Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Little Egret Returns....

Date: 13th August 2017
Location: Newton Park Lake - Circular
Weather: Cloudy, Sunny Intervals and Warm
Other Species: Full List Here

Observation: Only a few Butterflies on Sunny Bank early afternoon, so onto Bath Mill and on approach to the bridge, the Kingfisher flew down stream but we couldn't trace it again.

Onto the Dog Walk, a single Jay, Roe Deer (Stag) and also 2 Buzzard were seen/heard through the woodland.

This stunning Green-Veined White perched nicely for some shots:

The walk was pretty quiet up to Seven Acre until the Village, where things picked up again.

Just before the Farm Shop, 2 Painted Lady's were spotted.

A few Barn Swallow were flying around the Village, 18 were counted on the way through.

At the Church, a Juvenile Green Woodpecker was feeding in the field with a few more Rook, Crow and Jackdaws than we've had recently, glad to see the numbers rising.

We met fellow birder and patch walker Tony and continued the walk.

Through the Workshop Covert, single numbers of Chiffchaff and a Song Thrush seen.

At the Lakes - Bottom Lake was busy with fisherman but numbers remained the same with Billy still present and 10 Mallard sat on the banks. A single Grey Heron, flew in and started foraging in the grass.

Top Lake, the family of Mute Swans present with all 6 Cygnets doing well and feeding independently.

Another Kingfisher flew up stream and landed at the Top End. There was no sign of the Little Egret until.... we walked around the corner and there it was, feeding away frantically.

We watched it for a few minutes before moving on.

We went to check on the Little Owl and Spotted Flycatcher, but no sign of either today, 2 Nuthatch and another Buzzard were heard calling.

2 further Buzzards, and 20+ House Martin flying around Top Lake.

On the return route, nothing more of note, apart from calling Stock Dove, small numbers of Goldcrest and another Chiffchaff (Juvenile).

Back in the Village, we left Tony and finished the walk.

At the Farm Shop, there were plenty of Barn Swallow and House Martins flying around and some resting on the wires, no doubt in preparation for their long journey home!

Barn Swallow (Adult)

House Martin (Juvenile)

House Sparrows numbers seem to be slowly rising in the Village after their hedgerows being aggressively cut down in recent months.

One of the Piglets at the Farm Shop

Our garden has been full of birds over the past few weeks, so here's some recent pictures:

Bullfinch (Adult)

Bullfinch (Juvenile)

Goldfinch (Adult feeding Juveniles)

Blue Tit (Adult)

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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Newton St Loe - My Patch

Date: 08/08/2017
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Grey, Overcast but Warm
Species Highlights: 
Spotted Flycatcher, Bullfinch, Kingfisher, Grey Heron.
Silver Washed Fritillary

With no Butterflies to chase another patch walk this morning and as the norm out though Bath Mill.
Seem to be a few Butterflies about to my surprise with 3 Common Blue and a single Brown Argus on Sunny Bank.

All seem to be a bit worn.

With a juvenile Grey Wagtail on brook, 
Plus adult who flew on down brook as soon as I saw her.

On up to dog track track and a Greater Spotted Woodpecker and Bullfinch feeding by kissing gate, through gate and onto dog track I could hear a Chiffchaff calling. Through the small woodland and a Buzzard above calling like a squirrel, strange. In clearing just out of wood a Silver Washed Fritillary! 
First one ever in 10 years of walking round these parts.

Takes my Patch butterfly tick list to 23, although this year only on 18 as I have been elsewhere on my great butterfly challenge this year!   ICYMI
1. Small Copper
2. Painted Lady
3. Clouded Yellow
4.Essex Skipper
5. Small skipper
6. Large White
Hope to get some of these before year end on patch.

Along byway not a lot going on, village More House Martins in skies only 1 Barn Swallow seen. On return trip this would change. Village Green and 2 Greenfinch 1 adult 1 juvenile. Very quiet in to Send a Cow woodland and onto bottom lake, Billy still present.

Top Lake all Swans preening on far bank, nothing unusual except 5 Grey Herons all looking for a good fishing spot with a adult keeping them mobile.

  A juvenile making their burbling call from tree top. I tried to record sound but noise from college drowned it out!

