Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Blacktoft Sands

After time with the Bee-eaters we headed back up the motorway to Blacktoft Sands arriving about 12. We ate some lunch surrounded by Tree Sparrows and bees at the picnic tables before heading onto the reserve proper.

A Four-banded Longhorn Beetle flew in front of us and landed on a fence.


Right off we could hear Sedge Warblers around us and spotted a couple as we walked along the paths. Along with a few Reed Bunting and a Dunnock singing away.



Just before I clicked a Sedge Warbler was sitting right here!!

From the hides we saw a Greenshank, Redshank, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Little Egret, Teal, Shovelers, Shelduck, Heron, Little and Great Crested Grebes amongst others. My husband saw a couple of Bearded Tits but I couldn't get on them (that along with yet another blinding headache after a day using optics means I really need to schedule a new eye test!).


We watched the Marsh Harriers, one passing food to another, they can be seen from most of the hides but the best views of the day were from the Singleton Hide.


We saw Butterflies galore and lots of Beetles all over the grass. My daughter spotted a Caterpillar moving at quite a speed next to the path - a Peacock Butterfly I think.


Meadow Brown


Clouded Border Moth



Small Tortoiseshell


Ringlet 


 Essex Skipper (black on the end of the antenna)?


Meadow Brown


Peacock Butterfly Caterpillar?


Soldier Beetles


Comma 

This Woodpigeon actually made me physically jump when it flew up out of the undergrowth next to path on the way to the Ousefleet hide!


We spent a little time watching Reed Warblers flying backwards and forwards from the viewing screen next to the hide.

The sun was high and very hot and we had to leave around 4, I was flagging a bit in the heat to be honest. It was good to get the air con on in the car!

We finished the day with dinner at a friends, spending the early evening sat in their garden watching Swifts and Buzzards overhead. Then we were treated to these Sundogs above the houses. Pretty much a perfect way to end our rather long day!




Sunday, 9 July 2017

Bee-eaters

I saw on twitter (how I managed without twitter in the past I don't know....) about the 7 Bee-eaters spotted at a quarry in Nottinghamshire a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't make a trip until yesterday and luckily they stayed put or I think possibly 5 have stayed around.

We set off about 7.30 and found the site without too much trouble, there are signs for the car park the RSPB have set up in agreement with a nearby farmer. All very well organised I thought. Crossing the road it's short walk along a bridleway by the quarry to the viewing point. There were already quite a few people there when we arrived and the birds hadn't been seen for about 10 minutes or so. But not to worry they soon appeared.

No mistaking the colouring on the wings as one flew across my field of view and onto the branches they are using as their perch. Two birds at first but another two soon followed. They were beyond my lens for photos but I snapped a couple anyway, you can just about tell what the blurry dots are!



We watched them eat bees and butterflies through the scope, beautiful stunning birds and a joy to watch. We stayed around half an hour and enjoyed every minute. Though I got the sense my daughter got a little bored after about ten minutes when the phone came out........

The quarry itself is a perfect spot, several pools and lots of Butterflies, Damselflies, Bees and bugs around, the sun had brought everything out. We also saw Swifts, Sand Martins, Little Ringed Plover, Grey Wagtail, Tufted Duck, Lapwing and Goldfinch.



Gatekeeper 


Common Blue Damsel Fly?


Small Skipper?


Burnet Moth


Edit - Green-veined White 


Well worth the trip!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

A Day at the Coast Part 2

After Bempton we went on to Filey, mostly for a look around at rock pools on the brig before the tide came in and also ice cream!


It wasn't that busy to say it had ended up being such a nice day. There were Herring Gulls everywhere and one was even having a go at the crazy golf........


Onto the Brig where we were hoping for a Starfish but not today, we didn't have a huge amount of time, we wanted to be back on the beach before the tide cut us off. We saw a couple of tiny fish, crabs, Periwinkles, anemones and lots of different types of seaweed. I spent a few holidays here as a child and checking out the rock pools was always fun!







Beadlet Anemone? 


I wonder how long some of the Barnacles and Limpets have been on the rocks!


Before leaving we stopped briefly at Filey Dams, it was quiet bird wise, Coot, Mallard, Woodpigeon, BH and Herring Gulls. Mostly we were surround by butterflies, bees and damselflies. A nice way to end the day.