Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Purple Hairstreaks Encore!

After the good fortune of 2 years ago, I went looking for Purple Hairstreaks on Beverley Westwood. I saw at least 3 individuals despite the rather windy conditions, and the hullabaloo of a race meeting just across the road! Here's the original post
Purple Hairstreak
 Record Shot of Purple Hairstreak in flight
 Even more of a record shot

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Birding with Flowers Leaflet

Some of the following photos haven't had any processing, so they will need work before appearing in the leaflet.

Once the 2018 Wildlife Calendar was sorted out, it was time to start work on a "Birding with Flowers" leaflet for the first time.  The front cover is likely to feature this Puffin with the Barn Owl logo and the title of the course, but a minimum of information.
Puffin seen by Wednesday pm group only a few weeks ago
Page 2 will feature the Term starting in the New Year.  The main photo will be of a Barn Owl, but may feature other birds we encounter in winter including: Waxwings, Hen Harriers, Bar-tailed Godwits and a Goosander.
Barn Owl
 Hen Harrier
 Bar-tailed Godwits

The text about the New Year course will probably be something on these lines: The New Year is a great time to see owls and large birds of prey, especially Barn Owls, Long and Short-eared Owls, Hen Harriers, and Red Kites.  We will also identify our various species of over-wintering wildfowl.  In a waxwing winter we make a special trip to get close views to these charismatic birds.  As spring approaches more and more of our resident songbirds begin to participate in the dawn chorus, and we will spend time concentrating on identifying birds by their songs and calls.  

Page 3 will concentrate on the Spring/Summer Term which begins after Easter.
The main photo will probably be this Redstart: 
Other photos may include:
A Yellow Wagtail
 & a Turtle Dove
 & a Kingfisher
The blurb about the Spring course will probably say: After Easter a massive influx of spring migrants takes place, which we will identify including the sadly-declining Cuckoo, Turtle Dove and Spotted Flycatcher, plus the brightly-coloured Redstart and Yellow Wagtails.  If you can’t differentiate your warblers, this course will point out the key identification features.  Birdsong peaks during this period, and extra time is spent on this tricky, but very rewarding aspect of bird identification.  In addition, we always make a trip to connect with Yorkshire iconic seabirds before the end of the spring term.
Page 4 will discuss the Autumn Tern.  The main photo will probably be of this
Bearded Tit 

Other photos may feature: 
Short-eared Owl
The text of the Autumn term may say: Migration is the key word of the Autumn.  Many of our summer visitors are starting to leave, and we will encounter them at their stop-off points on the Yorkshire coast.  The coast and the Humber estuary hold large numbers of waders, which will also be identified.  Our reedbeds hold large numbers of enchanting Bearded Tits, and we will make a special effort to see them at the period when they can be observed at close range.  
 Snow Bunting
Page 5 will mention the other wildlife we encounter and identify.  This will be represented by a series of photos including:
 Roe Deer
The text may be on these lines: In addition to birds, on our walks throughout the year will encounter a large range of other wildlife.  We will also identify any mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, fungi and wild flowers we see.  We visit during the week when we don’t have to compete with the weekend crowds, but always ensure that the wildlife is not disturbed by our presence.    
 Common Blue
 Dark Green Fritillary
 Marbled White
 Broad-Bodied Chaser
 Orange-Tip on Bluebells
Bee Orchid
The back page will include this photograph of a Peregrine taken only last month.
The final page will probably just include my contact details and some bullet points of what the course entails:
Classes run twice-daily Tuesday to Friday.  
*Weekly birdwatching walks
*Visit 30 wildlife venues a year
*Habitats visited include: lakes, seashore, rocky cliffs, reedbeds, estuary, woodland, farmland, chalk meadows, even supermarket car parks 
*3 terms a year: New Year, after Easter and Autumn
*Learn in a friendly, jargon-free environment
*Expect to identify at least 100 bird species per term
*We will also identify: mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, fungi and wild flowers 
[I'm not sure if also to list every venue we've visited in the last 14 years.]

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Moorland One-Off Special

On Wednesday our Moorland Visit took place with 11 participants turning up from as far afield as Selby, South Cave, Dunnington and Holderness. Highlights included a Stonechat family, more bright Lesser Redpolls than you can shake a stick at, a Green Woodpecker, Meadow Pipits, a possible Redstart, plus Dark Green Fritillaries, Small Heath, and Ringlet butterflies. Some interesting flora including Sundew, Bog Asphodel and Bog Myrtle, which smells gorgeous when lightly rubbed!
 Lesser Redpoll
There were plenty of Lesser Redpolls, which turned out to be the brightest red Lesser Redpolls we'd ever come across in the summer. They don't breed locally to us now, as far as I know, but in the 70s and early 80s their trilling, buzzing songs were one of the commonest sounds heard over our garden. I miss them more then the tuneless Sparrows! 
 Male Stonechat (c) 2017  Jane Robinson
 Juvenile Stonechat (c) 2017  Jane Robinson
 Female Stonechat
 Record shot of Stonechat in flight
 Male Stonechat
 Female Stonechat
 Immature Stonechat
Meadow Pipit (c) 2017  Jane Robinson
 Dark Green Fritillary
Dark Green Fritillary (c) 2017  Jane Robinson
 Dark Green Fritillary
 A Paler Specimen (c) 2017 Jeny Clarkson
Six-Spot Burnet Moth
Burnet Moth (c) 2017  Jane Robinson
 Small Heath (c) 2017  Jane Robinson
Small Heath Butterflies fighting in mid-air 

Bog Asphodel
Harebells (c) 2017  Jane Robinson
 Heather (c) 2017  Jane Robinson
These went through signed areas saying "all dogs must be on leads because of breeding birds".  Not a single one was on a lead, although they did appear to be kept under strict control.  However, 10 minutes later 3 stray hounds turned up running loose all over the moor at about 5 minute intervals apart.  Seems like there is one rule for some, and a different rule for the "Countryside Alliance"! 
Hounds (c) 2017  Jane Robinson
Jane went on to nearby Ellerburn Bank to see if the rumour about Fragrant orchids was correct.  She wasn't to be disappointed.  A Grey Wagtail was a big plus too!
Grey Wagtail (c) 2017 Jane Robinson
Fragrant Orchid (c) 2017 Jane Robinson