16.4.16

Saturday…Started the morning with Snow and 2ºC. Ended the morning with Sun and 9ºC

Just some of the snowy images that greeted me early this morning…

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The Bluebells are now opening in many areas of the wood…

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A Willow Warbler kept pecking away at this seed/flower…

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Chiffchaff…

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Treecreeper…

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Jay…

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This was interesting,  I watched a Blue Tit which I thought was gathering nesting material in the form of Moss or Lichen. But looking at many of the photos I took, I actually now think it was eating it. Here are just a few of the better photos…

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12.4.16.

Tuesday, Dry but mainly overcast.

Decided on a trip to Belvide Reservoir,with the forecast of rain for most of the day.Yet again our weathermen got it wrong.

I love what the WMBC have done with Belvide, this Canada Goose was making good use of one of the new Bunds…

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There were good numbers of Chiffcaff and Willow Warblers. I also heard my first Sedge Warbler (Not Seen) this year….

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This male Blackcap was singing loudly…

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I enjoyed trying to get this sequence of photo’s of a male Goldeneye diving.I just wished it had been sunnier conditions…

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Luckily Mute Swans make good use of their long necks to reach and clean those tail feathers…

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I saw good numbers of Common Toads. With this one croaking away well…

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A Coot dive…

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I always think the beauty of Gadwall is overlooked. But for me they are one of my favourite Ducks…

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Having a good preen…

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In Flight…

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Synchronized Swimming…

IMG_0870There seemed a lot more Tree Sparrows than on my last visit…

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Female Mallard in flight…

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11.4.16.

Monday..Mainly dull and rainy-9ºC

With the weather conditions, I only spent a short time on The Common this morning.

Watched this Weevil putting small stones on its back, other than camouflage I don’t really know why…

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The only other images I got, was two Long-tailed Tits….

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9.4.16.

Saturday…Lovely sunny morning, but on the cool side 6ºC.

Met Ken at the Wardens Office, and we decided to split the morning into two halves. First half over HC and the second half over The Whittingtons.

As usual searched The Wardens Office lights out, which turned up this Early Tooth-striped….

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With the sun shining, we decided to see if the Tree Pipits had started to sing from one of it’s usual perches. Sure enough one was singing there, but we did see two in the same area…

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Typical…put the Butterfly survey clipboard away, and I get my first photo of a Small Tortoiseshell this year…

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Walking back down the lane we were treated with good views of a female Kestrel. Not sure how me and Ken look upside-down, but with luck we might look better…

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She did move down the lane with us, but eventually flew around us, probably so she could get some peace hunting, instead of us two driving off her prey…

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Then it was off to The Whittingtons in search of possible Ring Ouzel and Wheatear. On arrival the air was full of the noise of Skylarks. We watched this male displaying on the ground. Bowing and raising it’s crest. I have read about this somewhere. But never seen it. I usually associate the Skylark with it’s flight display…

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With so many Skylarks singing in the air, it can be hard to hear Corn Buntings. But we did manage to see and hear three. Mostly distant, with this one providing me with my only photo opportunity……

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The Wheatears have now turned up on The Whittingtons. We did see four, and like the Corn Bunting they were all distant. This female gave us the closest chance of a photo..

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8.4.16.

Friday..50% Sun, 50% Cloud…11ºC

Went over HC today, to do my first Butterfly Survey of the year (Results at the end of post).

At the Wardens Office I found a March Tubic (Diurnea fagella)….

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On the Butterfly survey we came across this Common Newt, near the Island Pool…

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As with the Oil Beetles last week..Love was also in the air for these two Bloody-nosed Beetles… 

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I know the next photo looks cute. But unfortunately this Pygmy Shrew is in fact dead.Which at least gave me time to measure it. Like Weasels and Stoats, the Common Shrew and Pygmy Shrew cross over in measurements. Body 50mm and Tail 35mm. But going by the domed head, this is a Pygmy Shrew. I have now seen 2 dead, and 1 alive. Found out they only live just over a year. So I guess this is why I have found 2 dead ones.

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Back to the Butterfly Survey. This was about as exciting as it got. With not one Butterfly seen. But negative surveys are just as important. I did get some funny looks though resting on a bench like this…

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I saw and heard my 1st Willow Warbler this year. Also there have been 2 reports of Tree Pipits on HC today.

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3.4.16.

Sunday. What a mixed bag of weather we had today. Mist,Rain, and Sun. But for most of my morning out it was misty!

Driving to Highgate Common early this morning, I noticed a Raven at the Stourbridge Rugby Club. It allowed me to get very close whilst in my car. Usually wild Ravens don’t allow you to get so close, unlike the ones at The Tower of London, which are hand reared. Being so close you really appreciate the size of these magnificent birds. I was amazed at what it was actually hanging round the rugby club for. Then I spotted It had actually found the remains of a dropped Ice-cream cone, probably from the day before. When it had eaten the Ice-cream cone, it flew off, and was constantly mobbed by the local Crows, which also showed well the size difference….

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On arrival at The Wardens Office, I heard the burners being turned on, from several Air Balloons. They were flying out of sunlight into a thick mist. I did not have my small camera ready. But Ken had already photographed them. Some quite low..

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There was a Red Chestnut at The Wardens Office…..

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The Little Owl showed well this morning. It was a shame it was so dull and grey…

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Frustratingly, just as it was time to go home, the sun came out. Just before we got in car we noticed this Sparrowhawk which had found something. A few second later it stooped at quite a rate. We did go over to see if we could see it with prey. But it had vanished…

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We also managed a trip to the Whittingtons mid morning. Which turned up absolutely nothing. Yet at midday a Common Redstart was reported there….Typical.

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