Sunday 23 May 2010

A Whixall Moss foray!

With the day set to be bloody hot and it being a Saturday and all, it goes without saying that ,
"Mad Dogs and English men" did go out in the midday sun!! It was actually 05:00 that the
journey to Mordor began.
The first port of call was the Gropper location, not found! So onwards for the Adders!! not found!
There was however consolation prizes to be had, in the shape of Small Copper, White-faced Darter,
 and a splendid female Raft Spider, along with Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoise shell,
 Peacock, Green Hairstreak to name a few. It was uncannily quiet on the moss and
 apart from the three or four Cuckoos, Curlews and Hobby the only bird off
note was a superb flyover of the Marsh Harrier. Stooped upon by a Common Buzzard .
A nice bonus bird for the day. (record shot)

Green Hairstreak

Green Hairstreak

Female Raft Spider

Male White-faced Darter

Large Red Damselfly

With the temperature approaching that of Death Valley! the Dragons and Butterflies were very active and getting close was proving to be a real nightmare, a lunch of very nice cheese rolls washed down with a cool beer rounded off, what turned out to be a very good day after all.
there a couple of images to be added so pop back.

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Sauron sends a sign!!

With the chance of a Gropper and still needing a decent shot of a Green Hairstreak and Brimstone.
 Leaving it later then normal for getting to the Moss I was fully expecting to not hear much as I
tramped along the Towpath toward the last reported sighting of the Grasshopper Warbler.
It was an amazing morning warm and a lot of narrow boats moving along the canal, with
people supping tea as the engine burbled along at a sedate pace. Felt as if I was running
compared to the Narrow boats .
Standing quietly by the hedge proved my thoughts, it was very quiet, then after 20 minutes
a short reel got me onto my target for the day, as luck would have it, it moved into view,
briefly, but long enough for several bursts, and then it did it again, so I was well chuffed.
A quick coffee, and I was soon onto the other two species I was after, as you will see.

Grumpy looking bugger!

The Brimstone were in fine form.

As were the Green Hairstreak.

OH! I nearly forgot those terns that passed through VP
the other day well here they are.The Lapwing were
arguing amongst them selves

And as usual very vocal.

Not a bad day out really, mind you I will have to return for those darned
Adders they are being very elusive for me, yet lots are being seen. We
shall see.


Monday 17 May 2010

A Nice Hobby, even nicer? 14 at the same time

The early sun through the window roused me to a frenetic start to the day! shower, tea, toast, more tea and pack for a day on the Moss. As per usual, Gropper dipped, but the rest of the day made up for that.
Cracking views of up to four Cuckoos calling around the wooded areas, Curlew displaying in flight, seemingly everywhere. Sadly though no sign of the reported Ringtail or Male Merlin. also dipped on Adders! can you believe it searched well good to. Next nice day will get them nailed along with Green Hairstreak.
The highlight of the day was of course the Hobbies, initially four were found then a gradual increase to six, then as I was shooting Stonechat a very large black cloud rolled over and the Hobby count went up to 14 individuals what a sight, near broke my neck trying to get the shots in the bag. With the 600 needing a visit to the doctors the 300mm 2.8 was doing its usual fantastic job.

Enjoying the morning warmth

One of the early morning shots of this dozing Goldfinch, an unusual nose to say the least.

A nice Black-tailed Godwit in the fields before the bridge

One of the many Displaying Curlew.

Breakfast for the kids.

Yep Hobby on a stick, better than stormy petrel!!!

Don't fancy the Dragons chances.

The juicy bit gone the tail discarded.


Who you looking at?

Some amazing acrobatics.

One of the four Males sounding around the Moss.

A very nice day after the big black clouds moved of, feel sure the Adders will be playing next time I get out that way.Mind you will have to be early before they warm up to much, and the White-faced Darters are out as well so will be a mega day.


Tuesday 11 May 2010

Some Garden Warblering!

With no Tern passage at Priorslee and very little of anything else around
the edges it was of to the Nedge to see how the Wheatears were fairing.
As I arrived there was a burst of song from the other side of the road,
The song was familiar but as usual I had to take a minute or two to recall the species.
 Garden Warbler it was and that was one bird I was after getting a decent shot of,
now normally I find them skulky little buggers, but this blighter was proving to be
the exception but still difficult to pin down.

The normal view I tend to get of these real Little Brown Jobs.

But he went against the grain a few minutes later when another male tried to out sing him.

It was really great to get such prolonged views of this little songster.

A check at Venus Pools only provided a Great Crested Grebe in a flap.

A Lapwing strutting his stuff in front of the hide.

So with only Sedge Warbler being new for the year it was an early gohome.


Wednesday 5 May 2010

No Dotties.

Having attended an eightieth birthday in Devon, the normal happened A text Dotterel Long Mynd, dang namit!!
oh well maybe next year? then another text Avocet, Grrr! two dips in one day. But some nice birthday cake!!!
So I got back and as soon as possible was going to go up the Mynd, Monday night I saw they were still there, unfortunately the forecast was for a clear night and I new darn well they would be gone. But not to be put off I still got there early. Should have stayed in bed a bit longer?So a little look around was in order, glad I did as another of the "missed it"! birds dropped in the sights.
A stunning male Common Redstart.

That treated me to some awesome vocals.

And a Willow Warbler that was practically under my feet for a while.

Well I suppose you cant win em all it will be very unlikely to see Dotties again this year.