Friday, 29 May 2015

Bempton Cliffs and Yorkshire

Date: 25/05/2015 - 27/05/2015
Location: East Yorkshire, Bempton, Blacktoft Sands

Observation: First time to Yorkshire and Bempton Cliffs, hoping for Tree Sparrow, Gannets and Puffins! 
We got to Bempton around 8am and on getting out van there were Tree Sparrows in car park !! 

             Only walked about 10ft !

Arriving at cliff edge the sound and slight smell reaches you with Gannets sat on cliff tops and flying past.
Kittiwake's screeching Guillemots and Puffin's groaning! 
Superb place Birds everywhere.

 Beak on this one !

+ Fulmars cruising past, Great Bird !

Quite a few Gannets, Kittiwake's, Puffins were either sat on nests or building.

Seen at least 20 Puffins excellent little chaps and lasses !

And there were things we didn't expect to see like.... I'll call him the Bempton Barnie, seen the owl numerous times flying right in front RSPB visitors center and across the footpaths at midday !

RSPB Bempton Visitors Center and Barnie 

 This Skylark who didn't seem to care as we were stood 10 foot from him !

 Then this we watched a Peregrine Falcon a number of times hunting the cliff faces.

While following him a Rock Dove flew past us in panic as the Falcon was in hot pursuit then smashed into the poor Rock Dove!

  The Rock Dove ended up the Falcon breakfast !! Amazing to Watch !! 

On way home dropped in to Blacktoft RSPB reports of the Montague's Harrier and Weasel my year challenge to get a photo of one. Failed but did see a Weasel cross path in front of us!
And this stunning Yellow Wagtail.
Marsh Harrier a plenty there, we spotted 6. Also nesting noisy Avocets with chicks. 

Would recommend East Yorkshire, Bempton is a must 
We will end on another Puffin from Bempton Cliffs to end a fantastic trip with my birding buddy Lauren check her Flickr Out !

Weather: 3 days Cloudy with Blue Skies at times - Temperature average 12 - 17c
Other Species: 
Bempton: Puffin, Gannet, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Barn Owl, Kestrel, Guillemot, Razorbill, Tree Sparrow, House Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Skylark, Peregrine Falcon, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Swift, Jackdaw, Crow, Corn Bunting, Herring Gull
Blacktoft:  Stove Dove, Black-Headed Gull, Yellow Wagtail, Marsh Harrier, Avocet
Other: Grey Seal, Wood Mouse

Thanks For Reading 
Cheers For Now :)

Friday, 22 May 2015

Westhay - Draycott Sleights - Priddy Mineries

Date: 21/05/2015
Location: Westhay - Draycott Sleights - Priddy Mineries

Observation: I've been without my 400mm lens, Been dodgy for a while but gave up completely 2 weeks ago, sent it of to Colchester Cameras £202 quid later its back !! Seems sharper too! So this morning more butterflies on the cards ! But thought i'd let the day warm up a bit first so headed to Westhay, heard Booming Bitterns x2, Cuckoo x1 saw lots of Swifts, a distant Marsh Harrier to try lens on, didn't try on Swift's thought i'd just depressed! So Marsh Harrier it was, distant through the reeds but better!

Lots of Common Blue Damselfly about & Common Blue Butterflies

And this Four Spotted Chaser

A flypast Hobby the sound of strimmers (clearing grass in front hides). So back to van it was and Draycot Sleights, never been before was worried about parking but no problems.

Headed up over slope seeing Common Blues, Small Heath, Orange Tip + Small Copper also Dingy and Grizzled Skippers, wind at this point was picking up and the Skippers & Heaths. Chased anything that landed making pictures difficult. 10 species seen.

Did see this little chap just before I left think its a Tiger Beetle, correct me if I'm wrong!
Apparently if Usain Bolt had a race and the beetle was Usain's size the Tiger Beetle would run 9 times faster  !! 200mph + !! Wow, Also at top speed they go blind, the beetle not Usain!

Thought Priddy Mineries would be less windy, not really headed across towards pond.
 Small Heath was it, on pond there must have been 1000+ tadpoles !

