Sunday, 31 July 2011

Horse Shoe Pass

Popped over to Llangollen today just for some where to go and have a gentle stroll around.
The town was quite busy with a 1960's weekend on at the Railway with most of the home fleet seeing some action.

BR Green class 109 DMU leaves Llangollen

31162 just arrived at Llangollen
After walking around the town we headed up to the Horse Show Pass for lunch, as always it was over flowing with balding over weight born again bikers aka donors on wheels.
After a bite to eat I left Lesley to have a nap in the car and walked over to the quarry workings to see what was around. As I walked across the bit of heath/moor I saw Meadow Pipit, Linnet and Stone Chat plus a Peregrine flew over head, and then could be heard calling from some where near by.
Around the quarry and the edge of the heath were quite a few juvenile Wheater which lead me a merry dance for a while till I could get into a spot where I could get closer enough for a shot but not disturb them.

Meadow Pipit, I seem to be seeing alot of these this year.

Juvenile Wheatear

Juvenile Wheatear

Peak District Wanderings

Well Saturday's plan was to go and visit the great little farmers market at Bakewell and have a nice lunch out.
The plan didn't quite work out, due to Bakewell show being next week the farmers market had been brought forward by a week thus we were a week late like quite a few people who were asking where it was.
Oh well at least we had a nice lunch out.
So plan B was put into action and I don't mean the music chap (his CD was sitting at home), first port of call was Derbyshire Bridge always a scenic part of the moors and can hold some good birds. In the car park was a mixed flock of Blue/Great Tits and adult and juvenile Willow Warblers, plus what I thought were two Tree Pipits that put in a very brief show.

Juvenile Willow Warbler

Adult Willow Warbler
From here it was over to Dane Bower Quarry, a nice little spot were you can just sit back and enjoy the view and the birds.
Here I managed to add Meadow Pipit, Wheatear, Wren and Linnet.

Juvenile Meadow Pipit Dane Bower Quarry

Wren Dane Bower Quarry

Posing Wren Dane Bower Quarry

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Cannock Chase

Didn't feel like doing too much today after working in the garden in the morning, just felt like enjoying the sun.

So Lesley and me popped down to Cannock Chase first off was a spot of lazy birding from the car at Freda's Grave, just Blue, Great, Coal and Willow Tit plus Chaffinch on show round the feeding area.
In the near by shrubs were a few Whitethroat can't seem to go any where with out seeing these. Plus across the heath a female Fallow Deer and fawn dashed past.

Fallow Deer Cannock Chase

Then cruised down towards the big chunk of rock that is the glacial boulder, last year I saw a family group of Redstarts down here this time though just a single lone Juv male.

Juvenile Redstart Cannock Chase

Juvenile Redstart Cannock Chase
Just down from this spot I know there is a small pool which I though might hold a few Dragonflies, I am no expert at what I am looking at but enjoy seeing and photographing them when I get the chance.

Young Common Darter

Emperor Dragonfly at Cannock Chase
First go at taking flight shots of these, only noticed on the photo how it hangs its leg down to grab its prey.
Large Skipper on Cannock Chase


Paid the Notts Wildlife Trust site at Attenborough a visit on Friday.
Even on a week day this place is getting to be quite busy, but always well worth a visit any time of year.

Quite a few Whitethroats around the car park area one looking rather worse for ware, probably an adult trying to recover from raising their little ones.

Adult Whitethroat at Attenborough looking rather shabby

Juv Whitethroat at Attenborough
Heading over to the visitor centre there were plenty of Common Terns flying around which I always find a great sight.

Common Tern

Common Tern Attenborough
In the reeds just by the raised path leading to the visitor centre was a family group of Reeds Warblers being fed by the parents the pair of fledglings sticking close to one another.

