Friday, 31 August 2012

Back From Grandma's

I have just come back from a few days at my Grandma's house in North Wales and 2 lovely, bright Green Finches were in the garden to welcome me home.

 Unfortunately the tree the birds love has died, but I hope the neighbours don't chop it down because the birds love it up there.

A rather scruffy Collared Dove called in too.

And of course my faithful friends the House Sparrows

Whilst I was at my Grandma's I saw some extraordinary birds from high sky divers to low hunting drifters.
I saw an Osprey which was probably migrating, it even put on a display of diving and yes it had caught a trout or something like that. Then 15 minutes after, a female Hen Harrier showed up (loved it's white rump) and probably the last I will see this year, a migrating Redstart.

Thank you for a lovely time Grandma and Grandpa.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

House Martins

Our House Martins are on there third brood now and the young should be fledgling any time soon. I really enjoy seeing their heads poking out of the nest and all the noise they make as the parents return with food.

I will miss them when they migrate, but hopefully they will nest here again next year. I wanted to post them on Wild Bird Wednesday before they set off.

The Sparrows in my garden have decreased a little recently, but the Starlings haven't been back to the garden in ages. I bet there is alot of natural food around for all the birds at the moment.

We have still had quite a few House Sparrows though. I never get bored watching them.

And some really exciting news today.  My guest blog got posted on Chatterbirds today, so you can have a look at it if you want to.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Grass Snake in the River Weaver

Yesterday I went for a walk down by the River weaver and noticed a lot of Carp had died because of some blue algae that starved them from oxygen shown in this picture here. It was sad to see how many had died.

But I was soon cheered up by the pair of Mute Swans we always see.

And a busy coot

Next to the river there is a small lake which has loads of reed beds which meant there were loads of Reed Warblers, however mum kept on trying to take a picture of them but kept failing. There was a cygnet Mute Swan that was hissing at me even though I was feeding it bread.

As I continued my walk it started to thunder which made me a little nervous. 

I really wanted to ask one of the fisherman if there were nesting Kingfishers on the river.  I know there are Kingfishers on the river but I'm not sure where there were nesting. We stopped to watch some of the narrow boats going past.

As I was feeding the cygnet, my mum spotted the most amazing thing... A Grass Snake was swimming in the river. Yes the pictures are a bit blured because I was so excited I pressed the wrong button.

Here is the blurry up close picture.  You can clearly see the yellow spot on the back of it's neck though.

We ended up rambling to the Vale Royal Locks and there were quite a few narrow boats. On the way we saw on amzazing Damsel fly, well 2 infact. I spotted a few Cormorants and a massive feeding party of tits.

I spoke to one of the rangers and they told me some of their sightings: Hobby, Marsh Tit, Kingfishers......

Here is just a random picture of a mallard, I had to take it as the colours on it's wing were so bright.

It was quite nice to see the Greylag Goose balancing on one leg.

We finally reached the locks after about an hour of walking.  We were much slower today as there were no cows chasing us.

The river was quite high so the water was thundering over the locks.

The rushing water looked extraordinary.

On the way back the Wood pigeons were making the most of the last remaining grains of corn.

And the butterflies were collecting all the pollen making the most of the last few Budbleia flowers.

The walk back through the corn fields was quite different to the river side scenery.

We were finally able to get a picture of a Swallow which was resting on an electric cable.

When we got home our Goldfinch family were waiting to greet us. A great end to a great walk.

I am now going to update all the birds I have seen this year on to Chatterbirds.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Fantastic Mr Fox

Because I hadn't put my infra red camera up for a while I decided to put it out for a test and guess who turned up after is a short 10 second video of who came snooping around.

Here are a few more videos of what turned up in the garden from the last couple of weeks.

First of all our old friend the Jackdaw came for a peep at the camera before having his tea;

Then we managed to get a short video of the squabbling young Starlings before they all disappeared a few weeks ago.

I hope the foxes come back again tonight.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Local Lake

Tonight I went to a local lake just next to the house to see what nature was lerking around.

At the start of the watch there wasn't much around, but the wildlife gradually grew. I spotted a Moorhen which you may think is boring, but when you watch it carefully you will see the amazing things that it actually does like pecking at the dead vedgertation and flicking its tail up and down.

