Monday, 31 May 2010

Common as muck

The most common birds by far on the Scillys are, top of the list must be House sparrows, you even find them on the beaches, close second must be Starling, and in third place Song Thrush, the later being very tame.
         We stayed in a very good B&B (The Lookout)  less than 50 yds. from Porthcressa beach and bay. This little chap or chapess (just to keep things politically correct) had also booked in for evening meal as he-she appeared at the same time every evening.

                           Er two sugars in mine please.

No not drinking it until you put two in.

Are you looking at me?.

 Black birds also tried getting in on the act but the Thrushes were having none of it .

 View from B&B window when Thrushes didn't get in the way. 

My theory for Sparrow and Thrushes being so plentiful on the Isles is, there is little or no weed killers and pesticides used. Where as on the mainland your average council sees a blade of grass poke through a path or pavement , and it is instantly drenched in Roundup, no grass or weed , no seed,  no seed no Sparrows. Simple ( Meerkat) .

Sticking with the theme

Still on or near the sea, we found this Puffin just off Annet, there is a small colony nesting on the Island in the largest area of Thrift in Western Europe, and is also feeding young. There were also a few Guillemots close by .
                       This is just a fraction of the large area of Thrift. Annet.

What a load of crap

OMG that's disgusting, I told you the fish was off.
Don't turn round
 you won't believe
 what he's doing
behind your back.                  


The above pics and all the seal pics were taken in the Eastern Isles of the Scilly's. The coast line to all the islands are just fantastic but the Eastern Isles tops the lot.  The above by the way are Shags

                                   Na not me gov I don't do graffiti,
                                    well may be a little bit (Razorbill)

                              Ho no here's another boat load of em, just pretend your asleep in the hope they will go away.


Sunday, 30 May 2010

The Sheffield connection

Hello I'm back , yes for those treasured few people that visit my site from time to time, or in moments of madness and have missed my postings, well the reason for my absence was a treat and well earned rest for my wife via a week in the Scillys.
       While we were there we kept bumping into this lovely couple from Sheffield (I've still got the bruises) unfortunately for the husband He had a terrible affliction, he supports Wigan R-L,  and his wife is such a happy-go-lucky kind of person you would never believe she was carrying such a burden. In some degree though I owe them some thanks for pointing me in the right direction for the Scilly Cuckoo pictured here. And also as promised a pic of a seal. 
Here's looking at you kid.

              Hay maaan just chillin

There will be more to come .

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Short trip on my own

More often than not when a trip down to Leighton Moss is on the cards Mrs W usually comes along, unfortunately today She was working, (well somebody has to) and as 2 Spoonbills had been seen yesterday I thought I would chance my arm, at least there was an improvement
in the weather down there. The Spoonies had been last seen on the Allen pool, so I drove straight to the marshes. Unfortunately no Spoonbills for Gordon had to make do with this Heron, and the Black-tailed Godwits putting on a splendid areal display

By the paths leading to the hide there was quite a few Sedge Warblers in song and there was a few Wrens knocking about too, which is good after the winter we had.
Fleeting views of Bearded Tits near the Tim Jackson hide and more Sedge Warblers plus Reed Warblers along the causeway, but pics not good enough to post due to excess vegetation. It was an enjoyable short visit. 

Tuesday May 18th

        One of the Blue Tits near the flood now feeding young
                                                              High wire act Kestrel near flood    

I'm just looking at these two photos and thinking, one could be fodder for the other.
        Had a walk up Thacka first thing, not a great deal knocking about, the 5 young Mallard are still surviving but for how long. There was 2 Blackbacks also on the flood and were no doubt eyeing up the little yellow balls of fluff skittering about and sometimes quite a distance from moms protection.

 And below a poor pic of 2 of the 3 Stock Doves on the far side of the flood sunning themselves.

  Just before lunch I had a ride over to Haweswater, where the car park was doing a good trade so had to park by the side of the road.
        I took the foot path that leads up to the Eagle watch point but didn't intend going that far. I was mainly wanting to scan the fell just below the watch point where in the past I have found Ring Ouzel , but not today, not a sight nor sound.
       On the way up by the water there was a mixed flock of Canada and Greylag geese the later with well developed young, pic below.

Also along the waterline was several Common Sandpipers, and Pied Wagtails. Other things consisted of , 1 Heron 1 Great Crested Grebe, and the usual Blackbacks on the island.
On the walk I met two guys from Windermere and had an enjoyable crack with them.

