Herring Gull

Herring Gull

Monday, 11 August 2014

** Two good bird species seen in Norfolk.**

Last week Pamela and I went away to stay with  good friends in North Norfolk. This wasn't a wildlife visit, but we did go on a 2 hour boat trip on Hickling Broad. Swallowtail butterfly would have been a wonderful sight but on the day they was not playing ball. Thankfully I have seen them before.
Below is a picture I took of a Swallowtail caterpillar a few years ago.

The best wildlife seen was on our way home, two bird species.We stopped off at Cley-Next-The-Sea for lunch, and while we was sitting by the window scanning the scrapes 11 large white birds was showing, they was SPOONBILL, but it didn't stop there, as I continued panning along I found one more. 12 Spoonbill  is something I never thought I would ever see.

Not wanting to catch the M25 traffic I wanted to stop off at Weeting Heath to check out the Stone Curlew situation. We arrived about 5.15. Whenever I have been there whatever time of day it has never been busy, anyway I walked up to the west hide where I met 1 photographer. I sat along from him and opened the flaps where I was left speechless for a moment, expecting to see about 3 or 4, that is about what I have always seen when I have visited, this time there was a lot more, in total there  14 STONE CURLEW, one pair had 2 young. I spent a good hour observing them. I did manage to get a few pictures of them but none very close.

                                                 The parents with 1 of the young
Modern art!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

** Information About a Wasp Nest @Dungeness RSPB Reserve.**

I  paid a visit to Dungeness RSPB reserve today with a friend who has just moved back down here from up north after 6 years, anyway I am not posting about my daily sightings, just to inform birders and wildlife lovers that there is a WASP NEST in the Hanson Hide over at the ARC Pit. It is up in the top corner where the hide  angles round My friend Tony and I did have a look at the birds but this time I did my birding from the seat near the door as far away from Ken's seat as possible.Seeing a few wasps coming and going wasn't exactly my cup of tea.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

* Meet My New Friend.*

Over the past week I have got a new friend. I have been throwing dried meal worms out on the front lawn for a few birds, the main two being a Wood Pigeon and a male Blackbird. The Wood Pigeon was eating most of them so I started to move the meal worms closer towards us a little at a time. It is now a week later and we are feeding him 2 to two and a half feet from the patio doors, Pam has named him CHEEKY. The distance from the patio doors is not on the outside but  INSIDE.
Once we have opened the patio doors we know he isn't far away.  He doesn't mind the sounds coming from the television, or us talking, he just comes and goes as he pleases.
I am trying to get Cheeky to come further in to feed. When he helps himself, he often flicks some bits about, if they are a reasonable size he does eat them. I have added a few pictures of him, they are not perfect because the light is always behind him.
He can often be seen lying on the grass with his wings stretched out. In the pictures below he is not quite  as he sometimes is.  

I took this photo last week on the common but I cannot put a name to it. I am sure some of you can help me out. Is it a orchid of some description?
 I also took these of what I think is a Large Skipper.

and finally a Comma.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Red Slow Slow

I have been struggling to post pictures on my blog for while now, but after searching the web for any solutions I think I have finally cracked it. 
Someone suggested using Google Chrome so I have and as you can see it worked.
I took this picture a few years ago at New Hythe. I was wondering if anyone else has ever seen one.
Fingers crossed I will be ok now.

Monday, 23 June 2014

** Cannot Post Pics, Need Some Serious Help.**

I have been out now and again for very short spells but I didn't post anything because when I do I like to add a pic or 2 if I can, I enjoy it.
I did take some pics I just couldn't get them to upload onto the blog page. I have tried all sorts of ways but still no luck. It looks like I am going to have post without pics for a while.
The way I use to do  it was: Click on the link above for INSERT IMAGE, open, click on CHOOSE FILES,  then my pictures folder opened with  file name box at the bottom.  When I picked a photo the file name would load into the box at the bottom, I would click OPEN on the right hand side, and it use to go straight to the  CHOOSE FILES and UPLOAD. Then all I had to do was click on ADD SELECTED, and it then appeared on the post.
I know it is asking a lot but can any of you clever buggers, sorry I mean Bloggers give me any advice/help. My email address is on my profile page otherwise on here would be appreciated. Thank you.

