Sunday 30th September

Well it’s has been an interesting week weather wise, wellies all round, a couple of photos show the extent of flooding, the bench and table sitting in 3 inches of water, dogs looking miserable and the area excavated for the Natterjacks, totally under water.
The cygnets have been seen by Dereck, flying for the first time last Thursday, about a hundred yards, across the long pond. When this wind drops we hopefully will see them flying off the pond.
We have seen lots of skeins of geese flying south, photo of typical flock attached. It appears they are always confused when they reach this area, an argument with lots of calling will ensue and the skein fragmenting, only combining again further down the island, in a long line, conga style.
We also met with a company rep employed by the airfield to carry out a survey of the bird population in the immediate area, apparently they have a major problem with birds over the airfield.
The Goldfinch flocks are now starting to combine, photo of one flock over the tip.
Lots of Meadow Pipits passing through one of the days, photo of three on airfield fence.
We came across a Cormorant on the fishing pond one morning, normally these birds don’t stay and quickly fly off, but this one must have just eaten a large fish it just swam around the pond.
This is the time of year to find fungi, there are many different types and by the diameter of the rings they have been there a long time. Photos of some attached but unfortunately no names, anyone with the information would be appreciated.
There was a very clear day last Sunday and the Isle of Man and North Wales were very clear.
Finally there has been a new addition to Brian’s cows, see photo of mum and baby. The other calves are growing fast and full of beans, photo of a couple jousting, also one with fantastic hair style.

Bob and Bri

Friday 21st September

Well tomorrow will be the start of longer nights than days. This year seems to have flown past, and I have found as your age progresses so time speeds up.
It’s been a miserable week, everywhere is flooded, don’t think Bri will be cutting the fields anytime soon.
We are now waiting the arrival of the winter wildfowl to brighten things up, the cygnets are still doing fine but not yet taken to the air. Quite a lot of Cormorants about at the moment, often see flocks flying from Cavendish Dock to the west side of the Island, photo of flock flying over attached.
We were watching a pair of young Sparrow Hawks being taught by one of the parents, but being children, they were more interested in playing, it was enchanting to watch.
The weather has thrown everything at us this week, a couple of shots attached to show the extremes.
On the way back today there were well over a hundred Goldfinches feeding on the Knapweed, photo attached, when enlarged, shows about thirty.

Bob and Bri

Thursday 13th September

Well, Autumn/Winter has arrived, no introduction, just slam and dig out the winter woollies.
Here are a few pics from the past week,
Heron are back on the long pond, often more than one but they don’t like each others company.
Last of the butterflies, Small Copper on one of the Carrot family.
Bees and wasps grabbing the last of the pollen on Sow Thistle.
Quite a few Wheatear passing through often just fly in front from post to post.
Kestrel are seen each day and one is using the back of the seat as a perch.
Blackberries are now in fruit some really good quality and when trying to pick them there are always the large webs, usually with a large spider in the middle, where are they the rest of the year?.

Bob and Bri

Friday 7th September

It’s been a bit intermittent this week, regarding the butterflies and dragonflies, they start to build up on a warm day, only to be knocked back the next.
The Small Tortoiseshell were out in a few numbers on of the days, six on one flower head of Ragwort.
A large hawker was flying around the willows near the feeders, but soon disappeared with the cold wind and never managed to identify what type.
We had our first visit to the feeders of a Cold Tit, they appear here every winter but then move on during the breeding season.
Jim and Lew found a number of caterpillars on one of the willow trees which turned out to be from the Buff Tip moth. They will feed up on the willow often stripping it bare and then go under the soil to form the pupa and emerge as moth next May to July. We caught one of the moths during 2007 moth hunt, see pics.
Also came across a young Fox moth caterpillar on the path, they will double in size before overwintering and then pupate next spring. The moths are quite large and have not been caught in a trap yet, photo from Internet is attached.

Bob and Bri