Dec 222017

This winter there has been a small invasion of Parrot Crossbills into the UK and at least 12 birds have arrived in Derwent Dale, Derbyshire. Larger and much bulkier with a heavier bill and a metallic “chup chup” call helps to tell them apart from the more usual Common Crossbill. There was a flock of at least 31 birds today, which included about 12 Parrot Crossbill. Despite ideal conditions, the birds were reluctant to come down to a favoured watering hole and spent most of their time feeding in surrounding pine trees, making photography rather difficult to say the least. I did manage to connect with a few that were in smaller trees surrounding the car park at the bottom of the track. Hopefully a few more visits may pay off with better photo opportunities.

Parrot Crossbill – adult male above 2 images – Derwent Dale, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

Parrot Crossbill – female type – Above 2 images – Derwent Dale, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

Most probably a Common Crossbill – Derwent Dale, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©



 Posted by at 10:28 pm
Dec 152017

During late autumn, early winter this year (2017), there has been an unprecedented arrival of Hawfinch into Britain, with most arriving from Eastern Europe. Birds are well spread throughout the UK and as far as Derbyshire is concerned, the Hawfinch is classified as a scarce resident. So it was inevitable that sooner or later, birds would begin to arrive in the county and in places where they are not normally recorded. A small party was discovered in Darley Dale, north of Matlock and these birds seemed a good bet. On route to Darley Dale this morning, Richard and I stopped off via Radbourne, in the south of Derbyshire and eventually found what I think is a male. I did exceptionally well to find this bird let alone photograph it, as the area the bird was feeding in was extremely difficult for photography. Not the best picture of a Hawfinch, but a result for now.

Hawfinch – probably a male – Radbourne, South Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

 Posted by at 9:10 pm
Dec 122017

The past few days have seen some heavy snow, resulting in 5 -10cms across Derbyshire, the worst snow conditions for a number of years. On the 8th December I made a trip up to Derwent Dale, as there had been a flock of Parrot Crossbill regularly visiting an area of open woodland near “Windy Corner”. Conditions were freezing cold and heavy snow had fallen making driving conditions along the road into Derwent Dale very hazardous. After several hours of waiting, the flock of 12 Parrot Crossbills put in a very brief appearance. The Parrots provided me with a long awaited county tick and put my 2017 year list on 241.

In recent days, heavy snow caused further hazardous driving conditions, so I stayed local this past weekend and tried my hand at photographing some of the common birds in the snow. 

Moving forward into 2018, I will be reducing the number of BLOG Posts, posting only on highlights of the year. My Image Galleries will hold regular updates, along with my FLICKR Site. 

Mistle Thrush – This bird was protecting it’s favoured Yew Tree from other birds invading it. I just had to wait and eventually it posed for the camera – A little belter – Tony Davison©

Robin – This little Christmas “Bobby Dazzler” just sat and posed for me in the snow. Trying to keep at least one foot warm! – Tony Davison©


Black-headed Gull – above 3 images of adults in winter plumage – Tony Davison©

Blackbird – above 2 of a female on Yew – Tony Davison©

Blackbird – male on Yew – Stunning blue winter sky in strong late morning sunshine produced some dramatic colours – Tony Davison©

Greylag Geese – above 2 images – Tony Davison©

Moorhen – above 2 images – The late morning sunshine and blue sky produced some dramatic colours on the snow, turning it pink, purple and blue

Woodpigeon – Trying to keep warm in the late morning sunshine – Tony Davison©



 Posted by at 8:37 pm
Nov 272017

Spent a few hours recent at one of South Derbyshire’s prime spots – Willington Gravel Pits and also at Melbourne Pool. A few good photo opportunities presented themselves. 

Kingfisher – above 3 images – Willington GP, Derbyshire – Tony Davison© – This is a male as there is no orange to the base of the bill.

Water Rail – above 2 images – Willington GP – Tony Davison© – Seems to be a good year for this species.

Great White Egret – a bonus, as this bird flew past the hide in the early morning autumn sunshine. Tony Davison©

Great Crested Grebe – above 3 images – Willington GP, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

Black-headed Gull – adults in winter plumage – Melbourne Pool, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

Black-headed Gull – first winter – Melbourne Pool, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

Great Black-backed Gull – 1st winter – Wllington GP, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

Moorhen – Willington GP, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

Moorhen – Melbourne Pool, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©

 Posted by at 2:34 pm
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