Thursday, 16 August 2018

Cornwall and the Chough.

Date: 12-15 August
Location: Cornwall, Botallack + Newton St Loe
Weather: Some sunshine mostley grey
Species Highlights: 
Chough, Gannet, Sanderling.
Observation: 
Went down to Cornwall for a couple of days away camping with wife and headed for the Botallack area nr. St. Just. Did a bit of looking first and found they had some Chough in the area so every morning and afternoon i did a bit of wandering along coast line in search of what i could find.

A stunning part of the UK coastline and almost deserted, apart from wildlife.



Most of my wandering was 6:30 am till 9 am, this is The Cape of Cornwall, scilly isle in distance.


These the old Tin Mines that scatter the coastline.


Most mornings there was a constant passing of Gannets, but to far off coast to get good pictures but plenty of Whitethroat along with Stonechats, Sedge Warblers and Meadow Pipits hiding in gorse and heather.



This first morning and afternoon didn't see any Chough so headed off to Sennen Cove and walked along coastline to Lands End a lovely walk and far better than parking at Lands end.


Get there early would be my advice beat the crowds. Saw a few Grayling dotted along South West Coastal Path.


Any Black bird along coastline i had to investigate! 
Jackdaws and Ravens and Starling everywhere.


I shared a apple with this beauty.


After walking many miles we headed back to Botallack and Campsite, wife wanted a rest so headed down to coastline and within a few minutes caught up with some Chough!


A group of around 10 birds were flying around cliffs, calling, brilliant to see, while sat watching the group flew almost directly over my head too close to focus!


Watched as they disappeared along coastline, job done and ticked.

Next morning was grey and nothing new on my morning walk was seen, i walked towards Pendeen in the drizzle. After breakfast headed to St Michael's Mount at Marazion.
At 12:10 the tide was low enough to walk across, we didn't pay the £10 for castle and £5 for gardens but a nice walk across was had.


While waiting for the tide you can always check out tideline or RSPB Marazion Marshes, this morning there were Dunlin, Sanderling and Ringed Plover feeding.


Popped in to Penzance for dinner then back to Botallack to find Chough again, I found the area they prefer and watched them for a couple of hours.


Ravens seemed to like watching them too.


I found a house nearby which they kept returning too and got some great views.


Bit of tiding.


Ahh that's better.


The house had put out some food I took the next couple of shots from around 15 ft away.


The sky was dark grey and some drizzle in the air but very happy with catching up with them. Saw around 20 birds in total, even got picture with a family group of 10 birds. 


A couple of drinks to celebrate that evening, On the last morning headed down to coastline Whitethroats posing nicely. Didn't see Chough in Mornings only saw them in afternoons 3pm onwards.


A great couple of days spent in beautiful Cornwall and well worth the trip. (if you'd like a google map of locations or advice drop us a email.)

While i was away Lauren did a Webs walk to Newton Park and a window watch.

Mute Swans doing well this year.


Coal Tit on our Feeders.


Greenfinch have returned up to 3 birds seen recently.


A real surprise for Lauren and me was the cracking Willow Warbler on our urban, car park feeders!


Also a single juv House sparrow has been visiting for the last couple of days.


Plenty of these also with a new generation being fed constantly.


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Friday, 10 August 2018

Overdue patch Blog

Date: 09/08/2018
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: 
Slightly overcast but still warm.
Observation: 

2018 Butterfly challenge is over and all uk species photographed and seen this year by Lauren too. 
We had great fun traveling the country and went to some beautiful places too, 
blog for that to come shortly but for now here’s a blog from the patch Newton st loe.

Started walk around 11am, would like to start earlier but working on Thursday nights now so 11am
 it is.
Out the normal route through campsite a Grey Wagtail on brook was first to report but little else.
On up to fields and harvester and tractors in both fields so few birds about here, 2 calling Buzzards
the best of it. 
Stopped by Seven Acre to check on Butterflies and surprised to see 5/6 Holly blues 
20+ Speckled woods and plenty of Small Whites around wood.


From Globe look out I saw nothing, and not much until Farm shop in village where I spied this lovely 
Barn Swallow sat on the floor picking up grit,


I was within 10ft of him but he just carried on getting a beak full.
Grit helps with digestion, in case you wondered.


Normal stuff around village but fewer House Sparrow about. 
At church I could hear chainsaws and noticed they’d cut the woodpeckers favourite tree down! 
It’s the 3rd tree in the village which has been cut down of late. Down to 
Send A cow wood and a large great of Blue/ great tits feeding with Nuthatch also. 
On fields with Cows Rook, 
Crow and Jackdaws feeding in very dry grass. A single Blackcap in 
wood but so much foliage difficult to get pictures. 
On to Butterfly alley and Meadow Brown, Common Blue and I’m sure the same Small Copper 
all fluttering around but getting much thinner in numbers now.
Blue tailed Damselfly here also.


