Sunday, 29 May 2011

Ctenophora Flaveolata

Ctenophora Flaveolata.
or to put it another way Yellow-ringed  comb-horn crane fly. There you go I feel much better now.
Well nearly at the end of May and this is only my 3rd post in a month, mainly due to the weather although there has been other factors. The above photo by the way was taken over at the Isthmus, Keswick, the insect had settled on an upturned rowing boat waiting to be refurbished. (the boat not the insect)
As usual I went over there because my mate Les had found a Great Spotted woodpecker feeding young and thought it might be good for photos. Well in the right light and weather conditions he would be right but unfortunately When I went over on Friday it was blowing a gale and very showery, the light was bad and also parents birds were being disturbed because of a large party of kids and staff from one of the outdoor centres, they were using a small beach close by and the noise was horrendous.
The day before a Gannet had been seen resting on the lake obviously blown inland with recent gales, but that's new for Derwentwater. The female Redstart has started flitting about which gives me the impression that they may have young now.

Mean while Back on the patch, not a lot happening on the flash just a few Mallard , the Coot is still sitting, although the water is rising so the hope the nest can float. There is nearly always one or two Stock dove about, and there was 4 Dunlin on the Thacka beck reserve during the week. Roy was up there Friday morning and told me about a Great Spotted nest at Cliburn, if only the weather would pick up and we could get out more.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Down to the land of the floating sheds

The floating sheds (Brockholes Lancashire Wildlife Trust reserve)
Yes Mrs W and myself had a ride down the M6 to the recently opened  reserve. Bird wise there was quite a bit to see if one was willing to tramp around, which we was not. We left Penrith in lovely warm sun only to be greeted by gale force winds and no sun at the reserve.
The reserve for a long time now has been pulling some good birds in including some rarities, however the new building and the path layout is still very much a work-in-progress situation. On the day of our visit the only access to the buildings was along the wooden causeway,  and as can be seen there are no safety rails, (parents with children beware). Also the coin machine was malfunctioning creating confusion and a quite a few people in line.

We didn't linger too long and soon we were making our way North again deciding to stop off at  Leighton Moss for lunch and a quick scan.

Male Shoveler
  On reaching Leighton the weather was mucho improvo, and all was good with Mrs W as she had now had lunch.

Coot on nest.
 Up at the Flash with the Westies this morning and 2 Coots were nest building, the above though was a Leighton Moss.
The Little-ringed Plover have been back on the Thacka beck reserve but didn't stay long and Sedge Warbler has been heard on the pond.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Catching up

Male Redstart
Over the weekend my mate Les rang me up a couple of times and each time He was on the phone He was trying to describe a bird He was watching, ( He's not a birder) as I have said before He works on the Isthmus at Keswick Launch co. so yesterday I went over to spend some time with him. It was a while before the bird showed but when it did it turned out to be a beautiful male Redstart. it was a good distance away and my pics don't do its marking justice, but it was good to see.

They are a beautiful bird to watch.

The patch which is Thacka flash, "the pond" and the new Thacka beck reserve have all been pretty quiet since the Little Ringed Plover visits. But yesterday a Wood Sandpiper dropped in for a while, no sign this morning though.

Wild apple blossom along the top track
On the Flash this morning was the usual Mallard, plus a Coot the first in a while. After I had put the Westies back in the car I had a walk round the Thacker beck reserve. surprisingly I found 3 more Coots on there, and better still against all odds 4 possibly 5 Lapwing chicks. When I say against all odds I mean to say they have survived all the disturbance by irresponsible dog walkers. 3 of which I tangled with this morning  for not having their dogs on a lead, in spite of the fact that there are now notices up saying dogs must be on a lead. (my blood boils)

Horse-Chestnut blossom

We are not getting the variety of birds we got last year on the Flash, and I can only think that this is because the water level is still very high, therefore less attractive to waders. Also the new reserve seams to be picking up the birds we had on the Flash last year.

                                          A common woodland fern
                                              Male fern I think.