Additional Pages

Monday, 25 February 2013

Double Dippers !

Despite the cold gloomy weather I fancied a trip to the Wyre. It's one of my favourite places, and even on a day that looked less than promising, something usually makes it worth the visit.
From the car park I headed down to the Brook and within a couple of minutes heard  a Marsh Tit callling. It gave a brief showing,but in poor light.Down on the bridge a Dipper  zoomed by, heading upstream. I followed  and it was not long before I cought it up.

All the usual woodland species were about, and the Dipper showed a couple more times as I headed to Coopers Mill. There, a male Bullfinch and a Green Woodpecker momentarily sat within a few feet of each other, that really added some colour to proceedings, but all to briefly.
However a bit more colour was to come, with a pair of Grey Wagtails vociferously working their their way upstream.I managed to just about get a record high ISO shot
Murky views..Grey Wagtail

Swinging round to Lodge Farm, I gave the orchard 15 minutes. Plenty of finches about Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, a low Buzzard and a pair of  Ravens.
With work on the disused rail line making that way back unattractive, I opted to drop back to Knowles and the Brook. I was glad I did, as I again connected initially with one, and then two Dippers ! They showed really well, almost side by side at times. The second appeared as I was trying to get some film, and you can hear it call as it whizzes past my subject,which was lurking under the bank of the brook. It followed, giving a brief call back as it followed.They settled a few yards upstream, and I watched them for a while in my Bins before heading back to the car.
On they way back, heading away from this pair, I had another Dipper sighting. Hard to know if it was a third, I would like to think so, but I'll settle for a pair ! As I mentioned, I rarely leave this area disappointed.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Back in the game !

Last weekend was a washout. It left me champing at the bit all week for a nature fix. With a slight improvement in the weather I decided to run the moth trap on Thursday night for a couple of hours. I had zero expectation but was very surprised to find a single Dark Chestnut moth lurking when I checked it around 9pm. This was my first proper run out with the mains set up, so I was most encouraged. Dark Chestnut was a new species to boot, albeit a bit of a worn specimen.I'll take anything at present.
Dark Chestnut, 1st moth of the year !
On Saturday I was dismayed to awake to fog, but thankfully it lifted so I popped to Grimley. The most productive site was the Sling Pool area. There were 30+ Tufted Duck, and good Numbers of Wigeon, Gadwall and Lapwing. The highlight was picking up 3 Green Sandpipers which flew off the second I spotted them to settle a way off giving distant views amongst the Lapwings.A year tick at least.
On the way home I dropped into my local patch and walked the area on the edge of the stubble field that has a decent bit of set aside come summer. I was hoping for a cheeky butterfly, as the sun was on it and it was quite pleasant. I spotted something bright in the wooded area, initially thinking it was litter, when I raised my bins I realised it was a single fungi.
I headed over, it was a lovely Scarlet colour, and thought I knew what it was, although I had never seen one before.

Scarlet Elf Cup
The area just up from there usually has snow drops this time of year, and sure enough there was a good display, the first I had seen this year. I thought I would go for a less conventional record shot.

On Sunday I circumnavigated Mount Segg, although the navigation bit went a bit pear shaped towards the end, but in a good way as I shaved about a mile off the last section, and frankly I was a flagging a bit, you seem to walk twice as far in that heavy mud. Birdwise, nothing exceptional, but nice weather and highlights were Skylarks, Mistle Thrushes, Yellowhammers and finally my first Sparrowhawk of the year as I got back to the car. So all in all plenty of 'firsts' this week one way and another, and it was great just to be back out there.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Proposed Shenstone Development

I have done a bit of birding this weekend, but in light of news of a proposed.."permanent site" for " Travelling Show People"  at Shenstone, I am dedicating this weeks post to a link to The Shenstone Birder's blog. The site will be be on an area where red status species are regularly seen and breed, such as Corn Bunting Grey Partridge and Yellowhammer. Please have a read of what Jason has to say and if you agree, follow the link to make your views known, its part of my regular birding sites.