Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Duck art ? or an artistic duck

The antics of this bird was observed on one of my last walks round the Thacka reserve of 2013

Its beginning to get the picture

I think the answer is beginning to take shape.

A mallard

It surely enjoyed its bath, and created a little art.
Linking to Stewarts wild bird Wednesday----http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.co.uk/

Thursday, 26 December 2013

In flight

Black-headed Gull

Another beautiful day in Cumbria, sun from the word go, and a keen frost, even the pavements where white.
    The Westies had a second outing soon after lunch, as we had a wonder round the patch. It was good to have the sun on my back, but it was a nippy wind coming out of the South to South West.
   If anything the patch offered up even less than yesterday. In the big hedge where the bullfinch where yesterday there was nothing, and up at the flash again nothing.
   Back on the reserve there was quite a few Moorhens on show but at a distance, and apart from Mallards and Gulls that was about it. So it was at the Gull my lens was pointed at first, and this post shows the flight of the Black-headed Gull.

And after the aerial display time for a rest.
Thank you for looking in.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas on the patch

A walk along the Big hedge produced a small flock of all male Bullfinches
Christmas day dawned fine, so after staying in bed a little longer than usual, breakfast was downed and then I set off with the Westies. It made a nice change not to battling against wind and rain.
  Its possible that there is more water in the flash than I have ever seen, unfortunately there was nothing in the area apart from a few Black-headed Gulls, and Carrion Crows.
Male Bullfinch

There was also a few Chaffinches about and a few blue tits , and an occasional glimpse of a Hedgsparrow foraging on the ground amongst the fallen apples.

On the main pond of the reserve just a few Mallard and Gulls, plus the occasional call of a moorhen but none seen.


Black-headed Gull.

And that was about it, not a great deal about but an enjoyable  Christmas day walk.

Linking to Stuarts Wild bird Wednesday------http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.co.uk/

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

              I would like to wish all my 
               And anyone else that looks in,
                 A Merry Christmas, and all the best
                        for 2014, Take care Gordon.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Borrowdale and North West Lakes

Well what a fantastic morning, the sun was shining, that made a change, and there had been a white frost. So went  out with the dogs first thing round the top half of the patch, but not a great deal about, Black-headed Gulls being the most numerous bird with the odd Common Gull amongst them.
    Back home for a quick cuppa and thaw out a bit then it was off to Keswick and the Isthmus to see my mate Les. After a chat and a hand over of Christmas card, I wonderd round the Lake shore checking out the sheltered areas but nothing apart from Mallard. The lake was very high after all the rain last night,  this and the strong cold wind may have had a bearing on the fact that there was very little about.

Looking West from the Isthmus, Nickle End Marine to the extreme left and Derwent boat club on the right of photo, The mountain is Grisedale Pike 2593ft and is usually climbed from Braithwaite.

Then looking South down the Lake and its beginning to look stormy down there
 After  a while I left Les and headed off pass Bassenthwaite Lake which looked very bleak so didn't bother stopping off, instead I headed for Silver Meadows reserve near Dubwath and had a walk round there. The wind was biting so mitts was adorned, which just makes taking pics a bit more awkward.
  There was 2 buzzard on the reserve, but didn't reveal them selves enough for pics, but the feeding stations where doing a decent trade.

Two Coal tits.

Coal Tit.

Blue Tit on the right, blue Tit ghost on the left.

And its back in the living world

Great Tit kept putting in an appearance.

Blue and Great Tit

I decided to drive back via Lorton and Whinlatter pass stopping off half way to take the following shots.

Bassenthwaite Lake and the marsh, home to one of the Lake Districts pair of Ospreys

And then swinging round to the right a few degrees,

The great sprawling mass of Skiddaw 3053 ft.
Hope you enjoy the little outing, linking to Stewarts wild bird Wednesday---http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.co.uk/  
   And I'd-rather-be -birdind at -----http://id-rather-b-birdin.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/i-taut-i-taw-snipe.html?showComment=1387364065730

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Catching up

I'm playing catch up in more ways than one today. Firstly I've posted some pics that I took on Wednesday before the storm started building Wednesday  night and Thursday. It was a lovely morning and there had been a touch of frost, so it was quite firm under foot  and no mud, ideal for the Westies as they keep themselves clean and don't trail mud into the house when we get back home.

Kyfer and Misty clean !!

Misty trailing behind as usual.

View of the old flash, sad now to think we have had nearly 100 different species in this area alone.
And a couple of views looking over to the big house.

