Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Round and about

Just a few notes from the past month around the garden and local parks.

We've had an influx of Long Tailed Tits recently up to 11 flitting around the garden a couple of times a day, you can hear them calling long before they appear.

A couple of Blue and Great Tits visit the feeder regularly and a Robin has started making an appearance again. A caught a couple of Warblers in the trees on two separate occasions Chiffchaff for one and possibly Willow for the other but I didn't get great views. The Magpie family I noticed earlier in the year are all still around I hear them in the trees and they spend a lot of time in the disused factory across the road.

A spider took over the bug house for a while.

Walking in the park about a month ago it was already looking a little autumnal.

We got caught in a rain shower there and saw Bees and a Pellucid Hoverfly, quite lovely.

A couple of visits to the urban woodlands near the end of August before work and I was surrounded by birds in large numbers, Blue & Great Tits, Warblers, Blackbirds, Bullfinch, Woodpigeons, Robins and a rat along the path. It was a lovely moment and certainly a great way to start the day.

There have been a few moths around.

Including this one in the bathroom at work (for which I was mocked mercilessly when I headed in there with my camera, however everyone did concede it was pretty!).

The garden is filled with cobwebs and sun catches them beautifully.

I even managed a little birding at the West Indian Carnival watching a Buzzard of all things above the trees in Potternewton park. The BBQ smoke looked quite stunning in the sunlight.

Up until Sunday there were still a lot of Speckled Woods in the garden, the most we've ever had this year......

....and a couple of weeks ago the first ever Painted Lady i've seen in the garden was sat right outside the front door .

Then this morning leaving for work a charm of around 30 Goldfinch flew overhead, I don't think i'll ever tire of hearing them.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

A Day at the Coast

We took a trip to Bridlington on Saturday, mostly to do the seaside thing whilst there is still a hint of summer, with a little birding thrown in!

Of course the noisy Gulls are the birds that you can't miss and there were plenty of them, mostly Herring and Great Black Backed.

Along the edge of the beach and in the harbour (where the tide was out) there were plenty of waders. A lot of Turnstone, also Redshank, Oystercatcher and a lone bird that caught my eye, which looked different to all the others. My first Purple Sandpiper, I almost missed it too, it was quite well camouflaged initially.

We walked along the beach a couple of times & I watched a small flock of Terns constantly flying about the waters edge, they'd land for a short while then be off again. I took a few (not great) pictures and with some help from the Yorkshire Birders group on Facebook (thank you!) I had them id'd as Sandwich Terns. Another new bird for me.

I also spotted a couple of Cormorants flying over the surf whilst waiting for the family to catch me up from their shell collecting.

As we were close by and hadn't been before we made the trip up to Filey Dams, this time with directions, the one time we tried before we didn't have goods ones, got lost and gave up!

This time we had no problem and had the place to ourselves and stayed about an hour. Right off we had great views of a Green Sandpiper in front of the hide along with a Dunlin, again I had the help of the Yorkshire Birders on the Dunlin ID. I do struggle with some of the waders.

All around the ponds were Greylag Geese, noisy as always. We counted 5 Herons, a lone Lapwing, a Black Headed Gull, several Teal, Gadwall, Mallards, Moorhens and Wigeon. Woodpigeons were everywhere and a Little Egret flew out of the reeds and off the reserve.

I really liked it here and was slightly envious of the houses that backed onto the Dams, if only I could live that close to somewhere like this! Apparently I can't check out how much a nearby house is up for sale for because commuting to Leeds just won't work..........

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

North Cave Wetlands

Sunday morning had us at the Wetlands in hope of seeing the Spotted Crake that's been around for the past three weeks. Regardless of the Crake the reserve is a cracking place to visit.

As soon as we arrived we were hit by the noise of the geese - Greylag - everywhere we went we could hear them, i've not seen so many in one place before! They were spooked from the far famers field (not by the scarecrow in there, which they'd clearly been ignoring) at one point and flocks of them flew to the village lake.

We watched Little and Great Crested Grebe from the Main Lake hide along with the usual Coots, Lapwings, Moorhen, Mallards plus a Cormorant and Little Egret.

Going the through the gate at the far end by the carp lake we ended up pausing for a while to watch the various Dragonflies all over the trees and grass, beautiful to watch and not too bothered by our presence either.

Male Common Darter

Migrant Hawker?

Female Common Darter?

Large White and Speckled Wood butterflies were also along the path and in trees a flock of Long Tailed Tits headed in the opposite direction to us.

On the Far Lake was a single Greenshank, several Black Headed Gulls and a few Wigeon. So onto the Reedbed Lake, we could see where people were stood watching but the Crake was in hiding at that point so we hung around a while. Then a couple who had walked further along waved and pointed. The Crake was in the reeds down by a channel at the side of the reedbed. It took me a couple of minutes to get it but finally I could see it, no mistaking those markings! Thanks to the chap who let me look through his scope too.

So a brief view but enough to make me quite happy! By now my husband and daughter were ready to keep walking (patience is not always their forte!), We were surrounded by Goldfinch, they were constantly on the move between the trees and teasels and we counted 30 plus at one point including many juveniles.

Not such great photos but it gives you an idea of the size of the flock.

We stopped in the new hide to dodge a brief light rain shower and watched 3 Little Ringed Plovers and a couple of Pied Wagtails. A Sand Martin (I think, it happened so quick!) almost flew into the hide through the window, pulling up sharply and veering off when he realised we were there. Still not sure how my daughter didn't fall backwards off the bench it surprised her so much!

Along the path to the Turret Hide we saw a beautiful Common Blue, I just managed to catch it with it's wings open slightly. 

Right outside the hide were these two Common Darters.

From the hide itself we saw Shovelers,Wigeon, 2 Curlews, Greylag Geese, Mute Swans, Lapwings, Moorhens, Starlings A pair of Snipe flew onto one of the little islands and further scanning picked up another pair further around the lake.

Along the path I spotted a Shieldbug on a leaf but the breeze kept blowing the leaves sideways which didn't help with a photo!

Heading back to the car these ducks were walking across the car park, they went down the path to the seating area.

Right by the car this young Robin sat watching from under the hedge. I also spotted a Warbler, I think a Chiffchaff but it didn't hang around long enough for a proper ID.

All around the reserve we were snail spotting and saw several along with a very large slug!

A couple more photos from around the reserve.