Friday, 9 September 2016

Kintyre

Our love of Scotland has this time brought us onto the Kintyre peninsula , to a lovely little cottage just outside Campbeltown. To be fair we had great weather a few months back last time in Scotland with 8 days of sunshine , and this week has been totally the opposite with rain every day and just small amounts of sunshine . It hasn't stopped us though just had to be in the right place when the sun did appear. One of the reasons for visiting this area was to visit the seabird observatory at Machrihanish.
It is manned daily from March to October by warden Eddie Maguire and what a guy. A mind of information and one of the friendliest persons you could ever wish to meet. The observatory is approximately 6 miles to the west of Campbeltown, just find Machrihanish village and look for the flag . Once inside its like an Aladdin's cave for birdwatchers everything including the kitchen sink . Now I thought I was fairly quick with my camera this guy saw three Knot flyby rattled three shots off and was looking at the images on the back of his camera before I had them in my sights , and all this while he was eating a piece of toast. The history of the place and the references to bird sightings and Eddies images on the wall are a must visit place for any birdwatchers in the area. Some images below from in and around the observatory.
Gannet.
Dunlin.
Twite.
Wheatear.
Common Seal.
Thanks Eddie for brightening up a rather grey week, keep up the work your doing my friend and get that revised book done see you next year. !!!!!!!!!!!! Birds seen from the MSBO during our visits. Gannet. Manx Shearwater. Razorbill. Shag. Cormorant. Knot. Dunlin. Ringed Plovers. Redshank. Eider Duck. Common Scoter. Red Breasted Merganser. Curlew. Oystercatcher. Twite. Northern and Greenland Wheatear. Rock Pipit. Peregrine Falcon. Buzzard. Grey Seal. Common Seal.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Sanderling

Numbers of Sanderling are now starting to increase as birds return from their northern breeding grounds .

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Barn Owl

When you come across a wild Barn Owl it just stops you in your tracks , silent majestic such a joy to watch in action.

Stratford Butterfly Farm

We paid another visit to Stratford Butterfly farm to see if there was anything new about and again we was not disappointed, I would recommend it to anyone who has no been .
Hamadryas amphinome.
Pathenos Slvia violaceae
Methona confuse.
Chlosyne gaudialis.
Colobura dirce.
Kallima paralekta.
Cethosia cyane.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Waders Returning.

This is one of the best times of the year to visit our coastline and inland waters as this is the time of the year for returning Wader passage. Look closely amongst the flocks of Dunlin and you could be rewarded with the much rarer Curlew Sandpaper.
Around our lakes and reservoir's you could be rewarded with a Wood Sandpiper.
Also the cousin of the Redshank the more elegant Spotted Redshank.
You could even be rewarded with a very rare bird like the one found at Blithfield Reservoir today a vagrant from American shores the appropriately named Lesser Yellowlegs.
This one was photographed some years ago at Thornham in Norfolk.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Bird Fair 2016

It was Tracy,s first visit to the annual Bird Fair at Rutland Water today . I have been many times before and its a great place to catch up with old and distant friends and make new ones and today was no exception . Getting in early gave us both the opportunity to have a chat and a photo with wildlife film maker and BBC presenter Simon King. To all my old friends I saw today it was good to catch up with you all again .

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Stratford ...

Its been a couple of months since we last visited the butterfly farm at Stratford , as it had forecast a cloudy day we decided this was the only chance we had of seeing any butterflies flying .... On checking their web site it seemed they had got a few new species to photograph,,
While we were there we bumped into one of Steves mates John and his son Alfie ...
Alfies new pet ..... The abundance of flowers and plant life out now in there is amazing ..
And lurking in the under growth ....
Finally a few more beauties ...

Monday, 4 July 2016

Ringlets Wixall

Ringlets were out in good numbers at Wixall along the approach track to the Moss , where around thirty individuals were on the wing . These allowed good photographic opportunities when the sun eventually came out. This is a butterfly that's hard to come across in Cheshire where we live , so myself and Trace did not pass on this opportunity to capture a few images . We have photographed some rare butterflies in the last few weeks with Chequered Skipper in Scotland , Wood Whites in Warwickshire and Black Hairstreaks in Northamptonshire . But I still get that buzz when capturing a reasonable image of one of the commoner species of butterfly , below is a small collection of yesterdays Ringlets at Wixall.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Wixall Moss

Myself and Trace decided to go over to Wixall in Shropshire this morning as the weather looked promising , the aim was for me to try and get better images of the Large Heath butterfly. This is easier said than done as they always sit low down in the grass making it very difficult to get a clean shot as shown in the image below , nice butterfly crap photo far to messy.
It took a long time a lot of patience and a large amount of luck to get one that decided to sit up just long enough to rattle of a couple of images .
Ringlets and Large Skippers proved a bit more obliging .
Also seen on today,s visit were Brown Hawker , White-faced Darter , Black Darter , Southern Hawker , Stonechat , Curlew , Raven and the added bonus of a Glossy Ibis on flood water just before the entrance to Wixall.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Black Hairstreak Butterfly's

Glapthorn Northamptonshire once part of Rockingham Forest this 69 acre wooded reserve near Oundle has stands of blackthorn scrub with glades and grassy areas , this provides ideal conditions for the Black Hairstreak . They have one of the shortest flight periods of all the British species only lasting around three weeks , it is one of our rarest butterflies only found at a handful of sites in the East Midlands. On arrival we meet the warden Dick Smith and having not been to this reserve before he immediately pointed us in the right direction and we were soon enjoying very close views of this stunning Butterfly. Seven were seen in total along with good numbers of Ringlet , Large Skipper , Meadow Browns and Speckled Wood . My old friend Dave Hutton and Donna appeared from nowhere and were soon photographing what we had seen over the last hour.