As regards the storm Penrith got off lightly, there was damage, a chimney pot came down in our yard, narrowly missing a neighbours car, a few slates off here and there and the odd tree down, but nothing compared to some parts of the country where houses have been lost to the sea.
And now for the second catch up, something I was reminded of yesterday when I was showing a friend of mind up from Oxford round the patch
 Also looking over the patch was a nice young lady birder, with whom  we entered  into conversation, long story short, She asked about some waders she had seen earlier in the year, which after swapping descriptions turned out to be the 7 Black-tailed Godwits that dropped in for a short stay on the reserve.
 Now my regular reader, may remember, way back in in July, the 22nd to be exact I posted photos of said birds and it was noted that one had rings on both legs, and I did promise to let you know the history of the the Godwits ringing, if I could find anything out. Well I did and I now apologies for not letting you know the results sooner. So here is a copy of the e-mail I received from the ringing group.
Dear Gordon

Thank you for this sighting and apologies for the late reply.

RN-WX was ringed as an adult female in N Iceland.

Topline is ringing informations.

RN-WX 11.07.09 Siglufjordur, N Iceland
RN-WX 18.10.09 North Killingholme and Pywipe, Humber estuary, Lincolnshire, E England
RN-WX 29.04.10 WWT Caerlaverock, Dumfriesshire, S Scotland
RN-WX 03.05.10 Caerlaverock, Solway estuary, Dumfries & Galloway, W Scotland
RN-WX 24.08.10 North Killingholme Haven, North Lincolnshire, E England
RN-WX 19.06.11 Siglufjordur,  Leiruvegur, N Iceland
RN-WX 18.04.12 WWT Caerlaverock, Folly Pond, Dumfriesshire, S Scotland
RN-WX 25.04.12 Siglufjordur, N Iceland
RN-WX 22.07.13 Thacka Beck Nature,  Penrith,  Cumbria,  NW England
RN-WX 22.07.13 Thacka Beck Nature,  Penrith,  Cumbria,  NW England
RN-WX 31.07.13 Killingholme, Haven Pits, Humber estuary, Lincolnshire, E England

Best Wishes 

2013/8/15 Nuno Cidraes Vieira <limosalimosa@sapo.pt>

Dear Gordon Williams

I'm writing you on behalf of the International Wader Study Group (IWSG), as the Species Expert (SPEX) for Black-tailed Godwit.
Apologies for the late reply.

This bird was ringed in Iceland by Tómas Gunnarsson and co-workers. I sent them your sight, you should receive the bird's life-story from Vigfús Eyjólfsson.
All sights you get of Black-tailed Godwits with 2 colour rings in each tibia, being the lower right tibia position white with a black X, were ringed by Tómas. If you want, you can send him directly the data from future sights (tomas@hi.is). Skipping a few steps it will result in getting the bird's life-history sooner :-)

Thanks for the info and link to the photo. It's always nice to see it and allow ringers to get extra information such as moulting scores

thanks for helping Godwit's studies,

Photo of said bird taken in July this year.

So I hope you find that as interesting as I did, and until next time, BFN.
     Linking to Stewarts wild bird Wednesday---.http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.co.uk/

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A ride up to the Solway

On Saturday I had a ride up to the Solway (I know I've been busy), it was a sunny morning and I thought I would make the most of it. I took the Westies out first thing and noted a few Lapwings and Black-headed Gulls around the remains of the flash. Also numbers of Blackbird along the top track , but no Thrushes.
      Back home I grabbed a few goodies before setting off for the Solway. As soon as I hit the marsh road I stopped a few times before finding an area that looked promising as regards waders. The first thing my eyes picked up was this Redshank, and I couldn't make out weather it had something wrong with one of its legs, maybe only one leg, I couldn't be sure.

Redshank, one leg or is it a ring, and the lower half is obscured with grass.
          The tide had turned so everything was beginning to move out onto the replenished mud, and putting a strain on my meagre lens.

Further on and two more Redshank accompanied by a lone Oystercatcher.
Another Rdshank, the water surface was so calm and good as regards reflections.


And Sanderling where flying up and down the waters edge, always nice to watch them weaving and twisting their way along the estuary.

At first glance its hard to make out birds from reflections, Sanderling.

Also a few Mallard about.

More Sanderling.

And a distant Curlew.

Then in a tree next to the car, this little beauty turned up, Song Thrush.

And then it went all unsociable on me and turned away.
 Next I drove on, stopping at Cardurnock when I saw a large flock of birds lift up from grazing land, they turned out to be Lapwing.

This is just a fraction of the flock

Lapwings, Green plover, or Peewit, are some of the names given to these beautiful birds.
Thank you for looking in, and way not follow the link to Stewarts wild bird Wednesday for more beautiful birds.----http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default