Wednesday, 31 March 2010

derbyshire holiday ;day 4 (wednesday)

can you beleive it, its still raining!!!!
the campsite was deserted (all wildlife found the rain too much)
hoever some carful watching produced:
a nuthatch
and good old limpy, the green phesant
we decided to go for a miserable and wet woodland walk, a walk which has, in the past, had beauties like slow worm and really tame dippers. however all we saw today:
dipper (whizz past me)
great tit
my mum lost here temper, i got lost. it was all a huge fail. however my dad took us out for tea at thew local pub becuase we had been so brave.
before that me and my dad went for a wlak in chatsworth grounds.
a good view of a song thrush
a buzzard
a long tailed tit
three races of pheasnt-ring-necked, non-ringed and a caucasian/green pheasnt (not limpy!!) plus a coal tit
after that splendid meal at the pub we went back to the campsite. we put out plenty of peanuts and then me and my dad went to go and see if we could see a water vole, (my dad has never seen one) we watched from the bridge but then i went to the place where i had originally seen it. sure enough i spotted it and watched as it entered some branches. i called my dad over to have a look. as we watched though i noticed a small brown mass on the bank, the cheeky monkey had got out of the water and on the bank without me noticing!!!!. we texted my mum and brother and so we watched it. as we headed back we spotted another on the bank. further up. they are as common as rats once you know what to look for.

after that me and my dad went to go and wait for the badger. it started toi rain. it got colder and colder until after an hour my dad said, "i have had enough, i'm going in" thus i sat and waited alone in the cold and wet. my dad should not have gone. another fifteen minuets and out he came, munching on penuts. i texted my mum and family and they came. itried some pictures but the light was too low. so my dad went for a torch. however when he came back the badger had already gone. my parents left me and my brother (i still wnated a photo) and went back. i told my brother how the badger only ever comes out when your just giving in. after another half an hour i said tomy brother "i have had enough, i can not be bothered" right on que the striped face re-appeared and started rummaging in the flower bed. my brother held the torch whilst i took loads of pictures. the best ones are displayed below but for the overall experience-i was about 20cm away from a wild badger!!!!!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

derbyshire holiday ;day 3 (tuesday)

beleive it or not, its still raining
i thought that the sky would not have any more water to give but i was proved wrong
i was so fed up of the rain that i went for an early morning walk anyway
the following birds ahd also decided to put with the weather:
2 dabchick
two tufted duck on the river derwent
two greater spotted woodpeckers fighting on water rail bridge
a grey wagtail
plenty of herons
"limpy" was around again
on the birdfeeder was the usual suspects of nuthatch, blue tit, great tit and chaffinch....

....but also this bird which tried to get onto the birdfeeder!?!?!

due to the eather we decided to go to the other end of chatsworth grounds and walk back to the caravan site along the side of the river derwent. plenty of life along the side of the river but perhaps most notable was the large flock of swallows and sand martins. about 20 birds all in a huge flock.
also there were:
grey wagatail. i have long tried to get a photo of these things but they just take you by surprise and fly off. i spotted about four of them shooting from this side of the bank which we were walking on to the other side.
a dabchick which was equally hard to photograph
a treecreeper really close, sadly also quite flighty
and a heron flying over head

some swallows

a goosander pair

the male from a teal pair

a lone male goosander
after a walk in the morning we decided to go back to bakewell for a walk along that river. unforntatly the river and footpath quickly parted so my family went the other way whilst i stayed with the ducks to get some photos

plenty of tufted ducks again

an artistic close up of some canada goose feathers

there was actually a double rainbow but sadly by the bottom rainbow was this vibrant the top rainbow was invisible to the camera

a ravid coot doing a water run
back at the campsite still in the rain!! went for a walk and caught up with the water vole again. i also put out some penuts. tonight i am not waiting for him because of the weather insetead we will lure him into a false sense of security.

Monday, 29 March 2010

derbyshire holiday ;day 2 (monday)

it rained!!
it rained all Day!!
i was hoping to go for a walk early this morning but
a.) it rained
b.) it diddnt stop raining
nevertheless the birdfeeder we bought in bakewell yesterday seemed to be attracting lots of attention, especially from the two local nuthatches. it was swell to see them so close.
on thw way to the toilet to brush my teeth a spotted this caucasian or green pheasant behind a caravan. i instantly dashed for the camera (a camera is not normally what i take to the toilet) and snapped these pictures. as it waddled off i noticed it had a limp, thus i christened him "limpy"

