Will Bowell Bluebell Wood, Ferry Meadows, 26th January 2005. Nice portraits of a cracking bird Picture 2

White-tailed Eagle - Richard Patient Ouse Washes, 22nd January 2005. This was obviously some bird Picture 2

3CY Yellow-legged Gull - Dick Newell Milton, 25th January 2005. The white head with fine head streaking, eye-shadow and shape of the bird are the give-aways here Picture 2

Adult leucistic Herring Gull - Dick Newell Milton, 25th January 2005. This looked like a white-winged gull in flight, but no real risk of confusion with Kumlien's Gull

2nd winter Iceland Gull - Kevin Durose Star Pit, Peterboroough, 16th January 2005. Although you can't see the wing-tips, the distinctiveness of Iceland Gull is evident here

Great Grey Shrike - Jim Lawrence Wimpole, 22nd January 2005. Another good shot of this long stayer

White-tailed Eagle - Jim Lawrence Ouse Washes, 22nd January 2005. Terrific shot of this bird in the right context

Woodcock - Katie Fuller Ferry Meadows, 22nd January 2005. Stunning bird in the hand

Water Rail - Michael Lawrence Fowlmere, 19th January 2005. Skulking bird on the run

Kingfisher - Michael Lawrence Fowlmere, 19th January 2005. Another one for next years Christmas card

Fieldfare - Michael Lawrence Fowlmere, 19th January 2005. Always good value when they pose like this

White-tailed Eagle immature - Bruce Martin Ouse Washes, 20th January 2005. An atmospheric shot of the first bird of this species recorded in several decades

Red-necked Grebe - Terry Simms Ham Lane, Ferry Meadows, 14th January 2005. More portraits of this lovely bird Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

Red-necked Grebe - Simon Stirrup Ferry Meadows, 13th January 2005.  The same individual that was present in December.  An approachable and well watched bird, although its age is a matter of debate

Sparrowhawk (male) - David Heath Cambridge, 12th January 2005.  This handsome bird was perched in the garden for 30 minutes

Hawfinch - Brian Stone Ham Lane, Ferry Meadows, 5th January 2005. Good records shots of what remains a very rare bird in the county Picture 2 Picture 3

Adult Caspian Gull - Dick Newell Milton, 4th January 2005. This bird just about has everything you could ask for - white head, small beady eye, slender bill, straw legs, long primaries. The bill, however, is a little bit brighter than some Picture 2

Dartford Warbler - Dick Newell Landbeach, 2nd January 2005. Record shot of a very skulking bird. This bird will be the 4th county record. Picture 2 shows 2 more Record shots by Jonathan Heath Picture 2

Dunnock - Dick Newell Landbeach, 1st January 2005. This is a practice shot taken while waiting for a Dartford Warbler which did not show up

Marsh Tit - Richard Broughton Monks Wood, Richard provided the following notes to go with these educational pictures: The first 2 pictures show a male and female 1st winter, taken on Dec 15th 2004. Of particular interest is the difference between the sizes of the black chin/throat between the sexes - this is much larger on the male. While this feature is not conclusive on its own, it is fairly indicative of sex. Pictures 3 and 4 show the caps of an adult and a juvenile, taken in August 2004, which clearly shows the difference in the colour and gloss of the cap between juveniles and adults, and is a very useful aid to ageing until the juveniles complete body moult in Aug/Sept Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

 


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