Saturday, 18 August 2007

Just got back from the bird fair up at rutland. Fair to say (no pun intended!) I had a good time. First we wandered round the optics tent and I looked through all these lovely scopes and binoculars I'll never be able to afford and looked at lots of lovely books and displays in the other tents. Then we wandered up to the vistor centre and to the bird ringing demo nearby, where I nice chap was ringing a blue tit, which he then let one of the kiddies release, in which he domostrated how if they frlt pressur on their wings they would not fly off. he did this by laying the bird on its back and it just stayed there. Stupidly I didnt have my camera out yet
He then showed us how to record and ring a long tailed tit:

Which he then let another kid release this one too. He then moved onto the Willow Warbler and went quickly through how you could tell it was one and not a chiffchaff (shorter wings, orange feet).

Then as it was a migrant and needed to fatten up it had already been ringed etc and he asked if it was anyones birthday, which it wasn't so he then asked if it was anyones birthday this week and it was mine on I got to release my first (definate) Willow Warbler that I had seen:
its behind my hand!

Its the yellow blur 45 degrees down from my chin!

I also went to a talk on dragonflys and on the way there, there was a crowd gathered round a green dragonfly, but I wanted to get to the talk so I banked on the cold weather keeping it there. 40mins later I came out and it was!:

Also while there we had a brief walk round to a couple of hides but there wasnt much on show. But in the hide opposite the vistor centre there was a few feeders outside on which I saw my first ever tree sparrows:

Sorry for the bad pic: a combination of bad conditions, limited Megapixels/zoom and bad photography

And groups of gold, chaff and green finch, including this group:

And as for non wildlife highlights I saw a small man that is Bill Oddie but he was always busy talking and I didnt have my camra out AGAIN! lol. But I did meet this man:

(its Simon King for you non-TV watchers)

and went to a talk by Nigel Marvin

All in all a nice day out despite the crummy weather

Monday, 13 August 2007

North Kent - Herptatstic weekend

Over the last weekend I managed to turn my one and only Slowworm sightings into 20+, while visiting Kent. Most of them were at the first locality, some spots containing masses of them

But I also found some at a locality I have visited loads of times. This pregnant female was one of them.

This young commonlizard was also there.

At Stodmarsh I found this female Leptura quadrifasciata

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Bedfords park dragonflies and damselflies

There were lots of small red eyed damsels present today:

And a black tailed skimmer kept them company
Along with some common darters
And in the clearing at the edge of the woods around damselfly pond were 2 migrant hawkers