Sunday, 11 October 2020

October Already!

I'm not sure what happened to September, it's been a mad flurry of painting, flooring and finishing! I've been able to unpack all my books onto my new shelves (with my nature books taking up the top shelf and spreading to the 2nd!) and can finally sit down in my spare time. This also means I'll be able to venture out again!

Today we headed to Collingham to try and spot a Hoopoe that has made it's home around the cricket pitch over the past couple of weeks - it wasn't difficult to find, we could spot the ring of birders/photographers from the road with the bird putting on quite a show in the middle, it doesn't seem too bothered by people. We stood at the back and watched a while as it ate a lot and stretched a couple of times showing off it's crest. It's a life bird for me and the first time one has been recorded in Leeds in 40 years. 

We had a quick walk in Beck Wood nearby afterwoods, it has a picnic area by the river Wharfe and then a path follows the beck around by the houses - it reminded me our local woods and even had Nuthatch!

Of course my garden wildlife is going strong and we've added a new species to the list with a Common Frog. Not in our little pond but hiding in a mossy gap in the wall nearby, I accidentally disturbed it when I was tidying up the ivy - luckily I'm always careful as it's full of bugs and I don't like to cut too much! I didn't get a photo but it's enough to know there's at least one around!

One of our Hedgehog brought two youngsters into the garden, the first time we've been able to say for sure they had babies, no doubting it with the size of them, they have been feeding up nicely for winter. At one point we were getting 6 in the garden at dusk now we're seeing 2 or 3. 

The Goldfinch have been feeding young right into September and are now gathering in charms every day, we've had up to 27 at once, which is a record. A Greenfinch has snuck in with them on the feeders a few times too. We've had Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers passing through, they fly with the Tit flocks and always seem to pull up short in confusion at the feeders! Coal Tits have also given us a new record with 5 appearing together a few times but recently they seem to spend more time chasing each other off. 


Chiffchaff - not easy to photograph, they never stay still!

Some of the many Goldfinch

One of the squirrels discovered the window feeder and sits at it like it's at a breakfast bar! They have been burying nuts everywhere including all the plant pots and even in the ivy at the side of the gate.

We've had a few visits to the Woods finally seeing a Nuthatch last month, I thought they had abandoned the place after not seeing one since December.  This past week or so there has been a lot of Fungi appearing.

A sugar water feeder by the bird screen

I saw lots of these on the nettles, i'm not quite sure what they are Ladybird larvae maybe?




I'm on the look out now for Redwings, especially on my way to work, the local park is always home to a doesn't seem that long ago I was watching for Swifts though.......

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Bits and Pieces

We're still not getting out much at the moment with one thing and another (including a plaster disaster in the house, which has set back our renovations!) so this is just a bit of a mixed post. We did escape for a day to Southport, somewhere we've never been, the dull weather kept most folks away at first so when it got busy as the sun came out we headed home! I saw my only Gatekeeper of the year there and we watched a Sparrowhawk get mobbed by some House Martins, it had one in it's claws!

There were plenty of young Gulls to test my ID skills with at some point.

This one I know is a Black-headed




I'm not sure what this flock is Dunlin maybe?

In the woods there have been quite a few young birds, Woodpigeons, Chiffchaff, Magpies, Robins and the Collared Doves have done well. 

Ladybird Larvae 

Great-spotted Woodpecker


Young Magpie

Young Robin

Speckled Wood

Peacock Butterfly Caterpillars

At home we still haven't mowed the front lawn and the Ragwort has been full of Cinnabar Moth caterpillars, they are making short work of the plants. The Goldfinch and Sparrows have also been hanging in the Ragwort too. The Sparrows have had a lot of late or second broods as some have still been feeding young, the Buddleia outside the window is full of Sparrows all day long. Mostly we've just left the garden to the bugs and birds this year, my husband thinks it's a bit scruffy but just today whilst I was cleaning out the bird bath a lady stopped to tell me that she loves watching all the birds in the garden when she walks past, that made me quite happy! Though I think we are going to try and get a sign for next year saying it's a no mow lawn!

House Sparrows


Swallowtail Moth

At the back the Starling flocks have quietened down and we're just getting a few each day. All the usual Tits are around and we're getting the migrating Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers passing through the garden as we usually do at this time of year. We've had male and female Blackcaps too. The Squirrels have been burying nuts all over the gardens and on an evening we've had up to 6 Hedgehogs, a new garden record, i'm so pleased they seem to be doing so well on our little patch. 

I watched this spider wrap up the fly


Long-tailed Tit

Young Greenfinch

Sleepy Squirrel


We've had a few Butterflies, not as many as usual but the weather has been a bit dull and damp and when it has been sunny i've been at work. 


Small Tortoiseshell

Meadow Brown 


This Small Tortoiseshell spent a good half hour or so chasing this Peacock around

Red Admiral

Small White 

The end is in sight with the diy now so hopefully towards the end of next month we can get out properly!