While watching noticed a Kingfisher sat watching the Herons, you'll need binoculars for this one!

2 Buzzards flew past calling to each other, was gonna go up to check on Spotted Flycatchers but noticed above me 2 were catching flies in trees alongside lake, so sat and watched a bit longer.

After trying to get better pictures with much success headed towards top of lake 2 more were feeding with a group of 3 Chiffchaff. 

Juvenile Wren checking reeds out.

Few more Grey Heron shots and then carried on back towards village. 

The numbers of hirundines seen to have reversed with many more Barn Swallows in the skies and sat on wires, plenty of Juveniles.

Lots of House Sparrow feeding in horse fields I'd estimate 30+ in one group, a good year. 

With Kestrel, Buzzard on way back, that was my lot, Collared Dove, Coal Tits and 6 Bullfinch on my tree when I got home. Filled feeders again and end.
Species count of 39. 

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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Patch walk with company

Date: 06/08/2017
Location: Newton St Loe (Patch)
Weather: Warmish, Grey and Blue.
Species Highlights: 
Spotted Flycatcher,Buzzard, Kestrel,Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Nuthatch, Goldfinch.
Lauren did a window watch, very busy on feeders of late with Bullfinch a group of 8 birds last week. 6 today 4 juveniles and 2 adult birds with many Goldfinch fledglings also Blue & Great tits filling the feeders. 

Juvenile female Bullfinch being told off by our resident Coal Tit.

One of the Male Bullfinch.

Coal tit very busy collecting nuts and flying off to cache.

Lots of Goldfinch with young constantly squabbling, adult feeding here.

Apart from Wood Pigeons on feeders also getting a pair of Feral Pigeons and at times up to 4 Collared Dove.

Such a great looking birds.

I worked last night so got up
late morning, just. Then headed off around patch on my own living lauren keeping a eye on feeders, where to 2 Greenfinch visited briefly. 
On entering Bath Mill noticed a familiar car, Robert & Anne so Phoned them, they were at Seven Acre so walked on through to catch them up, not much going on along brook or up on to dog track or even fields leading to Pennyquick all very quiet.
Only Spots were 4 Buzzard over far fields, 1 Kestrel, a single Whitethroat and Yellowhammer who didn't seem to want their photographs taken, so here's a Blue tit who did.

Caught up with Robert and Anne at village, House Martins and Barn Swallows were swarming overhead some still feeding youngsters most sat on wire resting number still into 45's Barn Swallow and 30+ House Martins on entire walk with 4 Swift also seen. 
A quiet walk towards church with a Kestrel heard calling but couldn't locate.
Send a Cow woodland getting very overgrown difficult to see anything but heard a few Chiffchaff calling their warning call. 
On to lakes Billy the "no mates" Mute still bottom lake with 4 Mallard, but nothing else except a few fishermen who caught a 18llb Common carp a great looking fish.
Onto Top lake Goldcrest and Normal stuff with the swan family all still present.

Plenty of stretching going on from the cygnets, 
this shot taken today, notice wing feathers.

This shot taken a week before, wing feather much shorter in this one. 
On looking at our records last year cygnets driven off by mum & Dad around first week in September.

Carried on to top part of lake to check on Spotted Flycatchers, could hear them but flying around so much couldn't get any decent shots but a Greater Spotted Woodpecker kept us company, giving good views for some :)

Not rubbing it in Anne but There! 
On watching also saw a Nuthatch and Treecreeper plus Goldcrest in Yew Tree and eventually....

A dodgy picture of the Flycatchers saw at least three birds but as i said buzzing between Oak and Lime trees difficult to pin down. 

With more House Martins and Barn Swallow plus lots of noisy Jackdaws overhead a single Pied Wagtail was also seen in the College grounds. 
In fields opposite 2 Buzzard calling and chasing each other the pale buzzard which we've seen as far back as 2012 was doing the chasing.

Walking back along back drive a group of at least 40+ Goldfinch kept flying up and landing in nearby trees a great spectacle. 2 more Kestrel seen towards village and another Greater Spotted Woodpecker heard calling. On getting home one of the Jays was perched up on van looking for a few peanuts. Overall a great walk with pleasant company species count ended on 42, not to bad. 

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