Southern Marsh Orchids, Ladys Slipper and Ferns etc etc.

Posted on - In I Love Arnside & Silverdale
A Southern Marsh Orchid seen today (Click over to enlarge)Friday 26th May 2017 - A "Lancashire" spot just over the county boundary for me and which has loads of beautiful "WHITETHROATS" singing from almost every bush! 0900hrs to 1100hrsAnd that's what I went for to try and list the Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers, but to be honest with you I listed the first pair of Whitethroats and could hear lots more nearby, but my eye was taken off to check out a boggy water flush area which on close examination showed perhaps some 50 plus Southern Marsh Orchids, with most of them being in early stages and perhaps needing a couple of weeks to be showing their best, but also there were just a few which were pretty well on.The area also turned up a little "Ragged Robin" and a solitary "Common Twayblade" so most of my time had been tak...

Osprey Update

Posted on - In Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer
A while ago I posted about the new osprey site in the Southern Lake District.I have visited again recently to see what progress if any had been made.It is good news that this latest pair of ospreys seems to have mated successfully and the female bird is sat tight on the nest.This would indicate that eggs have been laid and it is now a matter of time to see if they hatch into osprey chicks.I observed the nest from some distance away so as not to disturb the birds and I will return in a few weeks to see what progress there has been.Whilst observing the nest location the male osprey returned from time to time.I didn't see him bring in any fish for him or his mate I can only hope that  he will be a good fisher when he hopefully has many more mouths to feed.I managed a few shots of the male as he perched up in nearby trees and generally fle...
Continue Reading » Osprey Update...

A day of unsynchronised seasons

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Stop press: three prob four male red veined darter over the water on model boat pond this afternoon also one male black tailed skimmerust out of the area - a Large Heath was photographed on Heysham Moss in one of the few areas not affected by the recent fire devastation........but why is it out a month early?Mediterranean Gull - A 3Cy male was displaying to an adult female on the mudflats next to Heysham two outfalls - very early for this age class on ??autumnal dispersal and they should surely have already found a room in a BHG colony?The third record of note was a flock of 17 Canada Goose adults floating in on the tide.  What on earth are they doing?Nothing else of note on the outfalls but BHG were 700+ all seemed to be 2CY.  Watch this space! ...

Up North

Posted on - In Fleetwood Birder
I have had a full week of 'stupid o'clock' alarm calls to head up north to Cumbria to complete the second surveys of the plantation woodlands that I am surveying for birds. On Monday Gail joined me at an upland site where there are tremendous views of the Solway and over to the Criffell in Dumfries and Galway.These second surveys tend to be the quietest of the three as they are at a time where a good percentage of breeding birds are feeding young. This site was no exception and the few highlights included a Song Thrush, a Chiffchaff, a Stock Dove, two Siskins, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Buzzard, a Willow Warbler and a Blackcap.An early start, means an early finish, so afterwards we had finished the survey we headed over to the Scottish side of the Solway to have a look at the seabird colony at Balcary Point. We did a four mile circula...
Continue Reading » Up North...

Shooting Times

Posted on - In Another Bird Blog
After the mishap in Menorca my Canon lens has gone to the lens doctor for a thorough examination. It may or may not come back, and it could be three to four weeks before the decision. I chanced upon a possible replacement, a Sigma, a lens which by all accounts performs quite well. So I waited for a sunny day to test out the substitute, and when this morning dawned bright I took off for the hills of Bowland with fingers crossed. Lapwings and Curlews were in good numbers but I struggled to see and photograph both Oystercatchers and Redshanks. Maybe another week will see more activity as young emerge from the mostly distant nests I could see and hear but not picture. The Lapwing I photographed had young, perhaps obvious from the demeanour of the adult as it frantically warned the youngsters in the field to run and hide. It’s unusua...
Continue Reading » Shooting Times...

To Botallack and back

The Safari has been away for a few days down to the far south west, just about as far south west as you can get. Since we've been back we've been on family duties with another terminal illness which ended with the inevitable conclusion yesterday. No matter how prepared you are it's still a shock to the system. Processing the holiday snaps and blogging has necessarily taken a bit of back seat. We went down to the Cornish tin mining village of Botallack in the heart of Poldark filming country, although he wasn't there at the time showing off his poor scything technique and 'his' mine is nowhere near there being half way between Helston and Falmouth. Cornish tin has been sought after since the Bronze Age over 4000 years ago and has its value led to the trade and immigration of people from all over Europe well into the Iron Age.Most of wha...

Sexton Beetles

Posted on - In Barrie Tyrer
A recent moth trap caught some black Sexton Beetles Nicrophorus humator, we normally get the black and orange ones N vespillo. By lucky coincidence the cat caught a young rat, so we put them together in a tub and watched the result see below. I was trying to get a time lapse sequence but they did most of the burying overnight. However I was lucky enough to be watching/videoing when there was some activity and then one beetle abandoned the rat. It quite obviously wanted to escape the container so I let it leave. This was a surprise as the information I have found says  both parents tend the larvae, unless the one I filmed was a rival that had turned up? It can be seen towards the end of the video that at least one beetle was still under the rat. These like all the others we have caught had phoretic mites. Several different fly species vi...
Continue Reading » Sexton Beetles...

Outfalls bonanza

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Things are really kicking off on the outfalls now the outage has produced a full flow.  A shortish visit on the incoming tide saw up to 450 Black-headed Gulls (all wandering 2CYs with obvious implications re-similarly wandering rares), 50-70 2CY Common Gull, lots of large gulls and some other odds and ends - see below:Common Tern - at last!!  Adult seaward end Heysham one briefly (with one of the Arctics), then flew around the jetty into the bayArctic Tern - Ad with the above and another remaining on the inner end of Heysham one throughoutLittle Gull - 2CY briefly seaward end Heysham 2 then couldn't find it - may have flown with BHG towards MiddletonSwallow - 2 in-offRe-security and telescopes etc at Red Nab and along the seawall by the outfalls.   You will/may be paid a visit by security staff and will be expected ...
Continue Reading » Outfalls bonanza...

Bumblebee Monitoring Training Session

Posted on - In Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Date / Time Start date:  Fri, 09/06/2017 - 10:30am - 2:00pm Want to learn more about our bumblebees and help with the summer survey? Then join the Clitheroe Naturalists for this FREE training session run by Carol Edmundson! Contact Carol on 07775 793283 or email carol.edmundson@btinternet.com to book a place.   Summary:  A FREE Bumblebee monitoring session run by the Clitheroe Naturalists Main image:  Booking details Booking required?:  No Admission charge:  No Audience:  ...

Pleasant PM With BD On BB.

Posted on - In Birds2blog
A bit short notice for BD but his enthusiasm won the day and he came to meet me at Rigg Lane car park just before noon and we went off on a circuit over Birk Bank and back down to the delightful area around Rushy Lee. Four-spotted Chaser Marc HeathWe hesitated at the bog to see 2 Four-spotted Chaser, and a few Large Red Damselfly some in tandem.  Birds of the day for me had to be the 3 Stonechat on Birk Bank, seen as a pair and a lone male, but still no evidence of breeding. Thanks to some acute hearing 3 Redpoll went over, one of which came briefly into a tree. With a risk of duplication, 7 Raven - certainly five - was a decent count, whilst 5 Meadow Pipit was a low one, and just one female Red Grouse was also surprisingly low, 2 Song Thrush is always a bird to rate as excellent for me, 2 Swift were over...