Sunday, 18 September 2016

Webs Day

0930 - 1100 Grey, dull, brightening later

A quick visit to count the birds on the water....quick mostly because I had the company of my son...as he is only 7 he doesn't have the longest patience....so it was count and move...

However....he was impressed with the 200+ Starling flying up from the sheep field, landing on the line and making it sag quite considerably....

...this was from a few days ago and not so many on a line near by...

....and he even mentioned re-visiting the murmeration we saw last year over at Laddingford....he was also impressed with the geese numbers, see below.....

I suppose the 'big story' is the return of the ducks, the return of Autumn....

....this Poplars leaves are going yellowy green...turning for winter.....

....increased Pochard numbers and the arrival of good numbers of Wigeon....

Mallard 1, Grey Heron 4, Coot 98, Tufted Duck 3, Gadwall 8, Pochard 9, Little Grebe 3, Great Crested Grebe 4, Mute Swan 9, Cormorant 1, Moorhen 10, Wigeon 38, Shoveler 1, Greylag Geese 84, Canada Geese 263, Black-headed Gull 9, Herring Gull 1

So what else impresses a 7 year old....try this.....burrowing bees....there were at least a couple of hundred all with individual holes in a pile of sand in the quarry area and he was very impressed with them....fascinating....but what species are they....


possibly...Colletes or Halictus species....all burrowing bees...

Finally....took these pictures a few days ago....I was interested in the 'two-tone' colouration of the flower....turns out to, possibly, be a bit of an oddity....a rosette from two plants growing together...



...Flatweed (or Cats ear), Hypochaeris radicata and
Autumn Hawkbit, Scorzoneroides autumnalis


Thursday, 15 September 2016

And in the end....

...the love you take....is equal to the love......you make....

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/one-seven-species-faces-extinction-great-britain-015300561.html

Saturday, 10 September 2016

On the road again....

Visit to Chartwell...the only bird of any note was a Buzzard just south of Sevenoaks on the way back...

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

September

...already....migration is underway....

0915 - 1200 warm to hot, misty to bright sky, SW f1-3

A quiet visit, a few Swallow over, some Whitethroat about, but not much else passerine wise happening.

On the pools the 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls have re-appeared along with a Great Black-backed Gull.  Canada Geese were present, round 180 or so....and about 40 Greylag.  2 female Shoveler and 3 Pochard made he duck interest.

A Kingfisher was seen and we watched it catch a fish before taking flight.

The birds of prey were represented by several Buzzards, at least 2 Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk being chased by 2 Swallows.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Back to Spain

A few wildlife pictures.....starting with  quick recall of that Blue Rock Thrush....

Blue Rock Thrush

I believe this is a Red-rumped Swallow nest....I found it in this tunnel which is actually...


A tunnel for the river to pass under the road above...


Bit of a mixed bag from here....some moths, which mostly seemed to be micros, I left the outside light on a few times and attracted a few....





And a couple of lacewings of some sort....




This little chap was in the shower one morning, only a couple of inches long....how cute....


Found this on a walk....we were walking...he...or she....wasn't...







Something I had read about.....European Mantis...we saw two in total, both times when we were sitting out and had the light on, they would fly in and land....one morning one of them was still there...how fabulous!!




Not really sure whats going on here....I found these....wasps?....when I walked out from the house looking for birds....they were in the middle of this bush....and were non too pleased when I pushed the camera in to get a pic...so this is the best I could do...


Butterflies...yes....it was always hot....so they were rarely still for longer than a second or two...and if they were still...they had their wings closed....



One night I left the outside light on....in the morning there were no moths....ooops...im guessing this guy, or his/her friend (we had at least two living in/on the house) was responsible...



Banded Damoiselle...I reckon...


Juvenile Grey Wagtail...


This amazing dragonfly was by a HEP dam.....the only other one I saw was by my brothers pool at his place....


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Back garden.....and Spain

I was hanging out the washing this morning....I lead a very exciting life....and I could hear a high pitched screeching, definitely a raptor.....despite searching the skies I couldn't find anything...

...this afternoon I was getting the recycling together in the back garden....I told you I lead an exciting life....and heard the same screeching....this time I located two birds of prey...one large, Buzzard like...the other smaller...and obviously harrying the bigger one...inside for the bins...

...the Buzzard like one turned out to be....a Buzzard....inside for the scope as the smaller one had meandered off....yes, definitely a Buzzard and the smaller bird....a Peregrine....so I watched for a minute...and the Peregrine turned in to 2 Peregrines....nice...!

Meanwhile back in Spain....I thought I would stick a list up of the birds seen....lifers I have highlighted in blue...but they are in order of seeing them day by day....its not an extensive list...it was a family holiday so birding was limited....however...I did manage to get one of my target Wheatears...

Bee-eater....these would fly over every morning and evening....I saw about 100 one evening when I went to stay with my brother at his villa...
Blackbird
Orphean Warbler....outside the house regularly
Sardinian Warbler...loads and loads everywhere outside the house...
Golden Oriole...a family were present locally, the male singing by the house now and then...
Red-rump Swallow...another morning event...100-200 would come up the valley and pass by..
House Martin
Spotless Starling...a small flock would go over most mornings....
Whitethroat
Stonechat
Goldfinch
Feral Pigeon
Collared Dove
Turtle Dove...the only one I have seen this year anywhere....
House Sparrow
Griffon Vulture
Black Redstart
Blue Rock Thrush
Egyptian Vulture
Grey Wagtail
Short-toed Eagle
Crag Martin
Barn Swallow
Swift
Wren
Great Tit
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Yellow-legged Gull
Black Wheatear
Kestrel
Little Owl
Chaffinch
Coal Tit
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Nuthatch
Long Tail Tit
Bonellis Eagle
Spotted Flycatcher
Chough
Red-legged Partridge
Coot
Grey Heron
Black-winged Stilt
Cettis Warbler
Crested Tit
Greater Black-backed Gull
Common Redstart
Bonellis Warbler

Best book I found was Garcia and Patersons Birds of Southern and Western Spain....

Most disappointing bit about the trip...I had read in a different book, an orange covered 25 pages of a thing, about how great Ronda was for Lesser Kestrel, hundreds of Swifts (several species), Peregrine activity and more....lets just say...Ronda has a nice bridge, a flock of 50 Chough and I counted at least 300 Feral Pigeon....nothing else in sight....very....very disappointing....and obviously old information...

Monday, 29 August 2016

Autumn is upon us....

1100 - 1230 sunny, some cloud, breezy SW f2-3

....and you cant get much more Autumnal than a Blackberry...

A quick visit...the first for a few weeks now....a middle of the day session, so not much moving around...Chiffchaffs calling and a few warblers moving around....Blackcap, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler.....

I came across this little emerald jewel dancing and glinting in the sunshine.....lovely...

I'm pretty sure this is a Beautiful Demoiselle, female

But todays highlight was probably the two Clouded Yellow butterflies along the track....fabulous...but couldn't get a photo as they wouldn't sit still for longer than a second....will have to try again earlier in the day....

Now the tide has gone out....thanks to the sun finally getting on with evaporation, there was a Common Sandpiper on the shore.  50+ Tufted Duck, 35+ Canada Geese.

3 Swallow were over the field near the access road, as were the 2 Buzzards, one being an immature bird....15+ House Martin were over the pits.