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28th July :

Rudyard Res - Caspian Tern »

27th July :

Venus Pool - Little Egret »

26th July :

Rudyard Res - Caspian Tern »

25th July :

Venus Pool - Little Egrets »

23rd July :

Venus Pool - Blackwits x 10 »

20th July :

Chelmarsh - Water Rail »

8th July :

Wood Lane - Blackwits x 10 »

7th July :

Wood Lane - Med Gulls »

6th July :

Wood Lane - Med Gulls »

22nd June :

Tiln, Notts - Melodious Warbler »

16th June :

Venus Pool - Common Tern »

11th June :

VenusPool - Carganey x 2 »

10th June :

Darnford Brook - Pied Flys »

1st June :

Lochindorb - Red Grouse with young »

31st May :

Ythan est - King Eider »

30th May :

Cairngorm - Ptarmigan »

29th May :

Lochindorb - Golden Plover / Red Grouse »

28th May :

Aviemore - Osprey fishing »

27th May :

Scotland - various »

25th May :

Lochindorb - Osprey »

22nd June 2012 :

New Brighton - Little Swift »

5th June 2012 :

Aldbrough - European Roller »

April 10th 2011 :

Earl's Hill - Snow Bunting »

April 3rd 2011 :

Titterstone Clee - Wheatears fighting »

April 2nd :

Titterstone Clee - Wheatears »

March 28th :

Whixall Moss - Common Crane »

March 27th :

Broadsands - Cirl Buntings »

March 25th :

Venus Pool - Lapwings »

March 20th :

Burrow Hill - Great Grey Shrike »

March 9th :

Rainton Meadows - Mealy Redpolls »

March 7th :

South Ferriby - Rough legged Buzzard »

March 6th :

Venus Pool - Corn Buntings »

February 27th :

Venus Pool - Waders »

February 6th :

Mumbles - Mediterranean Gulls »

January 31st :

Stubbers Green - Iceland Gull »

January 29th :

Ryder's Mere - Black-throated Diver »

January 28th :

Shrewsbury - Goosanders »

January 23rd :

Whixall Moss - Short-eared Owl »

Jan 22nd :

Trench Pool - Glaucous Gull »

Longnor- Dippers »

January 21st :

Venus Pool - Ruddy Shelduck »

January 19th :

Venus Pool - Gadwall »

January 18th :

Shrewsbury - Waxwings »

January 17th :

Polemere - Pink-footed Goose »

January 9th :

Fairhaven lake - Red-necked Grebe »

January 6th :

Shrewsbury - Waxwings »

January 3rd :

Roden - Grey Partridge »

January 2nd :

Shropshire - Tits and Swans »

December 28th :

Cound - Bewick's and Whooper Swans »

December 26th :

Chelmarsh - Common Snipe etc on ice »

December 19th :

Shrewsbury - Waxwings in the snow »

December 18th :

Shrewsbury - Mistle Thrush »

December 12th :

Colemere - Goldeneye»

December 9th :

Shrewsbury - Goosander»

December 7th :

Newport - Waxwings in the frost»

December 4th :

Newport - Waxwings»

November 28th :

Chelmarsh - Common Snipe»

November 20th :

Astbury Mere - Great Northern Diver»

November 19th :

Meole Brace - Bullfinch seedlifter! »

November 11th :

Hollingworth Lake - Pied-billed Grebe »

November 7th :

Newport - Waxwing »

November 6th :

Point of Ayr - Wader flocks »

October 30th:

Venus Pool etc - Barnacle Geese »

October 16th :

Heligan - Green Heron »

October 11th :

Burnham Overy - Pallas's Warbler and Red-flanked Bluetail »

October 11th :

Sheringham - Purple Sandpiper »

October 10th :

Cley Bearded Tit, Shore Lark etc »

October 5th :

Venus Pool - 1st Winter Mediterranean Gull »

October 3rd:

Venus Pool - Black Terns »

September 27th:

Priorslee lake - Common Scoter »

September 23rd:

Venus Pool - Black Tern »

September 23rd:

Upton Warren - Pectoral Sandpiper »

September 22nd:

Turf Hotel - more Spotted Sandpiper »

September 23rd:

Turf Hotel- Spotted Sandpiper »

September 22nd:

Avonmouth - Glossy Ibis »

September 18th:

Fairhaven Lake- Red-necked Phalarope »

September 16th:

New Brighton - Leach's Petrels »

September 12th:

Chelmarsh - Curlew Sandpipers and Dunlin »

September 11th:

Chelmarsh - Curlew Sandpipers »

September 4th:

Titterstone Clee - Kestrel and other birds »

August 31st:

Venus Pool - Redstarts »

August 29th:

