Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Out and About

Since we've been back from holiday we've only had chance for a couple of hours out here and there, visiting Rodley Nature Reserve and Fairburn Ings. Though at the moment work is busy, stressful and exhausting, which is not inspiring me to do much of anything right now.

A couple of hours at Rodley and it was a beautiful morning, quite peaceful and nice to escape for a little while.

There were lots of Bees and Hoverflies around, some of them were so laden with pollen, it's a wonder they could fly!

Fairburn the following week was not quite as sunny and I didn't take many photos, it was pretty quiet bird wise but it was still a good morning out and we followed it up with Fish and Chips!

The garden is as busy as ever, sitting watching the birds early morning before anyone else is up is my favourite thing, though the days are getting shorter so it's getting to the point i'm up before the birds now!

We've had lots of moths and butterflies in the garden all summer

Large White


Red Admiral

Our Fuschia looks like it's died off every year but then it comes back bigger than ever

This spider was on this poor bee in record time, spinning it into it's web before eventually carrying it off somewhere, it was fascinating to see.

We've had the odd Sparrowhawk around the garden, i've yet to see one catch anything though!

We always have a few passing Warblers through the garden at this time of year but these past few weeks since August have been the best yet with Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff almost daily and at one point a Whitethroat too, this is only the second one in the garden in all the years we've been here.

Our Magpie family has done well they visit the garden daily now including this beautiful bird below, the photo doesn't capture just how stunning the green on the tail is!


Goldfinch have done well too, lots of youngsters, I ended up having to put an extra feeder out for them, we've had up to 30 in the garden sometimes. 

We're still having visits from 2 or 3 Hedgehogs every night, 2 of them are very small so we think they are youngsters. At least one of the adult ones seems to sleep behind our shed during the day.

Of course we still have a Squirrel though not as often at the moment, which does save on the mess!

I have had a couple of walks in the Woods and parks - of course my walk to work is pretty scenic. There's very much an autumnal feel to everything now, conkers and leaves dropping, a chill early morning and some lovely misty sun too. 

Blackbird sunning itself

Hopefully things at work will ease off over the next few weeks and i'll be out and about a bit more. 

Monday, 2 September 2019

Ramsey Island

On the Monday of our holiday we booked the boat to take us over the Ramsey Island for the day. It's about a ten minute journey from St Justinians and was a lovely smooth trip - and managed to allay my daughters fears of going on a boat again after a bit of a fraught trip elsewhere a few years ago.

Greenfinch near the boat station

Ramsey Island in the distance

Grey Seal greeting us by the island harbour

We were met off the boat by the warden who gave us a talk about the island and where to see the various wildlife. The little shop by the harbour is open around the times the boats arrive and depart the island, it sells drinks, a few snacks and gifts. If you do visit you'll need to bring your lunch with you! There is a boat that goes back around 12 but really if you're arriving by 10am two hours is nowhere near enough time to explore the island. The boats back are about 4pm and I think the day we were there around 40 people were on the island. 

House Martins on the shop

We stopped to use the facilities before heading out on to the island proper. A Red Kite sailed overhead and we saw it on a distant fence post not long after. 

Red Kite

There are still descendants on the island of Red Deer that were farmed here in the 70's, which usually like to hide in the undergrowth, my husband spotted one almost straight away and we did see a few more later from the top of Carn Llundain later in the day.  

Can you spot the Red Deer!

The views were stunning

We saw lots of small birds everywhere we walked - Wheatear, Stonechat, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, there were Swallows, Buzzards, Crows, Ravens and almost straight away we saw our first Choughs, a new bird for me!


Meadow Pipit

South Bishop Lighthouse

On the top of Carn Ysgubor


Walking along the cliff at one point we saw Gulls flying about and realised a few Fulmar were there too, they kept flying out of sight and I only managed a bad shot but I was happy to see these beautiful birds. The views as we walked were just stunning and it was a glorious day, my shots don't quite capture the purple of the heather!

Herring Gull


Several Wheatears seemed to follow us around, often stopping just in front and then flying on a little further. We saw a Peregrine as we started the climb up to Carn Llundain, the only one of the day. The climb up here was worth the sore calves and we sat and ate lunch with the beautiful views surrounded by grasshoppers and Painted Ladies, the latter rarely settled on anything and I struggled to get a photo. 



Red Deer 

Painted Lady

At Porth Lleuog we watched a few Grey Seals on the beach and more in the water around the cliffs. They come here to have their pups and use the caves in the cliffs.

Grey Seals


Meadow Pipit

It was very warm by early afternoon and we actually spotted a couple of Lizards basking in the sun, a first for me, i've never seen a Lizard of any kind in the UK. We saw a couple of the RSPB volunteers just after and they confirmed them to be Common Lizards. Unfortunately they didn't linger once they realised we were there so no photos. 

In the distance as we walked back in the direction of the farmhouse/shop I saw a tiny movement and managed to pick out a pair of Little Owls on a rock, it took a while for my husband and daughter to pick them out, luckily one took flight, which helped! They were too far for a photo of anything other than an smudge on a rock but it was a very nice way to finish our walk.

Two Little Owls........honestly

Red Admiral

Rabbits were everyone and were enjoying the sun as much as us all. This one was near the shop. 

This chicken strutted around everyone by the shop and made short work of a couple of apples!

We collapsed on a bench and got much needed cups of tea and a couple of bits from the shop, my daughter added to her RSPB pin badge collection with a Hoopoe and I got a Chough. It was nice to just sit a while, we watched the House Martins feeding their young, I spotted a Warbler on the chimney, I think a Chiffchaff and out at sea a Gannet flew past the harbour! 

While we waited for the boat to dock Oystercatchers flew around and Seals were in the distance. The boat was quite efficient at taking people back to the mainland, quicker than this morning, quite exhilarating, my daughter loved it and wished we'd booked a boat trip around the islands too! I saw a fin as we went across i'm not sure if it was a Porpoise or a Dolphin but it was quite exciting whichever it was!