Friday, 6 June 2014

**Rye Reserve and Dungeness RSPB Reserve on 5th June**

Long time, no blogging. I am please to have had a good day out to write about. I have been wanting to go down to Rye for a while now, I was just waiting for the right weather conditions, this seemed to be the day.We got there at about 12.30, then it was time for "The walk", well not the long one, the one to the hides via the caravan park.  The weather was bright blue sky's and 16c. it was hard work at times , but it was still a pleasant walk.
Once there I went into the Steve Denny Hide. It would have been nice to have carried the camera, but knowing how far the walk was it was a toss up between the scope or the camera, I went for the scope. Which ever I had chosen I was going to lose out, looking at distant birds, or taking pics of closer birds. There was a reason I chose the scope I wanted good views of the terns. If I had been feeling better than I did I would have made the effort to have taken both.
I settled down in the hide and as with most years it was impossible to ignore the B/H/Gull colony, ideal for budding photographers. It was nice to them at all different stages. I then began scanning the scrape for any waders than might be there. The obvious being the Avocets and there young, it's always amusing watching the sweeping in the shallows looking for food. Over the period of time I was there the following wader species was seen: Lapwing(2) Oystercatcher(3) Curlew(6) Redshank( 4 pairs with young) Spotted Redshank(not quite in it's breeding plumage) Dunlin(11, in breeding plumage) Greenshank(1).
The was a few of the more regular species around: Herring Gull, G/B/B/Gull, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe(2 pairs with young) Shelduck, Mallard, Cormorant. Finally Comes the terns, I have left them until last for one special reason. I was hoping to see one of my top 5 birds, and after waiting for quite a while with plenty of scanning around I found it, the *LITTLE TERN*(what a bird).  I first picked it up feeding at the back of the scrape, it came it from the sea direction. After a while it settled down on one of the long narrow islands, that is then I got my best views, due to the heat haze I was only able to in to about 45-50x. My day was made and I was a very happy bunny, you ask Pam, god knows how many times I told her about it. I stayed to watch the Sandwich Terns and Common Terns coming and going, swooping down for food and some bringing food to their nests then I called it a day because I wanted to call into Dungeness RSPB Reserve for a quick look around. I didn't bother looking in at the hide opposite because a couple of birders told me that there wasn't much to see. The only other birds I saw on my way back was; Skylark, Little Egret, Starling, C/Crow, Jackdaw, 
We arrived at about 4pm, and made our way to the centre battling our way up the track dodging the bad potholes on the way. Before we reached the centre 3 Hobby's was hawking above us.
When we arrived  Mary was on duty and I discussed the matter with her about the track and she told me that the track is due to be repaired in about 2 weeks time, the sooner the better, that's what I say!
The only bird of interest is the Glossy Ibis, which was at the back of the reserve in the fields where the stilts was, and there was no way I was going to walk that far, fortunately I saw it earlier this year.
I went over to the Hanson Hide over at the ARC Pit. I was there until about 5.45. Watching the birds was made even better with having the sun behind the hide.

The first thing I saw was the number of birds feeding in the air, it was like the gathering of the clans. There must have  been about 200-300 Swifts, House Martins, & Sand Martins feeding up for what might be the long haul very soon.
A expected the usual birds was about: Tufted Duck, Pochard, Teal, Mallard,  Coot's with young, Moorhen, Shoveler, G/C/Grebe( 2 pairs, each with 1 young), Cormorant, Mute Swan, Herring Gull, L/B/B/Gull, B/H/Gull, Grey Heron, Lapwing,  Marsh Harrier( a pair quartering the reeds) Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Lapwing, C/Crow, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, 
The highlight of my visit  here was a Cuckoo flying low across the water from the water tower area over towards the main reserve. On the way back to the car the only bird heard was a Sedge Warbler.