Venus Pool - Whiskered Tern »

August 28th:

Titterstone Clee - Wryneck »

August 25th:

Venus Pool - Kingfisher »

August 1st:

Gailey Reservoir - Franklin's Gull »

July 20th:

Venus Pool - Black-tailed Godwits »

July 18th:

Stubbers Green - Yellow-legged Gull »

July 3rd:

Shropshire - Peregrine vs Raven »

June 30th:

Shropshire - Long eared Owls (record shots) »

Jun 26th:

Brandon Marsh - Hobby and Kingfisher »

June 20th:

Upton Warren - Red-necked Phalarope (record shots) »

June 19th:

Longmynd - Spotted Flycatcher »

June 14th:

Chelmarsh - Wood Sandpiper »

June 6th:

Longmynd - Tree Pipit »

June 4th:

Blorenge - Marmora's Warbler »

May 31st:

Venus Pool - Little Egret »

May 30th:

Shropshire - Peregrine in flight »

May 29th:

Venus Pool - Lapwing chick »

May 22nd:

Anglesey - Terns etc »

May 16th :

Frampton Marsh - Oriental Pratincole »

Straw's Bridge - Great Reed Warbler »

May 11th:

Whixall floods - drake Garganey »

May 10th:

Venus Pool - Great crested Grebe »

May 8th :

Arne - Dartford warblers»

May 7th:

Radipole - Garganey »

May 5th :

Clayhanger Marsh - more of the Hoopoe »

May 4th:

Clayhanger Marsh - Hoopoe »

May 4th :

Wood Lane - Bar tailed Godwit »

May 2nd :

Longmynd - Dotterel »

May 2nd :

Black Hill - Tree Pipit »

Apr 30th :

Venus Pool - Dunlin and LRP »

Apr 29th :

Shropshire Gropper »

Apr 23rd :

Paxton - Nightingales »

Apr 18th :

Venus Pool - Dunlin »

Apr 17th :

Venus Pool - Comon Sandpiper »

Apr 17th :

Venus Pool - Cuckoo »

Apr 16th :

Venus Pool - Yellow Wagtails »

Apr 11th :

Venus Pool - Marsh Harrier »

Apr 11th :

Venus Pool - Osprey - even more pics! »

Apr 10th :

Venus Pool - Osprey - take 2 »

Apr 9th :

Venus Pool - Osprey arrival »

Apr 4th :

Venus Pool - Spring migrants »

Apr 3rd :

Corn Buntings »

1st April and Mar 29th:

Titterstone Clee - »

Ring Ouzels! »

Mar 26th :

Hopesay - Great grey Shrike »

Mar 28th :

Broadsands - Cirl Buntings »

Mar 21st :

Leighton Moss - Spotted Redshank »

Green winged Teal »

Birding and Bird Photography from Jim Almond

Welcome to the home page for my world of birds, birding and bird photography. The culmination of a lifelong passion for nature and photography, birding has enabled me to combine the two hobbies to good effect! Whether it's record shots only or images suitable for publication, my motto 'never birding without my camera' usually holds true! Every now and then, opportunities arise to capture unforgettable moments. This Osprey seen on 9th April 2009 snatching a Roach out of Venus Pool for supper keeps reminding me why I do this!!

Osprey at Venus Pool

What's it all about?

I spend much of my free time birding and try to capture 'moments' that were memorable for me and of course, good birds! Shropshire is my 'base' and I always try put together a respectable County list each year. The places I visit and recommend for birding locally can be found in the Shropshire birding sites section. In addition, I travel all around the Country each year in search of yet more good birds!!

My travels are often linked to speaking and I have an ever increasing range of talks suitable for birding, natural history, photographic and general audiences. More details can be found in the lectures page.

My adventures and birding reports, together with Images are constantly being uploaded to the Shropshire Birder blog. This maintains a record of my birding adventures since 2007 and has now attracted over 214,000 vists. There is a wealth of information and imagery here if you have some time to spare! The Blog and Shropshire Birding Sites will hopefully prove useful resources to locals and visitors, experienced birders and newcomers alike...... A selection of images suitable for reproduction or publication can be found in the Gallery This is constantly being updated and still has a long way to go before the 270+ species are represented.

I've placed some of my personal favourite images in the portfolio section and this will be updated from time to time.

Developments.....

I'm working hard on these, the species gallery is developing nicely with 228 of the 300+ species currently available, uploaded! Pages detailing my approach to photography and accounts of my favourite species will happen 'one day' - I just need the time. I might even feature some of my most memorable twitches and days out in a dedicated web page! Do check back to see what's happening, even if you're only using the site at the moment as a springboard to the Blog......

More images inside and on the blog.....

