Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me

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Friday, 7 November 2014

A change




 Does size matter?






Canada Goose







Common Gull






Long Tailed Tit








Coot








Canada Goose








Mute Swan





Did it?



Have a good weekend








Sunday, 26 October 2014

A filler



A quick post to fill the gap, until I can catch up.



Back from Wales now, (for the time being), but here's a few shots taken before I went.
A fairly local reserve, Summer Leys, in Northants, is/was playing host to a Great White Egret.





A really nice looking bird.


And of course a Little Egret was present ........





and a Grey Heron.






One of the regular visitors to my garden, is a bunch of Blue Tits.
Caught this one on some Teasel that is growing well, and supplying food for the Goldfinches, and any other birds that attempt to extract the seed from the prickly heads.






Back in Wales for the next lot, and these are a few taken in the days before I left.




Common Whitebeam.


Providing some food for the local bird population.







Lots of Rowan growing around too, and nooks and crannies in the walls full of insects.







Curlew, having a stretch.






Teal.


Literally hundreds of these around the coastal areas. This one was at Conwy.







 Treecreeper.

Searching for insects amongst the bark of the conifers.








Bank Vole.


Always a soft spot for these little creatures.




A mushroom that I don't know the name of; but it does remind me of something.







And finally, a trip to Harlech and its beach before I came back to England.
A lousy windy day, but such a beautiful beach.






Have a good week.



Monday, 20 October 2014

Cyfarchion o Gymru







Yes, I'm here again.




At the risk of sounding like a holiday postcard, I really am having a wonderful time.
And the scenery and bird life is as good as ever.


A few pictures and short videos .................... 




Ruff


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Grey Phalarope







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Greenshank







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Spotted Redshank






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Cattle Egret







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Gwynedd



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 Sparrowhawk, with lunch









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A couple more views










One of the little chaps who lives in a wall





Bank Vole






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and a Wood Mouse who thought he'd move in






Iechyd da!


Friday, 26 September 2014

Connecting


Years ago, when I was younger, they called it depression, and you saw a psychiatrist.
It was a waste of time, so in the end I stopped going.
I did a lot of 'creative' writing in those dark days.

These days it's known by a different name, and you see a therapist.
I don't bother these days; I 'ride it out'.


Nature is a great psychiatrist/therapist, but there are times when it's a major effort to try and 'connect' with it.
I get there eventually.
I hope I always can.



Here's some recent connections.




Hoverfly, Volucella zonaria



He was in the garden one sunny day, finding the ivy very interesting, and looking for all the world like some Hornet. He's harmless though.


A short video I took near the same day, of lots of Honey Bees doing the same thing.





So long as you leave them alone to get on with what they are doing, they're harmless too.




A recent nice surprise, was being contacted by the warden at RSPB Conwy, asking if they could use a couple of my pictures for an information board, to go on display in one of their hides.
Always happy to help any charity organisation that I support, (and I support a few), I said yes. Here's a copy of the finished product.





I can't wait to get back to Wales and see it in the 'flesh'.



But back home for now ..............


At the risk of plagiarism, here's the Robin in my garden.




Cock sure, and bold as brass. A juvenile, that is growing fast. Now reached adult stage, and constantly singing his liquid, flutey song, as he establishes his territory.




 Another, because I like him so much. He's found a small water snail, for a snack.







Goldfinch


My small garden pond is a magnet for some of the birds that visit the garden.





House Sparrow, taking a drink.



Last one for now, is of something I've never witnessed before, and only just managed to catch it on camera.




One of two frogs, that climbed from the pond, sat on a stone garden ornament, and then climbed up and disappeared into a large Honeysuckle bush.



Enjoy your week/weekend.




Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Caldecotte Lake



A leisurely stroll around the local lake this morning, before I went shopping.
I'd normally post this on my other blog of the lake, but I'll do it here for a change; no video though.


A warm sunny morning, and plenty to see, made it a good visit today.


