Monday, 30 March 2009
Sunday morning 05.30am crawled out of the bed like cyclops, one eye shut the other one just opened, who's idea was it to put the clocks forward an hour and deprive me of precious sleep. Right breakfast then wash and shave feel almost human again. Now its off to meet the lads for a mornings birding on good old Bodmin Moor, hence the reason for the wash & shave, did not want the locals up there to think The Beast of Bodmin Moor was on the loose again. Any way three of us today, so reached the Upper Fowey Valley at 07.30 to see if the Hawfinches were still around. But they did not show so may be they have moved on, But had a nice pair of Siskin (see first pic) also Marsh Tit, flash of a Sparrowhawk through the hedgerows. There were also a few Common Buzzards circling around. We also had a Redpoll fly over. Next it was off to Golitha Falls again to look for Nuthatch and Treecreeper, as Paul the third member of the group need this as a Cornwall Tick. Walking through the woods we had a brief view of a Mistle Thrush as it took of from the opposite bank (another year tick), Paul managed to get the Treecreeper + a few photo's. Mark and I found a pair of Nuthatches nest building in a tree hole, so spent some time photographing those, (see next photo). Finally we took a drive up around Minnions and North Hill hopefully looking for Red Kite or "please" God a Goshawk, but no such luck may be one day, still plenty of Buzzards to keep us looking. May go back again next weekend who knows maybe Crossbill, Redstart or a rare migrant (well I can dream cant I?).
Saturday, 28 March 2009
ANOTHER SEAS0N By Monty Curtis The full gleaming rustic colours of autumn blazed across the landscape. Golden leaves floated gently down to earth, and laid a carpet upon the soil. The days were shorter now and a slight chill was in the air, squirrels moved quickly stocking up their pantries against the pending season. The hedgehog full from his summer feast was sleepy and looking for a place to hibernate. As days went by the nights grew colder and gave birth to the first iced diamond frosty morning of winter. Visitors were arriving now feathered friends from northern lands flying south to escape the arctic storms and to eat the meagre foods from land and water. The wind blew cold from the north and dark grey clouds sent feathery flakes of snow drifting to the ground. Soon all the land was covered by a carpet of white, and rivers and ponds were frozen by a thick layer of ice. All was still except for Robins and Starlings searching for crumbs. The fox making his rounds to see that man had penned his ducks and hens for the night. In all this bareness winter lived, time passed by short dull days and long cold nights. Only the hardiest went abroad those with the thickest fur and the warmest feathers. Soon the falling snow turned to rain and the days grew a little longer, animals started to move about during the days, and the hedgehog in his home opened an eye and stretched lazily. Buds appeared on branches and pussy willow and catkins swung gently in the breeze. On a warm sunny morning in March a new born lamb unsteadily rose to its feet and leapt around the meadow, so glad that winter was dead and spring was born.
Friday, 27 March 2009
Hi folks just a short note to let you all know Know of a great blog I have found. Its called (A focus in the wild) and is hosted by a lady called Stacy in Wyoming USA. ( Link is in my favourite blogs on the left ). Take a look its well worth it.
The Lizard Point on the Lizard Peninsula is the most southerly part of the United Kingdom, It is a beautiful area for walking and enjoying fine coastal views. It can be very dangerous for seafarers in stormy conditions from a southerly direction as there are numerous semi submerged rocks in the area, and along the coast to the southern end of Falmouth Bay there is a large expanse of underwater rocks called The Mannacles and is the graveyard of many ships over the centuries. The Lizard area is also famous for a scarce mineral called Serpentine which when cut and polished and have various local artifacts mounted on it is sold in the tourist shops.
