Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Mediterranean - Beautiful South

It was yesterday's Readership Total, via the Stat Counter, that was the highlight of the past couple of days, with the steady but relatively low daily count suddenly, and seemingly without reason, TREBLING as can be seen on Total Pageviews! I guess, like myself, all BLOGGERS love to see a high turn-out and similarly like to advertise their wears, so here's your chance to disseminate our link, small return for the effort put in. 
along with a HUGE Thank You for whoever is responsible for upping the Counter!
To contradict myself straight away, there was an equally joyous moment as we received communication from our dear friend Chris Cook in distant Japan. We keep in touch from time to time and receive equal enjoyment to learn of each others recent meanderings. For those who know Chis it will come as no surprise to hear that when work as Fashion Editor for the Tokyo News he has been 'out in the field'. Here are some of his findings.
SIBERIAN WHITE CRANE
 SCALY-SIDED MERGANSER
and, dependant on 'point of view' best until last
BONIN WHITE-EYE
an 'endemic' of Hahajima Island, Japan.
The Moth Traps were a little devoid over the weekend with just
 DOTTED CHESTNUT
 of note from the Garden trap, so onward to the North.
 
 At the Solar Panel Security Fence
it looked as though PHEASANT (ORDINAIRE) was trying to get out,
while one of the (Dark Morph) Hand Reared was trying to get in?
 
 The scene at the Irrigation Pond was not a pretty one, it was immediately
noted that disaster had struck. Despite applying a couple of stout lashings
to counter the impending gale of Monday night, poor old
Tommy Chippendale had taken a severe list to starboard.
 On the bright-side,

COOT
at both Parley Pond and here seem to have commenced 'nest building',
but thus far only exchanges of material between the pair has been noted.
In recent days we have been trying a new, to me at least, method
of Moth Catching using an
 ACTINIC TRAP
 A battery powered, 'low voltage' Fluorescent Tube is used in lieu
of the more usual Mercury Vapour Lamp, supplied from the mains,
with the first outing proving a
Great Success.
 A good catch for here, although we did have one last year,
RED SWORD-GRASS
followed by a
 Batch of Eggs
attributed to
 COMMON QUAKER
 for no other reason than they outnumber every other species 10 to 1.
 
CLOUDED DRAB
With the trap set close to Aspens we are ever watchful for the elusive
and similar Lead-coloured Drab.
Not this time Matey!
 SMALL QUAKER
 Another 'first for the year' the delightful
 PINE BEAUTY
Then from within the Gorse the sweet refrain of our first
BLACKCAP
of the year.
There were in fact c2, both males, but as there was no evidence of a
Female
we draw on the archive to show the comparison between the sexes.
Male and Female
STONECHAT
have now become commonplace at the Solar Panel farm and are
thought highly likely to 'nest' there?
The past couple of days have also produced a prile of
'First of the Year' Butterflies.
SMALL TORTOISESHELL

SMALL WHITE
and

PEACOCK
while a
lone
STARLING
looked very handsome too.
A dedicated search was made yesterday to establish just how many
Northern Thrushes are still on the property with obliging
FIELDFARE
numbering 21 while Redwing numbers were considered to be double that.
 
The Noise Abatement Society was represented by this
Swiss BOMBARDIER BD-700-1A10 GLOBAL 6000
being put through its paces, landing and taking off continuously
throughout the afternoon from
Bournemouth International Airport
right next door.
Not enough din to flush the small party of Gulls favouring one of the
Horse Paddocks, but they were jittery. Unfortunately distant among
the Black-headed Gulls a rare visitor here, a
MEDITERRANEAN GULL
not only that but an adult (right) in
Full Summer Plumage
The accursed aircraft's persistence eventually paid off, putting them all to flight, but a close eye was kept as the target bird appeared to land behind the Manor at 18 Acre. This, of course, was followed up only to find a further c2 (in similar plumage) along with a 'sub-adult'. To afford a closer look we delved into the archive.
Adult Breeding
Winter Adult (not seen) with a lookalike of the younger bird seen.
Back at Parley Pond
'building works had continued apace during my absence
with a decent foundation having been laid.
A 'tailess'
MAGPIE
much preferred would be the bodiless kind!
and finally, Spring Sprucing continues on Hugh's beloved
Grass Tennis Court.
Entry            Pageviews
United Kingdom
                359
United States
                237
Germany
                104
Russia
                  95
France
                  42
Lebanon
                  21
Estonia
                  18
Ukraine
                  16
Canada
                  10
Japan
                    6 - 'Big in Japan', Cheers Chris and Ponny

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Pictures at an Exhibition - Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Well not quiet, but more a chance to share my experiences
of yesterday via this 'extra' Post which is by way of a 
PICTORIAL.  
 Out on the wiley, windy moors
We'd roll and fall in green.

