Monday, 30 May 2011

Transect today

Through quite grey today the weather doing my transect today had my first Large Skipper and first of many i am sure 3 Meadow Browns and every week i go the wildflower meadow looks more and more impressive which is why i suspect the common blue count as already past last years.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Lakenheath Fen

On the 15th of May had a wonderful day to Lakenheath Fen with my Local RSPB Group arriving we saw Kestrel and Red Kite in the car park then walking arouund the reed beds had very good view of Black Cap, Reed Bunting, Whitethroat, Sedge and Reed warblers. The went into the poplar woodland hearing the sound of the Golden Oriole such a strange but beautiful sound but no visual at this point when we told there were a pair of Common Cranes by the railway so we wento to have a look and sure enough by the railway was a pair of Cranes in full summer plumage feeding. After watching the Cranes for a while headed back into the woodland where we saw 1 Female Golden Oriole, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Peregrine Falcon and about 3 Hobbys overhead. At the Lunch stop and Viewpoint had more views of Hobbys and hunting Marsh Harriers over the reeds and Warblers singing including a Cettis Warbler heard and overhead we had Swifts, Swallows, and House Martin. Then we walked back along the river where we had good views of Sand Martins feeding, a pair of Garganey flying past and a lovely Little Egret to finish the day off.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Around Norfolk

Headed to Titchwell where I was greeting by a lovely singing Wood Warbler performing to quite a few vistors and showing very well then headed around into the reed bed section where there was quite a few Sedge Warblers and Chiff-chaffs but not much else then headed to the scrape and the new  Parrinder hide on the scrape which looks very futurist and give good views out bothsides of the main scrape. Walking down to the hide was lucky enough to have a Wall Butterfly on the sand bank and then when i got to the main scrape had quite a few duck with a surprisly late Pintail and Common Terns calling overhead lots of waders with the star of the lot a very showy male Ruff, a few Little Ringed Plovers, Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Redshanks, Oystercatchers, Turnsturns, Black-tailed Godwits and lots of breeding pairs of avocets biggest number of pair breeding here told by one of the volunteers so hopefully the new scrape will help the birds to do well.

Wood Warbler

Friendly Ruff

Little Ringed Plover

Wall Butterfly

Next headed to Cley Marshes a great reserve owned by Nofolk Wildlife Trust even though by now the day had greyed up plenty of showy Sedges Warbers along the reed bed and overhead beautiful Marsh Harriers hunting overhead before headed to the main pool where there were lots of Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks feeding along with a wonderful Spoonbill. Then walked along the seafront where quite a few Common, Sandwich and Little Terns hunting over the sea and behind the sea lots of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks feeding and singing. Then walking back to the visitor center saw quite a few people watching a few birds when i got nearer a young Redshank chick ran across the path so cute, the Redshanks seem to be nesting right by the path but strangly not bothered by the people. When i got to the watching people i was told that they were watching Temminck’s Stints, Lesser Yellowlegs and least 3 Wood Sandpiper a lovely head to my wander round the country.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Coast of Lincolnshire

Had a day along the coast of  Lincolnshire first headed to Freiston Shore right on the edge off the wash filled with lots of waders with Oystercatcher, Dunlins, Lapwings, Turnstones, Redshanks being the highlights. Also overhead still lots of Brent Geese still on the wash coming in and quite a few Common terns hunting and a nice sight to see a big flock of Tree Sparrows near the car park.

Next headed to Frampton Marsh a wonderful RSPB reserve always a good place to see a few of my favourite spring migrants and again it was the case with Yellow Wagtail, Wheater around the cow fields and Little Stint, Red and Greenshanks, Wood and Common Sandpipers showing around the scrape. Also around where lots of Little Ringed Plovers feeding and maybe trying to setting up nests, Corn Bunting along the wires and Sand Martins taking advantage of the bank. The real hightlight of the day for me though was watching the hares out on the marshes just going about there lives such wonderful animals.

Corn Bunting

Singing Corn Bunting
Greenshank feeding
Running Hare

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Yorkshire Dales

After leaving carlisle had a wonderful drive through the Fell of the Lake District and the valleys of the Yorksire Dales it really does make you love this country espically when the waether as perfect as it was.

The stopped off at Gunnerside Gill and had a very pleasent and productive walk with Willow Warblers and Blackcaps singing in the woodland area before hitting the riverside area where there were Oystercathers, Dippers and Pied Wagtail before climbing up the gill and getting a sighting of Wheaters, Meadow Pipits, Ravens and best of all 2 Males Ring Ouzels with one challenging the other one to a duel, though not for long, and a added bonus while walking back through the woodland had a view of a male Redstart and a young Mistle Thrush family.

Ring Ouzel

Young Mistle Thrush

Young Dipper
Next headed to Grinton Moor in the hope of seeing some Red Grouse at first no sign of any but after a little wait and with very close of Wheater and Meadit Pipit had a view of a lovely male Red Grouse feeding in the heather.

