Down again to the local Ponds and once again to look for Odonata species. Making my way thru to the ponds I picked up on a few Large Red Damselflies on the brambles along with a good amount of Azure Damaselflies. Looking around the ponds I couldn’t pick up on any larger species, I was hoping for a couple of Chaser species.
I sat around the larger pond looking and waiting when all of a sudden two Four Spotted Chasers came into view but alas never settling. I made my way back stopping off at one of the smaller ponds and alas there were two Four Spotted Chaser, one obviously ovipositing. I settled in and waited for them to settle and perch up on the reeds before taking any pictures.
Other highlights were Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and a good group of House Martin. Butterflies about were Common Blue and Small Heath
A quick visit to the ponds now things were warming up on the look out for the Odonata species and I wasn’t disappointed picking up on my first for the year Azure and Large Red Damselflies alas no larger ones as yet. Also about were Peacock, Small Heath and my first Common Blue Butterfly of the year.
Dingy Skipper Butterfly took some finding but they eventually came out, after about an hour of me being on site, Small Heath Butterfly were very much in evidence along with Green veined White. Mother Shipton Moth along with Common Carpet Moths were in good numbers and the Thick thighed Flower Beetles seem to be having a good year. As the day went on more butterflies were evident and it took a while before the Brimstones’ were out, no Common Blues as of yet but a fly by Holly Blue was nice.
Lots of Cranefly on the wing mianly Tipula vernalis but a Spotted Cranefly was a nice find and my first Hairy Shieldbug of the year which did take some finding.
Birds of note were Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap
Dasysyrphus albostriatus hoverfly, new for site, breeding Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Swift thru on the 14th, Willow Warbler on the 24th and a fly thru Holly Blue butterfly… on Nature on a Lunch Break, see the page HERE to see more highlights
A great start to the day, lovely breakfast at Laundimer House, so with a full belly I was back on the road heading up to Egleton and the Birdwatching Centre at Rutland Water.
The weather was better than yesterday and there was more people out. In to the reserve and I soon picked up a Cettis Warbler calling along with a Reed Warbler and Whitethroat, a good start to the day.
Fine weather was with me and I was soon picking up on a few insects, Green Longhorn Moth, Scorpion Fly, Epistrophe eligans hoverfly, and a few Tipula varipennis Craneflies as I made my way up to Lagoon 4 for some wader action.
Out on Lagoon 4 were a few Oystercatchers, nice to see a few Avocet, Shelduck, lots of Swift, Swallow, Sand and House Martins again, a few waders nice to see a Sanderling in summer plumage, Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers, and Dunlins, Common Terns and a few gull species Black headed, Lesser Black backed, and Herring but a Goldeneye was a surprise, and Little Egret are nice to see.
I then had a wonder around to the other hides picking up on a Marsh Harrier and Egyptian Geese
Arriving at the Lyndon Reserve end of Rutland Water in the rain it didn’t hold out for a good day. However I was soon on my way after purchasing my permit, now a concession blimey how age creeps up, I was greeted to a wonderful sight of hawking Sand Martins, House Martins, Swallows and Swifts around the visitor Centre hunting out the midges to feed upon with Garden Warbler singing away behind me as I watched this wonderful spectacle, I tried looking for the Garden Warbler with no success even thou it must have been with in a couple of feet of where I was standing, I did find however a Green Longhorn Moth.
Out into the reserve hearing Whitethroat, Blackcap, Wren and also Cuckoo as I made my way to the hides, first stop being the Deep Water Hide, here were plenty of Swallows, Swifts, Hose Martins and Sand Martins, with Cormorant, Mute Swan, Mallard, Common Terns, Great Crested Grebes, Lesser Black backed Gulls, Herring Gulls, and Black headed Gulls
Moving on then down to the Tufted Duck hide where I had the addition of Coot and Woodpigeon, I was soon off as there was very little here to see and ended up at the Waderscrape Hide, Osprey. It was not totally throwing it down outside but there was one Osprey out on a nearby post from the nest, eating fish and getting very, very wet.The rain did ease off a little and I mangaed to pick up a Male Reed Bunting.
