Spring!

Mar. 24th, 2011 09:50 am
azziria: (spring)

First Chiffchaff of the year (and my first summer migrant of the year) singing in the tree outside my office window :)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Owls

Mar. 22nd, 2010 08:42 am
azziria: (birding)
The kids and I are really enjoying checking in on Molly the Barn Owl (plus, to date, one chick!).

However I do wonder if some of the people who are watching and who think it's all so cute are ready for the fact that, if food gets at all scarce, the older chicks will eat the younger ones (as we witnessed in a Barn Owl brood the BBC programme Springwatch was monitoring a year or so ago).

It makes perfect sense from Nature's point of view, but it also makes for gruesome viewing...
azziria: (lapwing)
Up to the Washes to take a look at our Lapwing area. No Lapwings at all on our farmland (largely because the Washes haven't flooded this Spring, but also because the winter wheat in the fields is now too high). We did see a Barn Owl though, so it was well worth going.

After we'd walked our stretch my survey partner, R, took me to Berry Fen, part of the RSPB's new Ouse Fen Nature Reserve project. I've not been there before, in fact never even really realised it was there, so I'm very grateful to R for showing it to me. Mallard, Mute Swans, Coots, Moorhens, Gadwall, Shoveler, Godwits, Dunlin, Redshanks, Sedge Warblers, four Buzzards above, a solitary Egret and, yes, Lapwings. Loads of them, plus chicks :-)

A good morning :-)

Lapwings

Apr. 21st, 2009 09:00 pm
azziria: (lapwing)
Up to the Washes for a Lapwing survey visit - very quiet, with the winter wheat growing too long to see any birds on the ground.
azziria: (spring)
The weather forecast yesterday morning said 'Spring!', so the kids and I went over to Brandon Country Park for a walk, a picnic, and some tree-climbing. Loads of butterflies around - Commas, Brimstones and Tortoiseshells - and several Chiffchaffs singing. A glorious day, warm enough in the sun for t-shirts, and with that lovely green smell of Spring in the air.

Photos from the forest )

WWT Welney

Mar. 19th, 2008 07:01 pm
azziria: (birding)
Up to Welney today for a few hours' birding. The Washes are flooded again, after Sunday's heavy rain, so most of the waders (including the first Avocets of the year, spotted only last week) have gone where the water is shallower, and most of the Whooper Swans and all of the Pochard have left for their breeding grounds. A good range of species present nonetheless, including at least thirteen Snipe.

Some photos of the flooded reserve )

Species list )
azziria: (garden)
Down to the RSPB reserve at Fowlmere for a walk this afternoon, dodging the showers and enjoying some late sunshine.

Photos )

Species list )
azziria: (garden)
Over to the Country Park this morning, to walk in the sunshine while we still have it (wintry showers are forecast for later).

Photos from the park )
azziria: (garden)
I only had small numbers this year. As always, if I'd picked a different hour I'd have had more variety - there were no tits in my hour, whereas Blue, Great and Long-tailed are all usually quite frequent visitors.

2 Blackbird
3 Starling
2 Robin
1 Dunnock
1 Wren
3 Collared Dove
4 Woodpigeon
2 Chaffinch
2 Greenfinch
1 House Sparrow
1 Carrion Crow
azziria: (milvus)
Sitting here in my kitchen studying just now, when something hit the window with a huge thump. Rushed outside to see a Sparrowhawk taking off across the garden with a cock Blackbird in its talons. It sat in a corner of my garden for long enough for me to grab the binoculars and get a really good look before it flew off with its prey.

Wow!

I'm having a good day here - Muntjac, a black squirrel and a fox on my walk earlier, and now a Sparrowhawk in the front garden. Utter magic!
azziria: (garden)
A very gray and chilly morning, totally unlike yesterday. I could feel the blahs starting to set in, so I decided to get out and walk first thing.

The countryside where I live is not exactly scenic (too flat), but it does have pockets of great beauty if you know where to look. One good thing that has been happening around here over the last few years is that farmers have been opening up their land to give more public access. The farmer of the farm we walked over yesterday (the one with the roosting Barn Owls) has opened up a lot of his field margins as permissive bridleways for walkers and riders to use, and on his land it's possible to see deer, partridges, plovers and hares.

Going the other way out of the village there are two 'new' woods, planted 16 years ago, and the trees in these are now big enough to be 'real' trees and not saplings. Today I walked a new footpath that took me over to Girton, coming out through another 'new' wood, full of thickets of suckering Ash and surrounded by hedgerows with mature trees in them.

Today's walk (no photos, sadly, as it was too gray) yielded Muntjac deer, a black squirrel (a melanistic Gray), and my first singing Skylark of the year - and then, on my way back into the village, a big fox with a white-tipped brush hunting voles along a field margin (my second fox in 2 days - I saw one run across the fields while out with my daughter's ride yesterday).

So, I count myself thoroughly cheered up :-)
azziria: (garden)
Took advantage of what is predicted to be our only fine day this week to head over to Brandon Country Park for a couple of hours to walk, look and listen.

A few photos from the forest )
azziria: (garden)
I take a walk almost every day, partly to try and stave off the blues and partly for my physical health - but mostly because you never know what you might see out there. Today as I walked I was noticing what seeds and fruits are still around and what the birds were interested in - the ivy is popular with the blackbirds, but what really draws them like a magnet is any crab apple tree.

Some photos from my walk today )

Photo-a-day

Jan. 7th, 2008 03:03 pm
azziria: (birding)
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) in winter plumage.

Black-headed Gull )

New bird

May. 30th, 2007 05:37 pm
azziria: (garden)
A new bird for my garden list today: Blackcap.

Fowlmere

May. 22nd, 2007 01:48 pm
azziria: (duck)
Took at trip to Fowlmere RSPB reserve on Sunday, in need of escape from the house and food for my soul. A beautiful place, full of birds (although most of the warblers were more easily heard than seen) and not full of people. Just what I was after.

Fowlmere )
azziria: (garden)
A new bird for my garden list this morning - a female Great Spotted Woodpecker attacking the last of the peanuts in our feeder under the big tree. A shame the feeder's about to go away for the summer, or she might be back.

Thursday

May. 3rd, 2007 06:00 pm
azziria: (garden)
First Swift of the year :-)

Home safe

Feb. 18th, 2007 09:20 am
azziria: (mountain)
Here are some of the folks I met on my holidays - real characters one and all :-)

Alpine Choughs )

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