Meadow Pipit in the heather

Male Red Grouse

Male Red Grouse feeding
Last stop in the dales was Strid Wood part of bolton abbey with Grey Wagtail, Dippers, Kingfisher, Common Sandpipers and lots of Martins along the water edge but the best part is once you enter the woodland as it just seem perfect with the bluells covering the ground and at tree level birds everywhere with lots of the more westly nesting oakland birds with lots of nesting Pied Flycatchers and singing Wood Warblers and Redstarts around and also lots of Treecreepers, Nutchatcher and Woodpeckers filling the wood with sounds. Upon leaving the woodland had a nice view of a Peregrine Falcon being chased away by Lapwing and Oystercatcher perfect end to the stunning area of the dales.

Pied Flycatcher

Wood Warbler

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Kielder forest

Next day we decided to pay a visit to Kielder Forest in Northumberland first headed to to the area by the castle which seems to be a torist trap even the walks around the castle but once we got off the main trains and to the nature trails further along by Kielder Water it was lovely and peaceful with birds singing  and in the hide overlooking the water quite a few birds going  about there lifes with Common Sandpipers, Goosander and Greylags Geese around and then we decided to walk one of the woodland trails in the hope of seeing one of the red squirrels on the woodland trail  but no luck with the squirrel but had quite a few tree pipits and the odd redstart and a low flying Buzzard over this charming landscape.

River along the woodland walk

In the woods

 Kielder Water at the end of the walk

Tree Pipit

Friday, 20 May 2011

Threave and Tay Forest Park

Next day we headed to Threave Castle along the River Dee and quite unique in that to get there you need to go via boat after ringing the bell, now owned by Historic Scotland it was built by Archibald the Grim at an important densive point along the river.

Ring the bell

Threave Castle from the river

Threave Castle
As alot of the land around was owned by the different charities the actually estate is owned by the National Trust for Scotland quite alot of wildlife around with a pair of Osprey nesting and had a wonderfully view of the male beeing mobbed by a crow from the boat on the way back. Also around the estate was a pair of Goosanders, Blackcaps , Sedge Warblers ,Swallows and House Martins

Next headed to Galloway Forest Park headed at first to Clatteringshaws Loch and after a walk near the visitor centre around drove up the road to the left near the dam section till stopped by a few fire engines going past to a forest fire at the far end of the Loch which we spotted after the next turn. So decided to do the summer drive instead which was a wise choice  as it was a lovely drive along the river dee finishing up along  Stroan Loch with the added bonus of seeing a lovely pair of Crossbill flying around at the top of the trees by the Loch side.

River Dee
Stroan Lochside

Stroan Loch

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Around Loch Ken

The next we spent quite a bit of time along the Galloway Red Kite Trail in Dumfries and Galloway first heeded off to the RSPB Reserve of Ken-Dee Marshes to hopefull see a Red Squirrel sadly we were unlucky with that but with sun out saw my first Dragonfly of the year a lovely Four-spotted Chaser. No lucky with the squirrels but saw quite a few species of butterflies with the hightlight been a lovely Small Tortoiseshell and in the trees quite a few Nuthatcher and Warblers and the one of the stars of this reserve a Willow Tit alway great to see as there so in decline.

Next headed to the Red Kite Feeding Station near by to watch the Red kites feeding such a amazing sight with the kites just drifting on the air currents which most of the time you don't pick up on, must have have been at least 50 filling the sky.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Muncaster Castle

Had a lovely day out at Muncaster Castle with my cousin, first off we spent the first part in the stunning bluebell woods which i would say were at full bloom and perfect as there were almost empty which made to that bit extra special and quite different to ashridge which is very full.

Muncastle Castle

Bluebells in the wood

In the afternoon we went round the Owls displaying showing how the World Owl Trust is helping protect many species of owl in this country and around the world a very worthwhile charity and using education as a powerfull tool. Through this we had some lovely close up accounting with some of the owls and birds of prey which really are beautiful birds.

Common Buzzard

Barn Owl

European Eagle Owl

Snowly Owl

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Sky, Sea and Birds

My first day with my cousin we decided to spend on the west cumbria coastline and with the weather perfect walked the few miles from St. Bees village to St. Bee head lighthouse, the weather was almost perfect with views for miles around with the Isle of Man visable at points and the mountain behind us. Wildlife wise lots of  Cormorant, Guillemot, Razorbill flying to and from the cliff and one Raven in the cliff. Along the path plenty of Whitethroat and Willow Warbler calling and one lone Stonechat a beautiful walk.

St. Bee Coastline

St. Bees Beach

Fleswick Bay

St. Bees Lighthouse

Rock Pipit

Sunday, 8 May 2011


Next on my trip payed a visit to Hodborrow nature reserve near Millom on the west cumbria coast looks very beautiful in the sun. Around the coast were a few intresting architecture pieces with 2 lighthouse one on  the Outer Barrier section and the reamins of a old windmill

Dunnon Bay

Outer Barrier Lighthouse
Hodbarrow Windmill

Wildlife around plenty of birds with the highlight being a few pair of Red-Breasted Merganser, a big flock of Eider ducks Willow Warblers and Whitethroats singing everywhere including one Lesser White throat. Butterflies there series species with all 3 of the whites and Orange-tipped and my first Small Copper of the year.

Red-Breasted Merganser

Willow Warbler