Monday, 31 October 2011
Sunday, 30 October 2011
On the way we spotted a flock of 16 Long Tailed Tits flitting from tree to tree along the waters edge. With them were a couple of Great Tits and a Blue Tit, but nothing more interesting.
Over the bridge we had a quick look down the dyke for a Kingfisher, didn't really expect to see one and the dyke gad recently been cleared for the winter so bankside vegetation was lacking.
Within a few yards we heard a Cetti's Warbler singing. Sitting on the nearby form we watched the reed edge for any sign of a flit - none seen but a second soon answered it from a little way to the right. Between them a Water Rail squealed. Behind us in the field across the dyke was a skein of at least a coupla hundred Pink Footed Geese, with them were between 20 and 30 swans we'd seen from the car on the way down but from the bench they were out of sight so we don't know if they were Whoopers or just the local gang of Mutes. The warmth brought out a few butterflies, all Red Admirals all going south and a Migrant Hawker dragonfly.
Short peeks in two likely Jack Snipe spots none were found but at the first there were more Migrant Hawkers and a pair of Common Darters were in tandem.
Leaving the reserve we wandered round to the Long Eared Owls' favourite bushes. We stood and scanned and walked a few more places and stood and scanned again but like the Jack Snipe we really need a frost, this time not to bring them in but to drop the leaves so that they can be seen.
|Central section of mere|
|Western end of mere|
Saturday, 29 October 2011
Tried to get a bit of vid of the Magpie working out how best to attack the suet feeder without coming a cropper but it saw the camera poking through the kitchen window blinds and was off like a shot. It has now managed to cling to the feeder like a Blue Tit so we'll need to get a purpose built suet feeder cos it'll eat us out of house and home otherwise.
We tried to do some stop-watch timings of the handling times of the sunny seeds for the various species as mentioned yesterday but really that's a job for during the week when there are far fewer distractions.
Don't even think about getting us started on the proposed changes to the planning system...sustainable development or a developers Charter (= free for all) ? One thing that should happen is that the Ecologists who do the EIAs should be independent of the developers (who would still have to pay for them but not chose them or even know who they are) and the scope of the EIAs should be wider and more robust. We're not knockin professional ecologists who are dedicated, well qualified and often seriously underpaid just the system in which they are asked to work within.
Why the rant you might ask - well the Slavonian Grebe has reappeared not far from the nature reserve and a pair of lovely Snow Buntings are flitting around the base of the dunes a couple of miles up the road and either would do to reach our target but we're housebound...big :(
Where to next? Hopefully we might just be allowed an hour or so at the nature reserve tomorrow and we might see if we can wangle a detour to the Slav...if it's still there...what's left of any fingers we might still have are well and truly crossed.
In the meantime let us know who's spending all the money in your outback...or not as the case may be.
Friday, 28 October 2011
A bit of feeder watching gave us some unexpected observations. We noted that the Great Tits and Blue Tits take an individual seed away for 'processing - on a very rough average the Great Tits hare back in half the time as the Blue Tits. This would make sense as they have bigger beaks enabling them to eat the seeds faster and in being bigger have a higher energy requirement but can eat more seeds in a given time, so far all fairly logical...but the female Chaffinch that has figured out how to use the feeder doesn't use the same method of sitting there and stuffing her face like her cogeners the Greenfinches and Goldfinches, no she takes one seed away at a time for 'processing' under cover...But her return time is quite a bit longer than the Great Tits so how does that fit in with her energy budget - she's probably bit heavier than the Great Tits - interesting stuff; more research needed...and a stop watch!
Never did find yesterday's missing pics, so here they are today.
Thursday, 27 October 2011
|Silverback at Virunga NP|
|Lemur sp - forgotten which|
|Weaver finch sp|
|Fleeting glimpse of a Black Rhino|
|Elephants having a drink - Uganda|
|Clematis seedhead at Base Camp|
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Back later...when we've sussed it...could be some time.
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Saturday, 22 October 2011
Friday, 21 October 2011
Where to next? Looks to be some southerlies with a bit of east in them coming up so there is a good chance of some vis-mig.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Another grubby through the window in the gloom pic we're afraid.
A session in the now sunny garden was unproductive pic-wise, the morning feedind frenzy had waned, but the Grey Squirrel put in another appearance, avoiding the feeders but looking around the area they used to be. All Blackbirds seen this morning were 'normal' seems like the northern dak-billed ones have shot through leaving the last of our Pyracantha berries for the locals.
