Friday, 25 June 2010

Nice Threesome

Now I have your attention;

For the decade we have lived in Viet-cram, the back garden's bird box has only attracted a few brief exploratory views from prospective Tit residents.  And that's it.  Not even a sniff of nesting material going in!

And so to last Sunday when Herself noticed frequent visits by a pair of Blackbirds into some dense ivy in the corner of our des-res grounds.  And a sneaky peak, from distance, with the bins, showed four or five big kids, that fledged on Tuesday evening.  Quite brilliant!  Fortunately, my four-legged friend has not been bred as a trained killer, and so the best she does when nose meets beak is to wag her tail and sniff, thank The Lord!

Never seen a Nightjar before.  Went four years ago with Sir Vipers of Brunswick to Slaley and only got one 'churr'.  Nice, but not enough.  Noticing several weeks ago that Herself was at work last night, from 18:00 to 23:00 meant an opportunity to tick a Lifer and get some peace.  But, and a big but (no, not Herself's!!), the weather was not looking good; too breezy and a mite chilly.  All week I have deliberated, and in the end, despite an indication that the wind would not drop, my 'in it to win it' attitude kicked in and off I went.

There was already one birder there when I arrived at Slaley - m/w/60/5'9"/average build/ruddy complexion/N'land accent/posh bins and a blue, new shape Fiesta, if anyone knows him - and we stood and set the world to rights whilst noting Cuckoo, Common Buzzard, Woodcock and others.

Not a churr up to 22:20, and the midges got the better of him, so cold and riddled with bites, he left.  Literally five minutes later, a churr from the right.  Then the left.  And a low flying bird 50 yards in at the back of the saplings.  And then it was up and flapping and clapping and the trousers began to twitch.  Su-fecking-perb!

East Chev. at tea time - an adult Spoonbill.  Unseen from the roadside viewpoints, it was necessary to walk along the South Pool's southern edge path, and at that path's northern-most part (before it turns 90 degrees to the west), looking east, half a dozen Grey Heron fledgelings and an adult, a BHG and the bird itself on a mud-flat in the reeds.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Are You Being Served?

Famous for her pussy, Mrs Slocombe often offered to let people see it (or worse).  So in true Mollie Sugden style, here's some relevant photos.

I have never seen a Puss Moth before; the caterpillar would have been a show-stopper.  This beauty was nine feet up a willow tree this evening, clearly having just burst into the world as the body was huge and wings not, and when I passed again 45 minutes later it was better proportioned and 15 minutes later still, it was as above.