As I rambled round the lake I heard an Tawny Owl, I heard a Snipe and saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker. For the last couple of weeks I have seen Canada geese feeding on the corn so when I was walking round the lake I was looking out for them in the corn, but didn't spot any.

Just as we were leaving, a huge fish jumped out of the lake and left enormous ripples in the water.

I really liked it to tonight, but my favourite part was watching the mother nature.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Rutland Bird Fair

This has been the day I have been waiting for, for a long time, finally a visit to the Bird Fair at Rutland. The views of the water from some of the binocular stands were fantastic and the Cormarants put on a great show for us.

As I moved round the marquees everyone was very helpful and had lots of interesting information to share.  They were also testing my knowledge.  There was one man from Turkey who tested me with some turkish birds and I got quite alot of the right, well the correct species at least (and some of these birds were very strange). He gave me a special pin to wear.

As the day went on I collected loads of free stuff, magazines, and a new pair of binoculars which I went to try out in one of the hides and saw an Osprey for the first time, which was amazing.  I even got to see it dive. (pictures above and below).

I really enjoyed visiting the BTO stand and went to ask about ringing (which I might start training for sooner or later). Some of the things there were amazing, especially the different sizes of rings for all the different species of birds.  I tried to match each of the rings to each species of bird.

Throughout the day I met some really friendly and helpful people including the binoculars selling person and a very helpful person called Paul from Chatterbirds (we talked about blogs).

I also visited the stand for the Woodland Trust, Wildlife Trust and RSPB as I am a member of them all.

anOver all the day has been great, but a bit too warm and very tiring.  I can't wait to go again next year. I would never have known about the fair if it wasn't for one of Andrew's (Rambles With A Camera) blogs.

Friday, 17 August 2012

River Walk & Blackberry Picking

Because my dad and brother had gone shopping me and my mum went for a walk down to the River Weaver near our house.

There were some rather smiley sheep which kept bleeting at us. The middle one had the biggest smile.

I decided I wanted to do a bit of Blackberry picking untill.....(find out what happens further down).

The tunnels are always scary when your walking through them, especially when a train is charging along the railway on top of you.

The young swans came for a feed but we didn't have any food for them.

I knew sooner or later the adults would soon arive.

I said to my mum at the start of the walk I would love to see a Cormarant and I did.

On the way back a young Kestrel stopped and sat on top of the salt mine which was nice to see. The picture isn't very clear as he was right over on the other side of the river.

Here's a view of the salt mine which supplys the whole of the UK with salt for the roads in winter. Some of the mines run under our house and sometimes you can feel them blasting during winter.

Now this is the funny part of the walk, me and my  mum were staring at the Cormarants when we saw about 20 cows come charging after us and my mum was petrified when they started to chase us. Whilst my mum was running she crushed all the blackberries in the tub so we had to give them to the Blackbirds.

Bottoms up.

This is going to be my Wild Bird Wednesday post as we saw so many nature surprises round every corner.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Marbury Park

Today I visited Marbury Park to see what water fowl was lerking about.

The lake it's self was rather choppy because of the winds and we only saw a few Great Crested Grebes

two coots, tufted ducks

Cormarants, 6 Herons, and a great big flock of Canada Geese

Now that might seem like alot but I normally see alot more birds when the weather is better.  There was nothing at the woodland bird hide because the feeders hadn't been filled up.

On the walk back my mum thought she had just seen a Hawfinch but she hadn't, it apparently was an escaped bird from captivity according to the ranges (Chris and Alan).

We did call back at the lake bird hide and whilst me and mum had a food fight a sneaky little water vole (it might of been a mouse, does anyone have any idears what it is) came and snatched a little piece of bread which had fallen on the floor.  

And finally I just wanted to mention the beautiful sunset we had last night, don't think we'll get that tonight with all the rain we're having. This sunset picture will be my Sky Watch Friday post.

I am really looking forward to the bird fair this weekend.

Monday, 13 August 2012

No More Potatos

Over the weekend I went for a stroll in the field behind my house since the farmers have just finished off picking the potatos. We will have 2 years of grass and sheep now.

I got a few shots of the Great Spotted Woodpecker which kept on flying onto the feeders

 and a few shots of the combine harvester which had just started harvesting the corn.

I got some great pictures of sparrows on the garden feeders.

 And a few Rooks making the most off the empty field.

I's great having so much birdlife to enjoy so close to the house, so this will be my Wild Bird Wednesday post.