Saturday, 25 October 2014

Quest for Freedom!

Bob and I arrived at Cresswell just as day was dawning with a lovely sunrise what a treat we were in for opening the windows and pouring a coffee the noise was the first to greet us then Geese as far as we could see 2000 plus we reckoned then a lull,three Snipe were just down to my right a Shellduck lifted and flew across the front of the hide then that familiar noise again as we were about to be hit with the second wave of Geese stretching as far left to right as you could see probably more in numbers this time.
Shortly after all the excitement five Whooper swans landed two adults and three signets a solitary Egyptian goose came out of hiding down to our right staying only a couple of minutes before flying off,just before we headed off to Druridge  two more adult Whoopers arrived and a single Barnacle Goose was also seen.
We headed down to the bottom of the lane to some scrubby area in search of Goldcrests,Twite and Stonechats and it didn't take long to come across this little fella.

Looks like it achieved its quest for freedom and happily fed alongside goldfinches in the thistle heads etc.

                                                                    Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Not good !!

Monday along with my wife we watched what looked to be a rather poorly looking Greenfinch attempting to feed from our garden bird feeders it looked puffed up ,lethargic,and rather snotty around the beak area, it was startled shortly afterwards and not seen again until my grandson discovered it dead by the flower border on Tuesday morning and was duly disposed of. However i must confess i hadn't given it any further thought until Wednesday afternoon when sorting some gear out for an impending trip i noticed another Greenfinch looking sick so i took a few very disturbing photo's in an attempt to look into it further here,s what i took.

I googled it and it looks like TRICHOMONOSIS which is sometimes called fat finch disease and for this poor bird it will probably be fatal,the BTO recommend the following

What you can do
Follow sensible hygiene precautions as a routine measure when feeding garden birds and handling bird feeders and tables. Clean and disinfect feeders and feeding sites regularly. Suitable disinfectants that can be used include a weak solution of domestic bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite) or other specially-designed commercial products. Always rinse feeders thoroughly and air-dry before re-use.
Rotate positions of feeders in the garden to prevent the build up of contamination in any one area of ground below the feeders. Empty and air dry any bird baths on a daily basis. You may wish to consider stopping feeding if you have an outbreak of the disease at your feeding station, in an attempt to force the birds to feed elsewhere at a lower density (although in reality they may end up visiting another feeding station and possibly one where no hygiene measures are in place.

I have removed all my feeders scrubbed and turned upside down the bird bath so it will dry,they will remain like that for the next two weeks,living next to Holywell dene almost everyone in the street has feeders etc out for the birds so in an attempt to help further i will print off a couple of photo,s and the above precautions and pass them around my neighbours (it may help).

                                            Be vigilant and thanks for looking

Sunday, 17 August 2014

From this an Elephant !!

 Walking back from the allotment this morning with head bowed for the wind i caught site of this very large caterpillar making its way along a fence board,not knowing what it was there and then although i was suspecting some large type Hawk moth i gathered it up and took it along home.
Rather snake like in appearance and measuring a good three inches (in old money) it turned out as expected and is indeed  Elephant Hawkmoth Larva coincidentally i had five Elephant hawk moths in the trap four weeks earlier along with two Poplar Hawk Moths.
   Elephant Hawk Moth
Poplar Hawk Moth

I seem to be coming across large moth larva this year only two weeks ago i found an Emperor moth larva reported on my previous blog.
Head shot of the snake . 

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Campfield Marshes

Staying on the Solway Coast for a few days we squeezed in a trip to Campfield Marsh between the showers as we made our way along the board walk it was nice to see good numbers of common lizards scurrying back onto the marsh,then we encountered this rather large larva making its way across the board walk.

Emperor Moth Larva
We would have liked to have seen this rather stunning moth itself but we are well past its flight season, we saw plenty of these on the walk believed to be the Round-Leaved Sundew.
 Unfortunately by this time we had to make a hasty retreat having not armed ourselves with insect repellent and now sporting not 1 not 2 but 3 rather nasty bites we made our way back to base camp.
Next day after downing the antihistamine tablet we thought we would try our luck for the Black Darters on Drumburgh Moss weather was rubbish as you would expect but we managed a couple of takers.

The day after we arrived home my son brought this Vapourer Moth Larva round saying it had dropped on him as he was pruning some shrubbery

thanks for looking..

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Rhins of Galloway

A few days touring around the Rhins with good weather was very nice,our first stop was the RSPB centre on the Mull of Galloway with very friendly and helpful staff ,great webcams of seabird life on the cliffs its the safest way to watch without risking life and limb when a stiff breeze is blowing ! arriving quite late by our standards meant it was quite busy so bird life above the cliffs was quite scarce but on the ground there were good numbers of these green beetles .
 these turned out to be Rose Chafer Beetles .
Portpatrick is my favorite place and this is where the rest of the pics were taken
these black Guillemots nest in the Harbour walls
I wondered why i got so close their youngster was just over the edge(not known at the time)
last but not least was this quite obliging juv Wheatear .

                                                   Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Wallingtons next generation

A few hours at the National Trusts Wallington Hall did not disappoint,  a new generation of red squirrels and G S Woodpeckers kept us busy with there antics,light was poor as usual under the trees but her's a few pics anyway

these guys appear to be fully fledged ,up and running and non too shy either

and of coarse Jays like peanuts too !!