Monday, 16 October 2017

St Margaret's under the Sahara

 Taken at 3.56pm.

 This and the next two taken at one minute past 6 pm.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Moth Visitors

At this time of year the number of moths visiting my moth traps is much lower than in mid-summer, but it is alos a good time for some unusual migrants. I've been moaning for ages that almost everyone else in East Kent has caught at least one Clifden Nonpareil. Pam even saw one a while ago when I was abroad and Phil Chantler released one by the Monument. Last night should put a stop to my moans, well on this subject anyway. A couple of quick pictures, it is a bit battered, but I'm not complaining.
Clifden Nonpareil

Clifden Nonpareil.

Another of the striking visitors is the Four-spotted Footman. It is called four-spotted because of the pattern on the female. However all the visitors to my garden (except for one) have been males, that lack the spots but are strikingly marked.

2x Four-spotted Footman

Four-spotted Footman

Four-spotted Footman

A rather more subtly patterned moth, the Delicate is appropriately named and one of my favourites.

The Delicate

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

On the way to the Mediterranean

September is a great moth for finding migrant birds, and Blackcaps are one of the most numerous. The males have the black caps, but the females have reddish-brown tops to their heads.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Fox News, That isn't false!

Look who came for a drink today! We are used to seeing this little fountain being used as a shower by Blue-tits.but it is the first time I've watched this Vixen there. It look as if she is feeding a litter somewhere.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Lazy Photography

Some lazy, armchair photography, sliding doors open and listening to 15 to 1. Watching the garden birds coming to drink and bathe.

A very wet Robin.

A tatty Blue Tit, but I'm not sure what is the problem.

Coming down to the feeders, about four feet away.

Cock House Sparrow


Blackbird, down for  drink.

Blackbird collecting food.

This was from the other side of the house, though a closed window. I had a quick dip in our exercise pool, trying to improve my leg muscles, came out, showered and sat at my desk. As I looked out of the window all the finches left the feeders in a panic, and the reason was staring me in the face. A handsome male Sparrowhawk.

Back to the armchair to watch a Wren collecting nesting material from round the pond.

Cock Chaffinch

Hen Chaffinch

Thsi Collared Dove is a short tailed version, perhaps having lost it to a local cat, or even the Sparrowhawk.

This is the full tailed version.

A smart Blue Tit.

Blue Tit and Goldfinch go head to head.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Spring is beginning to get sprung

There was quite a lot of Spring activity amongst the birds at the Restharrow Scrape, Sandwich Bay today. As soon as I sat down in the hide I was aware of the strange call that an amorous Lapwing uses to seduce his partner. The drake Shovelers were chasing around and Drake Teal were parading round the ducks. A noisy Pied Wagtail was feeding in front of the hide, almost continuously uttering what passes for a song. The Little Egret was just going about it business quietly, while the Dabchicks were frequently braying loudly, one of my favourite noises in the bird world. There are still a few snipe around, and when disturbed on in front of the hide, squatted down and waved it's tail at the world. Although not as colourful as the drakes the teal ducks are now very smart. A lone Wigeon remains, and it was asleep on the island, while the Tufted Ducks at the back of the island were hold a bad hair day competition. At the far end of the scrape a few Curlews were standing around, or preening, and a lone adult Lesser Black-backed Gull looked smart amongst the juveniles. A few Drake Gadwalls tried to impress the ducks. I saw just one Oystercatcher on the island, hopefully they will raise a brood as the youngsters are always entertaining..

 Pair of Lapwings.

 Shoveler drakes

 Drake Teal

Male Pied Wagtail 

 little Egret

 Little Grebe (Dabchick)

Common Snipe 

 Duck Teal

Sleeping Eurasian Wigeon 

Punk Tufted Ducks. 

preening  Curlew 

 Drake Gadwall.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull 

Oystercatcher - just appeared.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

A visit from Doris

Storm Doris has been blowing all day and I wandered down to the Bay to see what she had brought in. There were a lot of Guillemots passing and a few Great Crested Grebes bouncing around, but the most noticeable birds were the Gannets, passing far closer then Normal.Most of the birds I saw were adults, but I don't know if that has significance.

One or two Rock Pipits were feeding along the "esplanade", often using the railing posts for  shelter when the biggest gusts came along.

A few lines of Cormorants came past low over the water

Inland, at the Manure dump from the stables, there were at least seven Pied Wagtails feeding on the insects attracted there. Unfortunately they were the only birds there.