Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Around the Patch

The first juvenile Starlings appeared in the garden about two weeks ago and they soon figured out the feeder, they're constantly attached to it at the moment!

In fact the Sparrows are also constant visitors too....

Though they spend a lot more time at the bird bath....

Occasionally the Starlings do too

There are a couple of young Sparrows that have fledged but so far i've not seen them venture out of the bushes behind the garden.

For the adult Sparrows our front garden is a haven it seems at the moment, with the bird bath and the fact i've done little gardening there recently so things have been left to go a little wild, the lavender is filling the border but it's full of dandelions, columbine and various other self seeded plants.

The Sparrows spend a lot of time picking at the plants.

We've had the odd visit from Great and Blue Tits, Goldfinch, Magpies and Blackbirds but mostly it's the Starlings and Sparrows that seem to have taken up residence.

Collared Doves and Woodpigeons have started making frequent appearances again, they've been few and far between over the past couple of months so it's good to see them.

A squirrel spent half hour sat on the feeder earlier this month, the first in a while though it's not been back since.

With the days being so warm we've been able to leave the patio doors open until late in the evening, so i've had fantastic views of Pipistrelle Bats flying low around the garden every night at dusk. Amazing to watch. As i've watched for bats a couple of times a Fox has appeared at the gate at the back of the garden, some lovely moments of eye contact before it disappears back off behind the houses. A bit nicer than the usual barking that wakes me up at 2am in a morning.

Last night I watched the Hedgehog clear up the food under the feeder and take a drink out of the water dish we've put down.

Elsewhere we discovered that Blue Tits have nested in the old bridge again at the end of my street, there's a small hole in the bricks almost at head height and they were making a lot of noise in there this morning.

In the park on the way to work I see Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Rooks, Crows, Blackbirds, Thrush, Magpies and recently a very tiny recently fledged Wren being fed by an adult. I also spotted a family of Goldfinch too.

In the woods the young Robin is growing up quick though the parents are still quite jumpy around it. A Peacock butterfly was sunning itself. The flora has grown a great deal since my last visit on the Big Day.

30 Days Wild starts tomorrow and i'm hoping to have a walk through the woods before work, depending on the weather!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

North Cave Wetlands

We spent a few hours at the Wetlands on Saturday morning, apart from getting caught in a brief downpour just before we left it was really hot and sunny.

First things first though, we got bacon sandwiches cafe there and watched the Acovets as we ate, a couple of Mallards and Sparrows were around our feet and there are signs up saying not to feed the birds!

I'd seen on twitter that a Little Gull and Mediterranean Gull have been seen on the lake and I managed to pick out the Med Gull from the Turret hide amongst all the BH Gulls, no luck with the Little though.

We also saw Herring and Common Gulls, Little Egret, Shoveler, Shelduck, Greylag Geese, Pochard, Common Tern, Oystercatcher, Lapwing amongst others.

This Rook was taking a drink from the pond.

As we watched Dragonflies in the grass by the maize field my daughter walked ahead and came across a Green Woodpecker on the path in front of her! By the time she had got our attention it had flown across to the other side of the field, too far for my camera but it lingered on a fence post in the sun for a while so we got good views before it flew down into the grass. This Woodpigeon wasn't quite as flighty though.

My husband saw a Grass Snake but by the time I got there with the camera it had gone. I've yet to see a snake in the wild in the UK!

There were plenty of Butterflies about, we saw Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Peacock, Orange-Tip, Small White, Common Blue and also Carpet and Burnet moths. Most stayed on the wing but I caught a couple.

The Dragonflies were pretty flighty too today but a gentleman pointed out this one that kept settling in the same spots as it flew around one of the ponds, just stunning!

Four Spotted Chaser

Then this one, which perched nearby, some help on the ID and I'm told this is a Teneral Blue-Tailed Damselfly. I looked up Teneral, which i'd not heard before and found it means an insect which has recently moulted. It's always good to learn something new!

There were lots of Beetles and Ladybirds in the grass too.

Seven Spot Ladybird

Soldier Beetle

This one was my absolute favourite, we saw a few around. I knew it was a Longhorn and again a little help with the id and it's a Golden-Bloomed Grey Longhorn!

From the Turret hide we watched a Kestrel hunting and saw Little Ringed Plovers running around. Avocets chased off a Great Blacked Back Gull, which looked like it had something in it's mouth. 

The Gulls were all waiting on the lake at the opposite side of the hide! The Gulls were in various states of plumage so I figure the photo's I took here will be great to practice my ID skills on......