No doubt whatsoever in selecting my personal bird of the month for July 2013. The Rudyard Reservoir Caspian Tern. Two visits provided plenty of images and the second one culminated in Thunderstorm images! Two links for the price of one!.

Caspian Tern Rudyard Res 26 7 13  IMG_7848

Caspian Tern fishing during thunderstorm Rudyard Res 28 7 13  IMG_0312




June 2013 was a quiet month, mostly spent birding on the local scene. Plenty of feeding activity going on as this close up of Pied Flycatcher will testify. Yet another Common Tern was perhaps the most obliging I've encountered at Venus Pool.

Pied Flycatcher male carrying  food  cu Darnford 10 6 13 IMG_8576

Common Tern scratching VP 16 6 13 IMG_9050




A week in Scotland at the end of May 2013 produced some memorable images, including this Ptarmigan running across a snow patch on Cairngorm. A UK lifer was nailed at the Ythan estuary, where the long staying King Eider was photographed at the second attenpt!

Ptarmigan running in snow Cairngorm 30 5 13 IMG_7046

King Eider Ythan estuary 31 5 13 IMG_7471




April 2013 included what will almost certainly be Shropshires bird of the year - a stunning European Bee-eater present near Condover for two days. This stunning summer plumaged Spotted Redshank was present for a few days on a flooded field next to the approach road at Whixall Moss

Bee eater on wire Wheathall 29 4 13 Raw edit IMG_1004

Spotted Redshank leg stretch Whixall floods 16 4 13 Raw edit IMG_8123




Perhaps my birding highlight of March 2013 was a trip to Norfolk which included 'fencing' Black-tailed Godwits at Titchwell. On the way back a whole day was spent at Thetford with otters and of course the long stayingBlack-bellied Dipper!

Black tailed Godwits fighting Titchwell 2 3 13 IMG_5246

Black bellied Dipper on rock Thetford 3 3 13 IMG_6740




February 2013 was mainly about Gulls on the local tips and nearby 'wash and brush up' pools. From so many contenders, here's a 2nd Winter Glaucous Gull at Horsehay Pool plus one of several Caspian Gulls! This 4th Winter Caspian Gull was loafing on the water, also at Horsehay Pool.

Glaucous Gull 2nd winter  Horsehay 27 2 13 IMG_4455

Caspian Gull 4w  Horsehay 13 2 13 MG_3701




The 21st January 2013 saw Polemere NR produce the goods for me during the snowy freeze! First of all, the County lifer Green-winged Teal showed like never before. Then a couple of White-fronted Greese dropped in - another County tick!

Green winged Teal side on  Polemere 21 1 13  IMG_1476

White fronted Goose on water  Polemere 21 1 13  IMG_1759




December 2012 produced a life for me in the form of a showy Buff-bellied Pipit at Queen Mother reservoir. The cold weather at Venus Pool meant there was plenty of carrion for a local Common Buzzard who kept raiding the freezer!

Buff bellied Pipit  Queen Mother reservoir 23 12 12 IMG_6223

 Common Buzzard take off cropped VP 15 12 12 IMG_5718 1_filtered




November 2012 for me was dominated by two species! A Local Black Redstart , the second in a week followed by the start of the Waxwing invasion. I had to settle for Welsh birds initially and the Ruthin / Wrexham Waxwings were the first of many sessions photographing these showy birds. .

Black Redstart on cowshed Cantlop 11 11 12  IMG_1882

Waxwing berry toss Ruthin 17 11 12 IMG_2259




Mediterranean Gulls are one of my favourite birds and an October 2012 visit to South Wales, included a brief session on the Mumbles! Great opportunity for flight photography as thesefirst winter and adult Med Gulls show.

 Mediterraneran Gull 1st  Winter flight  upperwing Bracelet Bay 29 9 12 IMG_0056

Mediterraneran Gull adult 3rd Winter flight upperwing Bracelet Bay 29 9 12  IMG_0377




August 2012 was quiet as ever and Venus Pool was my only port of call whilst recovering from a back injury. A welcome juvenile Garganey plus the local suspects which included two breeding pairs of Little Grebes saved the shutter from siezing up!

Garganey juv VP 13 8 12 IMG_8667

Little Grebe adult with chick passing fish VP 6 8 12 IMG_8063




The highlights of June 2012 were two fantastic lifers! The New Brighton Little Swift which was coupled with the very colourful European Roller at Aldbrough earlier in the month .

 Little Swift New Brighton 22 6 12 IMG_2681

European Roller  Aldbrough 6 6 12 IMG_5646




Most of May 2012 was dominated by a fantastic trip to New England! Impossible to pick the 'best' birds but how about 'little', in the form of this Least Sandpiper in contrast to the 'larger' Little Blue Heron one of several species photographed during the trip. A descriptive talk is already being produced!!

