Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ducks but no kingfisher!

Spent four hours at Low Barns nature reserve near Witton-le-Wear in County Durham today, waiting patiently for a kingfisher which never put in an appearance, despite being viewed several times yesterday.
I occupied myself photographing Mallard ducks. One picture (shown here) cries out for a caption.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sparrow Hawk

Caught this picture of our local sparrowhawk in the garden this afternoon. It had been feeding on a greenfinch and then perched on our garden seat to clean up. I just managed to get a shot through my telescope before it flew off.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Butterflies on the Buddleia

Visited a friend's garden in Weardale on Tuesday and found his Buddleia covered in butterflies, mainly Red Admiral and Peacock. He had also had a Humming Bird Hawk Moth in the last few days but unfortunately it refused to make an appearance while I was there.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Belligerent greenfinches

Our garden seems to be dominated by greenfinches at present. There were over 20 in a flock yesterday. However the competition for the feeder seems to fuel their already aggressive instincts. They seem to spend more time fighting over the best position than feeding. I wonder if they expend more energy than they get from the food.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tiny frogs in our pond

Having had frogspawn and subsequently tadpoles in our garden pond in March and April we have not seen hide nor hair of any frogs, apart from one large resident, till now when our garden pond is suddenly home to a number of tiny frogs. Why they have suddenly appeared is anyone's guess unless it is perhaps the sudden very wet weather which seems to be heralding the onset of Autumn.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hawthorn dene Autumn walk

Went round my usual route in Hawthorn Dene yesterday. Sunny but very windy. The last time I walked this area three weeks ago I was seeing meadow brown butterflies every few yards. This time there were none at all although I did see three Speckled Wood, two Painted Lady and one Red Admiral.
Birds weren't much in evidence either probably because of the strong wind, although I did spend an enjoyable five minutes watching a male kestrel soaring in the updraught from the sea cliffs.

No dolphins in Scotland.

Just returned from holiday in the Moray Firth area of NE Scotland. We went up there with the hope of seeing some of the resident population of bottle-nosed dolphins but despite several watching sessions we didn't see one.
However we did see harbour porpoise, seal, diving gannets and other sea birds in the Moray and Cromarty Firths and also Red Kites in the Black Isle area where we were staying at Craigiewood BandB .
All in all a wonderful and interesting area of Scotland. Better luck with the dolphins next visit perhaps.
We did however have a bonus on the way home as we stopped at the Loch of the Lowes just north of Perth and were able to watch a female Osprey for about an hour.