Sunday, 14 February 2010

Mum's birds.

Here are the last photos taken up at my Mum's home in The Cotswolds.  Nothing spectacular, but some of her favourite birds that visit her patio to feed.
Robin 'redbreast'. There were two coming to her patio, continuously chasing eachother. Probably males trying to sort out territory.
Long-tailed Tit....completely adorable. This one was on it's own which is unusual for this species.

Great Tit, sometimes the bully of the bird feeder, but such a handsome bird.

This photo below was taken at the front of the house which is north facing. The colours are more muted in this shot, but it shows up the lovely subtle colouring on the back of a Great Tit.

 That's all from Mum's for now.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Alliteration - C S

Here are some more photos taken while gardening up at my Mum's last week. 
C for Chaffinch, this is the male, with the female being much more drab and brown.
Contorted Hazel (Corylus contorta)
The River Churn which flows along at the bottom of Mum's garden.
S for Snowdrops. Mum has planted hundreds, probably thousands of these lovely harbingers of  spring in the lawn.
Sycamore seeds.  I'm not usually a great fan of this tree, but the seeds are very photogenic and an amazing natural design.
Well, the whole alliteration thing goes to pot in the final post from my Mum's home, but they will all be birds! (-:

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Alliteration - B

I managed to get up to my Mum's home in The Cotswolds last week to do some gardening and during a break, took a walk around to see what was photographable. When I was naming the photos, I noticed that the names grouped quite nicely in an alliteration kind of way, so that's the way I thought I'd post 'em! (-:
Birch trunks
Bridge at the bottom of the garden
Blue Tit
Beech leaves and Ivy
There'll be more from Mum's in the next post.....

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Frome bird survey - Part two

After my walk around Rodden Nature Reserve, I drove up to the red P at the top of the map below. There is a small track that leads to Rodden Church and Farm.  If you click on the link it will take you to a webpage that tells a little about the church (history button on the left).
Here  I'm  approaching the church and farm along the track. It was a misty misserly grey day.
I don't know how old the farm is, but it has attractive buildings which I enjoyed taking pictures of, while looking for birds too of course! (-:
This is a peaceful area away from any main roads.  Like most of my current surveys, I'll look forward to coming back here for the spring walks.
There were several signed public footpaths that I could have followed for this survey, but I chose to take one which follows the Rodden Brook.
Here's a footpath stile with the Rodden Brook beyond. 
I will hope to see Kingfishers and Grey Wagtails along here at some point, but I didn't manage that on this occasion.  It's a pretty little Brook to walk along which actually ends up flowing through our Rodden Reserve back where I started in the last post.
Bird photograhy was hard to come by on this day, but I did snatch this photo of a Great Tit in one of the hedgerows.
After having done a thorough survey around this area, I drove to my third and final part of the tetrad at Friggle Street (the third P in the bottom right of the Google map). This is a nice tree lined country lane on the outskirts of Frome with the occasional house along the way.  These horses looked a bit cold and miserable, but.........
.....they did come over to say hello! (-:
And finally, I found some old friends for my friend Evie at Sunny Side up blog to enjoy!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Frome late winter bird survey - part one

Even though the weather forecast for this weekend wasn't great, I decided that I needed to do one of my bird surveys.  I have three left to do including this one for the late winter walk and they have to be done by the end of February.  This particular survey is right on my doorstep literally.

Even though I could've walked from my house to do this survey, that would have eaten into my two hour survey time, so I drove to the various places where I wanted to carry out the survey.  The first place which this square covers is my local Rodden Nature Reserve where I help out with the management.  This area is shown by the left hand red P on the map below.
I thought I'd show some different views of Rodden Reserve than the ones I've shown in previous posts.  This is the bridge that divides the reserve. My car is parked just above me here. 
Even though the reserve is closed to the public during the breeding season, we still get kids congregating under this bridge and the inevitable graffiti that comes with them.  Some of it is pretty good actually! (-:  I've seen possible Otter tracks in the mud under this bridge.  One day, I hope I'll get to see one in the flesh!
This is the smaller eastern side of the reserve.  It's a part of the reserve that I don't wander around so much. Maybe I'll try and make an effort to walk around here more this year.  It was certainly very quiet birdwise on this morning.
Back to the main reserve area. This is the view as you come out from under the bridge. 
I didn't have any unusual bird sightings for my survey, but the local Grey Heron was perched up in this Alder.  I'm afraid he didn't stick around long once he'd set eyes on me!
The Hazel catkins are opening out a bit more now. Always one of the early signs of spring on the way.
There were plenty of Robins singing around the reserve staking out their respective territories.
Rodden Nature Reserve was the first of three stops for this survey. The next post will be about the other two areas.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Spring clean

On Saturday, I was invited to join a friend at Edford Wood just outside Frome for his annual nestbox spring clean. He helps the warden look after and monitor the 40 odd nestboxes thoughout the year. The wood is also managed by the Somerset Wildlife Trust and open to the public from February to May. The photo below shows the small but beautiful Mells stream that runs through this wood.Sorry for the quality of this photo, I must have hiccuped while clicking I think! (-: At this time of year, it's a question of cleaning out the boxes of previous nesting material and making any necessary repairs.
Even though I wasn't expected to help out, I still found it difficult to wander off and get into the mood for taking photos, but this lovely mossy log caught my eye.We also saw a Dipper along this stretch of the stream. They breed here along with Kingfishers and Grey Wagtails. The wood is well known for its native Daffodils in March which I've posted about before. There's no sign of those yet, but I did see some dainty Snowdrops nodding by the side of the stream.And some peeking through the leaf litter, lit by the early morning sun.The only birdlife that I managed to capture that morning was a confiding Treecreeper. The conditions were darker than I would have liked, so these photos are lightened slightly and cropped quite a bit. (-:

I will definitely be returning to Edford Wood for the Daffodil spectacle in March and should I be invited, maybe to help check out the nestboxes during the breeding season. It was a fun way to spend a morning!