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
At last I can catchup on the weekends activity, firstly on Saturday I went to St Gothian Sands to check for any Migrant's did not find anything so decided to move on to the North Cliffs. I thought some real gliding specialists could have turned up, I was not disappointed on arrival there were 23 Fulmers putting on a fantastic gliding display.These birds glide along hugging the cliff face and sometimes drop their legs as if to land then turn and dive vertically down the cliff face The first pic's are of the Hells Mouth area and these are followed by the Fulmer flying display
Sunday it was down to the Lizard to find the Cornish Choughs a member of the crow family that have been breeding there for the past five years, we did manage to find two but unfortunately did not get any decent photo's. Then it was on to Kynance Cove to look for Dartford Warblers which breed at this location. Again we only managed to get a brief glimpse of a female disappearing over a hedge, it was quite windy and this species likes to stay under cover in windy conditions. Finally we stopped at Helston Boating Lake to look for the Ring Billed Gull I had missed on two previous visits. But Luck was with us and we spent an hour with this bird in glorious sunshine as these photo, show. So it turned out to be a good weekend.
Monday, 23 March 2009
Have not had any time to post any new pic's, as we have had a weekend of beautiful weather so have been catching up with some garden work in the afternoons and evenings, But rest assured I did get out on Saturday and Sunday morning, so have got some items to put on hopefully tomorrow night. So thanks for your patience, as this time of year is catchup on the jobs that cannot be done in the winter.
Friday, 20 March 2009
On leaving work last night it was a quick run down to the Hayle Estuary to see nine Cattle Egrets which have been dropping in late in the afternoon's for over a week. When I arrived another local birder was there and informed me they were out in the middle of the Estuary, setting up the scope I had good but distant views. We watched them for between five and ten minute's when suddenly all the birds in sight took to the air. So what caused this a Peregrine Falcon or maybe a Sparrowhawk,not so it was a Common Buzzard which only takes other bird's in rare cases. But it was still enough to give everything a fright, so grabbing my camera I hoped the would come closer for a few shot's. After circling around a couple of time,s they came right across in front of us at a distance, I managed to get a few record flight shots. Cattle Egrets are not resident in the UK at this time, but we have had good numbers occurring over the last Two years, so who knows. The first shot shows all nine in flight , and in the second shot I managed to get eight. After this they flew off to the south west and did not return. So now it's looking forward to the weekend for hopefully some more goodies as the wind has been East/ South East for a few days' and will hopefully push some migrant's across our area and maybe turn up a rarity or two. So to everyone who follows the Blog thank you and have a very enjoyable weekend
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Well after a few will it won't it evenings I seem to have got most of my software conflict problems sorted out. My intention tonight was not to post another bird subject, but still having a few probs with the raw software on the G10,so the post about a local landmark will have to wait for a few more day's. So for tonight's post I have three pic's taken at Marazion on Sunday, First up is a little ball of fluff The Long Tailed Tit,to see these flitting through the trees picking off insects is a great sight. Second on the right is a Ring Plover these are quite common during Autumn and Winter IN Spring they move North to their breeding grounds. The last Picture is the Stonechat so called that when you hear its clicking call it's like someone hitting two stones together. This bird is an all year round resident especially in coastal areas.
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Apologies I do not have any pic's ready for a post again tonight,I am having a problem with some raw processing software I use. I have just installed a later version and this is even worse. My poor old PC is locking up and doing all sorts of weird thing's So never mind I can always go and look at everyone Else's Blogs and there is some great pics to look at. The best one for me at the moment is JR & SUE'S Moth and Insect's page, if you have not done so check it out, some great images to be found there.
Saturday, 14 March 2009
I arrived at St Gothian Sands nature reserve at about 6.55am, it was a lovely clear morning although a strong breeze was coming in off the Atlantic. The forecast stated that wind speed would be about 23 mph which I thought was about Right. St Gothian Sand's is quite a new reserve about 4 yrs in existence and was a sand excavation works for many years. Two areas have been fenced off to keep the dreaded dog walkers out and to give wildlife a chance. Don't misconstrue my comments I like dogs ,its their inconsiderate owners most birder's find the problem, leaving dog fetus everywhere even when they have taken the trouble to place it in plastic bags and instead of putting in bins provided leave it hanging off bushes and on pathways'. As most people know plastic and wildlife do not mix. Ok moan over back to pleasure, I had three species in mind to look for today two are early Spring migrant's the Sand Martin (which overwinters in West Africa) and the Northern Wheatear (which also winters in Africa). The third Species is a Ring Ouzal which normally migrates' south but one had been around the reserve for a couple of months, although very elusive. So how did I fare with today's objectives, please read on to find out. First two pic's are of St Gothian Sands.
