Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Local patches

Had a walk round Thacka first thing with Kyfer and Misty after dropping Mrs W off at work. Scanned the flood first but very little on it, some Mallard, Moorhen, 2 Oystercatchers, 1 Lapwing.
I decided to have a walk to the settling pond, again not a lot there the usual Mallard waiting to be fed, about 6 House sparrows, and mixed in with them this Reed Bunting. Quite a few Willow Warblers could be heard, and Kestrel flew over.

Later in the day I had a ride over to Greystoke Forest and pottered about for quite a while again there was considerable numbers of Willow Warblers about and this time one was very obliging.

It made a change being able to take a photo without a clutter of branches getting in the way. In one area the was plenty of signs of woodpecker activity, then one started drumming very heavy, then it called, that familiar yaffle, yes Green Woodpecker.
On the way home I called in at Bright Tarn, a few Mallard, 2 Black Headed Gulls 7 Greylags. and that was about it. Quite a good day really.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Leighton Moss

A pair of Shoveler

The sun was shining through the window before 7-30 this morning, so as Mrs W had the day off we decided to make a move and head down into Lancashire.
On arrival at Leighton we parked up near the causeway and made our way along it, stopping off at the public hide before moving on to Lower hide. During this first part of our visit the Marsh Harriers were very visible from every part of this area, both male and female. also all the warblers could be heard but not seen, same as regards Bearded Tits.
Next we made our way to the Centre and as it was after 11 by now we had to take Mrs W's food intake into consideration so just pottered around the feeding station and Lillians till it was time for refueling. Good sightings of a Marsh Tit near the feeding station, only 1 Little Gull, and no sign of the White fronted goose at the hide or out by the level crossings.
After lunch we made our way over to the Eric Morecambe hide, water still quite high so not a great deal about. The best of what there was being 7 Avocet, 1 Little Egret, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 summer plumage Dunlin.

Look at the difference in plumage of these male pheasants, top photo, Dumfries, bottom photo, Lancashire.

After leaving Leighton we made our way home via Arnside to give the estuary the once over, and also call for some homemade icecream, yum yum.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

A beautiful morning up Thacka

No new photos as yet so thought I would put a few more of my Red Kite pics up, they are such a beautiful bird.
Went up to Thacka this morning and what a great morning it was, sun shinning , and quite a few birds about,
On the flood there was 3 Common Sandpipers, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Moorhen, Mallard. 6 or more Oystercatchers coming and going, 4 Blue Tits in trees next to us, and 2 Goldfich. There was also quite a few Blackbirds about and carrying food to young somewhere. 2 Stock Dove bathing at the edge of the flood, and a Mistle Thrush singing close by. It was good to be out early.

The return of the PC.

Wednesday 21st
Greylag Goose Bass Lake

Thankfully pc back in a good mood and willing to work as normal, so we are good to go again.
Mrs W and myself have done quite a bit of touring round of late but nothing really exciting to report, even though we have been as far afield as Bowland and the Lancs coast. the best of that day was probably Cockersands and the fields near the old Abbey where we saw upwards of 20 hares and good views of a Merlin, plus bits and bobs on the estuary including Eider.
Every morning this week I have had a look at the flood but there has been nothing on there apart from a few Mallard and a pair of Moorhens one of which is on a nest. Saw my first Swallow over the area this morning.
Yesterday we had a ride over to Bassenthwaite Lake, again there wasn't a lot about, but it was nice to be able to watch the Ospreys clearly even from the west side of the lake. Female sitting on the nest, then the male came in and started to pluck bits from a fish. there was two blokes over from the North East and we had a good crack with them.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Some bits not working

