Saturday, 31 March 2012

WWF's Earth Hour

So, it's that time of year again, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is asking as many people all over the globe to turn off their lights for one hour. The point of this is "about people coming together to put the focus on this brilliant world we all share – and how we need to protect it. Not just for an hour a year, but every day." You can click on the link below to watch a video on this fantastic event. I've signed up, are you going to?

Earth Hour UK video

Ogston (March 25th)

A visit on a sunny afternoon to my local patch for a few hours a few days ago.

Willow Tit

Reed Bunting



Common snipe

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Black-necked grebe at Kingsmill Reservoir

Black-necked Grebe
On Sunday, I did my usual morning check on birdguides to see what bird species were in my local area: there was a black-necked grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) at Kingsmill Reservoir in Derbyshire.

I wasn't holding out much hope of seeing the bird. I'd almost finished walking the reservoir, when a fellow birdwatcher saw the grebe in the distance, and with a telescope the views were fantastic.

Chiffchaffs (Phylloscopus collybita) were heard.

Other birds seen: coot (Fulica atra), moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), gadwall (Anas strepera), pochard (Aythya ferina), mute swan (Cygnus olor), house sparrows (Passer domesticus), little grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus), blackbird (Turdus merula) black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus), lapwings (Vanellus vanellus), mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and canada geese (Branta canadensis).

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Cromford Canal (March 11th)

On Sunday I went back to Cromford for the second day running in the hope of viewing the hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) that appear there every year. The hawfinch is a shy bird and is often seen feeding off the surrounding trees around the church yard and up to Willesley Castle, so I knew where to look. With little success I joined a few other birdwatchers and walked along the river to see what was about. I saw a fleeting glimpse of a kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), a grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea), a wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) and several dippers (Cinclus cinclus). I managed to get a photograph of the wren, and then the dipper. The dipper didn't seem at all concerned or threatened by my presence, it was a privilege to share the river for a short time with such a wonderful bird.

The birdwatchers I'd spent the past half hour or so with were in Derbyshire for the day and they wished to see the bramblings (Fringilla montifringilla) at Bumper Castle but were not too sure how to get there. They followed my dad and I there and we got a few fleeting glimpses of them. Alongside the bramblings, we all got fantastic views of treecreepers (Certhia familiaris) and nuthatches (Sitta europaea).


Monday, 12 March 2012

My own back garden

Common frog (Rana temporaria)

The first frogs appeared in the pond in my garden a few days ago and yesterday the first spawn appeared (Sunday), and today there's more. 

You can submit your frogspawn records to:

Common frogs (Rana temporaria)

The photograph above is of 3 frogs mating, the female in the middle: it has been known for females to drown during mating.