Featured (UK) Bird Blogger of the Week~FAB

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by dAwN FiNe on March 4, 2011 · 0 comments

in Birding Western Palearctic

Howdee all,

Welcome friends to week 17 of…Drum roll please…..

~Featured Bird Blogger of the Week~

This week we cyber-travel to the  ninth largest island in the world, to visit our featured Bird Blogger Frank Boxell of The Early Birder. Frank started blogging just over two years ago following a chance meeting with a wildlife photographer and blogger who needed ID confirmation of a Sparrowhawk image she had taken. So glad that happened, as Frank has a wonderful, informative blog! I really like Franks use of photo Collages in his posts. Franks blog is not just about birds, he photographs scenery, mammals and other critters as he is out birding. Frank has a second blog devoted to his photos called FAbirding.  Frank only recently started using a DSLR after beginning this blog. If you want to see Franks camera set ups check out this link.

During Franks final 14 years of employment he was able to enjoy his hobby and pass on his knowledge and enthusiasm for birding to visitors when co-leading seasonal bird walks at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden at Wisley.

Read more about Frank in his own words…..

From an early age I loved exploring the heathland,  woodland and farmland close to my birth place on the Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire borders. While I have always taken an interest in wildlife the ‘birding bug’ didn’t really kick off until the late 80’s during holidays to the North Norfolk coast and when ever possible I continue to make annual visits, often in the winter months, to enjoy its

Frank Boxell

spectacular wader and wildfowl encounters.

I am basically self-taught and a well thumbed copy of the Collins Bird Guide, with its personalized pencil sketch and inscription by Killian Mullarney, travels with me all the time. I have been fortunate to meet some very experienced birders and undoubtedly some of their knowledge has rubbed off but I still continue to learn day by day.

The name ‘The Early Birder’ came about during regular birding days out with a small group of friends as I would always be the first on site and have logged a reasonable list long before they arrived plus I enjoy the early hours when my quarry is less likely to be distracted.

Having now retired, a little earlier than planned, I enjoy daily birding through the window;  taking a leisurely stroll around a local patch or to one of the many varied habitats within my land locked home county of Surrey (UK)  plus occasional coastal trips further afield.

Franks Digiscope setup

Birding and photography sometimes creates conflicting issues for me but the latter has also renewed my interest in other wildlife including Butterflies and Dragonflies. This also lead me to create a separate blog called ‘FABirding’ to showcase specific images from time to time.

Whenever appropriate I try to communicate my wildlife experiences through words but the more recent ownership of a modest DSLR set up has reawakened a desire to capture more relevant images and hopefully convey my mantra;  ‘all wildlife is precious and I endeavor to enjoy every moment’.
Please enjoy these featured posts…click on the links to go to the original post.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010
The Ice Walker.
“Now from my previous encounters with this species during the winter months it certainly has no fear of walking on frozen water. Those lobed feet act like suction pads and the sharp toes are probably better than a pair of crampons so you rarely see a Coot slipping and sliding like many of the ducks and gulls.”
Dawn says…These Feet are made for Ice walking?..check out the post to see how the Coot fares on the ice.
Saturday, 6 June 2009
Blue Tits Breeding Success
“At this stage the youngsters are just happy to sit upright for their daily meals but as they grow they will soon adopt the acrobatic feats of their parents … readily hanging upside down to glean insects etc. from the undersides of leaves.”
Dawn says..Sweet photos of the Blue Tit and its young…
Monday, 17 May 2010
New Life on the Pond.
“Anticipating that this might present an opportunity for some shots I promptly headed around the pond to where I hoped they may haul out of the water to feed and for once my hunch paid off.”
Dawn says….Who can resist photos like this?…check out the post for more delightful Gosling photos.
Saturday, 23 October 2010
Great Crested Grebe.
“Its typical relaxed pose is with the head and bill pointed downwards. (Reminded me of of someone peering over their spectacles perched on the end their nose!)  The Great Crested Grebe is common sight on inland lakes, reservoirs and rivers plus large numbers congregate along our coasts in winter.”
Dawn says….a beautiful bird! …check out the post for more photos!
Friday, 19 February 2010
Hunters Eyes.
“This predator whilst a specialist in catching woodland birds can be found in many varied habitats not least trying its luck in hunting down garden birds. This hawk’s hunting behaviour has often brought it into conflict with humans particularly racing pigeon owners and it has also been blamed for the decreases in passerine populations. My own unscientific view is that if there is a thriving Sparrowhawk population then there must also be a substantial population of its natural prey … natures balance. ”
Dawn says….Wow! This fella visited Franks garden, providing a great photo shoot…check it out!
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Norfolk – Geese Gathering.
“There is stillness around me, the temperature is falling, my breath lingers momentarily before being whipped away by the chilling breeze. My inner voice says “why the hell are you doing this when you could be enjoying a welcoming open fire, a hot meal and a warming beverage?” …. but that will have to wait, because as the light improves, my ears pick up the distant but unmistakeable ‘yak-ak-ak’ sounds that travel miles in the quiet of the onsetting dusk. The volume of ‘yakerting’ increases noticeably second after second and from afar my eyes discern the V shaped skeins heading towards me.”
Dawn says….What bird lover wouldn’t brave the cold for this display?…go inside the post for more photos…Wish I was there!
Thursday, 8 April 2010
Sylvia Singing.
“The song, often confused with the Garden Warbler, starts with a noticeably mumbling, uncertain beginning then switches to a rich fluty warble with a very strong whistling finish. Like other Sylvia warblers it also produces a variable sub-song of squeaky rasping sounds including immitations of it’s cousins. ”
Dawn says…Want to learn more about this Warbler? Go to this post for great info and a song!
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
Thwarted by an Egyptian.
“I was quietly minding my own business on one corner of the larger pond trying to crouch down behind some grass tussocks without getting my knees totally soaked in the yards of sticky mud in an effort to get some low water shots of a single Black-headed Gull feeding when the first of two interlopers decided to intervene. ”
Dawn says….Just another goose looking for a handout?…Read more about this goose and its history when you click on the link.
Monday, 26 April 2010
Magical Mallard Moments.
Dawn says….Splishy splashy …splishy splashy…Very cool shots! Go inside to see what I mean…:)
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Flutter Roundup (Part 1).
“Many years ago I occasionally went birding with a very dour Scotsman who took a keener interest in butterflies than the birds. During the summer months I have often recalled a comment he made to me during a stroll around the countryside …. “When the birding activity drops away in summer you should switch to chasing butterflies … there are only 59 resident species in the UK … far smaller list than all the birds. ”
Dawn says….A Great way to pass time in the summer when the birds aren’t around….and even when they are! So beautiful…go to the post for more lovely Butterflies!

I hope you enjoyed Franks blog aka FAB and visit often…

Please keep those emails coming with suggestions of Birding Blogs you would like to see featured here. Nobbiecat(@)gmail(.)Com

Don’t forget to leave a comment. Bloggers love feedback.

Happy Birding!

All permissions for this post and photos were given by Frank Boxell


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