The rain eventually eased, I had to go, family to meet today was only going to be a short trip today leaving more time for tomorrow. Between hides I managed to pick up a few extras birds namely Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Robins, Goldfinch etc
I stopped over at a nearby B&B called Laundimer House (see my B&B tab) whilst travelling down I picked up a few Red Kites
Raven, Common Whitethroat and even the Green Woodpecker is back. Brimstone, Speckled Wood and Green veined White Butterflies add to an exciting April…on Nature on a Lunch Break, see the page HERE to see more highlights
It was dry when I arrived at the reserve however by the time I’d got ready to set off, it had turned to rain and the rain stayed through out the visit. I wasn’t put off and ventured out stopping off first for a butty at the van and ate this in the nearby shelter overlooking the reserve. Sand Martins, House Martins, and Swallows were very much evident with hundreds hawking over the water, feeding up after the long journey North, other birds I saw from here over looking the Village Lake were Blackbird, Robin, Lesser Black backed Gulls, Black headed Gulls and Redshank.
Venturing out on to the reserve proved to be very wet as the rain continued but birds were seen these being Blackcaps, Chaffinch, Tree Sparrows, and Cettis Warbler (heard). Reedbed lake had hundreds of Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows these were hawking the around the tress. On the lake and Far lake were Gadwalls, Tufted Ducks, Greylag Geese, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Moorhen, Pochard, Mute Swans, Great Crested Grebes and a pair of Oystercatchers on the nearby workings.
Coming back down Dryham Lane I caught the “rattle” call of a Lesser Whitethroat and finally three Little Ringed Plovers back down on the Village Lake.
It proved to be a very wet day with very little reward on the species front but what I did see was very rewarding
Bird List : Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Crow, Cettis Warbler, Chaffinch, Coot, Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, House Martin, Lapwing, Lesser Whitethroat, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Little Ringed Plover, Magpie, Mallrd, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pochard, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Robin, Sand Martin, Swallow, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck (31)
Another visit out to a local spot near Brighouse, Cromwell Bottom, hoping to pick up on some warbler action for the night.
3 Buzzards were nice to see as I pulled into the car park, then there was a little else on my way down to the feeding station, Wren,Robin and Blackbirds mainly.
The feeding station produced plenty with Chaffinch, Robins, Dunnock, Great Tit, Blue Tit with a few Blackbird, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, and the odd Bullfinch and Reed Bunting.
Out on the river were a couple of male Goosander with a single female and a single Moorhen along with single Grey Wagtail. Plenty of Wrens on the reserve but trying to get of photo of one of these was difficult and a task I failed at. Eventually I did pick up on a new warbler species for the year, a single Willow Warbler was new with a Chiffchaff nearby to get a comparison. A single Treecreeper was a nice one to see by the riverside trees
A Little Grebe and a Grey Heron were near the viewpoint but alas no Swallow or Martin’s about as yet.
In search of elusive Owls took me on to the nearby Moors of Huddersfield in what turned out to be a very, very, windy and chilly evening. Lapwing, Curlew and Crows were braving the wind but the elusive Long eared Owl took a a while to find, I’d almost given up up hope when a fellow birder found one tucked up against a tree trunk very much keeping out of the wind and difficult to find in conifer trees with the branches being close together.
I decided on going back to the car, get out the wind and have a warm before moving onto the next owl site. On my way back I was lucky enough to find two Little Owls, sitting happily in a field tucked in out of the wind behind one of the dry stone walls, two out of the three Owl species I wanted to see tonight.
Took a good walk to the site of the Barn Owls of which I was hoping to see, with very little reward seen on the way too the site, too windy. An hour at the site produced no Barn Owl but a good size flock of Redwing/Fieldfare mix was a nice bonus, Meadow pipits , Curlews and Mallards battled the winds as they flew up to the nearby reservoir, with a Grey Heron flying down the valley, struggling all the way.
Another visit when its not windy I think may give me the bonus I’m looking for with maybe a few summer migrants thrown in.
Bird List :- Crow, Curlew, Fieldfare, Grey Heron, Jackdaw, Lapwing, Little Owl, Long eared Owl, Magpie, Mallard, Meadow Pipit, Pheasant, Redwing, Woodpigeon (14)