Friday, 27 July 2012

Finally some sun

Finally had some sun this week so when up to Hexton Chalk Pits where had my first Dark Green Fritillarys in hertfordshire for a numbers of years with at least four in flight maybe more had to keep track as the heat was encouraging them to fly around a lot. Also had many Chalkhill Blues possible in the hundreds along with Marbled Whites, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns,Ringlet and lots of Small\Essex skippers plus 1 Small Heath and a Shaded Broad-bar Moth and a Treble- bar Mot a good afternoon out though very warm after the cool weather we had.

Male Chalkhill Blue  
Female Chalkhill Blue feeding

Male Chalkhill Blue in the grass

Monday, 16 July 2012

Rutland Water

Had a prearranged trip to a Rutland Water to see the Ospreys on saturday though the weather was grey managed to escape the rain apart from on the journey. Headed up early to explore the rest of the reserve with a bit of warmth a few butterflies were up in the air. From the main lagoon had a view of a osprey fly in before it decided to sit in a puddle and bathe which is something i never seem them do before.  After watching him clean himself he moved which gave me a chance to see what other birds were around with mainly waders with Green Sandpipers, Common Sandpipers, Greenshank and Black-tailed Godwits all out. Around the edge quite few warblers around with Reed Warblers, Chiff-chaffs calling including both Spring and Autumn call which is quite unusual.

Then headed back to the center for the main event where had a introduction talk before heading out to the water for the evening cruise were there seemed to be a boating event on with lots out on the water. Birdwise was fairly quiet with just Gulls and Common Terns around the edge then we caught sight of a Barn Hunting hunting around the fields on the edge before we had a Male Osprey flyin over the boat giving some nice views a good end to a lovely evening.

Common Sandpiper

Little Egret

Common Tern

Male Osprey

Friday, 13 July 2012

Thursley Common

For once a nice weather day took me down into surrey to a new place but one i been meaning to visiting for a long time. Started off by following the heath trail which took me past the lake where there plenty of Red Damselflies around and a few Emperor Dragonflies hunting on the lake, while watching these i had a nive view of a Emerald Damselfly the first one i seen before.

Then carried on to main bog land where there where lots of different Dragonflies with Black-tailed Skimmer, Four-spot Chaser and Broad-boadied Chaser in the highest numbers but while photographing a Black-tailed Skimmer was luck enough for a Keeled Skimmer to appeared next to me. After spending a little bit of time with the beauty carried on along the path where there a hunting Hobby over some of the far bogs watching it picking out dragonflies out the air was a wonderful sight.

Moved further round into the woodland and heathland where there was lots of birdlife with Curlew overhead, Tree pipits calling and Stonechats, woodlark and Great Spotted Woodpeckers feeding there young. On the heathland despite being quite windy were up to 5 Silver-studded Blues in the heathland though only males ones when i went a good end to a cracking day.

Red Damselfly  
Close up of Keeled Skimmer
Keeled Skimmer showing the missing balck at the end
Four-spot Chaser

Hobby in flight

Young Woodlark

Silver-studded Blue on Heather

Sunday, 8 July 2012

A dip into East Anglia before home

Decided to pay a visit to Titchwell on the way home had a nice walk around in some sun with a fair few birds around with a pair of Beared Tits, Little Gull, Curlew Sandpiper the highligh but birdwise had Marsh Harrier hunting overhead and out on the marsh Curlew, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwits, Sandwich Terns hunting overhead and Warblers galore with Sedge, Cetti, Reed , Chiff-chaff and Blackcap all singing around. On the Hide wall had a lovely Wall Butterfly seems to be good place to see it.

Wall Butterfly on the wall

Wall feeding on buttercup

Then headed to Lakenheath where again lots of warbler life with the place really alive. Headed to the Lime tree section where it alive with the sound of the Golden Oriole in the woodland and to my surprise visable in the tree tops. While liserning to this birds kept hearing the sound of the cuckoo before had one flow over into the tree where it carried on calling. Carried on round to the reed bed section where had lots of Swallows and Swifts along with Hobbys and Marsh Harriers along with plenty of Reed Warblers. Then finished with a walk along the river where i was suprised to see a Whooper Swan still around which I later found out was unable to fly but seemed to be surviving quite well.