So after about a hour at the Reserve I met up with Brian another local birder who informed me he had just spotted the elusive Ring Ouzel that I had been trying to see for a few weeks. So we walked into a small closed in area an sure enough on the far grassy bank was the Bird I'd been waiting to get. Things were beginning to get pretty good. So below are three pics of said Ring Ouzel
This is the earliest Spring arrival here in the UK, it is the lovely Sand Martin. I walked round the reserve on the first circuit and saw nothing then out of the blue there were 30+ of these feeding on the wing over the main pool. They were there for about 45 mins, then were gone as quickly as the came. Obviously continuing their migration northwards
last but not least is my very favourite spring arrival, This is the Northern Wheatear. I never fail to get bowled over by its beautiful neat appearance considering it has just flown all the way from Africa. Along with the Sand Martin these are usually the first Spring arrivals on our shores.
Friday, 13 March 2009
Well here we are back at Friday once again,had quite a busy week and looking forward to the weekend. The weather has become a bit milder, a balmy 13c today and so my mind is drifting of towards the moth trap,and what delights it will hold this year. So yes you guessed it tonight's subjects are a couple of little beauty's, on the left is the Magpie Moth, I have had a number of these last year and they seem very common in this area. On the right is the Garden Tiger, this is the only one of these I have seen, this one was found on the floor at my workplace. Had to use flash on both of the images as the light was not good enough for natural photography. So tomorrow it will be time to dust off the trap charge up the battery and get ready for some early morning action.
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Why is it that some species of bird's when seen are just given a cursory glance through binoculars or telescope and passed over. But if they were rarities we would be drooling over them for their colourful plumage and raw beauty. I am mainly talking about, The Mallard, The Shelduck Magpie Jackdaw and Wood Pigeon. This is but a few as there are numerous others that could be named. I admit that in the case of Wildfowl Hybrid and confusion species can be a problem. So next time you see one of these birds ignore their raucous nature, take a good look and try to think of something more beautiful. Top Shelduck and Jackdaw. // Middle Wood Pigeon and Magpie. Bottom last but not least The Humble Mallard.
Sunday, 8 March 2009
I was up at Dawn this morning looked out of the window and great stuff it was dry and clear. definitely not what the forecast said. So today its of to the town of Helston, about 12 miles to the south to try and see a Ring Billed Gull that's been on the boating Lake there for quite some time.Arrived just after 7am and it was bright and sunny first thing it was out with the Canon G10 to record the scene for the Blog
(see first two pic's above). After that I spent a couple of hours walking around the area taking shot's of some of the local Bird life. At about 10am the heaven's opened and had to run for shelter (see pic three).
When this had passed I decided it was time to head for home as it looked as if more rain was on the way.
So for the bird photo's today, first pair up are a Pied Wagtail followed by a Grey Wagtail.
Saturday, 7 March 2009
Great had a lie in this morning, got up around 6.45am had brekkie and decided to go down to St Gothian Sands NR. Drove over the top of Lanner Hill and dismay could not see the coast for fog. Plan "B"was put into place up to Stithians Res, got to Golden Lion Cutoff more fog, only place to go the hide's on the south cutoff. Not much from the main hide just Two Gt Crested Grebes and a couple of Tufted Duck's. So went to have a look at the feeders on the cutoff hide, things were a bit better with quite a few species visiting the food supply. Did not take many shots but managed to get a couple of decent pics of a male & female Reed Bunting that I have posted below. Got the post in early today as my wife and I are babysitting our Grandson tonight so won't have much time later.
Friday, 6 March 2009
So its Friday again and just sitting here chilling out in a mellow and sombre mood after the working week, and looking forward to the weekend. Hope the weather forecast is wrong, and we get some nice sunshine and not the cloud and rain expected. So what to do for tonight's post, well what better Fun Guy's & Girls than rooting around dank and rotting trees in woods on an Autumn's day looking for Fungi. So here is a selection of some I have unearthed so far if you hold the cursor over the image it should give you the name if I have them right. So whatever you do, whether its shooting birds, crawling around rotting trees, getting wet feet taking seascapes, or being chased by bulls shooting landscapes. Have a great weekend.