Monday, 6 February 2017

The fog cleared but very, very slowly!

05/06/2107
The fog started to clear early afternoon so a walk was on the cards! What a change from the previous sunny day! However the sun did break through the mist and fog at times making for a pleasant walk and a muddy one at times!

 
A Greenfinch enjoying the view.
 
A lone Mistle Thrush searching out a few worms.

 
Lovely to come across a male Stonechat! How do they not harm themselves on such sharp looking barbed wire!!!


 
 
Flocks of Yellowhammers and Chaffinch were seen in good numbers as they flew from tree to fields, repeating this process many times over.
 
The favoured tree for the Yellowhammers and Chaffinches!

 
So, a pleasant walk after all the cold morning fog!
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Sunshine on my shoulders....04/02/2017

Sunshine on My Shoulders
John Denver

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high


Sunshine, now that was yesterday and today we have a pea-souper which is unfortunately very slow to clear!
                                        ...................................................

4th February.
What a welcome change to be out walking in the fresh air and in sunshine! I was still wrapped up well but did not need a hat during my walk and my gloves at times were also not needed. As I have mentioned it is foggy this morning and very cold so I am staying in the warm and posting on here instead of going on a planned canal walk, maybe later today it will be clearer.

Brake Mill Pools, West Hagley,  was the area for my walk. I was there for almost 2 hours and I  have to say the walking was minimal in the area covered but the species seen where a delight to see so no rush to move on at times.

Species seen were in no particular order: Pied Wagtail, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Grey Heron, Goosander, Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Swan with her 4 cygnets ( I expect they will get their marching orders soon), Buzzard, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw and Magpie and a multitude of Gulls.


                                     A quiet pool, that is until a couple of hours later.
                                  


2 male and 2 'female type ' Goosanders on the pool. Later on my walk to the larger pool I managed to spot through the dense trees 8 Goosander, 2 males and 6 'female type'.



                                    A coot taking off after a wash and brush up!

 
 
Moorhen

 
 
Blue Tit

 
 
 
 
 
Enjoying the warm sunshine on his shoulders...and back and legs and head. :-)

 
 
Lovely to hear the bird song on my walk and of course Robin's more than played their part along with Song Thrushes!


                               

                                 Common Buzzards practising synchro flying!

 
On my return to the smaller pool several Gulls had arrived on the water and after a few minutes many more were to join them.

 A Juvenile Iceland Gull had been reported in this area during late January, I wonder if there was a 'white winged' gull amongst them?

 
A lovely end to my walk sighting a Mistle Thrush in one of the fields alongside numerous gulls.





Tuesday, 31 January 2017

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 28th January 2017

I was more than pleased with my garden bird watch count this year as a Sparrowhawk and a Goldcrest ( not weekly visitors) paid a visit to my garden, a welcome addition to my counts and how timely!

My list: 1 each of Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Wren and Sparrowhawk, 2 each of Blue Tit, Robin, Magpie and Carrion Crow, 3 each of  Dunnock and Blackbird and 10 Woodpigeons!

I reckon after the recent cold weather followed by heavy rain the birds were ready for a good feed! The Sparrowhawk did not capture any of my garden visitors....not on this visit! ;-)


Redwings were perched a couple of gardens away....no matter how much I wished they did not venture in to my garden! :-)




Blackbird...The Beatles


Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
 
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.
 
Lovely to hear Robin and Blackbird song again early mornings! Spring is just around the corner!



















Wednesday, 25 January 2017

A Fuerteventura post before February arrives!

Where does the time go? Answers on a postcard please!

31/12/2016 - 7/01/2017

This was my first holiday to the Canary Islands and Fuerteventura was the chosen island.

A few images to follow that were taken on the Island in order of appearance.

Sunrises were lovely to see. The weather was sunny, warm/hot though with a strong wind that remained for much of the week, just one calm day out of the seven. Apparently the unusually strong winds had been around for 2 weeks. At least it remained dry!

 
 
                                                Berthelot's Pipit
A Canary Island endemic seen numerous times throughout the day on a days Guided Birding. A delightful looking and quite confiding Pipit.

                                                                     

                                               A view with vegetation
 
and a stony desert landscape view.
 
 
Stone Curlew
Fantastic views of this stunning looking bird!

 
 
Black-bellied Sandgrouse
 
Another stunning looking bird and very flighty!


 
Cream Coloured Courser
Wow, a little beauty and to have had such close views was a real treat!


 
Interesting geological rock formations.
 

 
Ruddy Shelduck
Numerous sightings on the ground and in flight were enjoyed of this colourful Shelduck.

 
Fascinating rock formations.




 
Egyptian Vultures
We stopped off at a vulture feeding point.  The feeding point was quite a distance away from the track we had stopped along, we saw several vultures of varying ages around the area, some nearby on the ground and others flying in and over the area. A couple of Ravens were also seen here!
 
During the day a pair of Ravens were viewed displaying and making a 'knocking' sound, I did not know they made such an unusual sound. Good to know, I shall now listen out for them making this sound if I spot a pair displaying.

 
 
 
Barbary Ground Squirrel
You had to be very quick to manage a photograph of these cute squirrels, the majority of views was of them disappearing into rock crevices at the speed of light!  The Squirrel is an introduced species, in 1965  two squirrels were  brought in as pets, they were released, bred and colonised the island.
 
 
Trumpeter Finch
Distant views were had of this bird which was the only one seen during the day. 
      A Hoopoe took flight close by to the Finch.


 
 
Los Molinos reservoir is the largest and often the only large fresh water accumulation on the island. 
 
 
                                  There are Goats in abundance on the island.
There are freely running goats which are not milked but will be rounded up at times and most will be processed for meat. Goats that stay on a farm and generate a lot of  milk and goats that strive around in herds and are collected each evening for milking.

 
Sunrise

 
 

                                         Greenish black-tip or lemon white. (I think )
                                               
                                  

                            
 
Hibiscus flower.

 
 
Red-vented Bulbul
An introduced species and a delightful looking and sounding bird. There were a pair in the hotel grounds enjoying the berries and the sunshine! I would love to have a pair in my garden.





 
 
Wishing I was still there.lol
 
A few images of some enormous cacti and Euphorbias.




 
 

The black and white sand patterns were ever changing with the ebb and flow of the tide.
 
 
A solitary ring-necked Parakeet  was spotted as it sheltered from the midday sun! 
 
 
 
What a landscape!
It was an enjoyable holiday...different!
 
                                           
Highlight bird species seen were and in no particular order:
 
Black-winged Stilt, Common Snipe, Hoopoe, Yellow-legged Gulls, Spanish Sparrow, Raven, Spectacled Warbler, Berthelot's Pipit, Collared Dove (seen around every corner, well it seemed like they were), Rock Dove, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Goldfinch, Trumpeter Finch, Ruddy Shelduck, Little Egret, Southern Grey Shrike, Coot, Kestrel, Cream Coloured Courser, Common Buzzard, Egyptian Vulture, Rock Pipit, Common Sandpiper, Moorhen, Linnets, Greenshank and my 2 'Star' birds....Stone Curlew and Red-vented Bulbul!
 
 
Bye, bye Fuerteventura.