Sunday, 26 June 2016

Butterflies & Peregrines

Date: 26/06/2016
Location: Bannerdown > Brown's Folly > Bath Peregrines
Weather: Cloudy but becoming Wet
Other Species: Marbled White, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Six Spotted Burnet, Large Skipper, Peregrine Falcons.

Slightly better weather today so headed up to Bannerdown on the eastern side of Bath hoping for a few Butterflies on arriving the small car park full, managed to squeeze in on end! Weather very cloudy now not looking good, but started walk anyway not much in the way of butterflies lots of Orchids about, Early Purple I think?

Walked the whole path almost at end a a few Marbled Whites appeared! But very tricky as long grass kept hiding them.

A few Six Spot Burnets were easier.

Nice to see a few females never noticed the brown edging before.

Then saw my first Ringlet of the year, even a open wing shot.

Next Brown's Folly, Batheaston almost the same here but fewer of everything, grass a bit shorter so bit easier to snap.

Like this shot, so furry.

The view from Browns Folly is great, with the whole of Bath in front.

Then headed down to Bath Center and St. John's Church for Peregrines saw all 3 Juveniles but no adults, this Juv enjoying Pigeon Pie.

Weather turning nasty now with showers and almost totally grey skies so headed to where I'd parked to go home and looked back to Church from across the other side of river and spotted this chap!

Much nicer light from this side, he was watching the Lesser Black Backed Gulls who were squawking as they flew past.

Giving them the evil eye!

Such amazingly pretty birds when you get a good view of them.

Now it's raining harder so I'll leave them to it. A lovely day even though no sun at all !

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Friday, 24 June 2016

So Soon But Patch Tick 88: Reed Warbler!

Date: 23/08/2016
Location: Patch - Boathouse Loop
Weather: Grey Cloud but Warm
Other Species: 
Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Skylark, Buzzard, Swift, House Martin, Reed Warbler, Jay, Sedge Warbler, Green Woodpecker, Stock Dove, Blackcap, Sparrowhawk, Bullfinch. 37 Species Today
Large Skipper, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, Meadow Browns, Marbled White

Headed out through Bath Mill as usual and had the Grey Wagtail fly from the brook and almost hit me in the face! 
So close but he soon took up his usual branch calling his warning call! I left them to it and carried on up over on to top fields Yellowhammers, Whitethroats also Buzzard present, a few butterflies about lots of Meadow Browns along Byway. 

Thought I'd check out Sedge Warbler again after Robert (@rojobus) the other patch birder thought he had seen a Reed Warbler in the same place! I couldn't believe it another tick surely not. Carried on along in to Village today and plenty of Barn Swallows, House Martin and Swift about. Down over field towards Globe and a single Stock Dove flew from field in to trees. Not much past the Globe Pub and across Railway, a single Grey Heron sat on the riverside with House Martins diving for water. 

Soon past the Cycle Track bridge and I Saw.... Tick 88!

Amazing stuff the reeds are in two sections of around 4 meters long only so a Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers!

Took me a while to get picture as the 3 I saw wouldn't come clear of reeds, but happy with these shots, plus on Patch!

Sedge Warblers still about but more hidden today this the best I could do.

Thought tick number 87 was gonna be tricky as 13 more to 100 but less than 24 hours!
Me thinks the next ones be harder now? 
I wonder what will be next....?  WATCH THIS SPACE.

Anyway after continuing along the path by Boathouse smiling to myself a Juvenile Blackcap popped up.

Following along River Avon over Cycle track and A4 a pause to look at at Carswood tunnel, They don't make them like that anymore !

Carrying on up to Seven Acre more Yellowhammers about including a few Juveniles down on to Dog Track and a appearance of a Marbled White, stunning Butterfly this a Male saw 1 other a female, hope for more soon.

Round on to Sunny Bank and Large Skipper loving the new wildflower meadow at least 10+  fluttering about with Meadow Browns also, cross the road and home! 
What a great walk!

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Patch Tick 87: Sedge Warbler

Date: 21/06/2016
Location: Patch - Boathouse Loop
Weather: Drizzle > Grey Clouds (It's June!)
Other Species: Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler, Jay, Linnet, Swift,  Skylark, Nuthatch, Bullfinch, Coal Tit. 
32 Species Total.

Headed out as the normal through Bath Mill with the drizzle to keep me company! Chiffchaff, Robin and Dunnock calling and singing along brook. Up on to Dog Track, Song Thrush and more Chiffchaff, also a family of Long Tailed Tits stopped briefly. 

Skylark fewer today singing with Yellowhammer and Whitethroat skulking in bushes. Quite a few Swift racing across the skies.

Few butterflies although not many Large Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, Green-Veined Whites, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood & Meadow Browns. 

At Seven Acre could hear gunshots from lower fields so thought I'd investigate and carried on down the Conservation Path towards the Globe Pub, a very pretty path!

Could see gunman parked up in fields that go under railway shooting Wood Pigeon or trying... Carried on along footpath across bypass and on to River Avon. Lots of Damselflies along river including this, I think White Legged? 

Not many birds spotted these Crows one begging making a right racket !

But was thinking at least there's plenty of Dragons about these great looking Black Tailed Skimmer  

Even got a flight shot !

