Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Poppy field.09/06/2020

The field of poppies was a sight to behold with many yet to fully open!

Kinver, Staffordshire.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

The darling bugs (and beasties) of May 2020.

Since the lockdown eased I have enjoyed 3 visits to a local common, namely Highgate Common, containing a mix of woodland and heathland and is owned by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. It is a popular place so one has to hope there is a space on one of the car parks you wish to start your walk from. The Common is approximately 10 miles from my home, too far away for me to walk to and back home and I do not cycle so by car it has to be!
The weather has been so good lately making walks even more enjoyable and with the birds singing sweetly what more could you ask for!

Bird species seen on the 3 walks (and most seen on each visit) were in no particular order: Tree-pipit, Blackbird, Songthrush, Bullfinch, Carrion Crow, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Garden Warbler, Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinch, Robin, Long-tailed Tit, Moorhen, Jay, Common Buzzard, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Nuthatch, and Dunnock. Cuckoo heard on each visit, and a joy to hear!
 A few images taken over the 3 visits. I trust that  I have the ID's correct though if any are incorrect a comment with advice would be appreciated.

                                           Orange tip butterfly.
 Mother Shipton, a day flying moth.

                      Oedemera Nobilis,,,a Thick-legged Flower Beetle.
                                            Orange tip butterfly.
                                         Small Heath butterfly.
The small pool that the majority of birds were seen at. It appears to be a popular bathing area for them.  They are well hidden in almost the middle of the pool which is surrounded by vegetation and has handy trees for the birds to fly to preen and dry off! The odd dog that ventures in to the water does not seem to upset the birds fortunately!

                                              Large red damselfly

Tree pipit. The bird was up high in the tree but still a delight to see and hear!
Broad-bodied Chaser.

                                                     Grasshopper sp.

                                             Harlequin Ladybirds.

                                   Another Large red damselfly.
Large Skipper

                                             Longhorn Beetle sp

                                          Water Iris and friend.
Willow Warbler
                                               Banded demoiselle
That concludes this episode of the 'The darling buds (and beasties) of May 2020'.


Saturday, 23 May 2020

Starling frenzy...about time too!

It was Spring 2012 the last time I had Starlings feeding in my garden that was until  this morning when 30+ arrived for a feeding frenzy on the lawns! Worms, ants and a May bug were on the menu and probably various  grub species! The seed feeders were visited along with the fatcakes and a drink from the fishpond, one looking as though it had had a bath in the waterfall!
I was thrilled to see the Starlings and in good numbers!
I regularly see 5+ fly over the house and wished they would return to the garden, my wish was granted today.
I make no apology for the amount of images in this post as it may be a good while before they return, I hope not.
It started with the arrival of 3 birds.
The eventual number of Starlings increased and so did the noise. lol


 A May bug was unlucky, it may have been one of the 9 that were in the moth trap on Thursday morning!

                                                Busy, busy birds!

The sun appeared occasionally highlighting their wonderful iridescent plumage.

                                                      Feed me!

Come back soon lovely, noisy birds!
By Pam Ayres
We're starlings, the misses, meself and the boys,
We don't go round hopin', we walks.
We don't go in for this singing all day,
And twittering about, we just squawks.
We don't go in for these fashionable clothes,
Like old Missel Thrush, and his spots,
Me breast isn't red, there's no crest on me head,
We've got sort of, hardwearing...dots.
We starlings, the misses, meself and the boys,
We'll eat anything that's about,
Well anything but that old half coconut,
I can't hold it still. I falls out.
What we'd rather do, is wait here for you,
To put out some bread for the tits,
And then when we're certain, you're there by the curtain,
We flocks down and tears it to bits.
But we starlings, the misses, meself and the boys,
We reckon that we're being got at,
You think for two minutes, them finches and linnets,
You never sees THEM being shot at.
So the next time you comes out to sprinkle the crumbs out,
And there's starlings there, making a noise,
Don't you be so quick to heave half a brick,
It's the misses, meself and the boys!

Friday, 8 May 2020

V E Day. 08/05/2020

‘My dear friends, this is your hour. This is not victory of a party or of any class. It’s a victory of the great British nation as a whole. We were the first, in this ancient island, to draw the sword against tyranny. After a while we were left all alone against the most tremendous military power that has been seen. We were all alone for a whole year.’ – Winston Churchill

                           However you celebrate today, stay safe.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

A local update.

Just over a month since my last post on my blog and what a change there has been in my garden and also seen locally on my short daily walk that is in line with the government guidelines to 'stay local' and 'use open spaces near to your home where possible'.
I usually see several joggers, cyclists and people out walking like myself for their daily exercise.
Several tree species are now leafing up rapidly and on my walks I have watched Magnolia buds growing and finally bursting in to bloom. They have put on some splendid displays in gardens, it is a pity the flowers are so short-lived. The weather has been glorious for a number of days bar the odd blip.

I have Great and Coal Tit's nesting in my garden and a Dunnock aka as a Hedge Sparrow nesting in a hedge which is apt!
The Great Tits have taken up residence in a Swift nesting box that was only put in place last Autumn. Interesting times ahead if Swifts decide to move in when they return.

The Coal Tits have been very active in the garden and have at times been harassed by Blue Tits. It had looked as though they would desert their  nest
box but they appear to have settled down now and are regularly seen to be getting on with nesting.

I was lucky to spot a pair of Robins in my garden during the first week of April and witness a food pass! No photo as it happened too quickly!

Bullfinches have returned to the feeders. I have had 2 males and a female on and around the feeders. Unusually this last week I have seen a male Bullfinch feeding on the ground under a Black sunflower feeder. I have not noted this behaviour with Bullfinches before.

There seems to be an abundance of Hover flies this Spring no doubt due to the warm temperatures we have been experiencing.
Me and my shadow.
Common Buzzards have been seen and heard regularly over the garden, this one was low enough for a half decent photo. ;-)
A flyover Raven was noted this morning over my garden and later on in the morning whilst on my daily 'short' walk a Common Buzzard was seen being harassed by a Raven! The same Raven as seen earlier maybe?
Woodpigeons that visit are now reducing in numbers in my garden for the  crumbled scones and seed I normally put out daily for the 'bigger' birds!
Carrion Crows and Magpies are still regular visitors as are Jackdaws most   days as they fly regularly over the garden and spot the food.                          
A Heron has been sighted on several occasions by the fish pond as it stands
motionless, waiting and looking for an opportunity to catch a fish and probably hoping it hasn't been spotted...well it has!!!! Toads have been quite vocal recently so maybe they are also attracting  the garden to the Heron.

A Dunnock enjoyed a drink from the pond and no doubt has a bath when no one is watching!

Holly Blue, Peacock, Comma and Orange-tip butterflies have been as always a joy to see in and around the garden.
A Dark-edged bee fly was interesting to see as it rested on a buddleia leaf! A couple of days later I sighted 2 in the garden.

 A few days later this Grey Mining Bee arrived in the garden for a rest.

That concludes the update for the last few weeks.
I will end with a photo I took of a banner that is draped across the doors of our local Primary School.
I am looking forward to the doors being opened once again for pupils and staff.