but first of all an amendment
I can very much live with my cock-ups and foibles, but when one presents itself just moments after a Master Class on a particular subject it is a little less easy to swallow! It was only a matter of days ago an excellent image of a Tawny Pinion Moth was received which was studied gleefully. So why then when one was caught just 2 days later was it identified and published as PALE Pinion? Answers on a Post card. Anyway, this is not a Pale Pinion but a
TAWNY PINION
with the appropriate amendment having been made to that Post.
"Must Try Harder"! 
It wasn't inspiration that set me off (there's never any shortage of that in Wildlife) but stood there watching and listening to 'roding' Woodcock at dusk on Thursday it was decided to confine my wandering of the following day to the nearby Heathland Habitat. Just to dwell on those enigmatic, nocturnal Waders for a moment, at that time of day their presence is firstly betrayed by a high pitched, Sonar like 'ping' followed by a prolonged quiet growl which sets their throat and flank feathers vibrating. With bills pointing ground-wards and at breakneck speed they occasionally 'fan' tail feathers and trail their legs. Good job there was no invitation to dinner that evening - I would have been Absent From Place of Duty, and we all know what that means!
WOODCOCK
image for illustration purposes without permission from Wikipedia.
Prior to that, and as announced in the Stop Press of the Last Post, there was also an afternoon highlight during a short break between wanders. Sat comfortable in Slight Return II a flash past the window had me jumping to my feet, grabbing the camera and once again heading for the Great Outdoors. There, for no more than one minute was our first
HOUSE MARTIN
of the year. It remained in flight throughout and disappeared as quickly
as it had arrived with the archive photograph again just for illustration.
Regardless of the temptations ahead, we cannot forsake the Moth Traps
even though they only contained species which have been caught previously.
 COMMON QUAKER
 HEBREW CHARACTER
 SMALL QUAKER
 EARLY GREY
YELLOW HORNED
and delayed even further at Parley Pond.
It would seem that Lightning had struck Twice as a further c2
GREYLAG GEESE
where in one of the Horse Paddocks close by.
Anyroad, we got there in the end and while the camera
doesn't do the terrain much justice, this was to be my workshop
for at least the rest of the morning.
My 4 Mates, the
GALLOWAY COWS
were already chewing their way through more Heather and Bristle Bent
Grass as the first gentle 'scratching' call of a
DARTFORD WARBLER
was heard and quickly located.
A male 'displaying' (note the slightly outstretched wings) this being
the only one of about 2 dozen shots to show this.
Calls and song were coming from all directions so what was needed
was to station the Best Bird Hide in the World strategically.
The ST'RANGE ROVER
is a perfect hide as mobile, comfortable and no annoying 'bird watchers'
waxing lyrical about the last sodding Starling they saw in Aberystwyth.
Much beneficial clearance work has been done here over the winter
period, rooting out invasive Trees and Gorse, so it was very easy to find a car park.
Having set up stall, another Dartford, then another and another.
During the full morning there were considered to have been c15
distinct and different individuals seen.
Enter the
GREENFINCH
What a large bird they look in 'display flight'.
Again just about 'puffing' its wings but the main action was missed.
MEADOW PIPIT
are now well into their display flights here.
Rising to altitude
before descending 'directly' back to earth
while extending their breasts.
Would seem the 'flocks' of
LONG-TAILED TIT
once ranging widely and numerous across the Farm
have now dispersed,
with just c2 (pair?) found here on the Heath
where previously there were a dozen or more.
Distracted momentarily, there is now a need to keep an eye on these
Aircraft Hanger Roofs
since Dave Foot pointed out the build up of Gulls there on his recent last visit.
HERRING GULL
are most numerous, but there have also been c4 Lesser Black-backed
and a single Greater Black-backed Gull showing interest.
Anecdotal evidence shows that Herring at least have bred here in the past.
During the distraction this Passenger Jet was preparing for take-off,
so we are able to bring you a
2006 - DASSAULT FALCON 2000EX
You don't go far here, even on the Heath, without a
ROBIN
being in attendance - MAGIC!
Without the foot on the accelerator there is enough motion to
get close'ish to the next bird
STONECHAT
but not as close as the Dartfords had been,
oh look, there's another!
and another
Stonechat
and another
Dartford
and another, OK that'll do!
Exiting the Heath and heading for the Sewerage Works
this was just one of c8
COMMON BUZZARD
on the wing together and at great height.
First to be heard at the new site was a very vocal, but not at all trusting
Willow Warbler
however this looked more like a Chiffchaff to me of which
there are now quite a lot.
The first
COMMA BUTTERFLY
of the Year was good to see but we were still trying for the
Vocal Warbler
all and any opinions would be most welcome.
This is all we got of a lone but noisy
NUTHATCH
but there was just slightly better success with this clump of
RED DEAD-NETTLE
Hope you enjoyed this Extra Post, now watch them play.
video

video

video
Entry            Pageviews
United Kingdom
                 357
United States
                 248
Germany
                 136
Russia
                   94
France
                   51
Ukraine
                   20
Lebanon
                   16
Estonia
                   15
Canada
                     9
Argentina
                     8