 After scouting with Binoculars for a Cuckoo calling, and not seeing, went over to Stockhill and through woods not much here on returning to van this Downy Emerald landed briefly never seen by me before and a nice end to day :)

Weather: Blue Skies, 16c, Some Wind  
Other Species: Whitethroat, Buzzard, Bittern, Hobby, Reed Buntings, Reed Warblers, Blackcap, Goldcrest, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Marsh Harrier, Cuckoo, Kestrel
Butterflies: Common Blue, Orange Tip, Red Admiral, Brimstone, Small White, Large White, Small Heath, Small Copper, Peacock, Comma, Dingy + Grizzled Skippers.

Thanks For Reading 

Check back soon as off to Bempton Cliffs for a few day back Wednesday :)
Puffins...Guillemots.....Gannets........ :)

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Mandarin's On The Lake !

Date: 19th May - 2PM
Location:  Newton Park Lake Circular

Observation:  Started off walk, still busy with workmen in campsite, so headed straight up to Seven Acre, usual 2 Buzzards and 2 overhead Swifts, 4 Yellowhammer and 2 Skylark. Not much else here, in Village there were 30+ Barn Swallow, and 2 juvenile Blackbird. Just before the Lake at Butterfly Alley there were a few more Blackcap and Goldcrest (recently opened this part up so nice to see more birds there!), although there were no butterflies! Onto the Lake, still no Little Owl. At Top Lake just come over the brow of the hill and 2 Mandarin Ducks were there! 1 Male and 1 Female. First time seen on our patch and the Lake so was a nice surprise and patch tick! 

Felt like I was being watched so turnt around and a female Roe Deer was right there! After a quick stop watching the Mandarin, the Mute Swan was still on nest, unsure if still eggs or cygnets now though as she didn't get up.

 There was also 1 Marsh Tit in the trees heading out the Lake. Moving on up over Home Farm, there were a small flock of Linnet (6+) and a few more Yellowhammer by the farm. The last bird of the day on the walk back were 3 Bullfinch. Nice to see new birds on patch, starting to get a little busier on the walks now, fingers crossed for some good ticks soon!

Weather:  Sunny Intervals, Warm, Some Wind
Other Species: 2 Buzzard, 4+ Swift, 30+ Barn Swallow, 2 Mandarin (1M + 1F), 6+ Linnet, 10+ Yellowhammer, 3 Bullfinch, 1 Blackcap, 2+ Goldcrest, 1 Marsh Tit - Of Note

Thanks For Looking !

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Cerne Abbas & Weymouth

Date: 12/05/2015

Location: Cerne Abbas, Radipole, Portland Bill & Lodmoor or Lorton 

Observation: Butterflies! 3 new for me :) My new total 35 !! Started at Cerne Giant Hill, Dorset.

 After leaving van Dingy Skippers everywhere on hill

Following along hill apart from Dingy the odd Brimstone not much else then spotted the tiny Duke of Burgundy, second target species on a roll.

After spending some time here headed on down to Radipole RSPB at Weymouth. Not much very quiet here apart from Cetti's very loud but always hidden! This House Sparrow making hay !

Getting near tea time so headed to Swallows rest campsite £23.00 a night with hook up but within walking distance of Ferrybridge. So after Chunky Chicken headed along to Ferrybridge quiet here too few Common Tern. Morning came with blue skies and hope for the walk round Portland Bill, was up 5.30 AM ! Any one who knows me, knows this is unheard of!!

With the early start headed through the Hump and Suckthumb Quarry very quiet saw a Stock Dove first time for me,I know !!

On Coastal path Raven's and Peregrine did a flypast cursing cause I missed Peregrine a Kestrel appeared on cliff brief hovered then off.

Walked on round to Bill the odd Wall and Common Blue butterfly but not many birds :(
At nesting cliff Guillemots, Shag's and Fulmar's .

Top fields Meadow, Skylark, lots of Crows, Jackdaws and Raven checking out any unintended nests. Next headed towards to Lodmoor, whats with that is it Lorton, Lodmoor ???

Quiet here too apart from the Tern Colony ! 

