Thursday 29 December 2022

29 Dec 2022 - Elmley

Couple of nice Brown Hares along the entrance track at Elmley were secretly tucked away behind tussocks of long grass - thankfully the thermal imager gave their presence away... Nice lot of smart Lapwings n the reserve - plus Black-t Godwit, Wigeon, Curlew, Little Owl, etc.

Saturday 24 December 2022

24 December 2022 - Woodcock at Elmley

A brief visit to Elmley with the thermal yielded a fantastic Woodcock in the copse by the car park - just a few metres away and definitely one that I wouldn't have seen without the technology...

Similarly, the Little Owls were readily located in a Hawthorn tree near the greenhouse - nice!

Woodcock - brilliant to be able to photograph it on the deck in the daytime

Little Owl - one of two present in the same copse

Wednesday 14 December 2022

14 December 2022 - Buzzard at East Malling

This adult Common Buzzard was a surprise find in the mist net this morning - only the second one on John's rings!  

Saturday 10 December 2022

10 Dec 2022 - Waders at Hampton Pier

Failed in my quest to photograph the immature Little Gull at Hampton Pier this morning - the morning was made up with photographable views of Purple Sand, Sanderling, Turnstone and Dunlin.

Sunday 4 December 2022

3 December 2022 - Grey Seals at Donna Nook, Lincs

Max and I travelled up to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust reserve at Donna Nook to witness the annual spectacle of thousands of Grey Seals up on the saltmarsh. The count the day before (2/12) yielded 2039 pups, 1498 cows and 497 bulls. 

The location is extremely well organised - one-way traffic on the local road heading to enormous car park facilities, toilets, burger bar, info centre, Wardens, safety barriers (protecting seals and people!)...

The real delight of course, is the proximity to some of the animals - some pups, either still in their white new-born fur, or those that have already attained their grey pebble-dashed coats, are right up alongside the footpath barrier. Being just a couple of feet away from these animals is a great privilege.  

A fantastic trip!

Monday 28 November 2022

27 November 2022 - Candlesnuff fungi at Blue Bell Hill, Kent

What a believe to be Candlesnuff fungi growing on some dead wood at Blue Bell Hill. perhaps not rare, perhaps not beautiful - but all part of life's rich learning curve for me! 

Saturday 26 November 2022

26 November 2022 - Great Grey Shrike and Dartford Warblers at Hothfield Common

At my fifth or sixth attempt, I finally connected with the rather lovely Great Grey Shrike at Hothfield Common KWT. The bird was initially west of the central path - affording good views to the assembled few. 

Almost as exciting...was a male Dartford Warbler in the gorse. One of up to six birds enjoying the sunshine. 

I confess both species were 'photographic ticks' for me - I'm enjoying taking snaps of new species I haven't previously captured through the camera lens... 


Saturday 19 November 2022

Pied Wagtails at East - 19 Nov 2022

 Some unmarketable fruit is drawing in the flies and the Pied Wagtails (20+). Nice to look through and age/sex the birds...though challenging at times!

Sunday 13 November 2022

13 Nov 2022 - Tiger Beetle at Hothfield Common KWT

Tiger Beetle at Hothfield Common this afternoon - found by Max. Latest record this year...

Friday 4 November 2022

4 Nov 2022 - Sabine's Gull at Port Lympne

The first winter Sabine's Gull at Port Lympne is a stunning wee beastie! As can be seen in Barry Wright's 'people picture' below - the bird walks to within metres of the gathering onlookers! 

Saturday 29 October 2022

29 Oct 2022 - Devil's fingers at Sheffield Park

Clathrus archeri or Devil’s Fingers fungi at Sheffield Park NT this afternoon - a nice find during son’s birthday walk…

Wednesday 26 October 2022

26 Oct 2022 - Lion's Mane Fungus, Nr Newton Abbott, Devon

A fabulous wee fungal foray in Devon on the way home from Scilly this afternoon. Lion’s Mane (on Beech) thanks to ⁦@JLyon_62  - a great end to the holiday!

Tuesday 25 October 2022

25 Oct 2022 - St Mary's, Isles of Scilly: Red-rumped Swallow

 Our last full day and the near-end of a lovely break. First up was the Red-rumped Swallow, first reported yesterday, which had now relocated to the Tregarthen Hotel, Hugh Town.

Second highlight of the day was a fabulous Jack Snipe by the footpath on the way to the Porth Hellich Burial Chamber - haven't seen one for yonks!

And finally, a 'Scilly' Lesser White-toothed Shrew - found by Max as it legged its way across the road up near Telegraph.