Saturday, 30 April 2011

Incy Wincy Spider!....29/04/2011

There were some great looking spiders on the vegetation at Upton Warren, well they were great as long as they stayed put in the nettles! Also seen were numerous Hoverfly, an Ichneumon Wasp and several Ladybirds. Highlight bird species were Whimbrel, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Oystercatcher, Common Snipe, L R Plover, Avocet and chicks, Canada Geese and goslings, Swift, G C Grebe, Common Tern, Hobby and a Cuckoo!

Nursery Web Spiders. Pisura miribalis


Avocet and chicks.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Through The Bluebell Wood.

I stroll into a twilight shade
With green and amber hung around,
Where dapple-dancing branches rain
Sun-shadows on the ground.

Leaf-banners flutter from each tree
Whose branches like carved ivory
Surround the bluebell way.
Stray half-lights flow from brown to gold,
Weaving, through an April fold
Of colour, the bright tapestry of day.

And there is music in the stream,
And shifting lights of water flow,
And silent water-boatmen row
While dragon-flies in vivid blue
Dart like lightning in a dream.
Sun has alchemised the scene,
And with rich magic made me feel
It is unreal yet more than real.
The soft breeze barely seems to blow,
And all the wheels of time run slow…

Geoffrey - Hoffman

Monday, 25 April 2011

WWT Broadmoor Wood....25/04/2011

Broadmoor Wood is 'A delightful woodland reserve with a stream and pool on the edge of Birmingham' (taken from WWT Website) and delightful it certainly is! My first and certainly not my last visit was taken this afternoon. The warm sun was shining through the trees onto the bluebells that carpeted the woodland floor, the scent from them was divine! The path is narrow and with the Bluebells alongside and also Greater Stitchwort, Yellow Archangel, Celandine and Wood Anemone it was a pleasurable walk. The pool had a large expanse of Marsh Marigold that looked delightful in the bright sunshine. I will certainly be back to look for Dragonflies here soon. Blackcap and Chiffchaff were seen and certainly heard as there singing resounded around the wood. Other bird species seen/heard were Blue and Great Tits, Blackbird, a lone Canada Goose in the pool and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard! Green Longhorn (day moths) were swarming around trees and Speckled Wood and White butterflies were seen often, the Whites did not settle long enough to get an ID.
An extremely pleasant hour was spent in this small but delightful is truly magical!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Allsorts...and not a Liquorice in sight!

Waved Umber. In my porch. 19/04/11

The following were photographed at WWT Upton Warren Nature Reserve. 22/04/11

Red Campion.

Ground Ivy.

Field Horsetail.
Cuckooflower, Lady's Smock.

Comma Butterflies and a referee Fly!

Carrion Crow mobbing Common Buzzard. Brake Lane. 22/04/11
Barn Swallows. Wassell Grove Lane. 23/04/11

Chiffchaff. Wassell Grove Fisheries. 23/04/11

Common Whitethroat. Wassell Grove Fisheries. 23/04/11
Fungi. Wassell Grove Fisheries. 23/04/11

Great Horsetail. Wassell Grove Fisheries. 23/04/11

View over fields. Wassell Grove. 23/04/11

Andrena cineraria. Dowles Brook. 24/04/11
Green Longhorn. Dowles Brook. 24/04/11

Primrose. Dowles Brook. 24/04/11

Meeting the Easter Bunny!

On Easter morn at early dawn
before the cocks were crowing
I met a bob-tail bunnykin
and asked where he was going.

"Tis in the house and out the house
a-tispy, tipsy-toeing,
Tis round the house
and 'bout the house a-lightly I am going."

"But what is that of every hue
you carry in your basket?"
"Tis eggs of gold and eggs of blue;
I wonder that you ask it.

"Tis chocolate eggs and bonbon eggs
and eggs of red and gray,
For every child in every house
on bonny Easter day.

He perked his ears
and winked his eye and twitched his little nose;
He shook his tail -- what tail he had --
and stood up on his toes.

"I must be gone before the sun;
the east is growing gray;
Tis almost time for bells to chime."
-- So he hippety-hopped away.

by Rowena Bennett

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Ring a ring o' Ouzel, A camera full of poses!....20/04/2011

Well the title almost rhymes!lol. A female Ring Ouzel was a very welcome sight after my 3 hour jaunt around Brake Lane!
A warm and sunny morning and the birds were singing, Spring is so lovely! Highlight birds on the walk were Chiffchaff with one spotted carrying nesting material, Jay, G S W (f), Robin, Great and Blue Tits, L T Tit, Dunnock (not many seen on this walk), Starling, Buzzard and Grey Heron. At the lake the Swan was sitting on her nest while her mate warded off the Mallards and Canada Geese if they dared to venture too close to the nesting site. The Swallows(6)are back flying around the lake and barns, a lovely sight! A Nuthatch with nesting material was sighted as it flew to it's nest and on the field walk a Mistle Thrush perched on a post with a beakful of worms! A busy time of year for the birds! Orange tip and Peacock butterflies were regularly seen.
The best was saved until last. On the final stretch of the walk I scanned the fields for Wheatears, no luck in the first paddock until I reached halfway along it! "Could it be" I thought as I spotted a bird with it's back to me, it looked like a female Blackbird! It was keeping very still which is unusual for a Blackbird. Then it turned sidewards, the wing looked grey/silvery in appearance, then I spotted the dull looking bib! Eureka!!! A female Ring Ouzel...I was over the moon with excitement! It was not close enough for a good image of it but I didn't really care about that, it was just great to see such a wonderful looking bird! The paddock opposite held 5 Wheatears, maybe more as the land is undulating and hard to see all that is milling around.
The Ring Ouzel was a first for me, I was and still am a 'Very happy bunny'!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Walton Hill & Uffmoor Wood....17/04/2011

A quick visit to Walton Hill, which if you walk to the top is the highest point of the range of hills that form the Clent Hills! I confused myself there so hope that is clear. Anyway a quick check in the fields and a male Wheatear was soon spotted. Lambs were frolicking in a manure stack...looking very angelic...not!!!
Then the short drive was taken to Uffmoor Wood. Blackcap were the first birds seen a male and female, plenty more were later seen and heard around the wood! Chaffinch, L T Tit, Jay, Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Blue & Great Tit, Robin, and Great Spotted Woodpecker were also seen on the walk. Peacock butterflies were abundant in the wood. A Muntjac was spotted in the depths of the wood and a barking Roe Deer was heard in the distance, I have never heard this before, quite eerie in fact! A female Roe Deer was later seen resting amongst the Bluebells, such a pretty picture! Wildflowers were the star attraction today, the Wild Garlic is budding well and I was lucky to find a small patch in flower.

Yellow Archangel.
Wood Anemone.
Wild Garlic.
Greater Stitchwort

Common Dog-violet.