Then as I rounded the bend in river saw a Sedge Warbler! Whoohoo! Couldn't focus at first and this youngster flew off after 2 pictures, turned around and from very small selection of reeds could hear more. At least 3 in total.

Sat down on grass and listened to them, then one popped up!

As you can see a beak full, but still managed to give its warning call. With this excellent bird takes our patch list to 87 birds! 
Years total so far is 75 smashing last year total! it's only June!!

After that excitement headed home with not much else seen. At home Bullfinch, Coal Tit, plus the stacks of Blue Tits & Great Tits on feeders.
Our Pond doing really well this year also with plenty of Damselflies mostly Common Blue and Small Red, plus Broad Bodied Dragonflies and today our first Emperor.

Very busy laying eggs, ready for next year.

So today an excellent day I'd say apart from weather a new tick always good and getting closer to that 100 mark ! 

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Monday, 20 June 2016

After The Rain - Patch Walk

Date: 20th June 2016
Location: Newton Park Lake - Circular
Weather: Cloudy > Sunny Intervals > Warm
Other Species: 4 Bullfinch, 3 Collared Dove, 11+ Swift, Grey Wagtail, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Skylark, Yellowhammer, Song Thrush, Kestrel, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Mistle Thrush, Coal Tit, Buzzard, Pied Wagtail, Blackcap, Greenfinch, Mute Swan (7 Cygnets), Green Woodpecker, Greater-Spotted Woodpecker
Butterflies: 4 Large Skipper, 4 Meadow Brown, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small White
Other: 1 Toad (Baby), 1 Rabbit
Observation: With the weather due to clear up, we headed out on the patch. Starting at Sunnybank, there were only 4 Large Skippers present, giving some good views at times.

Nice to see the Bumblebee's enjoying the brief sunshine.

The Grey Wagtail's were at the Brook in Bath Mill, but could only hear them today. Up to Dog Walk, a Male Bullfinch was present along with at least 11 Swift catching flies on the Top Fields. By Seven Acre the Yellowhammers and Whitethroats were calling from the hedges along the Lanes. The last field before Pennyquick, we spotted a hovering Kestrel and both the pairs of Whitethroat and Yellowhammer were shouting their warning calls.

In the Village by the Farm Shop, the Barn Swallow's and House Martin's were buzzing around in high numbers.

The Hoverflies were taking advantage of the sun by sunning themselves on the wall at the Workshop Covert, giving some cool pictures!

At the Lakes, no sign of the Little Owl today, hopefully keeping dry from the rain! But the Mute Swans are still doing well with 7 Cygnets who are now copying Mum by stretching their wings and cleaning! Very cute!

Also at Top Lake, one of the resident Grey Heron's high in the trees, gave us some good views before flying off to feed.

3, 2, 1.......

Take-Off !!

On the Path on Top Lake, the baby Toad's were still about, as small as a thumbnail, tiny little things!

Walking back along the College Drive, a single Rabbit hiding in the undergrowth was the best to finish our walk!

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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

On The Feeders + Patch With A Welcome Return!

Date: 14/06/2016
Location: Patch - Newton St Loe
Weather: No Rain! But Cloudy, Warm
Other Species: 
Jay, Kestrel, Buzzard, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Skylark, Greenfinch, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Little Owl, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker 
- Total 43 Species
First off our feeders seem to be doing really well this year with Blue Tits, Great 
Tits, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Coal Tits, Goldfinch and Blackbird all of which are Juveniles, plus all the usual's, Jay, Greater Spotted Woodpecker and Collared Doves! Here's a few images off our tree. 

Excellent to see Bullfinches, of course, always in pairs.

Up to 4 Bullies at one time, so much choice he's thinking!

Unusual to see female Blackbird in our tree normally on floor in car park, this one very young.
The dad we've named wheezy as he constantly gives his position away with wheeze!

At least 4 Goldfinch Juveniles with family group always squabbling over Sunflowers seeds.

Lastly The Collared Doves always a couple about, trying to balance on feeders, 
Gotta love that eye !

Now out on Patch normal walk out through Bath Mill with Grey Wagtails in Brook, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Goldcrest in trees. All the normal stuff about even a few Butterflies including this Large Skipper first I've seen on patch this year, previous year 4th June.

Along lanes Skylarks, Yellowhammers, this year can hear Yellowhammers calling from my back garden, garden tick soon? 
Lots of this lovely birds about this one with beak full and foaming at the bit!

More Butterflies, this year total so far at 15 but not many weather not warming enough for long enough  :(

Out through Village with Swift, Barn Swallows and House Martins and the return of Pied Wagtails seem to be a real lack of them so far this year? 
On to Lakes with Grey Heron 2 still in heronry then a real treat sat up in tree Little Owl !!
 For anyone who follows us the reason we started Blog was on the 1st April 2012 we first spotted them and was our first blog post. The Little Owls have had a turbulent time here with noisy students, attacked by Buzzards which we witnessed, Amazing (Link to post). But also have done well with up to 5 seen at once many different nesting spots, but recently have not seen as much and we feared we lost them but today... Whoohoo !!

Little Owl keeping an eye on those pesky Jackdaws, but looking wonderful!

On out through College with Treecreeper, Blue Tit's and Green Woodpecker nests now vacant but still plenty about including the House Sparrows which since Farm has moved out seem to have increased all over village. Thats it for now much more to come .

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