Sunday, August 09, 2015

Wryneck in Sussex!

Well, this one was certainly a first for me and a real surprise as a visitor to my parents garden but then as a certain David Lindo @urbanbirder Rule No. 1 "Anything can turn up anywhere at anytime"! So why not.

Having got over the excitement of a wryneck and watched it move in and out of the flowerbeds it almost got taken out by a male sparrowhawk which caused all the birds on the feeders to dive for the hedges until it flew off again.

The wryneck then hunkered down for several minutes until it felt it was safe to move again.

(Yes, not a great photo but it was shakily taken through binoculars with an iphone!)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Summer Fayres and sand wasps

Out in the sunshine at the Telscombe and Peacehaven Summer Fayre. 

Over the course of the day these appeared in the sand just in front of us. Watched the holes appeared as they burrowed into the ground, buried their eggs and then covered them over. Industrious little sand wasps.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Summer Weekend In The Lakes

A lovely weekend in the Lake District. The scenery is beautiful whatever the weather.

Got out for a couple of good walks in between showers, coffee, plenty of chat in good company.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Spot the froglet ...

The tadpoles are all grown up and leaving home ...

Quite a few still in the pond but also finding them out in the garden too. Great to think that this years frogspawn has turned into these.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Barrel pond

Created in a round pond container - intended for pebble fountains but just the right size for a small garden.  So easy to make- just find a level site, fill with water and a few water plants and hey presto!

There's a small water lilly in the bottom - the main reason I wanted another pond.  Strategically placed branch to allow small creatures to get out, like the froglets that will emerge from this year's tadpoles.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Roadside wildflowers

A lovely display of roadside wildflowers along the verge of the A27 into Brighton near Polegate.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Springwatch at Minsmere

Lucky enough to get an invite to Springwatch Unsprung at RSPB Minsmere for the announcement of the National Bird Vote result.  Came up mid-week to make the most of the day there.

Spinless Si's patch along the boardwalk up to the Island Mere hide.  Having watched Springwatch earlier in the week, there's a surprising lack of activity around the reserve when you consider how much filming was going on.

The Springwatch studio overlooking the reserve.  Distant view of the presenters and film crew, although I did come across Martin Hughes-Games being filmed in a ditch.

Miles of cables around the site.  You spot a few cables running along some of the trails and disappearing into a ditch or patch of scrub but surprisingly few cameras are visible.

Roadside wildflowers

A splash of poppies and dandelions along the roadside on the way in to RSPB Minsmere.

Friday, June 05, 2015

June: Wildflowers around the dewpond

Early summer wildflowers around the edge of the dewpond.  Mainly a mix of ox-eye daisies, red and white campion at the moment.  Plenty of damselflies around too.

Monday, June 01, 2015

30 Days Wild - Day 1: A walk in the park

Chatsworth Park is a small local park - just a short distance away.  It's planted with trees and shrubs - mainly pines, oaks, sycamore and patches of bramble and nettles.

Surrounded by houses and bordered along most of one side by a road, it's mainly used by dogwalkers, mums and kids playing in the two playgrounds on either side or the informal football pitch on the flat but sometimes very wet area in the middle.

It would be great to get an area of grass left uncut as a wildflower area to encourage more wildlife - rather than the many non-native tree species.  (I'm working on that one).

Plenty of birds pass through and it's the source of most of the resident birds in my garden as I often see the blue tits, great tits and finches flying in from there.

The robins and blackbirds also visit and squirrels travel the short distance every now and then to have a go at the nuts.

Badgers and foxes also have their setts and dens in amongst some of the bushes in the park and it's not unusual to see them outside in the road, on the pavement or taking a short cut along the narrow paths between some of the houses late evening or overnight.

So today, Day 1 of #30DaysWild - on my way back from dropping the car off for a service and a walk back through the park.  Heard a chiff-chaff singing.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Wildlife Trust - 30 Days Wild

The Wildlife Trust have launched 30 Days Wild for the month of June.

Do something wild every day in June - get out into nature, discover more about your local patch, learn about wildlife on your doorstep or in your garden.

Sign-up, download the wallchart and booklet with tips and ideas to help get you started.

Sign-up for 30 Days Wild

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Nesting Peregrines 2015 Season

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

If you'd like to while away a few hours or take a break from work - watch these amazing birds hatching and feeding their young over the next few weeks.

Sussex Heights - 4 eggs, 4 chicks hatched (live video + audio)
Chichester Cathedral - 4 eggs, 3 chicks hatched so far (live video + audio)
Norwich Cathedral - 4 eggs,  4 chicks hatched, 1 chick died (live, no audio) @hawkandowluk

Bath St John's Church - 4 eggs, 3 hatched (live, no audio) @hawkandowluk
The first 20 Days (YouTube)

Nottingham Trent University - 3 or 4 chicks? (live video + audio) @NottsWildlife
- 26th May update - almost fully grown. Could see 3 but they're active, so moving around out of view and along the ledge!

Derby Cathedral - 4 eggs,  3 hatched (live video + audio)
Sutton Peregrines - Facebook photos and updates
Worcester Peregrines - Facebook photos and updates (Kestrel nest on the webcam)

Many of the sites have more than one camera on the nest site and some have associated blogs if you want to find out more about the site, peregrines and nesting projects.

If you find any other active/live sites for this year - let me know and I'll add them to the list.

Follow @hawkandowluk for into on Norwich and Bath peregrines.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Nightingales in full song

This year's nightingale festival at the @RSPB Pulborough Brooks and they didn't disappoint with some great views of singing males up in trees and tops of bushes, giving everyone a good display with a bit of patience.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Painting Posts

A variety of tasks for a small group of us up on Castle Hill nature reserve in Newhaven. Cleaning and then painting the disabled posts along the access track.

Replacing the flag for the reserve and then tidying up one of the battery platforms above the fort. Digging out the plants growing in cracks and sweeping out the gutters. 

Lovely sunny day but a cold wind. 

Sunday, March 08, 2015

And yet more ...

And now a second batch of frogspawn has appeared.  Well I do have at three frogs in and around the pond at various times of the year.

There was even one lurking at the back of the pond when I took this.

The first batch may have suffered from the cold nights we've had recently but I'll leave it hatch out naturally.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Saturday, January 24, 2015

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2015

Another year of counting birds in the garden for the Big Garden Birdwatch.

Usually birds immediately head for the bushes and keep a low profile on this particular weekend - they definitely know when it's happening!  But this year it wasn't too bad and I actually had a good count.

Ready for viewing once I'd chased the local neighbourhood cats out of the garden.  At least most species obliged by turning up within the allotted hour.

The final count was 9 species:

Robin 1
Blue tit 2
Starling 1
Dunnock 1
House Sparrow 2
Woodpigeon 2
Collared Dove 2
Chaffinch 1
Great Tit 1

and Squirrel 1

I did miss the wren and goldfinches which are only occasional visitors but they did put in a late appearance.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Urbanbirder Talks

House Sparrow, a bird of urban areas which was...
The local RSPB group was lucky enough to arrange a talk from David Lindo the @Urbanbirder at their group meeting.

Birds are all around us and just because you live in a town or city doesn't mean you can't watch birds.

The popularity of the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch shows the variety and different species of birds you can see in your own garden.

Birds see our green and brown spaces and abandoned buildings as habitat where they can rest and refuel while on migration, feed and even nest and breed.

David has travelled around the world and in all the urban areas he's visited he manages to find surprising birds in the most unusual places - anything from raptors to waders.

The majority of people, especially in urban areas, are totally oblivious to the wildlife right on their doorstep.

#Look Up
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)