My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Sunday, 26 April 2009

A racing day at Holmethorpe

Graham had arranged the annual Bird Race Day at Holmethorpe and Steve had posted about the event on 24 April.

The day had threatened to be wet in the morning - luckily this wasn't turned into reality. I arrived about just after 8.00 a.m. having followed Graham's excellent directions. It was sunny, but with a chill in the air. I turned off the road into the car park - lucky I noted the closed and padlocked five-bar gate to the entrance and stopped in time.

I wandered up the road a little - drove down a lane and managed to locate Steve and Gordon. Having kitted up I joined them as they were watching a Little Owl - and my thanks to Steve for a view of it through his scope - what a way to start the day. Onward then to join Graham and Richard who were with Frank and Ian.

Whilst others may have felt the day was a little light on birds, I was pleased to see all that was there. My list is not for the race, but a record of what I saw. In some ways, it was more of a wildlife day given the variety of things we saw; and my thanks to Richard for sharing his huge fund of knowledge about all matters flora and fauna..

So what did I see or hear?
Little Owl
Canada Geese
Greylag Geese
House Sparrow
Tufted Ducks
Great Crested Grebe
Reed Warbler (H)
Wood Pigeon
Little Grebe (and two on nests)
Long Tailed Tit
Common Buzzard
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Blackcap (Male)
Little Egret (x 2)
(Hobby - others saw but I couldn't find it!)
Chiffchaff (H)
Green Woodpecker (H)
Mute Swan and
finally - just as I'd put the camera in the boot of the car, a
Wren - posed nicely on a nearby branch singing away :D

Whitethroats seemed to be the order of the day and accompanied us nearly everywhere we went. However, they weren't staying still long enough for a portrait much just managed to catch this one...

before he high-tailed it for another perch!

A little more obliging.

The sun shone over the lake

and highlighted the fluffy seed heads of the rushes

The water glistened

and a Drinker Moth caterpillar slowly climbed a fence post

A Green-veined butterfly landed on a dandelion and rested

Further on, this young rabbit enjoyed a meal

By now we had been joined by Sue and we watched Cormorants sunbathing

and drying their wings after a dip!

On the far side of the pond, a couple of interesting species came into view. They'd obviously spotted something - we can only guess the species and what it was viewing :D

Cowslips tucked away by the fence

and a Male Kestrel hovered high overhead

And of course, the obligatory Grey Heron rose up and flew off

and finally, just before parting company, we can across some Sussex cattle!

Graham, Sue and Richard decided to head off up the hill for some raptors, but Frank and I decided we should be on our way.

So home I came without incident.

So a day spent in warm sunshine, with many types of wildlife to enjoy, and excellent company all round.

Thanks Graham, for hosting such a great day! :)


Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
A wonderful day for you. Nice it was sunny and so productive. I love the rabbit shot, it is so cute!! Well done.

St said...

The plant is a Trillium according to dean at mostly macro it needs shade and leaf mould and grows from a bulb.

Jayne said...

You do have some really lovely looking days out Tricia, I'm so envious, maybe one day hey!!!!

Midmarsh John said...

Another entertaining blog Tricia. You certainly had plenty to observe and identify - but - no Grebes :>)
Great photos as always.

Mel said...

What a great day, Tricia!!

Tricia said...

Chris - very productive day. I agree with your comment about the rabbit.

ST - thanks for the info. I shall research it :D

Jayne - I'm sure they'll come your way in due course. Summer holidays?

John - Grebes seen but not photographed. Whilst it's great to have such vast open spaces to explore, the birds are normally too far away - but that somehow makes it good for their protection.

Mel - a great one indeed.

Steve Gale said...

I don't like the look of those two birdwatchers in the photo Tricia, especially the one on the left!

Phil and Mandy said...

a good day and a great selection of photos also.

Tricia said...

Oh I know Steve - dodgy looking character when all's said and done :)

holdingmoments said...

Sounds like you had a great day. Topped off with a very impressive list, and excellent pictures too.
Nice one. :)

mick said...

Lots of interesting variety in the day and a nice bird list too. I learn something new so often in your posts - this time it is what cowslips actually look like! I have read the name so often but now can put the "face" to the name!

Richard said...

What a shame you missed the Red Kite Tricia. Never mind, we'll save one for you next time!

Graham James said...

Hi Tricia, thanks for your enjoyable company today. We could have done with a few more good birds but that's birding for you. Great photois yet again and I agree with you about the dodgy-looking birders. Up to no good by the looks of it!

Tricia said...

Thank you Keith.

Mick - glad you learn something from the UK - I can assure you, the same applies when visiting you.

Richard - lucky you and many other raptors as well I understand?. I shall look forward to seeing the Red Kite on my next visit :D

Tricia said...

Phil - twas a good one!

Graham - likewise, and it was good to meet Sue :)

The pics could have been better but it always good to have a record of an excellent day as today was.

Oh - yes - a couple of dodgy characters indeed and up to no good I don't doubt Lol.

ShySongbird said...

I don't know how anyone could call that list light Tricia!!

What another great day you had, you do get out and about, I'm envious!

Beautiful photos as always, I particularly loved the butterfly on the Dandelion, the rabbit, the Heron and the lake.

Tricia said...

Thanks Jan. It was light compared to others but I was pleased!

I got out again today - in the rain to the supermarket to buy food! Now there's excitement for you LOL

Roy said...

That was quite a day and quite a list Tricia. Those Whitethroats are infuriating little things to try and photograph arn't they.

Tricia said...

Roy - Yes it was a good day. I should have got a better picture but too late I realised I had the camera set up wrongly - I shouldn't have rushed so much to get it! But as you say....... they're very busy busy birds!

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