Thursday, 31 December 2015

Where did 2015 go?

Here we are again at the end of another year, how quickly the days and months have passed by. This has been a year where I have struggled at times to find enough time and I must be honest inclination at times to post on my blog, I will make more of an effort in 2016! That will be my New Years resolution...says she.;-)

I wish to add a few images to finish the year off with.

Centre Parcs, Nottingham in October was a most enjoyable break and the weather was ok, well ok in that we did not have persistent rain during the holiday. The leaves were still hanging on in there so it was a colourful scene on walks around the forest. The feeders had a good variety of birds visiting them, the highlight birds were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, numerous Great and Blue Tits and what for me is always a treat to see especially at Centre Parcs was a Nuthatch!

I was pleased to see the next 2 species in my garden. The Grasshopper visited in August and the Green Woodpecker in December.

Algarve Holiday 22nd Sept-4th Oct 2015.
A little late with this post but I hope you enjoy the images.
I had booked a days guided birding prior to the holiday. I chose Sagres as the area to explore for the day. We are familiar with the area but it is always good to seek out areas off the beaten track . We had no luck with finding any Dotterel which would have been a first for me but the Raptor Watch Point (popular through the year but particularly so at migration time) at Cabranosa  deliverd some goodies! Here we viewed several Booted Eagles, Egyptian Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Black Stork, Black Kite x4, Bonelli's Eagle Hobby, Common Buzzard, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon.

A Lesser Spotted Eagle was the star of the show and caused much excitement. This species was first reported in Portugal in 2009 and was also seen in 2011, 2012 and 2013. It was seen for several days in the area.

Great Shearwater, Great White Egret, Great Cormorant, Northern Gannet, Cory's Shearwater, European Shag, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull were seen on the sea and around the area of the Lighthouse at Sagres. Rock Dove, Thekla Lark, Black Redstart, Bluethroat,the odd Red-rumped and Barn Swallow were sighted, House Martin, White and Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Stonechat and Blue Rock Thrush were the remaining highlights. 78 species were seen during the day.

At Salgados Lagoon on various days we viewed Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Marsh harrier, Osprey (my first in the Algarve), Little Grebe, Lesser Yellowlegs, Purple and Grey Heron, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo (one juvenile), a single White Stork, Purple Swamp-hen, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Little Stint, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed godwit, Common, Green and Wood Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Skylark, Bluethroat, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Stonechat, Sardinian Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Iberian Grey Shrike and a single Common Waxbill being the last of the named highlight birds.
A brill holiday once again in the Algarve.

                  My first Osprey in Portugal being mobbed by Gulls after its fish!

I have had the Spider and Moths ID'd for me, lovely insects....well the Moths are, I am not so sure about the spider!
Argiope species
Palpita vitrealis

Ethmia bipunctella
Iberian Water Frogs.

Scarlet Darter

Vagrant Emperor...a stunner!

Today, the last day of the year was an enjoyable family day out walking around Bodenham Arboretum in glorious sunshine and finishing off with a yummy Carvery lunch!
I now have a Skinner Moth Trap which I hope to set up and start on early in the new year. It will be a new challenge and one I hope to enjoy if I manage to ID at least half of the Moths (hopefully) caught. I expect the warmer nights and longer days will be more productive so I may not post on my Moth findings very often through the Winter.
I wish everyone Peace, Good Health and Happiness for 2016.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

A short post on the 'Shortest Day' 22/12/2015

Great.....the days will start to get longer after today! With such mild temperatures we are experiencing it makes one wonder what is around the corner for 2016! At least if we have frosts and some snow, only some mind, it will be seasonal!

My post today is a 'catch up' post again, regarding a visit to RSPB Leighton Moss on the  26th to the 29th November 2015.

The weather was at times wet and windy but thankfully not half as bad as the heavy rains and floods that Cumbria and the North West in general suffered the following weekend..

Wellingtons were a must to be able to enter all of the hides.

The highlights at Leighton Moss were great sightings of 2 Otters, one sighting was of a dog Otter and the other separate sighting was of a pup!

 A few thousand Starlings were viewed from the Skytower as they came in to roost at dusk and caught the attention of a couple of Marsh Harriers! A fantastic end to a wet day! The Skytower is a great addition to a what is a splendid reserve.
Cartmel Village. A quaint village which is close to the River Eea , it has some delightful specialist shops.

Cartmel Priory was visited, awesome is the only word to describe it once you are inside the Priory.


The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction at Bowness-on -Windermere was a welcome change from birdwatching, not that I ever tire of it I have to say.

 Some lovely Ducks and birds were on and around the duck pond at Grange-over-Sands. They were nice to see whilst waiting for the train to Silverdale and then just a short walk to Leighton Moss

A great weekend and one I hope to repeat sometime in 2016 though with drier and brighter weather would be nice.
All for now.
Seasons Greetings to all.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Autumn 2015.

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower"

Albert Camus

 Whittington Canal....1st November.