Young Reed Warbler Attenborough

Pair of young Reed Warblers

Seen passing along the line just by the reserve were 37069 and 610 on a track section departmental working.
37069 leading and 610 haul a rake of track panels from Toton to Mossend past Attenborough.
From the tower hide the usual suspects were seen Black Headed Gull, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch, Reed Warbler, Coot, Mute Swan, Grey Heron

Whitethroat at Attenborough

Reed Warbler at Attenborough
Walking around the paths again more Whitethroat were seen seems like it has been a good year for them at least at Attenborough it has, every other group of trees seemed to hold a family group.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Anglesey Visit

Been a couple of years since Lesley and me did any birding on Anglesey, and then it was only South Stack (not that is a bad place), but there is far more places to visit on the island. So with a good forecast off we went.
First port of call was Cemlyn Bay, firstly the sat nav didn't think the place existed and the road signs only helped off the main A5025 thus we firstly did a circuit from one end of the lane to the other second time we found the right lane to go down to the car park.
A great spot just tricky to find anyone would think us English aren't welcome (only joking) just by the car park were two Red Breasted Merganser hunting in the lagoon.
After walking along the shingle beach which Lesley being 8 months pregnant was finding tricky we got to the Tern colony as per last week at Gronant a noisy place, we were soon were enjoying watching Tern after Tern flying in with fish. Artic, Sandwich with the old Common for good measure. Even had a few Artic Terns right by where we were walking.
Among the Sea Kale was a very showy Meadow Pipit.
Feeding on the rock spit where a few Terns were resting up were a few Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher.
Round the corner a group of hauled up Seals were calling and a Linnet and White Throat were added to the list.
On the way back to the car all of the Terns were put up with the culprit being a Peregrine.

Female Red Breasted Merganser Cemlyn Bay
Meadow Pipit Cemlyn Bay

Juvenile Artic Tern Cemlyn Bay calling for it's parents

View of Cemlyn Bay

Sandwich Tern Cemlyn Bay

Sandwich Tern Cemlyn Bay with lunch

Adult Sandwich Tern Cemlyn Bay

Adult Sandwich Tern starting to molt into winter colours

Sandwich Tern

Pair of Oystercatcher
Common Tern Cemlyn Bay

Artic Tern young and parent bird
From here it was on to Holyhead harbour to hopefully see Black Guillemot around the Fish Harbour area, these would be lifers for Lesley and me.
After parking up we soon saw two just off the break water soon followed by quite a few more which flew into the harbour in total 8 birds were seen, they even seemed to be nesting in the break water.

Black Guillemots Holyhead Fish Quay

Before moving on managed a quick shot of Thunder Bird 57316 in plain Arriva Train Wales Blue stabled up by Holyhead station.

57316 Holyhead.

From here our final port of call for the day was South Stack for a Chough year tick. Parking up by the cafe we soon heard a Chough calling and eventually saw 6 birds. Also seen were Razorbill, Guillemots, Puffin, Herring and Lesser Black Backed Gulls. On the heath area on the cliff top were a few Stone Chats just to nicely round off the days sightings.

Chough South Stack

Sunday, 3 July 2011


Paid Gronant a visit today Lesley and me were lacking in Terns on our year list and as we always try and pay Gronant a visit a couple of times a year off we headed.

Didn't take too long to get there and by just after 10 we were walking across the dunes to the beach.
Plenty of Orchids in bloom as we crossed the dunes with Sand Martin, Sky Lark, Reed Bunting and Grey Heron being seen.

Soon as we reached the beach we could hear the colony. On top of the Terns were Little and Ringed Plovers to be watched feeding on the beach plus a couple of Dunlin just for good measure. At the far end of the beach were a roosting group of Cormorant and Oystercatchers plus a group of resting Little Terns.

Little Tern Gronant

Little Tern Gronant

Little Tern Gronant

Little Tern Gronant

Ringed Plover Gronant

Ringed Plover Gronant
Although some idiot on a para glider thingy put all of the birds up as he came low across the beach.

On the way back to the car we added Sedge Warbler to the list with a very close showing bird from the path near the bridge.

Sedge Warbler Gronant

Headed then along to Kinmel Bay to laze on the beach for a bit before heading home and to see if any other waders were around. Just plenty of Ringed Plover.
Off shore was a boat designed to install the Wind Turbines which gave us something else to watch

Wind Turbine Installing Boat