At night it was back up to the flood again as John gave me a ring to say there was a Yellow Wagtail giving good views. Excellent as this was a first for me. Perfect end to a perfect day, and the sun shone all the time, great.

Monday, 17 May 2010

wandering about Thacka and nearby woods

Up soon after 7 this morning, breakfasted then took the dogs round the block. The car had to go into the the garage again so decided to leave the Westies at home. I dropped the car off then continued on through Gilwilly and on to Thacka.
I had a look at the settling pond first, just a few Mallard and a couple of Moorhens
The flood wasn't much more productive, two male Mallard plus female cavorting, and another female with 5 young. There was 1 Lapwing & 1 Oystercatcher close by. Chatting to the owner of the big house , and I was informed that Roe Deer has been seen in the area in the last few days
While pottering about in some woods close to the area I found the Cowslip, photo above, and this young Tawny Owl, keeping my distance I took this long lens photo while the mother called close by, I just hope she can keep the predators away.

It was a beautiful morning but still that cold wind blowing.  The young owl was the only exciting thing I found, a selection of warblers could be heard, and the usual corvids over or feeding in the fields and that was about it .

Thursday, 13 May 2010

No Prizes

No prizes for guessing what this is , well actually its more like
Who this is , I know it takes some figuring out , but yes its Misty.
We have a nick name for her these days Mistypoo, I'm glad we
are not on a water meter.

Like the proverbial buses none for days then loads turn up at once.

The beautiful mottling on the underwingd shows here,
of course these are all males, being more photogenic, but there were plenty of females about,

In one area of Greystoke woodland I found an area covered with Primrose , always nice to find.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A stroll up Mell Fell

Sharp Edge Blencathra, from Mell Fell.

Had an enjoyable stroll up Mell Fell on Tuesday, the sun shone for most of the time. I climbed up from South East side so was out of the wind, and the sun made it a pleasant walk.
There was a few birds about but not a great deal to note, Willow warblers could be heard in the wooded area then out on the open top there was a few Meadow Pipits about. the best of the sounds I heard was the Cuckoos, 3 maybe 4, 1 on the Fell the others in the valley.

As you start to approach the summit there are quite a few dead or stunted Larch and Scots Pine .

Helvellyn can be seen here framed by another dead tree

It didn't take long to reach the top of the fell but as I reached the summit I was then confronted for the first time by the strong North North Easterly which was bitter cold, and after taking a few pics I descended again onto the lower slopes to get the benefit of the warm sun.
All in all an enjoyable couple of hours pottering about.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Two mornings round Thacka

Right, part of Thacka flood,
Had a walk round the area this last two days not a great deal about. Yesterday very little on the flood apart from a few Mallard and 6 Lesser Black-backed gulls.
In trees near by there was the usual, Chaffinch, Goldfinch 1, Blackbirds, a few Woodpigeons about, and the usual Corvids.
This morning I had to take my car in for its MOT, (nasty ) I can see more than coins leaving my pocket after this little inspection. Anyway after dropping the car off I continued on foot up through Gillwilly and on to Thacka. Mallard on the settling pond, 1 Oystercatcher flew over, and 1 Kestrel glided across and landed in trees nearby.
Up at the flood there was 4 Common Sandpipers, 1 Curlew, 1 Moorhen, possibly 1 sitting, 2 more Oystercatchers flew over. And that was about it

Monday, 3 May 2010

Morning walkabout with the Westies

Misty nearest to camera looking mischievous
before rolling in poo !!

Even though there was a cold wind blowing the sun was warm, and it seemed to be lighting up all the Blackthorn blossom, which is a bit later than further South in the country.

We took the track from Thacka that runs along side the railway, and just after taking the photo of the blossom, a bird flew up into a bush and it turned out to be this young Mistle Thrush.
We just pottered about following various tracks, only turning back just before reaching the river petteril. Also on our wanderings we saw quite a few butterflies, 3 Orange-tip, 1 Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, and this Green-veined White, giving a friend a ride ?. and the only one that stayed still long enough for a pic.
We had been lucky with the weather, the Westies, particularly Misty enjoying swims in Thacka beck. Our timing was good as we hadn't been in the house long when it started raining and there was very little sun for the rest of the day.