Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Ogston Reservoir

Yesterday afternoon after going to Cromford in the morning, I went to Ogston Reservoir, to go bird watching. It was a great afternoon. Here are some of the photographs taken, and a short movie.

Common Snipe:
This snipe came to about a metre away from the front of the hide, meaning I could get some good photographs of it.




I managed to get a little bit of footage.
video


Blue Tit:



Willow Tit:



Great Tit:
Even though this picture is blurred due to movement, I think it works really well.






Long Tailed Tit:



Blue Tit:



Great Spotted Woodpecker:
After waiting an hour at the bird hide, the woodpecker came, yet was scared off by something falling in the near by stream, it eventually came back, this is when I got this photograph.



Rabbit:



Baby Rat:
It's so cute!
Grey Squirrel:
(I can see you!)

Monday, 24 March 2008

Cromford Canal

I went to Cromford Canal this morning, to try again to look for the Hawfinch, yet didn't see it again. I did get a lot of photography done though, which was great. Here are some of the photographs:

Daisies:



Daffodils:


Flowering Currant:


Celandine:




Primrose:





Ivy and surroundings:
Now I'm off to Ogston to go bird watching, and maybe to do some more photography.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Animal cruelty

I've just been looking and posting on Bird Forum, and I came across a post named as "Badger shot dead", so I checked it out, it led me to an article on the Leicestershire Mercury website. Where I was horrified to see the title: "BADGER IS SHOT DEAD IN 'APPALLING' GUN ATTACK " I managed to read the first couple of paragraphs, before not being able to read anymore, it made me feel that sick, and upset I just couldn't read anymore. I don't think any article has upset me as much as this has, I had tears in my eyes.

I don't know what I'd do if I ever met the person who did this.


I don't know how anyone could such a thing, to such an innocent animal. WHY DO IT?


How can anyone hurt this animal?:

(This isn't my photograph by the way)


Click the picture to read the article.

Bird behaviour

Waking up to snow in the morning, is great, yet the first thing that crossed my mind was the birds in my garden, how had they coped, and had the frogspawn in my pond survived from the cold weather. The frogspawn had survived which was great news. Every morning the birds are fed in my garden, and because of the cold night it was almost as if a war broke out when the food was placed on the bird table.

Collared doves, and Starlings:

video

The greedy starlings:

video

By the way Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Best bird watching day for years - Part 2

I did go to Carsington, but first of all I went to Cromford, to have a look at the Hawfinch which have been seen at the church yard, yet I didn't see them. I did see some lovely looking daffodils though, so I spent about 5 minutes lying on the ground in mud, trying to get the right shot, I did get covered in mud, but it was worth it.




Carsington was great, I saw some great birds there as well, including a flock of Barnacle Geese which was nice. The snow was an extra bonus, I love being out in the snow, it's great.
Here are some of the birds I saw today at Carsington Waters:

Goldeneye:

Little Grebe:

So an amazing day, it's the best bird watching day I've had for years that's for sure, I think seeing the Waxwing this morning though was the highlight of my day.

Best bird watching day for years - Part 1

For many years now I have wanted to see a Waxwing, but had never seen one. Someone told me there was one just North of Chesterfield, so yesterday around midday I went and had a look and had no joy. It occured to me, morning may be a good time to go and see them because of it being a cold night, so I was out the house by 7.30 this morning to be at Chesterfield by 8.00. Eventually I saw one, I was over the moon, I managed to get only a few metres away from it and I got some great photographs of it.

Waxwing:





About an hour later I went to Lenacre Reservoir (just up the road), where I saw some Whooper Swans, 5 goosanders (1 male and 4 female) and I also heard a woodpecker drumming, yet sadly I didn't see it.
Whooper Swans
Goosander

So a very successful start to the day, now I'm off to Carsington Waters, for a walk, and to do some more bird watching and wildlife photography. I just can't live without it.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

28 bird species seen and heard today

BBC weather forecast said this morning the weather would be great, and it was. I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to get some good photographs, so out I went. I was out most of the day probably about 5 hours, photographing and filming wildlife at my local bird club. I came back with some good photographs, and some great footage on my camcorder. The footage needs to be edited, and when it has I'll add it to the blog.

Here's a picture from my local bird club that I took today:


As it says above I saw 28 species of birds today. Here they are:

  • 2 Common Buzzards
  • 13+ Herons (Heronry)
  • 2 Long Tailed Tits
  • 25 Canada Geese
  • 16 Coots
  • 2 Robins
  • 1 Blackbird
  • 4 Mallards (2 of which were courting, and then eventually mated, this was caught on film)
  • 3 Moorhen
  • 6 Great Tits
  • 4 Chaffinch
  • 6 Blue Tits
  • 1 Common Snipe
  • 5 Lapwings
  • 2 Wrens
  • 2 Magpies
  • 1 Cormorant
  • 1 Teal
  • 1 Oystercatcher
  • 1 Chiffchaff (Heard. The first chiffchaff I've heard this year)
  • 1 Pied Wagtail
  • 1 Great Crested Grebe
  • 2 Willow Tits
  • 2 Dunnock
  • 8 Greenfinch
  • 1 Domestic Goose (this may not officially count because it's domestic but i've counted it anyway)
  • 2 Woodpigeon
  • 2 Jackdaws
I saw my first wasp of the year today. I'm sure it's far to early for them - Global warming.

