Sunday, 23 August 2009

Here are David's sightings for July. 'I have recorded how many times I've seen each species. So in July e.g. 6/6 means I saw a particular species six times in each of my six visits. In brackets I put down the maximum number of a species I saw together at once'.

Little grebe 1/6 (1)
Grey heron 1/6 (1)
Mute swan 2/6 (8)
Canada goose 1/6 (10) o/h
Mallard 2/6 (8)
Gadwall 1/6 (1)
Tufted duck 2/6 (1)
Kestrel 1/6 (1)
Moorhen 6/6 (6)
Coot 6/6 (7)
Black headed gull 2/6 (1)
Common tern 1/6 (1) Ang. Cl.
Stock dove 5/6 (2)
Wood pigeon 6/6 (3)
Collared dove 5/6 (4)
Swift 3/6 (7)
Kingfisher 4/6 (2)
Green woodpecker 1/6 (1)
Great spotted Woodpecker 3/6 (1)
Wren 2/6 (1) h
Dunnock 5/6 (2)
Robin 6/6 (4)
Song thrush 1/6 (1) h
Blackbird 6/6 (3)
Chiffchaff 2/6 (1)
Great tit 6/6 (2)
Blue tit 5/6 (2)
Magpie 4/6 (3)
Jay 5/6 (3)
Jackdaw 6/6 (~100)
Carrion crow 1/6 (1) h
Starling 3/6 (3)
House sparrow 5/6 (5)
Chaffinch 5/6 (4)
Greenfinch 5/6 (5)
Bullfinch 3/6 (2)

Month total species 36

'There was a brief visit of a swan family for a while (6 big chicks). Now (August) there is a nice family of Little Grebes (5 chicks)- hope they survive. Also a Mallard with 2 chicks. Kingfishers seem to be around regularly again.'

Saturday, 22 August 2009

a hot day

up to 30 degrees during the afternoon.

up above the Mere, on the railway embankment, a young robin takes a breather.

a blackbird had similar problems last week in the heat, same place.

a young heron was on the site, poking about in the bog area, catching tiny fish and worrying the moorhen parents.

to my surprise, the heron stopped to take a prolonged drink, before continuing his hunt.

one of precious few painted lady butterflies about, despite reports of many nationwide.
On the ground of the butterfly meadow, despite all of the attractive flowers above.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

some sightings

a few snippets from today

the adult little grebes seem to be feeding only some of their young.
Those that can dive and feed are chased away, much like a coot would do.

There's regular fish for those still in favour

a fleeting attack over the Mere from the sparrowhawk.
I was watching the grebes, when everything on the water scuttled away in a panic.
Then along came the predator. He failed to catch anything this time.
Record shot.

a distant view of a red kite. Others have been seen near Verulamium Park,
Gorhambury residents we believe. Record shot.

here, I have broken my own rule for photos. on the Mere.
I only post what I capture on site, but to do justice to red kites
have included a 'real' image taken by myself in Wales,
just to show what is circling above our heads!
Always look up when you are meandering about, don't tread on anything nasty. . . .

two shots of a gatekeeper butterfly

what I first took to be a muntjac in the Pyghtle area.
My reference book informs me it is a female roe deer, which does not have antlers.
Both sexes of muntjac are horned to a greater or lesser extent.