Thursday 30 April 2009

30 April 2009 - North Yorkshire then Dungeness

The day started badly as I'd had travelled the day before to North Yorkshire for a conference - that I was involved in organising. I had thrown my bag on the bed only to hear mega-alert go off - Creasted Lark at Dungeness. I'd only left Kent at 3.45pm that afternoon.

With news of the Crested Lark still showing this morning I was a little distracted when the boss first suggested I leave the conference and head south. I thought he was joking the second, third and forth time he suggested it.... But as I'm being made redundant in July, when he mentioned it a fifth time. I took him up on the offer!

After setting the conference in motion, I set myself in motion and by 1.50pm I was at Dungeness watching the Crested Lark. Also say Adrian Kettle who was a year tick for me - I hadn't seen Adrian since the Alder Flycatcher.

Since my little son arrived in October 08 only two new birds had arrived in the UK and I'd seen them both - just wonder how long this run of good fortune isgoing to last....

Image is from the Dungeness Bird Observatory website - surely one of the best images of the Lark there is?

Thursday 23 April 2009

23 April 2009 - Holly Hill

A lunchtime visit to Holly Hill was an attempt by Adam and myself to get Green Hairstreak, Grizzled and Dingy Skipper.

And we also found a moth (which I'll have time to look up in the book one day!).

Monday 20 April 2009

20 April 2009

After communting round New Hythe lakes for a wee while this adult Whooper Swan visited Bradbourne House lake. I am in no doubt whatsoever that this is a feral or previously captive bird - yes, I'd like it to be the genuine thing, but I'd only be kidding myself. I've heard some people claim the New Hythe bird as good - but it certainly doesn't tick my boxes to get itself on to my site list. A shadow in the nostril can make it sometimes appear as though there is a black mark half way up the front edge of the yellow - a close up shows a bit more of the detail.

Saturday 18 April 2009

18 April 2009 - Kinloch, Scotland

Managed a wee spot of ringing in the garden. 75 birds over the week - not a bad effort. 5 Siskins ringed plus one that alreday had an aviculturalist's ring on it - very strange.

Friday 17 April 2009

17 April 2009 - The Hermitage, Dunkeld, Scotland

Wanting a better walk to test our little one's buggy we ventured out to The Hermitage in pursuit of waterfalls and easy footpaths. A superb site on a lovely hot Scottish Spring day.

Mountain Bumble-bee (Bombus monticola). ID based on key in Edwards & Jenner (p 40-41) - but comments appreciated.
Tiger beetle spp. - not sure this is the same baest that runs across the sandy dunes and heathland of Southern England. These chaps, and there were loads of them, seemed considerably smaller than Green Tiger Beetle. But who knows? Not I.

Fly spp on conifer - was there no end to the entomological excitement to this day...?
And then, just as we got back to the car, I located a Dipper's nest, complete with Dippers.
I left to Wiff to return to the car, I readied my camera and took a few test shots. I took a couple of pics of the birds and then my batteries ran out. Bollocks!

Thursday 16 April 2009

16 April 2009 - Kinloch, Scotland

One Roe Deer seen at the back of the garden just as sun was starting to rise. Three Roe Deer were seen on two other occasions - a nice garden tick!

Wednesday 15 April 2009

15 April 2009 - Ardler, Scotland

A visit to a relative of The Good Lady Wiff produced these plants growing on a remote roadside - I know not what they are.

Any help much appreciated.

Tuesday 14 April 2009

14 April 2009 - Loch of Lowes

Decided to get up early (4.30am) to attempt Otters at Loch of Lowes after the Warden said that a pair had a holt at the bottom of the 'Osprey tree'. The early morning light was beautiful.

75+ Sand Martins flew out of the reeds at 5.45am.

Little grebes were calling away and enjoying the visitor free reserve.

A bit more surprising was the appearance of a pair of Long-tailed Ducks. A nice bonus, even though the notice board later indicated they'd been around for a while!

The views were no less superb as the sun rose and created a mist above the water.

The Red Squirrels by the visitor center were fun - and just as charismatic as ever.

And the Otters - no chance!

Monday 13 April 2009

13 April 2009 - Glenshie, Scotland

Went up Glenshie on a quest to see what the scenary was like in Spring. The snow had nearly all melted which was initially disappointing - until we realised it was revealing the Mountain Hares looking rather conspicuous in their Winter attire..

With their relatively short ears, these beasties certainly looked more like white rabbits than hares!

Sunday 12 April 2009

12 April 2009 - Scotland

Early in the first morning of this week-long holiday in Scotland I saw a feline spp leg it across the garden. I said to the neighbour that I'd taken a snap of her moggy, "No", she replied, "No one's got a cat round here..."

However, despit the desire to see a Wild Cat one day in Scotland, this feline has to be relegated to Category C - definately a feral cat, but from where, no-one knows.

Saturday 11 April 2009

11 April 2009 - Loch of Lowes, Scotland

An afternoon visit to Loch of Lowes on the pretext of having a walk in the woods. Unfortunately, there are no nice walk at this site so we had to sit down and watch the Ospreys for an hour or two. Fine for me - not so fine for Wiff and baby!