Lockdown 6

Lockdown continues but the relaxing of certain restrictions seeks to have gone to some peoples heads, second peak! I think so.

Back to the isolation site and back to nature always great for well being, butterflies again proving difficult with less than a handful of species to boot, Dingy Skipper, Small Heath, Small White and a single Large Skipper a first for the year.

Other highlights were Mother Shipton Moth and Hairy Shieldbugs.

Large Skipper

Lockdown 5

The lockdown continues the sun still shines, so it was out again to my isolation reserve.

The butterflies weren’t playing today hard to find and not settling, the ones I found were Dingy Skipper (now showing signs of wear), Orange Tip, a single Peacock, Small Heath today were in abundance.

Was hoping for Common Blue and maybe a Brown Argus but still not showing

 

Small Heath Butterfly

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Lockdown 4

The sun still shines lockdown carries on and I’m grateful for a little site that I can go to where nobody seems to go to keep my well being good, with insects and photography.
There was good numbers of butterflies about especially Small Heath and Brimstone neither settling,  Dingy Skipper once again proving difficult to find, finally managing to get a few shots with one that was a bit more settled, also managed to finally pin down Orange tip, Green veined White, Small White with an added bonus of a Mother Shipton Moth all on the same flowers,  two Peacocks were seen along the track also.

Hairy Shieldbugs were still around mainly on the old dandelion heads,  and birds around today were Whitethroat,  Willow Warblers,  Yellowhammer, Goldfinch and Song Thrush

Mother Shipton Moth

Lockdown 3

With restrictions being lifted slightly now in the UK I ventured out to a local spot, which I knew there would only be me there, so still giving me that isolation that I need, door to door no contact with humans.


Arrived away 9am with sunny spells and a little wind,  no butterflies in flight when I arrived so I turned to a few macro shots with the flowers. I found a few subjects to shoot,  Daisy’s, Cones and Goats Beard ( see below)

Goats Beard

Wasn’t long before I started finding Hairy Shieldbug which I always turn my camera towards, love them. It was finally the turn of the butterflies, they were now on the wing Small Heaths, Orange tips were easy to pick up along with Green veined White, the hoped for Dingy Skippers took some finding but I did finally manage to find two.
Other creature highlights was a single Swollen thighed Beetle along with Oedemera lurida Beetles and a new found for me a Empis tessellata Dagger Fly
Bird highlights were Common Buzzard, Garden Warbler, and Willow Warblers.
A great day out in isolation

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Hairy Shieldbug

Lockdown 2

Well eight week in now and the easing of the lockdown stated this week with people returning to work, those mainly that can’t work from home, you can also see one other member of your family from a different household but the social distancing still applies, as many times out during the day now but keeping the social distancing of course and you can also travel to your destination, vulnerable and extremely vulnerable remain in isolation.

I’ve turned my attention to macro photography and trying to get used to flash in doing so. The subjects are mainly flowers from the garden and any critters that do come along.

Due to the nice weather we’ve been having off late I’ve seen from the house Common Buzzards going thru, along with Sparrowhawk. The House Sparrows are growing in number, had upto five Woodpigeon in the garden.

Spiders have also taken my attention with a few species ID around the garden mainly Zebra Spiders, Spotted Wolf and Walnut Orb Weavers

Lockdown 1

 

It started at week 18 life changed due to Covid 19, it was thrown upside down, restrictions were put in place never seen before in my lifetime, and were to prove difficult. Not seeing family hurts, not been able to visit beloved sites for nature did also, had to improvise for my well being.
I have managed to have been set up so that I can work from home which has been a great support for me at this time.
I turned to the garden for my adventures, not a large garden and I’m no where near a gardener, it’s the last thing on my list.
I started hunting finding a Hairy Shieldbug along with a Small White Caterpillar these became my companions for the first fews weeks giving me light relief, I ended up taking lots of photos, the odd hoverfly came in resting on the dandelions I was cultivating, Sphaerophoria scripta was a great one to see.
I’ve also set up my feeders again, this was stopped due to the local population of cats before but being at home I could now police this a bit better, hopefully. House Sparrows and Woodpigeon soon moved in, taking longer for Blue Tit, Coal Tit, and Starling and Blackbirds have been taking full advantage of the lawn. The local Swift Population returned at the beginning of May with up to Eight birds happily screaming around the houses. 

Ingbirchworth

Days getting longer so the change to get out again, so a couple of hours around one of the popular reservoirs, around this area are Royd Moor, Broadstones, Scout Dike and this one Ingbirchworth Res

Started along the North Side path where a Chaffinch was the first bird spotted along with Blackbirds, and Blue Tit. Walking up towards the feeders a single Curlew was spotted in the nearby field along with Woodpigeons and a Song Thrush singing away .

