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Skomer Part 1 - The first voyage

A Manx Shearwater I have recently returned from my annual pilgrimage to the island of Skomer, having enjoyed a fabulous three days of birding along the Pembrokeshire coastline with my "Three Amigo" friends Paul and Nicola. We had been planning for the trip for ages. Leading up to our trip the days, hours and seconds seemed to pass ever so slowly. It's then just typical once you end up going on your trip it seems to be over way too quickly - time certainly flies when you are enjoying yourself and in good company. This year we had  arranged three boat trips through Pembrokeshire Boat Trips Day 1 - Seabird Spectacular Day 2 - Skomer Day 3 - Grassholm I have decided to write three blog posts documenting the trip and this is the first one to kick things off. The First Voyage. The weather forecast was looking rather dodgy for the weekend with high winds and rain predicted. Thankfully the dreaded North winds were not expected so there was a very good chance that most of the boat

Garden Feeding Station invaded by finches

Up until a few weeks ago I had only ever caught a glimpse of Siskins when they were feeding at the top of tall alder trees. The pictures I had in my collection were always at distance and cropped heavily.

That was then, now I have too many pictures to choose from. My garden has been invaded by a flock of up to 9 individual birds. Its started with two visiting, then three and since the bad weather the flock has grown in numbers. They absolutely love two types of feeds - sunflower hearts and niger seeds,

A Goldfinch started to accompany them initially but there numbers have grown now to 4 . The Goldfinches seem to be quite happy to share the feeders with the Siskins.

The birds making up the flock of Siskins , whilst very sociable they have clear flock rules on who can feed with you. Any breaking of these rules results in a good squabble. I have noticed that the males seem to obey the rules more, but females frequently get into fights with each other and some male birds.

They make good watching and their disputes always make a good photo opportunity. I have been trying to capture the moment they have a fight so I can get some movement in my photos showing behavior rather than the usual stationary perch shot.

Its a battle to get the pictures I am striving for ,as I shoot through double glazing and the light has been poor this weekend with it often raining, so it has meant the ISO has steadily ramped up and sharpness suffers.

I made do with the opportunities I had.

A Chaffinch made an appearance this weekend - that's my first sighting in the garden this year. A nice male came by in the rain.

Today I was really pleased to see a pair of Bullfinch start dining at my feeders.
Beautiful birds and if things work out last year they will now become regulars.


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