 SB homepage Least Sandpiper White Memorial CC 13 5 12 Img_9891

SB Homepage Little Blue Heron Hammonasset 18 6 12  IMG_0891 1




Two Shropshire lifers in the space of 24 hours proved to be the undoubted highlight of November 2011, firstly an adult Red-throated Diver at Chelmarsh Reservoir, then 15 miles away, an amazing Desert Wheatear at the summit of Titterstone Clee.

Red throated Diver Chelmarsh

Desert Wheatear Titterstone Clee IMG_0740




The highlight of October 2011 was crammed into one afternoon with a lifer Squacco Heron in Notts and County tick Steppe Grey Shrike at Wall Farm.

Squacco Heron Attenborough

Steppe Grey Shrike Wall Farm




September 2011 saw the Covenham American Black Tern getting really close and a Hobby at Chelmarsh gave great entertainment eating Hawker dragonflies!

American Black Tern Covenham Res

Hobby at Chelmarsh




August 2011 was quiet as ever but Venus Pool provided a Spotted Redshank for the County list plus a Green Woodpecker calling out to be photographed!

Spotted Redshank at Venus Pool

Green Woodpacker at Venus Pool




I spent a lots of time chasing insects during July 2011, this Chalkhill Blue and Silver spotted Skipper were lifers amongst many other good finds!....

Chalkhill Blue

Silver Spotted Skipper




Sunny June 2011 provided one of two Red-footed Falcons on one of the wettest days birding I can remember. Then the Hartlepool White throated Robin was a 'just in time' MEGA!....

Spotted Flycatcher

Common Redstart




May 2011 saw star local birds with a group of Dotterel on the Longmynd and amongst the highlights of a trip to Scotland, a pair of Black-throated Divers in Summer plumage at Lochindorb.

Dotterel on the Longmynd

Black throated Diver at Lochindorb




The Longmynd was a great stamping ground in April 2011 for two obliging local birds Grasshopper Warbler and Ring Ouzel......

Grasshopper Warbler

Ring Ouzel




Nearly 500 miles separated these two highlights of March 2011 - Mealy Redpoll in Northumbria and Cirl Bunting in South Devon!

Mealy Redpoll

Cirl Bunting




The birding was none too productive in February 2011 but I never tire of Mediterranean Gulls who provided awesome portraits! Mediterranean Gull

Mediterranean Gull




January was hard work with generally severe Winter weather but a few decent birds on the water were memorable. Firstly a Fairhave Lake Red-necked Grebe followed at Ryder's Mere by a Black-throated Diver .

Red-necked Grebe

Black-throated Diver




Whatever else the year might turn up, December 2010 will be remembered as a Waxwing spectacular in frosty conditions .

Waxwing

Waxwing




November 2010 was generally quiet but I was tempted to travel North for these two obliging birds! Pied-billed Grebe at Hollingworth Reservoir and then Great Northern Diver at Astbury Mere.

Pied-billed Grebe

Great Northern Diver




The highlight of a mid October 2010 trip to Norfolk was a frantic ten minute period which provided these two lifers! Pallas's Warbler closely followed by Red-flanked Bluetail at Burnham Overy dunes.

Pallas's Warbler

Red-flanked Bluetail




September 2010 threw up some great birds and a trip to Devon was crowned by fantastic views of these two! Glossy Ibis at Avonmouth and then Spotted Sandpiper at Exminster Marshes.

Glossy Ibis

Spotted Sandpiper




The last weekend in August 2010 ended on a hight note with two Shropshire 'Megas' in the space of 48 hours! Wryneck on Titterstone Clee then Whiskered Tern at Venus Pool.

Wryneck

Whiskered Tern




No doubt as to the 'Wader of the month' for July 2010 at Venus Pool! Black-tailed Godwits with up to 40 present dominated the scene from the 18th to 22nd....

Black tailed Godwit

Black tailed Godwit




A 'quieter' period in June is the norm but regular local migrants such as Spotted Flycatcher and Common Redstart are always worth seeking out....

Spotted Flycatcher

Common Redstart




A cracking start to May 2010 with Dotterel on the Longmynd and Hoopoe at Clayhanger Marsh in adjacent Staffs.

Dotterel on the Longmynd

Hoopoe at Clayhanger Marsh




Undoubtedly the bird of the month? May 2010's Frampton Marsh Oriental Pranticole will certainly take some beating....

Oriental Pranticole

Oriental Pranticole




Great bird interest at Venus Pool in April 2010 with (in addition to the Osprey), Yellow Wagtails and female Marsh Harrier......

Yellow wagtail at Venus Pool

Marsh Harrier at Venus Pool