Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Garden Babies!

For the want of something more interesting:

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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Mickey Mouse Insects

I have decided to create an Insect blog-page, rather than posting them on here, although I will obviously link it! It is very much in it's early stages and only includes a few Butterflies so far. However, insects are not my forte, so would appreciate any comments and (particularly) corrections!!

See here:

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Shhhh, Shhhh! It's, oh, so quiet! Shh,shh!

...but still the birding is enjoyable, especially capturing nature in action:

And so peaceful until...'s hoping for the next Mega rare!!!

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A Tail of Two Swallows - well a pair anyway!

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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Strumpshaw Swallowtails

Spent a few hours with these beauties today!

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Keeping it Local!

After last weeks shenanigans and a busy few days at home and work, I decided that it was about time to revisit my local area and, yesterday I spent about 7 hours visiting a number of sites within a 10 mile 'line' north of where I live!

It was very rewarding!
Red Kites were seen at two of the three sites they had been present a couple of weeks ago, which was particularly pleasing considering the cloud cover and wind. A pair of Marsh Harriers seem settled, with the maneuverings for a food pass noted (although the pass itself was behind a bush!) It was interesting to see a Common Buzzard actively displaying in an area that I hadn't noted before (although birds have been seen 'passing over' before!) A pair of Hobbies were actively hawking for insects, signs of possible local breeding? Sightings are usually restricted to late summer, where I have presumed they were wandering juvs or non-breeding adults. The long-surviving Harris Hawk was still present.

My first Little Gull (a first summer bird) for the area was found loafing around with Black-headed Gulls (also mainly 1st summers). It was difficult to observe through the trees and impossible to get a picture of! I must try and find out if there is any possibility of access there, anybody know? The local Sand Martin colony was quite active, but seemingly with fewer numbers than previously. Turtle Doves were noticed purring on four occasions, although overlap in numbers was not possible to eliminate.  Another good find was a Nightingale that was singing away mid-morning. Recently I thought I'd heard one in the vicinity, but due to brevity and strong winds I couldn't be sure. It was good to confirm its presence, although, typically with this species in this country, it was very hard to see! I was sure I heard a Firecrest singing briefly, but there was no further sight or sound, so another one past by!  Grey Wagtails were seen at two sites, including an actively singing male. 19 Common Tern were present at one site, with up to 8 sitting on nests. A Common Sandpiper was heard.

A Greylag Goose creche was interesting and it will also be fun finding out what these two ducklings will turn out like, considering their parentage!

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