Awful weather conditions

Yesterday afternoon, I went to my local bird club for a couple of hours, the weather was awful, but if you're interested in the environment, you have to brave these weather conditions. I saw a lot of interesting birds.
Here's what I saw:
  • 6 Teal
  • 4 Coots
  • 5 Moorhen
  • 4 Chaffinch
  • 25+ Lapwings
  • 4 Tufted Ducks
  • 50+ Black Headed Gulls
  • 3 Common Snipe
  • 1 Long Tailed Tit
  • 2 House Sparrows
  • 4+ Great Tits
  • 5+ Blue Tits
  • 1 Wren

Friday, 7 March 2008

Whale hunting petition

Please sign this petition.
Whales are being slaughtered, in the Faroe Islands. They're being driven into harbours where they're stabbed with harpoons, so they die a slow and painful death.
I have already got a lot of people to sign it already from my school, you can help.
If you do sign it let me know.
Thanks
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Pilot-whales/

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Treecreepers

Today at school, on the way to my Geography lesson, I saw two birds, one chasing the other, I walked over to where they landed, and one flew away. Someone said something to me, I turned around and there was a teacher standing right behind me, asking me what I was doing, I said "I'm observing a bird". I didn't half get a strange look. When I say I'm a birdwatcher, some people think I'm really strange, and some people treat me differently from everyone else, because I'm a birdwatcher and I'm extremely passionate about the the environment. I don't like it.
Anyway after the teacher went, I continued observing the bird, which I couldn't get a clear view of because it was in the ivy, it eventually emerged, it was a treecreeper, I was very happy because I hadn't seen one for a while. It was odviously searching for a nest site, which is why it had a rival.
I got to about a metre of it, and thought, if I had my camera and a tripod, I could have got some fantastic photos, and some amazing close ups. Yet of course I didn't have my camera because I was at school, I wouldn't have taken it anyway even if it mean't some amazing photographs, because a camera is a very important piece of kit I wouldn't trust people if I had it at school.
What a great day, other than getting some strange looks from people.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Council - hedge cutting

Yesterday the local council were trimming the hedges around my village. They odviously don't care about the environment in the very slighest, either that or they are incredibly stupid (which is quite likely), because what they don't seem to realise is that this is the time of year when birds begin finding a mate, and build a nest. House sparrows nest in some of these hedges, and use them as protection, without them, they'll have to find other places, making it more stressful. Hedges should be trimmed late in the year, not now!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Peregrine Falcons - Derby Cathedral

The project to help the Peregrines has been organised by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Derby Cathedral and Derby City Council's Museum Service.
There's a live webcam on Derby Cathedral so you can watch the chicks grow up when they are born and then if you're lucky watch them fledge.

http://195.224.106.202/peregrine/webcam.htm

Last year I went a few times to Derby to have a look at the Peregrines (I had never seen them before). The first time I went I saw the parents, and the 2 young they raised in the ready built nest. The second time I went one of the young had fledged, yet only to the front of the Cathedral yet was quite close, the other stayed at the nest site. I did get some reasonably good pictures, not fantastic pictures I admit.

This picture was of the juvenile at the front of the Cathedral.


Here is the other juvenile which is still at the nest site.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Ogston Bird Club monthly bird walk

Today was the monthly bird walk at Ogston Bird Club (my local bird club). Even though it was raining and there was a very strong wind, it doesn't bother me in the slightest, I’ll go out in all weathers, it's what you have to prepare yourself for if your interested in the environment. You have to get out in it, to appreciate it all.
The bird walk occurs the first Saturday of every month, from 9.30 to around 12.00, it does mean getting up early, but it's well worth it. I saw some great birds today, and found out some interesting information from people I know there.
Here's the list of species I saw:
  • 2 Great Crested Grebes, which were courting, which was great because I had never seen it before.
  • Heronry – consisting of 20 herons. Which I had also never seen before.
  • 12+ Canada Geese
  • 15+ Teal
  • 2 Mallard
  • 1 Stonechat
  • 1 Buzzard
  • 6+ Coots
  • 25+ Lapwings
  • 2 Nuthatch
  • 1 Willow Tit
  • 5+ Common Gulls
  • 10+ Black Headed Gulls
  • 1 Woodpigeon
  • 2 Blackbirds
  • 1 Wren
  • 2 Robin
  • 2 Redwing
  • 2 Mistle Thrush
  • 2 Long Tailed Tits
  • 2 Blue Tits
  • 3 Great Tits
  • 7 Starlings
  • 5+ Chaffinch
  • 2 female Greenfinch
  • 1 Kestrel