Computers, you can love em, you can hate them, they can be so frustrating at times, they can make you cry they can also make you laugh. you can see things with them that amaze you, and things that shock you. Some people embrace them fully using them to keep in touch with friends and family, watch films, catch-up tv , use them for studying while at uni. and a whole host of other things. Whilst other people are frightened to death of them or totally and utterly abhor them, those people I feel a bit sorry for.
As for myself, well I first came across a form of early computer in an advert in one of the Sunday broad sheets way back in the seventies. Even then I had this Idea (and I don't know where it came from) that with a computer you should be able to put things into it and get answers, and be able to interact with it in some way. We had to Wait nearly 10 years before the first what we now call primitive computers started to appear, and most of them just became game machines.
Then suddenly everyone was talking about home computers, and the machine I had imagined back in the seventies had finally arrived, and with it all the problems and frustrations that we all know so well.
So finally I arrive at the reason for this ridiculous monologue, anyone who pops into my blog more than once, and thank you for doing so, will have noticed a distinct lack of photos with this post, no nothing to do with volcanic ash unless some has mysteriously managed to get into my computer tower as it flew at 40,000ft after I had given it a great thumping kick . No my computer for some reason known only to itself at the moment, has decided not to read my camera card, and when I try the route I have used most of the time , that is via an sub cable, it has now fallen out with my Nikon D60, saying it doesn't recognise the device at the other end of the cable, device !! of all the insults, to call a Nikon the king of all cameras a device.
So having tried every trick in the book as they say , it looks like a trip to the local computer shop to try some therapy on the computer, and I'll call in a the local psychiatric clinic to get my nerve ends treated.
You either love em or hate em.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

No string attached

See, Kite, Red, no string

Now how do I eat this without dropping it.

Well Monday we just had to make a move, we being Mrs W and yours truly, the weather was just unbelievable. So I decided to give my better half a bit of a surprise and we headed of in the direction of Dumfries & Galloway, the main destination being the Kite feeding station, that being the surprise.
We first made our way along the West side of Loch Ken where by the roadside we saw quite a few of these dark form Pheasants.

This photo doesn't do the colours justice

It wasn't long before the keen-eyed Mrs W spotted the first Kite soaring overhead as we drove along, then the feeding station sign suddenly popped up which kinda gave the game away

I think I've got the idea.

Red Kites not Red Arrows.

A very enjoyable day out, lots of other birds seen on our travels but the Kites dominated the day.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

And the sun shone at last !!

Not so much a dog more a drain cleaner

This is what happens when you try to mix dog walking with bird watching. The older dog Kyfer tends to avoid mud if possible and walk round water if possible (Male you see) where as young dog Misty tends to dive straight in , mud, water, doesn't make any difference, also quite partial to poo of various types (Female you see) say no more.
We had a walk up Thacka but there wasn't a great deal about, 2 Lesser Blackbacks, about half a dozen Oystercatchers, a few Mallard, all on the flood.
On the settling pond there was the usual Mallard, Moorhen, Reed Bunting, and Reed Warbler only heard.
The one thing that was good about the day, and the main talking point with every one I stopped to talk to was the SUN, very warm and very welcome.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Sunny Day At Leighton Moss March 17

You are clear to land, Snow Geese & Grey Lags

Last night Mrs W and myself decided to have a ride down to Leighton today as the forecast was good, imagine my shock when on peeping through the curtains at 7-30 this morning I see what I expected frost on the rooftops. Wrong, after wiping bleary eyes I now realise we have had yet another overnight fall of snow, followed by the predicted frost, joy. Care had to be taken when giving the Westies a quick once round the block as the pavements once again were like glass.
We finally hit the M6 at about 8-30 or I should say the M6 nearly hit us, THICK FOG, more joy, so until we dropped into Lancashire it was a slow journey. On arrival at Leighton we spent some time on the causeway looking and listening for the Cettis eventually catching up with one at the far end of the causeway. It was singing practically none stop within a few yards of us (meters for the clever folk) and we spent ages trying to clock it, and I was ready to call it a day , when Mrs jammy W. spotted it sneaking around in the reeds.
Shelduck one of a few

From the causeway we moved on to the centre and spent some time in Lillians hide , this is where we saw the Snow geese fly in . There was also a couple of Great Crested Grebe starting their courtship display. After lunch we had a look in at the Tim Jackson hide, where there was a few Wigeon having a bath and thoroughly enjoying themselves, also Teal, and above us 3 Buzzard soring .
Next we headed for the Eric Morecambe hide, the view that greeted us is not one I like to see, Water everywhere, there had been a high tide and the whole area was flooded, waders could only be seen at a great distance. It was similar as regards water fowl so a bit disappointing really. There was Merlin but that was only just discernible as the sun was right in our faces.

This Kestrel gave us good views as we made our way back to the car.