Monday, 16 October 2017

Out and About

Autumn has definitely arrived, the leaves are falling especially with winds over the past few days, though it's been oddly warm. 






The sun at the weekend brought out a few Red Admirals, they made the most of the sun.......on my washing!



The sun caught the cobwebs in the park.



This spider has made it's web on our patio door, I haven't been able to open it properly for a couple of weeks because I didn't want to destroy it!


My daughter spotted this ladybird whilst we were out on a walk


In the park we spotted these mushrooms and was hoping for a Redwing or two but instead we saw a few Mistle and Song Thrush.



In the garden a poppy made a sudden appearance from behind one of my Lavender plants and my fuchsia is still blooming.The Blackbirds are picking at the berries in the surrounding trees. I tidied up the plants in the pond a little and it's full of tiny snails.




If anyone knows what these apple like fruit are, they've been growing in my hedge for years and i've never figured out what they are?



The soundtrack to the past weekend has been Goldcrest, constantly chirping in the trees in the garden, making fleeting appearances as they flit about, i've counted two and they were the first birds up this morning, the noise a lovely start to the day. 

Walking up our street on Sunday morning a Sparrowhawk landed in the tree in front of us briefly before flying after a flock of Starlings, pouncing on a straggler and snatching it right out of the sky, before flying off behind a building. Very cool to see. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Morecambe

A few photos from a quick stop off in Morecambe after Leighton Moss the other week.




Oystercatchers



Black-headed Gull


Pied Wagtail


Herring Gull

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Finally............

Saturday morning we were up early and off to Fairburn Ings, I was hoping for Bearded Tits (again!) after reading that  24 had been counted in the reeds on the Coal Trips Trail over the past week or so and a few people had been seeing them.

A quick look out the pick up hide when we got there proved fairly quiet with a Little Egret in the distance and off to the side by the feeders Moorhen, Pheasant and Great Tits.

At the Big Hole there were a lot of Black Headed Gulls, Lapwing and Crows.


Grazing on the hillside next to Big Hole


As we headed up the path a few Magpie flew up onto the fence along with a Green Woodpecker! We saw it a couple more times too, quite far off but you could see the red on the top of the head.



A flock of birds kept popping up over the crest of the hill and as we got closer we realised they were the Bearded Tits - actually there right in front of us putting on a show, flying up and then dipping down into the reeds, climbing up them and then repeating!






We watched them for about 15 minutes or so and they followed backwards and forwards alongside us as we walked down the path, amazing to watch and hear!

Walking along the trail we saw quite a lot of fungi in the grass and kept getting rained on then the sun would shine briefly.






Back to the visitors centre for a cup of tea and we picked up some duck food too, my daughter wanted to feed the ducks - some things you never grow out of (even when you're trying to be a cool high schooler)!


Tufted Duck 


Bottoms Up! 



Tufted Duck


Black-headed Gull


Teal

A very good morning and a very happy me!



Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Leighton Moss

At the weekend we drove up to Leighton Moss for the first time since 2013!

We were there mostly for the Bearded Tits, which have been showing well at the grit trays they have for them. A helpful chap in the visitor centre pointed us in the direction of the boardwalk, which wasn't there last time we were and also mentioned about the Purple Heron that had been around for about 5 weeks. We stopped to look at a couple of Caterpillars along the way, i'm not sure what they are though?




On to the grit trays where a few people were stood including a couple of guys packing up their cameras............with no sign of the Bearded Tits. We hung around a good long while, kudos to my daughter whose attention span waned pretty quickly she handled it well! My husband watched Buzzards and House Martins overhead and I just watched the trays........nothing. Honestly these birds just know i'm coming, apologies to anyone who was stood alongside me they're just not going to show whilst i'm there, they continue to be my bogey bird!! 

Empty..........


Oh well moving on. We walked to the Causeway Hide, this is new to us too, it's got great views over the Causeway and is quite spacious too. A Heron was sat right outside along with a Swan and a Moorhen. On the island Greenshank, Redshank, what looked like a Snipe, but it ducked out of sight too quick to be sure and Gadwall. Then the guy next to us spotted an Otter swimming over from the right, it eventually made it's way right across the front of the hide and we watched it dive in and out of the water - my first wild Otter, my daughter loved it too.


Otter Tail! 


Otter head (honest)


We walked around to the lower hide and the path along the way was full of Robins and Great Tits and a very inquisitive Pheasant!






Just outside a couple of frogs were in the water.


It was fairly quiet from the hide with a few Mallard and then another Otter was spotted off in the distance, we could just see the head poking out of the water!

Stopping for lunch, we sat at the picnic tables and were serenaded by a Robin, which kept flying under the table. When we rustled a bag Pheasants came running, they must associate the sound with food!! In the trees we saw Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Magpies, Blue Tits and Great Tits. 

The Skytower was also a new addition, we climbed to the top and had lovely views of the reserve. A Marsh Harrier was flying in the distance and a couple of Herons were about - neither of them purple unfortunately.




Along the paths we stopped often to watch the birds, they don't seem to be too bothered by people and were lovely to watch, we saw Nuthatch, Robins, Great, Blue and Coal Tits, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff/Willow Warbler and a Vole in some logs by the path.








From the hides we saw Teal, Gadwall and Snipe.



We moved on down then to the Coastal Trail to look out over Morecambe Bay. The pools from the hides were full of Redshank and Lapwing. A few Dunlin too and on one of the island two Ringed Plovers. We could see Little Egrets in the fields in the distance. 




By the entrance to the reserve there were a couple of large flocks of birds in the trees, Goldfinch with several Juveniles in one and then Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Tits in the other.

A Robin sang from the trees as we left. A good day despite the lack of Bearded Tits!