TonyQ

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Everything posted by TonyQ

  1. We are planning to go the Cape Area of South Africa in November 2018. It will be our first trip to South Africa,so we hope to pick some brains It is not a Safari Trip, though we will look at birds throughout, we hope to see some whales, and will see some wildlife at DeHoop. We are planning: Cape Town 4 nights (Blackheath Lodge) Stanford 2 nights (Mosaic Private Sanctuary) De Hoop 3 nights (Equipped Cottage) Near Plettenberg 2 nights (Emily Moon River Lodge) Near Knysna 2 nights (Woodlands) Montagu 1 night (not decided accomodation yet) Franshoek 1 night (not decided accomodation yet) Fly back to UK. Some Questions 1. Can you recommend a good Car Hire company in Cape Town? We will not drive while staying in Cape Town, but will pick up the car and drive for the rest of the trip. 2. Do you need "High Clearance" for the gravel road going to De Hoop, or will an ordinary car be OK? 3. Should we hire a SatNav, or are there Apps available for IPAD that can be used "off-line"? 4. We would like to hire a Birding Guide for one of our days in the CapeTown area. Has anyone used a Birding Guide, and if so do you have any recommendations? 5 Any restaurants you would recommend in Cape Town? Many thanks!
  2. @Dave Williams By coincidence I saw a Blackcap at our feeder this morning. It didn't stay long enough for me to get a photo! Firecrest - I think you did well to see it. You photo is clear and identifiable, and given how they jump about, I would certainly be pleased with it.
  3. A great thread to follow, with excellent photos. I look forward to your 2018 Big Year!
  4. Good to see you taking part again- the travel plans still give the chance of a decent number! and a very good start.....
  5. So an early start to 2018, as the 2017 Big Year was such fun. All photos are likely to be taken with a Canon 70D and Canon 100-400ii. Pretty well all of them will be at 400mm! New Year's Day had a couple of sunny hours, so we walked up to Swanshurst Park in Birmingham. The first bird in my previous Big Years have been common birds, so this year I will start with: 1. (UK.1). Mute Swan Cygnus olor Swanshurst Park, Birmingham 01.01.2018 One of the heaviest flying birds in the world, it takes some effort to get going.
  6. The BIg Year 2016 was such a positive experience, that I must give it another go in 2017. We have learned a lot about birds in the past year, but are still very much beginners. We don't have any African trips planned, so I expect my overall total to be lower than last year. However I look forward to seeing a few new birds in the UK and hope to get close to last year's UK total. We will have fun trying!
  7. A lovely Tern sequence.
  8. Sorry to hear about your Grandfather. Your photos are beautiful -especially the wildlife in flowers. Great to see the whales and seals, and amazing views from Table Mountain. Already Mel does not sound like a good guide......
  9. @KCAZ I take my photos from my hard disc also, I use Windows 10 but use Firefox as the browser. I don't know if this makes any difference?
  10. @Peter Connan Wow - you have set the bar high with your starter!
  11. @Peter Connan @elefromoz @Treepol @xelas Thank you for your encouragement @Dave Williams Thank you. We have learned that when a bird is about locally - go and see it. I suppose we have also learned when particular birds are likely to be about. When we started we didn't have a clue! @michael-ibk Thank you - and especially for the wagtail information. Most of the Stock Doves we have seen are very shy - we have usually seen them at a distance. The ones in this park seem to be used to people - we saw some here in 2016 quite close, missed them last year but were pleased to get a close view this year. We were able to creep up quite close behind trees while they were feeding (there were three of them). The picture posted was actually at 300mm with minimal cropping. The light was fading so it was high ISO, but less of a problem when not cropping.
  12. @KCAZ you can upload a number of photos using the "click to choose file" button. If you then put the cursor where you want the photo to go, then click on the photo you want, it will appear in that place. so you can paste in a lot of text, but you then place each photo in the text- at least that is how I do it!
  13. 8. (UK.8). Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides Swanshurst Park, Birmingham 01.01.2018 This bird was one of the reasons we chose this park. They are quite unusual in the Midlands, but we saw one on this same lake early in 2017. This individual had been around for a week or so. We were pleased it decided to hang on until 2018!
  14. 7. (UK.7). Pied wagtail Motacilla alba Swanshurst Park, Birmingham 01.01.2018 Swanshurst Park, Birmingham 01.01.2018 They seemed to be a pair, but I find it difficult to work out which is the male and which is the female
  15. 6. (UK.6). Jackdaw Corvus monedula Swanshurst Park, Birmingham 01.01.2018
  16. 5. (UK.5). Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus Swanshurst Park, Birmingham 01.01.2018 Swanshurst Park, Birmingham 01.01.2018
  17. 4. (UK.4). Stock Dove Columba oenas Swanshurst Park, Birmingham 01.01.2018
  18. 3. (UK.3). Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula (m) Swanshurst Park, Birmingham 01.01.2018 (f) Swanshurst Park, Birmingham 01.01.2018
  19. 2. (UK.2). Coot Fulica atra Swanshurst Park, Birmingham 01.01.2018
  20. @michael-ibk @PeterHG @xelas @Peter Connan @Dave Williams Thank you very much
  21. Well done @Peter Connan An excellent selection to finish your Big Year (and to go racing past me!) Superb photos throughout - I have really enjoyed your thread and look forward to your 2018 postings.
  22. A wonderful start to your Big Year. I look forward to seeing 300 Australian birds!
  23. @michael-ibk Thank you for the information. Sorry to hear about your disc- I hope you are being well looked after and that you recover soon. @Thursday's Child also sends her best wishes
  24. Welcome aboard! I look forward to seeing birds from your part of the world
  25. @Dave Williams Great to see you are taking part again - and excellent advice for those considering coming on board. And a lovely Gull to start.

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