Sunday, 29 September 2013


No YBW's this far inland unfortunately but plenty of Chiffchaffs many still singing and some heavy local movement of Skylarks to their feeding grounds on cultivated fields near the airport.
This Chaff isn't a Carr bird as they stay up in the trees and not good to photograph. This is one of AJJ's ringed jobbies at Big Waters.
The sun brought a smattering of Dragonflies out at Banks this female Common Hawker being the best and captured egg laying by a Wren (Chris that is). Unfortunately I couldn't find any Black Darters for him. I also had a chat with the bloke that controls the shooting on the pond and although they don't shoot there he advised the season was starting and they are on the lookout for poachers so anybody looking suspicious on the Blagdon Estate would be challenged. Can't imagine why they think some fat balding wandering git with a camera staring into a bush is suspicious. Dragon season is conveniently concluding so it shouldn't be an issue.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Stuck in a rut

No it's not gone to meet it's maker. Prestwick Carr sheep are cool. It just rolled over whilst having a nap and got stuck. I checked in the bins and it was no stiffy but wiggling its legs as it basked in the evening gloming.  You'll be familiar with sheep shearing where they put the sheep on its back to calm it. Well it can happen by accident. A quick trip by Sandy into the field to right the marooned beast and all was well.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

An easy lifer

Work ethic out the window. Bluethroat at St Mary's ....magic. Pitched up late morning and was greeted by Brian R and Alan J who directed me to the second mound. Walked up and there she was surrounded by a dozen folk just twenty feet away. Brief views through grass it disappeared into the undergrowth to re-appear on the path ten minutes later but was flushed by a manic dog, Eventually showed in the bushes and dropped back down onto the path where I had positioned myself at the north end and the beauty just hopped up the path as had been described to me by others present..
No zoom necessary I had to play the statue as the bird worked its way past me no more than two foot distant.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Missed the shot but got the action

Using Mondays sunshine to eek the last interest out of summer I stood by Banks Pond trying to add to the species list. I aimed at a Water Boatman and took the shot only to find it had dived at that precise moment.
Far more interesting than the shot I was trying to get.
This aphid (?) appeared to be traveling rapidly across the water but on closer inspection was hopefully dead and being propelled by the little bugs taking chunks out of it.....nice.

Sunday, 22 September 2013


Having spent Friday pontificating to all that I had given up taking pictures of dots on the horizon I seem to have spent all weekend doing just that! My five minutes viewing the the American Golden Plover before the tide forced me to return to land left me unfulfilled so I returned on Saturday to relive the experience. Chris B managed to get some good shots but this was the best I managed. Dots on a dot.
 Then it was my proposal for the 'spot the Peregrine' competition on Saturday afternoon.
  and today on my webs a Seal having a fish breakfast at Newburn. All very grey so....................
The warm weather brought out more dragonflies at Banks with this nice Common Hawker along with many mating Common Darters, Emerald Damsels
and a colourful surround for this Black Hawker. Also flying on the Carr Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Large, Small and Green veined White Butterflies.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Whose garden is it?

I beg to differ and leave my spuggies alone!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Last chance unless summer turns Indian

As the fleece jackets are unpacked from storage this will likely be the last posting of summer colour all taken last week before the bleak winds set in. Ruddy Darters still active at Banks Pond.
Best year ever for Common Blues with half a dozen including two camera shy females flying there till Friday.
Up the Bridle track on Sunday a Southern Hawker finally rested after buzzing me when I strayed into his hunting path between the trees. 

Monday, 16 September 2013

Autumn movement

A brief one before my broadband contracts again. Saturday morning and lots of Meadow Pipit and Skylark action overhead probably local birds but like the Swallows on the line preparing to depart. Twenty five Pied Wagtails in the horse fields and good flocks of Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Bullfinch. The afternoon I headed up the coast where, compared to previous weeks, there was little of note. A distant Red throated Diver at Snab point was the highlight so I returned to the patch where whilst chatting on the viewing platform a small group of birds were flycatching in the reeds nearby consisting of a female Stonechat and two or three Whinchat. That's 105 for the list and makes up partly for the Spotted Flycatcher people are telling me about but I still can't find.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Hot Thursday

The warm sun of Thursday brought a late bloom of life at Banks Pond. Three emperors chased whilst Common and Ruddy still flew in small numbers with Emerald the most common damsel. The good butterfly year continued with three male and two female Common Blues and my fifth Speckled Wood of the year. Some new critters as well with these two being the most colourful.
Having spent all summer photographing every bug and beastie I can find to compile a patch species list I can now look forward to six months trying to identify them all before the process starts again. My current tentative suggestions for these are Leafhopper Cicadella viridis and Caddis fly possibly Limnephilus lunatus.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


I haven't seen lots of competition between man and fly for Blackberries however this one plant near Banks Pond is infested with feeding flies mainly the yellow winged job (Mesembrina meridiana) that normal sunbathes on tree trunks.
Made a good job of polishing off this berry!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Friday, 6 September 2013

Autumn bursting out all over

Some nice clusters of fungus appearing around the Carr. My favourite is Turkeytail.
Please feel free to correct my crappy ID skills as I tend not to want to destroy the fungus to have a good look at the gills for a positive ID. Clustered Toughshank possibly.
Bitter Bracket on a tree just around the corner from the one below of which I'm currently unsure.
Both are on trees just feet from the sentry box on the Bridle track

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Seeing double spots between my eyes

I found this 22 spot ladybird on my perambulation this evening
and then on the same plant another. Double spots and I haven't touched a drop ........yet.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Patch update

Bird life beginning to pick up after the summer lull. A nice party of Bullfinches, mainly juveniles on the bumpy road along with various mixed Tit flocks. No waders on passage as there is no standing water although 20 Golden Plover passed overhead prospecting do doubt. A large flocks of Finches, mainly Linnets, on the horse fields with Swallows gathering for departure.
The first sighting by Paddy of a Short eared Owl last Friday is supported by evidence left on the Wildlife Trusts observation platform. It's amazing how the pellets are so often left on the perch rather than dropping to the ground.
Glad to see something using said platform which has generated a variety of response from the locals and it appears the six ponies whose task is to keep the rough pasture grazed find it handy for a snack!