Sunday, 1 March 2015

Butterflies - Likely First Sighting of the Year

Last year my first sighting of Butterflies was in the middle of March.
In fact I first observed all the below species on the same day (16th). 
It must also be said that most things in nature were up to 6 weeks in advance last year.

So be on the look out for your first sightings any time now as there have already been reports. 
Of course this will differ in various parts of the Country as to what you may see first, having regard to weather conditions. How various species fared last year with the success or otherwise of breeding, will also have an impact.

I remain hopeful that I can see some of these beauties in March this year.

Brimstone (Top Left). Peacock (Top right). Small Tortoiseshell (Bottom left). Comma (Bottom right)
Another likely candidate which I didn't see at that stage last year will be the Red Admiral.


Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Speedy Walker

The delightful little Sanderling (Calidris alba), surely everyone's favourite Wader.
Not easy to keep up with as he races along the surf line. The trick is just to keep walking ahead of him and at the same distance and take photos as he reaches along side you. If you get just too close he will fly off and land again further along the surf line. Then you have to catch up, but surprisingly for such small legs he walks very quickly.









Monday, 23 February 2015

Redshank along the Shoreline

The Redshank (Tringa totanus) is a common wader in the British Isles. 
In Winter it can be seen mainly along the coast and is fairly approachable as its too busy finding food. In the breeding season it becomes very wary and will fly off if disturbed.













Saturday, 21 February 2015

Linnet Flock

The Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)

This species like many others looses its primary colourings in Winter, but when at its best has a lovely subtle colouring. They are very sociable birds and will flock in Winter. 

A large flock has been sighted by several local Birding colleagues in an open arable field adjacent to the edge of the Parkland. So I went and found the flock, which you will observe in the last image of this Post.

Luckily I did find some of them in a tree along side the local side road.





As you can see below the flock have found something to eat. 
This was on a track well out into the middle of the large field and the image is heavily cropped. 
This wasn't all of them.


Friday, 20 February 2015

Dark Invaders

During October around the estuaries of the East and South coast of England Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Branta bernicla) can be observed. They arrive from the Baltic and stay until March. 
Some 90,000 plus visit during that period. They are not much bigger than a Mallard in reality. They eat eelgrass, field grass, cereals and other crops found on farmland where they visit during the day and return to the shoreline at night.


















These images were taken at Titchwell Marsh Reserve in Norfolk this week.
I will be posting other observations as and when I can get them sorted out.