30 Days Wild 2019 – Day 27

I was sat at work working my way through the ever expanding to do list when one of my office mates came up to me ‘you like birds, there are some swallows nesting above a door way. Thought you might like to know’. So of course I headed out to have a look.  I was quite surprised to find them nesting above an active door; their nest was above a light and below a concrete porch so it was very well protected.  If my colleague hadn’t seen one of the parents flying into the nest we would never had known it was there.  They have obviously found it to be a very good nest as there are five young not far from fledging.

I was very cautious about taking a photo.  At work the longest lens I have is 200mm! I waited for both of the parents to be well away from the nest before getting a little closer, grabbing a very quick photo, before fleeing back to the cover of a nearby tree before the parents returned.  I stood and watched them feeding for a minute or two before heading back to my desk. 

Nb. This photo is heavily cropped as I didn’t want to get too close and disturb them.

RSPB Radipole – April 2017

My second day at the coast was spent at RSPB Radipole.  I had seen online the locations where certain species had been seen on site so I had an idea of where I wanted to go. I headed out towards the new screen.  Having never been to Radipole before I was a little puzzled by the number of people with shopping bags – it all became clear when I realised there is a housing estate on the other side; what a lovely route to walk into town. It was an overcast day and I soon realised on arrival at the screen that I should have been better prepared and worn more layers! The wind was blowing in the right direction to come straight through the viewing slats!

The Marsh Harriers were active, with three riding the thermals at one point.  They didn’t come over the screen on this occasion, staying on the far end of the site, it was lovely to see them gliding gracefully across the sky, I kept thinking about the houses that look over the site wondering if the people there stop to watch.  There were a couple of Little Egret and a Grey Heron who were constantly moving around feeding in front of the screen. 

I finally saw a Cetti’s Warbler, I had been hearing them all day but they are so difficult to locate.  I saw something fly into the base of a bush, I got down to its level and could just see it though the twigs and leaves.  It isn’t a great photo, but it is the first one I’ve actually seen! I would have thought there must be about 15 on site.

When visiting an RSPB site I always have lunch in their Café, that most of the sites have, I think it’s a great way to help fund the charity and also help local suppliers; they always use local produce where possible.  The food, drinks and especially cakes are always of a superb standard ☺

It was sad to see that the Mute Swan next to the Discovery Centre no longer had eggs, there was a Mallard sat on the nest when I was there. I don’t know why they were gone but I did hear someone say it could have been rats and later during the afternoon I saw a Brown Rat so I guess that could explain it.  I liked seeing the Hooded Merganser trying to take control of the waters and chasing the Tufted Ducks at every turn.  He has now been living there for 10 years, he obviously found a good home when he flew off course all that time ago.  

Late afternoon I headed to the concrete bridge to watch the Swallows over the reeds.  I saw something out of the corner of my eye, got the camera lined up, took one shot and it was gone – it was a Bearded Tit!  Unfortunately it had a reed in front of it but I am still please with the shot, it’s the first picture I have managed to get of one actually in reeds!  RSPB Leighton Moss is a great place to take pictures of them on the grit trays.  The Swallows were not so easy to get a shot of!    

My full sightings list:
Birds: Gadwall, Canada geese, Marsh Harrier, Moorhen, Swallows, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Mallard, Coot, Teal, Magpie, Great Tit, Cetti’s Warbler, Carrion Crow, Tufted Ducks, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great-crested Grebe, Dunnock, Bearded Tit, Hooded Merganser, Blackbird
Mammals: Brown Rat 
Butterflies: Speckled Wood

Summer 2014

For each of my seasonal blog posts I have a list of ‘images I’d like to take’. Some of them get a tick next to them and some I just don’t find! Summer has been a season of not finding what I have been looking for (maybe a Field Mouse and Skylark were a little bit of a dream find). Not being out and about as much as I would have liked due other commitments has definitely reduced my chances of finding the more easily found animals.

I have however got the bases of my list for next Summer! I now know where to find the Flower Meadow and Lavender fields and I’m sure there are mice in my friend’s field as the cat managed to find one – shame I can’t ask her to show me where she caught it!

Next week is my first week off from the day job this year so I’m going to start taking Autumn images early!