Great Tits, a couple of Robins, Dunnocks, Magpies and Crows around the car park area, and overhead, some Black-headed Gulls, Cormorants and Common Terns.
I crossed over the footbridge, and made my way towards the north lake first.
Under the road bridge, my regular group of Mallards came for their feed, and a Grey Wagtail was running along the waters edge.
Over on the grass, in front of the pub, a gang of Canada Geese, more Mallards, and even more Black-headed Gulls.

I carried on down the path, and in the trees some recently fledged Greenfinches, and Long Tailed Tits were busily searching for food.

Up towards the bandstand, and over by the island, a Grey Heron, knee deep in water, patiently waiting for a hapless fish to swim by.
As I crossed the footbridge, a pair of Kingfishers flew from the reeds, skimming past the Mallards and swans that were floating past.
The water is looking especially disgusting at this part of the lake, like an oily artists pallet of green and blue. How anything can live in this is beyond me; but it seems to.

Past the reeds, and a Migrant Hawker was ....... hawking I guess.




Thank goodness they hover long enough to get pictures.



Further round the lake, in the distance, was a Little Egret.
I slowly walked nearer, but he eventually decided it was time to leave.




Flying past me, and eventually heading towards where I'd come from.





Up towards the wall of the dam, and the Common Terns were noisily splashing down into the water, in their search for fish. The few that had managed to catch something, were being pursued by others, hoping to steal their prize.
Along the wall of the dam, a row of Black-headed Gulls just watched.


Along the path, a couple of bags of rubbish; mostly beer cans, were discarded in the bushes. I'll never understand why people can't take their rubbish home with them.


Fluttering past in the sunlight, and finally settling, was a Speckled Wood.





The arm that runs at the back of the pub, plays host to quite a large number of waterfowl in the autumn and winter months. Today, their numbers were steadily building. A few Tufted Duck have remained all year, and they are now being joined by a small group of Wigeon.





A few Gadwall have arrived over the last few days too.




A smart looking duck



On the old boat that is tethered in the middle, and serves as a convenient nesting spot for the Common Terns, was this morning taken over by a group of Cormorants, now that the Terns have finished.





It frequently plays host to all manner of birds, that stop off and chill, watching the world pass by.




Round past the pub, and the reflection in the algae infested water made for an interesting picture.






Under the road bridge, and on down the south lake.



A couple of Crows were waiting in the trees, for me to finish my apple, so they could enjoy the core.



A couple of butterflies, Red Admiral, flew past searching for some wild flowers to settle on. Sadly, most have been cut down now, but a few still remain along the edge of the lake.
One or two Common Damselflies were resting there, and as I slowly walked through the grass and dying flowers, grasshoppers were leaping in front of me.
Over in the bushes a Chiffchaff was calling, and a Whitethroat broke cover, and flew towards some trees.
In the reeds, some Reed Buntings were foraging.
A Jay flew overhead, and higher up, circling, were half a dozen Lesser Black-backed Gulls.


One of the pieces of fitness equipment that has recently been installed around this part of the lake, is due for some repair.





I can't help thinking the money spent on these bits of metal, would have been better spent on other things. Things that could have benefited more people that use the lake, and not just a few of the fitness fanatics.




I wandered off to feed my friendly Robin, down by the bird hide, and then headed towards the rowing club.
On one of the jetties, a gang of Black-headed Gulls and friends, were chilling in the sunshine.






I was soon passing the houses, where a small group of Swallows were skimming the water, and occasionally scooping up insects. Soon be heading off on their long journey.


Over in the distance, Cormorant island had a Little Egret preening in the trees.




The small white blob near the middle.



Scanning the water around the island I found some more Wigeon, Gadwall, a small group of Shoveler, and a couple of Little Grebe.





As I neared the car park, something bounded across the grass, near the path ahead.




A rather elegant looking white faced Rat.



Further in the distance, not quite so elegant ........




I hope he's got some sunscreen.




An interesting walk, with plenty to see.
A total of 39 species of birds. Not bad for a place dismissed by most MK birders as somewhere that doesn't have nothing.
Unless it's found for them, and then they flock here.


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Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  39