Cuckoo in the tree

Cuckoo flyover

Reed warbler in the reeds

Reed Warbler flying out

Whitethroat plenty around

The solo Whooper Swan

Friday, 6 July 2012

Mull of Galloway

Last day up north was spent around the Mull of Galloway thought first point of call was the charming village of  Portpatrict the reason for this is that in the harbour there usually Black Guillemots around the harbour despite the rain in the air there were quite a few around with around 10 out on the water and quite a few in and out of the harbour wall before a youngster appeared on the wall feet from me.

Building in the village
Portpatrict Harbour
Black Guillemots out in the harbour
Young Black Guillemot calling for food
Young Black Guillemot  
Showing off the bright red feet  

After the detour leaving the village had a delightful hare in the field before heading to the Mull of Galloway despite sun and showers seemed to be covered with birdlife with Wheatears everywhere and high numbers of Rock Pipits, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits along with Pied Wagtails and a lovely of Stonechats which seem to be getting lots of food for a nearby family. On the cliffs had nice views of Kittiwakes, Common Guillemots, Razorbills and Fulmars feeding and on the nest. Further out at sea lots of birds were in and out with a few Puffin around as they don't nest due to the wrong sort of cliffs and quite a few Gannets passing through.

The hare on route

The lighthouse at the Mull of Galloway

Young Wheatear
and adult

Male Stonechat

Female Stonechat
Pied Wagtail

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Marsh Fritillary and finally a Cumbrian Red Squirrel

A nice sunny day meant that in the morning we headed to Finglandrigg Woods to look for Marsh Fritillary arriving there right on the side of the main road were a nice selection of Northern Marsh Orchids a version of the Marsh Orchid i get back at home were showing in there full glory. Then walking through the woods had sighting of a family of nuthatches and Spotted Flycatchers at different points in the woodland and sadly a sighting of a Grey Squirrel which is a shame as its meant to be a place for Red Squirel but reported so hopefully what needs to be done can be done. Then walked through the buttercup field to the marshland where there where a good number of Marsh Fritillary flying and on wing with male fighting and looking for females.

Drinking Marsh Fritillary
In the buttercup

Marsh Fritillary underwing

Northern Marsh Orchid
Close up Orchid
In the afternoon headed to Thirlmere where we had a nice walk along the valley near High Rigg giving some nice views of the mountains along the valley towards Blencathra.

Fells from behinds the trees
Blencathra in the valley

Then ended the day by looking for the Red Squirrel at the Dodd Wood Osprey Feeding points no sigh of any ospreys but lots of birds feeding with Chaffinch, Great Tits , Nuthatches and Great Spotted Woodpeckers in good number along with a Jay and a few Stock Doves on the woodland edge. After a while a Red Squirrel appeared for a few minutes and was quite happy feeding before running off back into the woodland.

Free lunch for the squirrel

A little feed

Jay in the evening sun on the woodland edge

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The other side of scotland

The next we decided to end more east due to the weather pattern so headed to Grey's Mare Tails a waterfall along with a mountain walk so from the bottom climbed up along the waterfalls and along Tail Burn which is a very steep climb but a rewarding view up to Loch Skeen where we stopped for Lunch. On the way up heard lots of Meadow Pipits and the young of a Pergerine falcon along with a adult flying overhead.

Grey's Mare Tail Waterfall
View while taking a breather
Tail Burn  
After lunch we headed up the path to White Coombe which was giving greats views along the mountain ridge before reaching the top where we had some splendid views of Loch Skeen. Then carried on along the Ridge with more views of the beautiful landscape and the added bonus of a pair of Wheatears up at the top. Then carried on along the top where the scottish weather decided to break so we had a little hail storm while travelling back down but that cleared up very quickly. On the way down walked back down past the waterfalls were there were a few wild goats feeding including one with young.

Loch Skeen

Loch Skeen with Lochcraig head behind it
Scottish Mountains from up high

The wild goat