Wednesday 30 March 2011

Weds 30th March 2011 Ingrebourne , Rainham, Belhus

Wasn't the best of weather today after all that sunshine we've had lately but the only full day we could get out this week.   Firstly Russ and I checked out the Paddock for wheatears and sure enough there was one there at last, hope it's the first of many.   Always a stunning bird and we got a few OK? shots.   While we were watching the wheatear there was a Yellowhammer right above our heads.   We then moved on to rspb Rainham and did a circuit of the reserve.  It was a bit quiet but we did see,  2 Little- ringed Plovers, a few Snipe, some Chiffchaffs and plenty of wildfowl.   The weather took a turn for the worst so we headed off and ended up at Belhus where we got soaked but managed to spot some Snipe ,  Redshanks and 4 Sand Martins and that was it until a better day.

Friday 25 March 2011

Ingrebourne Valley

Checked along the ingrebourne today behind St Georges where the dredging took place.  There has been  Water Vole activity which is a good sign.  Found a few fresh dropping markings outside a couple of holes.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Spring is here from mon the 21st march

The time has come, what a week,  especially today weds.   It was like summer.   These photo's are of some of the birds and animals I have seen recently.  It seems like an army of Chiffchaffs have arrived and the army of Waxwings are retreating.  What a spectacle they were this winter.   I have seen the Kingfisher at the same place recently, so I shall have to keep my eye on that.  Although there has been an upheaval at the ingrebourne this last month there are positive signs of the Water voles.  It was amazing to see the amount of golf balls that came out of the river,  they looked like mushrooms pushing up through the discarded mud.   Iv'e noticed that since then someone has picked them.      What are we going to see in the next few weeks? it's mouth watering.

female Adder


I hope so

Saturday 5 March 2011

Spring is nearly here,   (Adder)

Helping the Swifts

Following the Swift box plans by Edward Mayer of London Swifts I completed 3 boxes which I have now fixed to the side of my house and am hoping they will work for them,  if not,  perhaps house sparrows.   Surely not wasps or bees?

Tuesday 1 March 2011

A week in Brittany

LocmariaquerWe spent the last 8 days at friend Arthurs typical french stone farmhouse situated some 10 miles south of Pontivy in the beautiful Blavet valley.  The old house is surrounded by agricultural fields usually growing maize which is used for animal feed and the stubble left this time of year attracts hundreds of finches, buntings and thrushes.    While I was there this time I decided to make an owl box out of the numerous peices of oak lying around.  It took me 3 days to make and because there was only a 200 year old 10 foot oak ladder weighing a ton I couldn't get the box up any tree so it ended up in the roof of the woodshed, don't know if anything will use it,  wasps or bees I expect.    Anyway while clearing up the garden we uncovered a Fire Salamander under some damp leaves,  an amazing looking creature, very slow moving with an unusual lifestile.   We spent some of the days on the south Brittany coast which is somewhat like the west country and has similar birds like Black Redstarts, Cirl Buntings,  Buzzards and Ravens ect:      The Golfe Du Morbihan is a fantastic area for birds, lots of little creeks and marshes with a number of reserves where they have an important ringing program.  Out on the Briny there are plenty of small islands some of which you can stay on.   On sunday 20th feb we went to Locmariaquer,  after having some moules frites with a few glasses of plonk for lunch we went for a walk along the shore.  We got quite a shock when we got down there,  because it was a very low tide half the local french population were there collecting shellfish from among the rocks.  Despite all this at a usually quiet place there was still plenty about.  Quite a few Med Gulls were swimming around with a good number of Brent Geese.   On another day, at Larmor- plage I found the Black Redstarts where I had seen them other years,  feeding around the old concrete gun enplacements.     The weather all week was overcast except for a couple of days but there was not a lot of rain.    Mais,  On y s'muse toujours.
Mediterranean Gulls
Golden Plovers
Little Egret
Rock Pipit
Black-Necked Grebe
Fire Salamander
Black Redstart
Large Bugs
Grey Wagtail
KingFisher St -Nicolas-Des-Eaux
Ring Plover

Owl Box?