It has been a while since I have put a 'Bird of the Day on my blog but on this particular outing there can only be one winner, hands down it has to be the ***  LITTLE TERN.***

Monday, 28 April 2014

** Dungeness RSPB Reserve,with some icing on the cake, and some more.**

After regularly reading about the good birds that have been seen at Dungeness I thought it would be nice to visit today. The weather was ideal, nice sunshine virtually no wind. Pam and I arrived at about 10:30. I called into the centre to see what has been see, hoping that Mary would be able to tell me  that the Black Winged Stilts had had been seen, but she told me that nobody has been in and reported them. Knowing that they have always been seen in the fields behind Christmas Dell Hide. I made my way there with fingers crossed. En-route to the hide a CETTI'S WARBLER  made it's presence known, and  BEARDED TIT'S was pinging in the reeds.
Once there I scanned around with another birder. They wasn't showing from this area, but while there we both saw the same bird fly across the field at the far side, it was a CUCKOO. It landed on one of the fence posts and started calling. We carried on scanning as we went (it is a big area) and a beautiful WHINCHAT started singing from  the top of some large scub.
I could see other birders quite a way away, so putting my best forward I carried on. As usual around the Denge marsh Hide area I counted 7 COMMON WHITETHROATS flitting about. A couple of guys with huge len's on their camera's which looked more like rocket launchers told me that the Stilts was just a short distance away, hearing that was like music to my ears. As I arrived at the site where some other birders was at, I said to myself "I have made it". It was a trek but it was worth it to see the 2 BLACK WINGED STILTS. Scoping them up gave good views of them, the male that was showing more than the female, she was behind a tuft of grass.
It has been a long time since my last sighting of one but today it was worth the walk. During to time watching the Stilts a fellow birder arrived, Mike Hook, good to see you again.
On my way back I paused to see a distant PEREGRINE FALCON  plus the COMMON TERNS that are nesting on the rafts out in front on Denge Marsh Hide. From here all the way to the ARC pit wherever there was reeds I was accompanied by  REED SEDGE WARBLERS and Marsh Frogs in the ditches.
Before going into the Hanson Hide Pam and I sat and had our lunch.
As I neared the hide a male STONECHAT, perched up high looked very dapper with the sun on him.
I took up residence in 'KEN'S CORNER' and began watching the Terns. There has been Black Terns feeding here with the commons over the past few days, but all I could see was the latter. After a while it started to get cold in the hide so it was a matter of see what else I could find and then return to the car. The other birds seen was a pair of Coots nest building in the reeds close to the hide, a male MARSH HARRIER doing what harriers do, a couple of SWALLOWS flying over, and 3 pairs of Oystercatchers piping. The rest  of the birds was the regular species which can be seen virtually all around the reserve: G/B/B/Gull, L/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, B/H/Gull, Little Egrets(in good numbers) Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Shelduck, Shoveler, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Gadwall Teal, Dabchick, G/C/Grebe, Cormorant, Lapwing, C/crow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit,

Now normally at this point I would be adding my * Bird of the Day*  but today is different. Below is the reason why.
When Pam and I left the arc car park we saw this. I thought at first I was seeing things but I quickly told Pam and she was as surprised as I was, a **BADGER** Not only is it the first time I have seen one alive but it took me aback to see one out in the afternoon. I quickly grabbed the camera  and fired off a couple of shots,  this is about as good as it gets. but for me, it's a record shot. They was taken at 3.20pm.
This is my ** Creature of the Day.**  
Although I was excited to see it I couldn't help but to notice  a large bald patch at the top of it's hind leg, as visible in the picture. Thinking that it might be ill/hurt etc I decided to look up "Badgers venturing out in daylight", and this is what I found.
If you see a badger out in daylight or around buildings a lot, especially farm buildings, it’s likely it is old or ill and struggling to find food. It’s best to keep away as they can be vicious animals when they feel threatened, even more so when if they are not in good health.
I also read several reports that they have been known to show during the day even when they are healthy.

In my Blue Tit box I have a very busy pair of parents. They have been feeding all day, every day now for nearly 2 weeks. They are bringing in some pretty hefty caterpillars at times. I have Tit's nest in the box every year, but I have never had them with young this early before.  *Must keep a eye on the hole*