Friday, 31 May 2013

Derwentwater Grebes up-date

Had a ride over to Derwentwater today to spend some time with my mate Les, and catch up with the latest news as regards the Great-crested Grebe.
        The first part of the day was spent pottering about the isthmus, no Common Sandpipers about,which was a bit disappointing as there is usually at least one pair about, but not today. However first up was the Pied Wagtails, both adults are now feeding young.

Pied Wagtail with a mouth full of insects for the young.

Somebody ruffled his feathers ?

The next batch of pics were taken from a moving launch, so pics are not that good, but its better  any boat traffic keeps moving, as its less likely to disturb the Grebe.

Great-crested Grebe, she is now sitting tight on eggs, lets hope she has success, !!!

At one point a goose came flying right at the launch, and it wasn't till I loaded the pics onto the computer I realised it was one of a few Barnacle Geese that spend the summer around the lake.

It came flying at me so fast the camera wouldn't focus.

Male Mute Swan, Female is on a nest.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

A Coot family

On a recent visit to Leighton Moss I came across this family of Coots,
                                           First there was one parent with two chicks.

Then there was three chicks

More like seventies punk rockers.

And then there was 4, with both parents in attendance, Coot parents do a good job of sharing the responsibility of rearing their young.

Hope you enjoyed them,  Thank you.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Its quiet on the patch

one lone Lapwing foraging on it own, no sign  of a sitting female about.
There isn't a great deal of activity on the patch at the moment, Mallard with young, Moorhen, but not seen any young as yet. Even the Coot seem to have deserted us this season. As regards warblers, well; Whitethroat 7 seen or heard,  1 Blackcap seen, no sign of Sedge Warbler so far, but have been getting poor reports from other parts of the country.

 Came across this happy little Goldfinch singing its head off, so possibly a female sitting close by. 

Lots of Lady's Smock, some times called Cuckoo Flower, also seems to be a good food sauce for insects and butterflies. this one has a Hover fly on it.

And further along the path another one with Hover fly and Green-veined White,

Green-veined White, probably first brood male, second brood tend to have small black spot on wing.

Taking a third photo and managed to get a blurred hover fly coming in to land, a faster shutter speed may have stopped its motion.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Ducks with redeye

On my rambles the other day I came across a few ducks , First off Pochard,   

Two fine males no females about.

Thought I might have to get the redeye tool in action

Next up a fine male Gadwall

And close by a pair of Gadwall, some of the feathers on the male are beautifully marked.
  and not to be out done our friend the Mallard

He must be getting on a bit , he is dribbling.

And close by his misses with the kids, she actually had about 6 left but they where behaving badly doing their own thing all aver the  pond. consequently quite a few had fallen prey to crows and gulls.

And lastly by the coast a pair of Shelduck

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Back yard Birds

I put a few seeded bread crumbs out in the yard to see what would turn up but only got three species,
Male blackbird always looks striking with its gold ring eye and bright yellow/orange bill.

There has been no sign of the female, so hopefully she is sitting eggs somewhere.

Next to come down was Chaffinch, who didn't mind sharing the table with ,

Male House Sparrow, so we had male  and female chaffinch, House Sparrows and Blackbird.

The weather has turned very cold again, Fresh snow on the tops, and two roads blocked with snow in Scotland, welcome to summer.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

New faces on Derwent water

Great Crested Grebe
I have lived and worked around Derwent Water for many years, in fact for 8 years I lived right on the shore, at Derwent Bay. and in all those years, and for many more before I lived in Cumbria  I have never ever seen Great Crested Grebe on the Lake. So when a phone call from my mate Les explaining what he had seen while driving the launch, came as quite a surprise.

Today was the first chance I have had to go over there and check things out for my self. The story goes that the pair started to build a nest last weekend, then the first egg was laid. unfortunately they decided to build their nest almost in the channel the launches have to sail along to get into the Lodore landings. plus its an area where there are a lot of canoeists about. it may be these two hazards or the fact that we have have a lot of rain, but the nest seemed to have been disturbed at some point. Not to be put off though the pair have set to and started a rebuild.

What a crazy place to build a nest

The nest is a long way from vegetation.

Hopefully Les will keep me updated, as I don't know when I'll get over there again, depends on transport