Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Last of the Bluebells

On Tuesday we enjoyed our final spring visit to North Cliffe Wood.  This was a new location to at least one participant, and two had only visited once a few weeks ago.  We had only just emerged from our shared transport when our ears were assaulted (in a pleasant way) with the strong song of a Garden Warbler.  He came nearer and sang at us from a sycamore sapling.  He then flew back into dense cover.  Ten minutes later a Willow Warbler serenaded us, and showed well.
Orange-Tip
Garden Warbler
We were very lucky with the weather.  It seemed to be raining all around us, and the sky looked threatening at times, but it remained dry all the time we were there.  We came across a walking group led by one of the previous stalwarts of the Friday morning class, and also by my former GP, as well as a couple I've never met before.  I don't think I've never know the wood quite so busy, but it still radiated absolute peace and calm.
 Ditto
Later, a Buzzard was heard and then seen circling on a thermal above the wood.  A Whitethroat had arrived since our last visit, and one was seen well singing above a hedge on our way out.  However, probably the standout feature were the Bluebells, especially on the eastern sheltered side with a delightful Orange-tip feeding on them. 
Orange-Tip on Bluebells
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Saturday, 16 May 2015

X-Rated

Yesterday we made our final visit of the year to Swine Moor, Beverley.  Apart from myself none of the attendees had ever been there before, even though 3 of them actually have lived in Beverley for several years!

We had only just walked through the entrance gate when we noticed a pair of Swifts rapidly coming towards us.  They started to slow down as they attempted to come together in the air.  As they conjoined they started to lose height and nearly took our heads off!
2 very Common Swifts
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 Male Swallow
In other news we enjoyed prolonged views of Reed Warblers, and briefer views of Sedge Warblers.  There weren't many waders, just a Black-tailed Godwit, a Little Ringed Plover, and lots of Lapwings.  We were very lucky with the wind, but the sun didn't come out until quite near the end.
Reed Warbler
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 Black-tailed Godwit
 House Martin
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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Three Rings for the Owl Chicks Under the Sky

On Sunday and Wednesday we went to the same isolated Holderness location.  The Cuckoos and Turtle Doves failed to show, but we did hear a Cuckoo this morning.  A Kingfisher was seen at lunch time, but was too far away to be photographed.  There are now a pair of Great Crested Grebes on both lakes, so they seem to be doing well.  On Sunday I popped over to another local site on an non-wildlife errand, when I was asked if I'd be interested in photographing Tawny Owl chicks before they were ringed.  It would have been rude to say no! 
Tawny Owl
 Stoat
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 Heading towards the nest below
 Reed Warbler nest
 Sedge Warbler (c) 2015 Aileen Urquhart
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 Heron
 Heron (c) 2015 Aileen Urquhart
 Linnet
 Whitethroat
 Lesser Whitethroat (c) 2015 Aileen Urquhart
 Lesser Whitethroat
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 Yellowhammer
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 Juvenile Robin (at home)
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 Tawny Owl
 Having a Snooze
 Guinea Fowl

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Millington Magic

On Monday we had our only one off trip to Millington this year.  It was rather a good morning with the outstanding stars being the Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher, but with star turns from a singing upside-down Treecreeper, a close female Blackcap and a bright male Kestrel.  Overall, it was a very good morning.
Redstart
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 Redstart (right) (c) 2015 Aileen Urquhart
 Male Kestrel
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 Marsh Tit
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 Marsh Tit
 Meadow Pipit
 Meadow Pipit
Red Kite 
 Yellowhammer
 Goldcrest
 Treecreeper
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  Treecreeper
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 Female Blackcap
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 Spotted Flycatcher
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 Water Avens