Monday, 6 November 2017

Autumn at Bodenham Arboretum, Wolverley , Worcestershire. 01/11/2017

A few images taken on my recent walk around part of the arboretum. A delightful walk whatever the weather.

The bark on this tree fascinates me, it looks as though a ribbon has been tightly bound around it.                            Prunus Serrula- Ornamental Cherry.

                                     Dogwoods are a treat to see in Autumn.

Meet Elvis. He is one of two sheepdogs that enjoy bringing a cone or piece of wood for you to throw or kick for them to chase and return to you in readiness for another chase!

The donkeys will soon be in a stable and playing their part in one of the Nativity scenes around the farm.

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.
William Cullen Bryant

Monday, 16 October 2017

Red sun in the morning.....

Ophelia's warning!

The sun was/is an unusual colour this morning!

I have read that the reason may not just be Saharan Dust. There may well be dust particles in the air, or particles from forest fires across Portugal that have blown up courtesy of ex- hurricane Ophelia!

The wind is gaining strength, leaves are blowing here, there and everywhere and the birds are not having too good a time of it either!

Roll on Spring 2018!

My images (taken at 11.15) do not do the event justice but good to have some record of the 'red sun'!

Friday, 15 September 2017

A visit from a Barley Bird!

A Barley Bird flew into my garden earlier this afternoon. A Barley Bird I hear you say....ok, a Grey Wagtail. I looked up Grey Wagtail in my book 'All the Birds of the Air', the names, lore and literature of British Birds and written by Francesca Greenoak, which was kindly given to me several years ago by my good friend Ruth. 

Barley Bird was a General name for the Grey Wagtail.

Variations were: Barley-seed Bird....Yorkshire
                           Winter Wagtail.......South England
                            Oatseed Bird..........Yorkshire
                            Yellow Dishwasher..Somerset
                            Yellow Wagtail.....Ireland: Somerset: Sussex
                             Dun Wagtail...........Sussex.
Dishwasher is a strange name! I much prefer Grey Wagtail and it can visit my garden as often as it


Monday, 11 September 2017

There's always one!

I cut back the Lavender flowers in August and somehow I missed this stem! As you can see this Bee was not going to miss an opportunity in it's quest for nectar!

After a short while it made it's way down the stem

                                 and landed unceremoniously in the lavender plant.
Oops - a - daisy (or should I say lavender);-)

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Fox enjoying a rest!



The Fox was in my neighbours garden, fast asleep when I first spotted him early in the morning. I presume he was one of two and sometimes three foxes that frequent my garden of an evening for a tasty treat that is put out for them, though not every night as I do not want them relying on a nightly meal!
Shhhh...don't tell my neighbours. ;-)

The fox, the fox
So quick and sly
he waits at dusk
to hunt in the nigh.

He hunts all night
and fills his belly,
if he's full enough
he wiggles like jelly.

With a belly full
and a weary head
and the morning sun
it's time for bed.

The fox, the fox
so quick and sly
he sleeps all day
and hunts at night.

By Ashleigh long




Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Tavira, Portugal. 11th-18th June 2017.

I have finally found a window of time to put a post on my blog of a holiday that now feels as though it was an age away!
I have posted on Tavira before so I will not go in to too much detail but will say that it is a super area for birding and it also has some great restaurants!

The Salt Pans/ Salinas in Tavira are always a delight to explore. Highlight species were Bee-eater, Serin, Black-tailed Godwit, Turnstone, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Greater Flamingo, Little Owl, Slender-billed Gull and an amazing looking spider on a web!!

We were informed of Red-necked Nightjars that feed on the moths and insects that are attracted to the floodlights that illuminate the Church of Santa Maria do Castelo, which is in the centre of Tavira. It was a joy to see and hear the Nightjars as they hawked the insects, a treat indeed and well worth the walk up the hill!

                            Superb views were enjoyed of this charismatic bird!

                                                    Black-tailed Godwits.

                                                  Black-winged Stilts.

                                                Black-winged  Stilt chick.

                                                   A solitary Serin!

                                         Turnstone and Black-winged Stilt
Greater Flamingos

                                      Argiope  brunennichi (wasp spider).
A species of orb-web spider. I have read that it is quite harmless and highly unlikely to harm you but maybe best to keep a distance just in case.;-) A stunning spider to see if you are a spider fanatic!
                                                      Crested Lark
This character had a new tail growing after shedding it's original tail probably due to stress. It is a way of distracting a predator so  the Gecko can escape.
                                             Two Geckoes in one piece.


What big eyes you have!!
        Success after a couple of trips to see this Little Owl.
Slender-billed Gull
Highlight sightings at the Lake at Sao Lourenco, Quinta do Lago.
                                                    Black-headed Weaver
                                                     Great Crested Grebes.

Little Grebe

                                               Red-crested Pochard
Little Bittern chicks!
Lovely to have had good views of these two youngsters as they waited for a parent to return with food!
Cacela Velha
Cacela Velha is a picturesque white-washed village. 
There are no tourist facilities apart from a few café-restaurants. However the views from the clifftop of the Ria Formosa are stunning and along with the pretty village well worth a visit.

 Megascolia maculata flavifrons...a Mammoth Wasp! It was huge and though it looked intimidating it is not dangerous to people! Even so another one to keep at a distance maybe! ;-)

Red-rumped Swallows
A day's birding in the Baixo Alentejo and Tavira was again a brilliant day with our guides for the day June Taylor  & Peter Dedicoat of
Highlights were plentiful, the wildlife, the scenery, the sunshine and last but not least great company!
My highlight birds were Great Bustard, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Pallid Swift, Eurasion Hoopoe, European Bee-eater, Europen Roller, Golden Oriole, Crag martin, Tawny Pipit, Rufous Bush Robin, Blue Rock Thrush, Zitting Cisticola, Woodchat Shrike, Iberian(Southern) Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, Eurasion Griffon, Short-toed eagle, Black Kite, Montagu's Harrier, Common Kestrel and Lesser Kestrel.
64 species in total with a Quail ♫ and Turtle Dove ♫, heard only.
Photography was not a priority today as most of the species in the areas visited do not hang around for any length of time or are at a distance. So, most of my images are 'record' photo's...well that is my excuse and I am sticking to it! ;-) 
Blue Rock Thrush

                                                             Crag Martin
                                                         European Roller
                                                    Black -winged Stilt.
                                                   White Stork chicks.

                                        Woodchat Shrike......honestly!

Montagu's Harrier
A stunner!

                                                 Great Spotted Cuckoo.

Black-tailed skimmer
The end of another splendid holiday in the Algarve!
 Bye bye Tavira, for now!