The warmish sunshine encouraged a Red Admiral to cruise around. The never seem to land on the Sedum flowers despite their reputation as a butterfly attractor...note the spider weaving its web; arrowed
The clouds came back and that was the cue for the butterfly to do a bit of basking - not on the aforementioned flowers but on a tatty bit of guttering...
When the sun came ut we watched this Collared Dove - what a difference being outside makes to the pics - trying to work out how best to get at the bread we'd put in the fatball feeder...unlike Dean we didn't have any left over doughnuts.
Interesting to see the shape of all the primaries, something not normally obvious unless you're a ringer and have them in the hand.
Where to next? Well Blogger is coming up with all sorts of formating and pictue adding nightmares and driving us to distraction so it's gonna be publish and be damned...but if one of those northern Bullfinches lands on the feeders we'll be back...as they say...one pic little text at a time :-( Apologies if it looks like a dog's breakfast - we're past caring!!!
In the meantime let us know what doesn't attract what it's supposed to in your outback
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
A challenging mid-morning watch through the hailstone covered window gave us a nice party of five Greenfinches, two Goldfinches, two Great Tits, at least three Blue Tits and the Coal Tit was still about. After reading about the dark billed male 'northern' Blackbirds we kept an eye on our yellow berried Pyracantha bush, next door''s red berried one has been stripped so now ours is in play as second favourite. We saw a 'normal' crocus yellow billed male, a brown winged 1st winter male and a female but are certain we had one of the dark-billed adults the other day when the Fieldfares were grounded but didn't think anything of it.
Monday, 17 October 2011
It's certainly getting new the time to tear down those walls
Sunday, 16 October 2011
04.38 - rain started
05.56 - idiot began letting off fireworks - - why? What possessed him/her???
07.20 - started watching at kitchen door
Several gounded Blackbirds
10 Lapwings - Patch tick!!!
Song Thrush - first for ages
Fieldfares grounded in our Silver Birch tree
In the meantime let us know what the weather dropped out of the sky in your outback.
Saturday, 15 October 2011
Friday, 14 October 2011
This morning we watched on and off until 11.00, more on than off!
Jackdaw - 2 SW - first in the notebook again!
Un ID - 20 all heading between S & W
Pied Wagtail - 7 all S except one NE - where was that one going?
Meadow Pipit - 10 in dribs n drabs
Sparrowhawk - 1m, it or another male seen later - see below
Chaffinch - 2 + 2 S
Carrion Crow - 3 + 1 + 1 all S
Goldfinch - 2 SE - local birds?
3 Blue Tits and 2 Great Tits visited the feeder together
One of the Mistle Thrushes was on the telly aerial again, left to the E.
Dunnock - just one seen at the bottom of the garden today.
Where to next? Weekend so who knows...doubt if we'll get any further than the garden though.
Thursday, 13 October 2011
An unidentified butterfly flitted through the garden a couple of times and was probably the same Red Admiral that we've seen over the last couple of days. The warm sunshine brought out a few hoverflies, including several Episyrphus balteatus (pic from August)and this Eristalis sp (tenax?) taken today.
After nearly two hours the birds dried up a bit so we had a bit of lunch before going out again.
We thought we heard a Goldcrest calling from the bottom of the garden but couldn't see it...a very cautious venture up the garden path (a trip or slip could have been disasterous) had us only finding a skulking Dunnock.
Now that the wind is in the south it is much harder to see the Peregrines; we could just about make out half a one hidden behind the cabling on the north face of the tower. There could easily have been another as only a yard further round would have put it out of view.
In the meantime let us know what's sitting on the lines in your outback.
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Yesterday arvo we heard a bit of Blackbird commotion and saw a bit of mobbing behaviour from them. At first glance we thought they might have found a Sparrowhawk but close inspection saw them defending 'their' Rowan berries against a marauding Mistle Thrush...fierce they were and it eventually moved on without getting any where near the booty.
Where to next? Same place but who knows what'll be out there...less berries for sure but better weather is a distinc possibilty at long last...may some vis...or Redwings over in the
In the meantime let us know who's acting as the decoy in your outback.
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
At any hint of danger or with a full crop they'd fly to the big Sycamore where we flukily found a Blackcap - a good bird for Base Camp these days since the tree is much more isolated since the removal of almost all of its neighbours.
Two Robins squabbled and more Blackbirds dropped in.
Where to next? Only six days of plaster-cast left...and counting
In the meantime let us know if there's been a fall in your outback