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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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Painshill Park - the youngsters are increasing.

A couple of days ago I was getting an update on the Painshill Grebe chicks. Pleased to say that youngsters Major and Minor are still very present with Mum and Dad and Minor, although somewhat lazy, doesn't seem to be suffering with unwelcome attention by its elder sibling.

Both are now diving and learning to fish. On this occasion Major was successful; not quite sure what the meal was though.

This time, Dad provided a hearty fish meal which slid down easily.

What is strange, is that Minor still want a lift on Mum's back. It doesn't seem to sit on the parent's back as it normal but drapes itself across the parent's back like a shawl!

Here it is still sitting on the parent; that latter must be finding this quite uncomfortable by now.

OK - today a further check and all is still well. They are still all together as a family with much about the same activity. I really must try to get there earlier in the day than I have been doing of late.

On my way back, the second pair of Grebes (Mr and Mrs Confused) indulged in a bit of head waggling. This pair did build a nest but abandoned it quite quickly. I feel they must be quite young as they don't really seem to know what is expected..

He dived and brought back some weed which it then promptly and deliberately dropped before rejoining his mate

And sadly, the Canada Geese Goslings are reducing in number. Three families seem to have joined forces and in total there were about 10 of them.

And a lone Grebe was having lunch..

Was great to see Damelflies, Dragonflies and one, very newly emerged Banded Demoiselle (which flew off quickly).

Large red damsels were the most prolific.
(with thanks to Maurice for the correct ID )

One or two blue-tailed (I think) damsels.

The Irises are coming out now and this is a great place to stand and watch for Damsels/Dragons and, in particular, banded Demoiselles.

Not quite sure what this is... from the angle it was very difficult to get a clear view of it.

and a preening Mallard, completed the day.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Rye Meads, Norfolk and Hatfield Forest... that's Easter :D

I drove up the M25 on Saturday.... not too bad but glad I wasn't going south at that time.

I went to Rye Meads and was well rewarded..

One of the little Grebes was having a wash and brush up.

A pair of Black-headed gulls weren't... they were ensuring the continuity of the line!

A cormorant sat in the afternoon sun.. trying to keep cool.

And one of the pair of Kingfishers was sitting about and fishing.

Along the river, a couple of boats moved slowly.. it could have been a mid-summer's day!

Orange tip butterflies were every where.

So off I went having had a very enjoyable couple of hours or so!


The following morning, Pete and I headed off for Norfolk at crack of dawn (well, it was just about daylight)

Sunny and warm!! Nooooo... the further north we went the foggier and duller it got.

We arrived in the car park at Morston being the 2nd car to arrive!

Brent Geese took off into the mist..

And a moored boat swam out of the mist into our line of vision.

We walked along the coast path towards Blakeney.

It seemed there were Sedge Warblers lining the pathway.. and ducking and diving - hiding from our view most of the time. Finally this one popped up just for a few seconds singing away..

All along the pathway, these plants hosted dozens of these insects.
If anyone can name both plant and insect that would be great.

Having arrived at Blakeney, the mist had lifted a little and very occasionally we saw a weak sun.

Black headed Gulls made the most of the incoming tide to start fishing for food.
Sadly this one found rubbish!

On the way back, I was lucky enough to spot a Wheatear which are such beautiful birds.
Having assessed the weather we decided to head inland in search of sun and warmth.

Sedge Warbler who sat still for a moment.

Lunch bought from the cafes in the Car Park; Bacon sandwiches and pots of brown shrimps and crabfish... oooooooh!

We headed off for Welney..

Loads of Avocets about - beautiful birds

A few Little Egrets..

And in the car park - a Sedge Warbler who posed.

We drove home - an excellent days birds with about 59 species seen throughout the day, including: Hobby, Skylark, Willow Warbler, Wheatear, Black-tailed Godwits, Little Ring Plovers (nesting), Marsh Harrier, Swallows, Sedge and Reed Warblers, Ruff (!), House Martins and Kestrels (on 5 difference occasions throughout the day).......

On Monday (today), Pete took me over to Hatfield Forest arriving very early before many people were about. The birdsong was incredible and beautiful.

A Grey Squirrel was having brekkie!

A Common Tern was having a few turns around the lake; we watched for some minutes and it disappeared. Disappointing as we thought it had left but we found it later on the Tern raft - fingers crossed it won't be alone before too long.

Six Great-crested Grebes on the lake and two obvious pairs; one with 3 young (lovely) and another pair still nesting.

A greylag goose had four young in tow.

And finally - got a much better view of the Whitethroat and a picture too! Seemed it was the weekend for finally getting to see Whitethroats!

And then finally home as the morning drew on. And the M25 was kind! Phew

A great weekend with amazing birds and a variety of weather conditions
Great company and thanks for some rather scrummy meals Pete :)
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