Further along looking across the reservoir were plenty of Canada Geese along with a few Greylags, Moorhen, Mallards and a single Little Grebe close in.

Down on the south side were a flock of a dozen Fieldfares and a few Redwing.

Up along the dam wall side nearly back at the car I found a single pair of Goldeneye busy feeding, on the reservoir plenty of Black headed Gulls and a Herring Gull

Driving around the nearby fields I picked up on Lapwings, Meadow Pipits, and Kestrel

Birds List :Blackbird, Blue Tit, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Curlew, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Goldeneye, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Herring Gull, Kestrel, Lapwing, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Meadow Pipit, Moorhen, Redwing, Song Thrush, Woodpigeon, Wren

Nosterfield Nature Reserve

Chasing a Yorkshire tick so an early start was on the cards with an hours drive in front of us we set off at 6:30am. We had fog the entire route but forecast was favourable from 10am when the fog would clear, so after a quick recce of the site, we did a breakfast break at a nearby popular supermarket (Ripon).

After breakfast we stopped off at the nearby Quarry Moor Nature Reserve where picked  up on a Willow Tit for the day.

Back on site, now clear of fog, we had a look at the last location of the Lesser Yellowlegs to no avail (Lingham Water), we did see Curlew, Redshank, Oysetcatchers, Gadwall, Teal and Mallard from the viewing screen.

We left to have a look around the site and look at various lakes, but to no avail, but great to find other various species of birds, highlights being Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpecker, great views of a perched female Sparrowhawk, numerous Fieldfares and Redwings (some people even picking out a Icelandic Redwing, these being a bit darker and more heavily marked, see this feature by Two in a Bush HERE)

A last look at Lingham Lake in the hope of the Yellowlegs having shown up, alas no sign but great to see so many Curlews.

We decided on a move back up to Nosterfield NR in the vain hope that the Yellowlegs was moving about, it sure was we didn’t get time to set up when a couple of the guys we’d seen during the morning put us on to it, satisfactory views but never came close whilst we were watching always staying distant, so thats Lesser Yellowlegs on to the Yorkshire List, My first being seen in Norfolk

Bird List for the Day : Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Collard Dove, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Golden Plover, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser Yellowlegs, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Nuthatch, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Redshank, Redwing, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snipe, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stock Dove, Teal, Treecreeper, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Willow Tit, Woodpigeon, Wren,

 

 

A Muddy Day

Stainforth was my first  port of call for a certain long staying Rough Legged Buzzard and a very muddy walk to the view point. After about a thirty minute wait and most of the time was distant, however I did manage to pick up on the key differences between this and Common Buzzard (Black tipped white tail, paler head)

Over birds highlights here were Green Woodpecker, Kestrel,  and Fieldfare

After the Rough legged Buzzard I decided to stop off at Old Moor on the way back home where I got great views of Bearded Tit and Reed Buntings down on the Reedbed Trial.

around at  the Family Hide, a good place to view the Mere, from here all the usual wildfowl, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Mallard, Gadwall,Moorhen, Coot also a couple of Goldeneye, Gulls from here Black headed, Common, Herring and Lesser Black backed

Around at the feeders, Great tit, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Collard Dove and Woodpigeon

Days Bird List : Bearded Tit, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Collard Dove, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Pochard, Reed Bunting, Robin, Shoveler, Stock Dove, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Woodpigeon

Reed Bunting

Female Reed Bunting

St Aidans

End of year bash for Short eared Owls at St Aidans, arriving at 12:30pm I was a little early for the Owls so I did a small loop around the reserve.

The obvious birds about were the wildfowl scattered about Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coots, a couple of Great Crested Grebes, nice to find a single Stonchat popping up on the gorse bushes to break up looking out over the lakes.

Further around St Aidans in and amongst the smaller lakes Wigeon, Teal , Moorhen and Pochards, Black headed Gulls and Herring Gulls.

By the time I’d walked this far round it was getting close to the 3:30pm mark and time for Owls, I was down now near the hill and it was a Kestrel that caught my eye at first just sitting on one of the fence posts near the footpath when a group of Lapwings and Black headed Gulls took my eye, as they were harassing something a little bit larger, this just happened to be a single Short eared Owl making its way over the hill and flying straight towards me taking the flight path that had it flying overhead, just out of touch if I tried standing on my tip toes, then dropping down on to the nearby field, amazingly disappearing as it landed among the tussocks.

It wasn’t long after that we were all given a great display of three Owls hunting over the hill, many people about and many photos taken

Birds of the Day :- Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Crow, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Crested Grebe, Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Kestrel, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pochard, Short eared Owl, Shoveler, Stock Dove, Stonechat, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon

Kestrel

Kestrel