Friday, 28 April 2017

Its all in black and white on Derwentwater.

Male Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba) insect hunting on the shore by the Isthmus.

He was on his own so its possible the female could be on a nest close by.

My mate Les was driving the one-o-clock launch so I went round with him. And as we sailed past Lords Island these other black and whites where on display.

Barnacle Geese (Branta leucopsis) two snoozing one on guard.

Every Spring a flock of Barnacle geese arrive on Derwentwater to nest on Lords Island, its not too certain where they come from, but seeing as any Barnacle geese that winter in the UK always go back to their breeding grounds in the arctic circle, it can only be asumed that this flock is feral having built up numbers from a previously escaped captive pair.

unsteady shots from a rocking boat, and a big lens .

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Derwentwater Sandpipers

They are back and have been seen in various parts of the lake, this one was photographed on the Isthmus opposite the boat landings.

Common Sandpiper, (Actitis hypoleucus)

Common Sandpiper.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Derwentwater, The Lake District.

Mute Swan  (Cygnus Olor)  this is a male or Cob, A pair have a nest at the south end of Derwentwater , and there is possibly a second pair at the Northern end where they have nested before. Also there are quiet a few of last years young on the lake.

Stay away from the wife and kids , or else !!

While wandering by the lake I found this beautiful patch of Wood Anemone

Wood Anemone
Linking to Stewarts wild bird wednesday---

Friday, 21 April 2017

Thacka Beck Nature Reserve

Had a walk round the reserve this morning, but there wasn't a great deal about. I put it down to the fact that it was dull and a quite strong North Westerly blowing. I took the path along the Hawthorns first , and found that some kind person had hung four lots of feeders in the trees. They where attracting half a dozen or more House Sparrows, also a Reed Bunting, which was not being very obliging for the camera. on the other side of the track there was a Woodpidgion chilling out. There was also a few Swallows skimming over the water, anything else on view was on the water. And for me there lies a problem. because when the reserve was first created, there was lots of gravel islands which attracted quite a few waders, unfortunatly no house keeping has been done and the whole area has been taken over with Rush, also no reports of waders in a long time.

nearly all areas covered in Rush and Reedmace

So now the islands are covered in Rush and also there is less open water.
The Hawthorns path, to the right is the main part of the reserve , which is surrounded on three sides by industrial ,estate, and just out of sight to the left is the West coast main line. the view is looking South.
House Sparrows enjoying the fat balls.
Lazy Woodpidgeon.


Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls had settle on the water with others flying over.

Male Mallard.

Bachelor party, hopefully the females are on nest as there was no sign of any.

A pair of distant Teal , bad timeing.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Deep Water

A ride down to the Wirrel to visit my cousin and after taking her out for lunch , we then had a look in at Burton wetland. My cousin is 88 this year so viewing was restricted to what could be seen from the main entrance/reception, and photography through glass is never that clever.

Black-tailed Godwit was on show along with some of the commoner ducks , Avocets counted over a hundred, but mostly distant.
Avocet from the archive

The Godwits where struggling with the depth of water.

Pied Wagtail testing the water.
And as is becomming the case these days a tad too many of these (Black-headed Gulls) taking up a lot of space.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

While in San Francisco we decided to pay a visit to the Golden Gate Park, it turned out to be much bigger than we expected. Quite an extensive area with lots going on, baseball pitches, football areas, tennis , and other facilities.
    However the place that caught my eye was the rather large conservatory, with tropical plant house. So here are some of the blooms on display, but please don't ask me their names, i'll name them if I do know.

I beleive this to be an Agave, but not sure what variety.

It wasn't just the colour that attracted me to this flower, but also the lace like petals.

Got to be some variety of Orchid
well this is a stange one, but I beleive the white part to be the "bract" the flower is usually quite small and insignificant , an example would be Bougainvillea.

above and below we have Orchid, possibly Dendrobium , but not sure.

Its a Cacti , we'll leave it at that, LOL.

No prizes for guessing this one , last but not least, Water lilly of some variety.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

If your going to San Francisco.

So  a couple birds I came accross  in San Francisco,  but before I introduce you , I have to remark on the temperature at this point. until reaching this stage in our road trip  we had been in very high temperatures , at one poin 114 Fahrenheit  in Vegas and 104 at the Hoover dam. We thought it might have been cool by the time we reached Yosemite, but no,  temps way into the 90 degree mark. So next we reach San Francisco , and all of a sudden the temps plummet way down to 57-58 mark and we are shivering ,and this lasted for about 4 days. Anyway about those birds I met.

First on the list was this little fella , which after some considerable reserch turned out to be.
Juvenile Black Phoebe
Juvenile Black Phoebe.

And some time later a fleeting glimps of an adult Black Phoebe , another lifer on the trip.

A Grackle , which had been located regularly on our Florida trips , and photographed better.

And amazingly American Robin, I say amazingly because inspite of all my previous
 American trips, this was the first time I had seen an American Robin, and therefore a LIFER, Yay.

Monday, 10 April 2017

A few more from the California beaches

one or two more pics before we move inland, although when we did so the birding became less of a focus , as other things took over the entertainment. !!. Studios, film stars and the like.

you looking at me , yooou looooking at me,
                                               First up another shot of a Heerman's Gull

This little fella is a Surfbird