Saturday, 30 July 2011

A 'hoot' of a walk! 30/07/2011.

Butterflies and Wildflowers were my targets on my walk this sunny Saturday morning as I was not expecting to see many birds, little did I know then!
Speckled Wood and Meadow brown were plentiful along with the Whites, good to see so many. Common Mallow is always a joy to see in bloom and the Hedge Bindweeds are looking delightful as they entwine into the hedgerow vegetation.

On the birding front I had great views of a family of Goldfinch, with the young pestering the adults for food. A flock of Goldfinch were also busy feeding on thistles. Swifts, Swallows and House Martins swooped overhead almost continuosly on my walk, I feel sad when I think that the Swifts will soon be on their way! Canada Geese fed in a field and 3 Buzzards circled overhead with one possibly being a juvenile, they were too high on the thermals for me to see clearly. Blue Tit, Linnet, Greenfinch (family), Blackcap (f), Bullfinch (m) with a juvenile, Blackbird, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a delightful Goldcrest made up the remaining bird species seen. No I tell a fib....there were 2 birds waiting at almost the end of my walk to surprise!! Two Tawny Owls were perched on a low branch of a pine tree just 25-30 yards away fom me!!! Wow.....what a delightful surprise! They were quite content to watch me watching them and I had what seemed almost five minutes viewing of them. I took a few photo's after having good bin views of them and as I looked down at one point to check a photo I looked up again and they had gone! I never heard a sound as they left....splendid birds! I have been informed that they are sub-adult birds and will soon be chased off the territory. I felt very honoured to have seen these two fabulous Tawny Owls.

I really enjoyed the walk and returned to my car smiling and feeling very happy.

Meadow Brown.



Speckled Wood.
Common Mallow.

Hedge Bindweed (pink striped)
Hedge Bindweed

Two Tu-whit tu-whoo's!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Garden visitors during July.

28th July.
A feed and a freshen up!

A lovely morning for an early morning bath! The Starlings are the most frequent bathers followed by Blackbirds.

24th July.
I have had a couple of sightings of a Comma butterfly on one of my Buddleia plants. Buddleias are an amazing shrub/tree, I spotted one growing today in the brickwork of a wall in a supermarket carpark! No soil and just rain for moisture, how do they survive? Railway embankments and sidings are another area that they seem prolific in.

24th July.
Sunshine loving Blackbirds!

22nd July.
It certainly wasn't fazed by the presence of the haughty looking Dunnock!

21st July.
Hummingbird Hawkmoth!
A first for my garden. I was rather pleased with this sighting!

21st July.
Red Admiral.

This is the only one I have seen so far this summer. A splendid Butterfly!

21st July.
White-tailed Bumblebee.
I have had several of these in the garden. I have also had a Red-tailed Bumblebee but only fleetingly.

21st July
Large White Butterfly.

21st July.
Family gatherings!

Good to see a pair of recently fledged Robin chicks in the garden after having the failed nest in my drive earlier in the summer.

Ain't they sweet!

19th July.
Small Ranunculus.

I was extremely pleased when this moth was ID'd for me as being a Small Ranunculus and informed that until recently it was very rare and is still in the Red Data Book. According to my Moth Guide the moth was 'thought extinct for 50 years before re-appearing in Kent,Essex and South Wales'

16th & 17th July
Long-tailed Tits fest!

These delightful little birds descended on the feeders! At one point there were 30+ in the garden!

15th July.
Small White Butterfly.

14th July.
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly.

11th July.
Scalloped Oak.

9th July.
Dark Arches.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Walk updates.

Dowles Brook, Wyre Forest. 24th July.
An enjoyable few hours was had walking through Dowles Brook. The highlight bird today was a Dipper. It was a little distant and trying to see it through all the tree foliage was at times a little frustrating especially to get a decent pic of it. Nevertheless it was lovely watching this lovely little bird as it dipped and fished. Bullfinch, Chiffchaff, Treecreeper and Raven were other highlight birds.
The stars today were the Silver-washed Fritillaries, there were numerous of them seen on the walk. Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Large and Small White, Skipper sp, Six-spot Burnet moth and a pale looking Lizard were also seen on this (for a change) warm and sunny Sunday!

Silver-washed Fritillary.
There were several of these butterflies seen on the walk today but not many settled for more than a few seconds at a time. A delightful butterfly.


I was surprised to see that the third white eye-lid which protects the eye when they are submerged is clearly shown in this very record photo.

I almost trod on this tiny little toad, it was no bigger than 4cm! It soon made it's way into the dried leaves!

Holly Blue.

Bunkers Hill, bridleway walk. 22nd July.
I enjoyed a couple of hours of 'me time' walking along the bridleway to the small wooded area and back again! The walk is not a long one by any means but I do like to linger and take in all that is around me on such walks. I lose myself on my 'solitude' walks and think only of what I can see or hear around me, not often I get a chance to do this so I make the most of it. The highlight birds today were the Hirundines, Treecreeper, Chaffinch, Robin, Common Whitethroat, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Yellowhammer, Sparrowhawk (which was briefly mobbed by a House Martin)and two Buzzards. Large and Small White and Small Tortoiseshell were the only butterflies seen, though as it was cloudy and a few spots of rain came down this did not surprise me.

This male Blackbird was a sorry looking sight though judging by the worms he had found he is a good provider! No wonder he looked worn out! I am sure once he has finished moulting he will look pristine and be the smartest looking Blackbird in the!

I wasn't surprised to see this Yellowhammer in it's usual spot, it hasn't let me! A lovely bird.

Common Buzzard.
Common Whitethroat.

Stewponey Lock and Wharf, Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. 17th July.
A dull and rainy Sunday didn't get any better as the day wore on but it was still good to walk in the afternoon for a couple of hours along the canal.It was (not surprisingly) quiet of people and wildlife. The Ducklings were definately the highlight today!

Brake Lane, Hagley. 9th July.
A sunny Saturday morning saw me off to Brake Lane and parking up for a change by the Lake and walking from that area, well a change is as good as a! Plenty of Mallard families on the water along with Coot and Moorhen families, I was pleased to see the four Cygnets are still safe and growing up now! Plenty of Swallows and House Martins were swooping over the paddocks, it looks as though they have had a good breeding season. Treecreeper, Song Thrush, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Blue & Great Tit, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Canada Geese and a Green Woodpecker (which was actually seen today and not just heard as is the norm) made up the remaining birds seen today. Not a huge species list by any means but each one a delight to view! I am finding that I am enjoying my birdwatching much more on walks such as this one, not seeing large numbers of bird species means that I take more notice of each bird I see instead of just writing down the name of the species on my list and heading off to find the next one. It is more the other way around, as I wait patiently in an area the birds come into view more often than not.
I saw my first of the year Ringlet today, Comma and White butterflies were also seen on my very pleasant walk.

Hawkweed sp.

A field almost full of Hawkweed, it looked a treat in the sunshine!
Mouths to feed!
Swan (Mallard, Coot and Moorhen))Lake.
Poppy and Insect sp!