due to the weather issue we went to a tram museaum today. i cant say that looking at trams was exciting but the tram rides up and down the hill were fun
the evening!!
the evening was the best bit of the day. at around 6.30 after dinner the weather abated. my family were being boring and reading in the caravan so i decided to go for a walk. i went to the caravan site entrance to look for the water vole, just to confirm my sighting. just as arrived i looked up the little tributary that joins the river derwent. i spotted a large mass swimming across the river but it dissapeared quickly. i was then convinced that it was just a rat that liked swimming. i walked around and waited for around an hour whilst it grew steadily darker. it failed to come back out. then, just as i was leaving, a small brown mass came swimming towards me. at such close quaters i could easily see that it was a water vole. it swam under the bridge i was on and then went under a ledge just on the other side of the bridge. i waited for a while for its return but it soon got too dark. cold, wet, fed up yet enjoye and exhilarated i turned around to go home. i turned to facethe courtyard. i could not beleive what i was watching, as a scruffy male badge trotted eagerly towards the flowerbed a meter away from me. it began foraging, completely obliviouse to my presance. eventually it came too close and so it smelt me out. it trotted about 2 yards before it stopped and began forragingi tried to sneak past it to get the camera but i got tooclose and it bolted. i got a torcha dn my family and camera to retuen and search for it. sadly we could not find it again. we found where it had come from and so tommorow i will put out some peanuts. we will get him!!!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

derbyshire holiday ;day 1 (sunday)

today we arrived at our campsite. it was very sunny and so we hoped it would stay for the rest of the holiday. however our hopefullness was spoiled as we arrived. not the weather, but a huge queue of caravans trying to get onto the site. so as we waited behind some 6 caravans. just as i got out a sparrowhawk flew over us, (see below)

most convienitnly the campsite was right next to the river derwent. as we waited we spotted a dabchick, a heron and as we were just setting off a small brown lump emerged from the water on the bank. i thought it was a water vole and was thrilled. water voles on the bank of the river next to the caravan site. when we finally got onto the site. i could loads of people had put out birdfeeders and thus there were plenty of garden birds, most notable were the nuthatches. we finally found a decent pitch and set up there (pitch 48 for anybodys interest) as we waited i saw a wren sitting on the wall behind our pitch. it was singing as we watched it flew into a hole in the wall. upon furthur examination iot turned out that the hole was filled with leaves and other things. i badly needed a wren photo and this was the perfect oppertunity. see below the results of my efforts.

the caravan site was actully the chatsworth campsite. chatsworth is a large historic house owned by the duke of devonshire. it has large grounds (with woods, feilds and a river) just leave the caravan site and you would be in a pristine deer park.
in the afternoon we decided to go into bakewell for a look at the river and to gather some supplies. i stayed by the river photographing the birds.
and fish too it would appear
of ll the days to do my hair up!!

a beautiful sleeping duck.
plenty of stuff on the river:
turfted ducks, lots
mallard, lots
canada geese, lots
a muscovy duck
2 mute swans
2 moorhens
2 coots
black headed gulls, lots

Saturday, 27 March 2010

stocksbridge, and the first new bird of 2010

went to stocksbridge this morning with my mum to hopefully spot a water rail. apparently it had been quite bold leading up to this visit so i was hoping. when we got there a BOG birder was already there. the water rail had just gone. so we sat and waited and then out of nowhere it came trotting out. i managed to snap these shots. just look at this bird!! it is quite extraordinary

what a stunning day. also presant were:

a nutty blue tit which kept banging at the bird hide

a sparrowhawk quite a way up in the sky

about 6 long tailed tits

a stunning male reed bunting

2 female and one male pheasant

a kestrel

a heron munching frogs

a swallow, thats two in a week

and if the swallows werent enough i also spotted a red tailed bumble bee and a small tortoiseshell butterfly, spring is definatly here

plus and assortment of waterbirds, mallard, 2 canada geese 6, coot 1, moorhen 2

all in all a really great day

Thursday, 25 March 2010

soil hill and the first swallow of 2010

plenty of exciting stuff hapening on soil hill at 3.00 today and i dont mean the bulldozers. i got there and was overwhelmed with the sound of skylarks at least 5 birds were infull song. but what was even more amazing was the male hweatears. i was hoping that i would get to photograph one but in the end i got to photograph 4!. what a cracking day. all the other birds seen are pictured here to keep the expalining minimal, however one bird i did see but fail to photo was a beautiful male reed bunting on the wires.

first swallow of 2010. ok i admit the photos are a bit rubbish 9the top one looks like a pigeon) but trust me this bird flew staright over me.
a mipit. surprisingly fewer on the hell hole today
one of two lapwings
just as i was leaving this heron flew right over me. when it first appeared it was on a collision course with me!!

a skylark. by the far the most plentiful bird on the hill

the stars of the show. just look at them, what crackers

Monday, 22 March 2010

frog photo

i have just got this email. and can you believe it. the one time i diddnt tune in to the local news it was my photo that might have been on it.

Hi Daniel Thank you for your fantastic photo- I will try and use it on our breakfast bulletins at 7.25 and 8.25 tomorrow morning- I'm sure it will make people smile!.

Kind regards Amanda

oh well, thats life for you. its still great to hear that this happened!!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

the garden, later on sunday-what an exciting day

an exciting sunday. first of all 3 siskins and now we have our first long-tailed tit. granted in did only saty about 5 minuets but thats it, a garden tick (and a record shot to go with it). exciting stuff

i was just sat there awaiting the siskins return (which i have been doing all day), which they havent when suddenly this came and landed just outside the window. it was incredible to see

still plenty of singing frogs in the pond

our gardens first ever long tailed tit