Ian was just leaving as I arrived and he said the young Cuckoo was in a willow tree near the fishing pond. When I reached the end of the tip overlooking the pond, it could be clearly seen swinging in the wind, on the top of one of the willows. When i moved closer it flew to the back of the tree, on reaching the tree it then flew out onto the fence, just long enough to take a shot, it looks as though it has something in it’s beak. I think it might be bulking up on the toadlets ready for the fly south.
There have been a few Wheatear about recently but are difficult to approach, except this afternoon, when leaving the van, one flew past and landed a few yards away, managed to take a couple of shots, one showing off the white rump.
This afternoon the views of the mountains were really clear and with the shadows of the clouds passing over, created a more beautiful picture. There are not many places that are as picturesque within 20 minutes of leaving the house.
Quite a strong wind today made it just a bit cooler, but the swallows were out in force not missing any opportunity to stock up, they were even out in all the rain yesterday. This year seems to be a very good for the swallows, managed to take some shot of the young being fed, the aerobatics is definitely worth a look.
The two remaining cygnets are growing up fast, nearly as big as mum, see pic.
On the way back this afternoon came across a young male Stonechat, not quite at full plumage.
Not such a nice day but at least the wind kept away.
We came across a female Minotaur beetle on the path, size of a ten pence piece, see pics, when it turned over there were mites having a good feed and on top was a tick waiting to get attached. Even these small creatures are not immune to the bloodsuckers.
When crossing the moor a heron was stood on top of a grassy mound looking very miserable, but when it spotted Bob it brightened up and told him had just missed the Short Eared Owl.
Bob and Bri
Today we went anti-clockwise, just to unwind. We were busy watching swallows catching insects and feeding there young and forgot all about the camera. Further down the airfield fence a short Eared Owl put up, we watched for a while but lost sight behind the trees, while sat on the seat by the feeders the Owl appeared again over the willows bordering the channel edge, after a short period of hunting it disappeared again in the direction it had arrived, managed a few shots but just not close enough. Continuing over the moor we spotted it again and it settled on a fence post about 200yds away, but even from that distance looking through the Bob’s binoculars it’s large eyes were strikingly clear.
In the afternoon the swallows were in the same place. stocking up for the long flight south.
On the news this week they said the bees had taken a battering due to the wet weather but this afternoon the heather was buzzing.
Saw a few more peacock butterflies the numbers are slowly building up.
Spotted another large Hawker dragonfly, it was in the same place yesterday but could not get a picture or identification.
Bob and Bri
Bob arrived back from sunnier climes, complaining about the cold.
Lots of Goldfinch flocking now nice pic of them sat on the fence.
In the pm came across a Peacock butterfly, normally this time of year we would see lots feeding on the Knapweed, Thistles and Goats Beard.
Bob and Bri
Hi, quiet morning till we got to the first field and we put up six or seven young pheasant, and then we saw a heron on the long pond.
Bri & Bob
A nice surprise this morning, spotted two Jay near the feeders, they normally visit this time of year, probably from over the channel, and stay on and off until the spring.
In the afternoon spent time watching the swallows picking up insects off the Wild Parsnip, not sure if it is the same team each time or fresh ones passing through, but they all do the same thing, come over from the airfield flying west across the tip. Tried to catch them actually feeding, but unfortunately not today, couple of pics attached, one shows how they navigate through the grass.
No sign of the Kingfishers today, we have had them visit in the past, just the odd one, never a family, so we will keep on hoping they will return.
Did see a Short Eared Owl this morning, had the camera inside my jacket because of the rain and missed a good opportunity.
Watched a flock of Swallows feeding off the Wild Parsnip on the tip, they were there yesterday as well but could not get a good shot.
Also on the tip are a lot of Goldfinches feeding on the thistles.
Managed to get a shot of the Male Stonechat on the way back to the car. This is the usual place for a pair but we have not seen them since the cold spell earlier this year.
There is a cheeky Robin at the feeders, we have not started feeding yet but it is there ready and waiting.
Have been camping this w/e so missed the excitement.
Kingfishers have bee spotted on the fishing pond, Lew and Jim spotted one but talking to the young lads fishing, 15-20 minutes earlier three had been perched in a willow tree, keep your eyes peeled.
Walked around the usual track this pm but did not sight a kingfisher or a cuckoo.
The first field is still full of Common Darters, and there were a few Small Coppers, the first I have seen this year, but did spot a Migrant Hawker hunting along the tree line, managed a couple of shots of it flying and then it settled in a willow tree, extremely camouflaged and very difficult to spot even when know exactly where it is !!
Saw two young stonechat on the drive in this morning, just across from the orange gate: on the bushes. Saw them again on the way out, this time Mum, Dad and two young, all perched on the fence near the same gate, along with a wheatear. Otherwise pretty quiet on the reserve this morning. As the tide was rising, picked out about 8 grey plover on the edge of the sea, all in fine summer plumage, the first I have seen this season.