A quizzical Tufted Duck

 Great dragonfly a Broad Bodied Chaser

After 3 hrs wandering around time to head back but not before stopping at Cock Hill Cerne Abbas again. The Marsh Fritillary was spotted after I left so target species. Walked along hill again with more butterflies about Copper, Grizzled Skippers, Dingy, Brimstone, Holly Blue and just before I was about to go a Marsh Fritillary ! Whoohoo ! 

After a hot pot in van headed home happy with 3 new butterflies and even a new bird tick !!

Weather: Tuesday blue but windy + Wednesday a better day but becoming cloudy as day went on.

Butterflies First: Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Common Blue, Small Copper, Brimstone, Orange Tip, Peacock, Duke of Burgundy, Marsh  Fritillary, Wall, Holly Blue and Small Tortoiseshell.
Birds: Raven, Kestrel, Buzzard, Peregrine, Fulmar, Guillemots, Razorbill, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Linnet - Others but thin in air and on ground !

Cheers For Now :)

Monday, 11 May 2015

Another Patch Walk !

Date: 11th May - 1PM
Location:  Newton Park Lake 
Observation:  With work still going on in the campsite, we rushed on through to start the walk,until a blue flash passed us! Surely not! We didn't spot the Kingfisher until we got to the busiest part of the brook, where all the workmen and tractors were, and there he was sat in full view!

After a few shots, he flew on down to his favorite perch, still in full view! First time we've seen him back on the Brook since 12th April.

 On up through the Dog Walk and just the normal Long-Tailed Tits, Chiffchaff. We got to Seven Acre, where there were 5+ Holly Blue's so busy photographing them when a Buzzard took off feet from us, wrong setting and too slow, but got some shots of the Holly Blue!

 Also a Whitethroat and Yellowhammer singing in the trees, as soon as we point our camera there off ! On into the Village and loads of Barn Swallows were swarming around! Must be at least 50+ along with 2 Swifts!

After this we swiftly..... moved onto the Lake where the Little Owls hadn't shown since 16th April, but looking back at previous years we haven't any sightings between 16th April - 25th May ! So hopefully on eggs, as last year we had a family of 7! On Top Lake, the Mute Swan was still on nest, looking very hot, but a definite 5 eggs still (didn't give us full view from the path).

We walked on up to Home Farm, surprisingly no Swallows apart from 2 very high up. A Mistle Thrush fly-over was the last sighting of the walk at the crossroads.

Weather:  Cloudy, Quickly Brightened Up, Warm + Sunny

Other Species: 2 Buzzard, 1 Kingfisher, 3 Skylark, 2 Swift, 50+ Barn Swallow, 2 Whitethroat, 4 Yellowhammer, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail - Of Note
Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange-Tip, Small Tortoiseshell, European Peacock, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, Small White, 

Thanks For Reading !

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Pond + Garden Update !

A nice day to sit around the pond and see how it is coming along, the pond was filled back on 1st April 2014 and since then we have done some garden improvements i.e cutting down our fir trees which have been growing for 16 years! We've planted fruit trees and Alder's, planted wild flowers. The pond and garden both have a long way to go but it's defiantly getting there!

Our Fruit Trees From Left - Gala Apple, Pear, Stella Cherries, Golden Delicious Apples
We also have 3x Alders and 1x Plum Trees!

Water Boatman (Backswimmer) - The pond is full of these - Approx 250+!

Damselfly Larvae (below) although alot of these are just the casing's left for these.
We also had a large Dragonfly larvae (second one we've seen) dark black, possibly Broad-Bodied Chaser Dragonflies!

Last of our pictures for now, Tadpoles - Common Frog, we had some laid back on 8th March, these started hatching around the 21st March and I counted around 10+ today, and they are developing extremely well! These are currently 9 weeks old since they have been laid, and not long until they develop into frogs!

We also have 10+ Pond Skaters currently around the pond, and a few Water Snails and a single Caddish larvae There is probably alot more in the pond but we have 7 definite species in our pond.

We will do another Pond blog in a few weeks to see the progress of this!

Thanks For Reading !