A Grey Wagtail on the now very dry waterfall.
Grey Herons scattered about 5 seen.
On up to top lake All adult swans present along with the 6 cygnets. 
A few chiffchaff seen around lake and even our first of the year Willow Warbler seen above top lake.


Sad news the little owls house has changed hands it now has new residents Barn Owl ! 
So not all bad, carried out along conservation path and noticed other little Owl tree has evidence 
of them still being there so not all bad.
(heavy crop as don't wanna give location away)


Buzzards , good numbers around today at least 6 seen around all never close.


At Park/ Home farm a few birds 2 Whitethroat chaffinch a group of around 20 Goldfinch and a 
few collared Dove, best spot with a Swift couldn’t focus camera but defo a Swift.............. 
also more Chiffchaff here. This one very annoyed i was taking his picture.


Walked the rest of the lanes towards home and female Kestrel seen hunting across fields.


On arriving home disturbed a family of Long tailed tits on our
feeders plus a female Bullfinch, got inside and the Male landed for a few shots.
So ended walk on 43 species not too bad for another late start. 


Went to Slimbridge in week and managed a few shots of the Wood Sandpiper, 
it showed right out the hide which was nice!



Green Sandpiper too. 


Also had a lesser whitethroat a very smart little warbler unfortunately not the shot of it I wanted.


A few others from a great day.

Linnet



Cormorant


Black Tailed Godwit


Crane chicks doing well this year.


Perfect light on this Grey Wagtail.


Down to Cornwall for a couple of days camping so I’ll have a wonder to look for Chough 
and anything else that turns up.
Thanks for reading happy birding to you!
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Saturday, 21 July 2018

Butterflies & Patch Walks

Date: 21/07/2018
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Still hot still blues Skies
Species Highlights: 
Butterflies, a few birds and some great patch walks
Observation: 
It's been a while in fact nearly a month but we've not been sat inside, we've been traveling the county racking up more miles and Butterfly species Fermyn Woods, for the Purple Emperor.


Lots more Hairstreaks from Seven Acre woods, on patch


My highlight this year so far was finding these beauties on patch even got a open wing shot of this female.


A Ruddy Darter from top ponds at Newton st Loe, it's well worth wandering up just past car parks to see these hidden ponds you never know what your gonna see.


We had Chalkhill Blues at Draycott, and even found some closer to home at Hazelbury Manor near Box.


Then down to Portland Bill a change of venue this year as i normally go to Lulworth cove for this little skipper but found some on the Bill.


While searching the grass for the skipper we were delighted to see Skylarks at close range, not like seven acre! 


With Linnet also sat in nearby bushes.


From here a short drive to Tout Quarry another new venue for me but will definitely be going back, Adonis, Chalkhill, Small Blue and Grayling all putting on a great show.


Even a few Hummingbird Hawk moths always a pleasure.



Another Patch walk with a new Damselfly spotted by me, a Emerald.


Birds a little quite but plenty to snap away at, Small Copper on patch and this took the Newton St Loe Butterfly count to 25 just missing a Clouded Yellow, fingers are crossed.



Had been searching for a Valesina the silver form of the Silver washed Fritillary and found to at a Frome Woodlands eventually. they like the cooler parts of the woodland and darker so had to use flash and stand in a muddy brook but worth it.


working in between but every spare chance i'm out looking. Priddy next and Tree Pipit and added to my 2018 bird tick list, looking for Dragonflies at the small pools there but weather had clouded over so dragon disappeared.


So that brings us almost up to date white Thursday just gone and my patch walk, Yellowhammer in much fewer numbers but still about.


Purple and White Letter Hairstreak seen at Seven Acre, while looking out over towards the Globe had a great view of a Sparrowhawk which flew straight in front of me, not giving me enough time to lift camera but brilliant to see.
Most other birds a bit on the quiet side but 25+ House Martins buzzing over village, Barn Swallow number are very low this year.

At lake a few Dragonflies around with this Red Eyed Damselfly, Broad Bodied, Scarce Chaser, Brown Hawker, Black Tailed Skimmer, Ruddy Darter and a few others keeping me entertained while sitting bank side of the top Lake.


 The Male Mute took exception to this this, i'd been sat for 30mins before he considered me a threat, he stopped just short of me a decided to have a clean!


The Grey Herons out of nests now and exploring the top lake.


4 of them spread out almost exactly 4 meters apart!


These Common Blue butterfly in Butterfly alley, where else.


After seeing the single Spotted Flycatcher back in May had heard but not seen since , although Tony and Robert had seen them so very pleased to get a few pictures of the 2 adults and single Juvenile.


While watching in Send a Cow woodland, juvenile Green woodpecker, Greater Spotted Woodpecker and a Treecreeper, last spot of a Treecreeper was back in March.


A super walk with plenty to see, these last few shots from the Village.


Wasp took this fly from a spiders web while i was watching.

So with only 3 butterflies left to see this year, Silver Spotted Skipper, Brown Hairstreak and last trip should be Scotch Argus in the Lake District.  I'll be back on patch soon with more blogs updated weekly, but for now get out there and see you soon!



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