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


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. 


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



Spurn Point

The last time I travelled down to the neck of the woods was back in Jan 2018 for a Rose coloured Starling  so coming over here was long overdue.

The attraction of Spurn is of course the migrants birds and our first stop off was at sammys where we found a couple of Wheatear, along with lots of Redwing, Goldfinch, Linnet the odd Blue Tit and Robin and a scattering of Goldcrests, also joining us in seeking out migrants was a Sparrowhawk looking for the odd tired migrant for its  breakfast meal , we also came across about eight Grey Partridge on our approach to sammys , a rare sight these days and a great pleasure to watch from the car

Moving on then to the obs garden where we found a couple of Chiffchaff along with a single Siberian Chiffchaff , noted for its pale buffy or greyish appearance no calls were heard.

Decision time the target bird hadn’t been reported this morning from its last known site, the point a good three mile walk away, we took our changes and set off. Birding on the way down picking up a few wader species on our way, Bar tailed Godwits, Knots lots and lots of these and always great to see them in a murmuration, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Dunlin and Oystercatchers

On our walk down to the point the message came thru on the pager that our target bird had been seen at the point, the pace picked up a notch, half way down to the point we came across a few people coming the other way, we inquired of them about our target bird and the news was good, whilst talking with them we caught sight of a Brambling.

Finally arrived at the point of news that the bird hadn’t been seen for a while we waited, catching sight of Goldcrests and a Yellow browed Wabler (such a beautiful bird). Two hours later and having walked around various bushes we were back at the first sight when a bird with pale belly and darkish headed when came into a bush to the left but was so quick to get out of sight tha was all I saw, 5 minutes later there it was right in the middle of two bushes out in the open Red eyed Vireo my first yank, a really stand out head pattern with grey crown and white eye strip going thru the eye and bordered above and below the eye with darkish lines, white belly and olive-green above then it was off into the next bush, about four of us connected at the time, leaving more to re-find.

Back up at the Bluebell Cafe area were we eventually landed on the Black Redstart

Bird List :- Bar-tailed Godwit, Black Redstart, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Brambling, Brent Goose, Buzzard, Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Collard Dove, Curlew, Dunlin, Goldcrest, Golden Plover, Goldfinch, Great Black backed Gull, Great Tit, Grey Partridge, Grey Plover, Grey wagtail, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Kestrel, Knot, Linnet, Little Egret, Magpie, Mallard, Meadow Pipit, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Red-eyed Vireo, Redshank, Redwing, Reed Bunting, Ringed Plover, Robin, Shelduck, Siskin, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonchat, Tree Sparrow, Turnstone, Wheatear, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellow-browed Warbler (54)



Filey for a day, first port of call was the Country Park and being greeted by Oystercatchers in the car park, on then to Long Lane, Rocket Pole Field, Carr Naze along the Brigg and back up Arndale and maybe a bit of time at Filey Dams.

Long Lane held Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, and Blackbirds, on at Care Naze were a flock of Linnets and a couple of Meadow Pipits, with a few gulls Herring, Great Black backed and Black headed at sea.

Down on the brig itself were Oystercatchers, and Turnstones with very little else but did manage a Rock Pipit along the side of the Brig.

Going around Arndale  were Goldcrest, Chiffchaff and Robin quiet on the whole around the Brig, so off to Filey Dams and the sun at last was playing out

Tree Sparrows around the feeders and always a good place to catch up with these birds in the Filey area. A walk around the broadwalk and I soon found my quarry a single Common Darter taking in the sun resting on top of the handrails and giving rise to a great photo opportunity of one of the friendly dragonflies.

From the hide plenty of Canada Geese, a few Greylags, lots of Gulls inc. Black headed, Herring and Common of different ages, over species inc. a couple of Grey Herons, Shoveler, Teal, Mallard

Birds List :- Barn Owl, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Crow, Chiffchaff, Common Gull, Cormorant, Goldcrest, Great Black backed Gull, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Kittiwake, Lesser Black backed Gull, Linnet, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Pied wagtail, Reed Bunting, Robin, Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon, Rock Pipit, Shoveler, Starling, Teal, Tree Sparrow, Turnstone, Woodpigeon

Common Darter

Common Darter Dragonfly

Black headed Gull

Black headed Gull

Old Moor

Well after a bit of a dry spell over the summer I decided on blowing off the binoculars and getting back out with Old Moor being a good starting point. The day was dry with a bit of wind, the sun came out, when it did a couple of Small White butterflies gave a brief appearance. Wath Ings hide was shut off due to maintenance work  so I decided starting off at the visitor centre feeding station, birds here were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long tailed Tit, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, and Robin also a mouse which proved elusive mainly running around in the undergrowth only giving brief appearances as it made its way across from one patch to another and obviously too fast for the camera.

Tree Sparrow farm next with a short stop in the garden for a Small White Butterfly, couldn’t resist, the Tree Sparrow farm then after the short interlude which only gave what I’d seen at the feeders so decided on a trip around the pools in the hope of a few Common Darters, search I did but find I didn’t.

The next stop was the Family Hide and the Mere where there was a lot of wildfowl about, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Greylag, Goose, Cormorants, even managed to pick out a Little Grebe. Gulls about were Common Gull, Black headed Gulls, Lesser black Backed Gulls and Herring Gulls, and a very distant Little Egret

A walk down Green lane then to round things off where its not just about the birds…… here i found Green and Spiked Shieldbugs, lots of Garden Spiders, ladybirds and a what I think was a Long Winged Cone-head

The Days Bird List :-

Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Common Gull, Cormorant, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Little egret, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Robin, Teal, Wigeon, Woodpigeon (30)

Common Gull

Common Gull

Garden Spider

Garden Spider