It’s Insect Time!

Yes, it’s the time of year when I come home with an aching back from all the bending down hunting for little creatures, lots of bites in spite of my best efforts to avoid them, and a sunburned neck. All good fun!
From the top left, clockwise: small magpie moth, cardinal beetle, cinnabar moth, mother shipton moth, female adonis blue butterfly, sand wasp, burnet companion moth, honey bee. All found at either Skylarks Nature Reserve in Nottinghamshire or Chambers Farm Wood in Lincolnshire.

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Frogs …

Lots of frogs spawning and making lots of noise at Attenborough Nature Reserve.Frogs.jpg

It isn’t Spring, but …

… the sun shone for a few days recently, the winter birds are showing signs of breeding plumage and we have a new mobility scooter … so off we went to Frampton Marsh, Rutland Water and Rufford Abbey (ot all in one day!).
At Frampton, we saw literally tens of thousands of ducks and geese flying in off the Wash, redshanks, curlews, lapwings, dunlin and skylarks. (Below: a brent goose and a redshank).

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Rutland Water was quieter, but we did see shovellers, more curlew, pintails and a brief glimpse of a male smew as he flashed over the lagoon. (Below: male and female shoveler).

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And, finally, on a bitterly cold morning at Rufford Abbey, we saw lots of tthe thrush family – blackbirds, redwings and thrushes, – as well as pochard, goosander and thousands of gulls, not to mention the tons of robins, bluetits, nuthatches, longtailed tits etc etc. (Below: robin, blackbird and pochard).

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A really lovely week’s birding, after such a long, dreary few weeks.

Hawfinch in Derbyshire

A lot of time has been spent this winter (when the weather permitted) searching high and low for the elusive hawfinch. Apparently, food sources were scarce this year on the continent, so there have been more than usual over here. We had a good morning at Rufford Abbey Country Park, in Nottinghamshire, where we saw a small flock ground-feeding with greenfinch and redwing. Later in the same week, we were treated to the sight of a pair of males feeding in a yew tree in the grounds of St. Helen’s Churchyard, Darley Dale in Derbyshire. We tried to make it third time lucky at Allestree, Derbyshire, but the weather was aganst us and the birds were non-co-operative. Still hoping to see some more this winter.

Hawfinch in Yew treeHawfinch ground feedingHawfinch in Yew

Robin Redbreast at Rufford

A little winter robin … always a sight to cheer the heart on a cold and frosty morning.Robin at Rufford

A few bits and bobs …

For various reasons … weather, health, deus ex machina … trips to the local Nature Reserves have been a bit few and far between lately so, without any new bird pictures, quite a bit of my time is being spent on tidying up computers etc.

These are a few of the pictures I have taken with my iPhone on previous trips out. I always have the phone handy for little bits and pieces that might take my eye, but don’t merit getting the heavyweight out for. I think they came from Langford Lowfields and Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire, and Chambers Farm Wood, Lincolnshire.

Last Days of July

With the rain easing and intermittent sunshine appearing, we managed to get to Chambers Farm Wood and Skylarks Nature Reserve in the last two days of the month.
From the top: mating gatekeepers, painted lady, small copper, brown argus.
Mating GateKeepersPainted LadySmall CopperBrown Argus

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