Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Herald

The Herald is a regular in the trap in the early spring but only the odd one or two. A few more Double-striped Pugs last night as well as another Brindled.
The Herald

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - another photo attempt

I've tried several times to photograph this Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, if it's sunny I can't locate the bird and when I do find it the light is terrible. This is another attempt in very overcast light.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Pine Beauty

I've continued to moth trap throughout the warm spell but the night time temperatures have been down close to freezing and consequently the variety of species has been very limited. 
It was a bit warmer last night and I added three new moths to the year list; Early Thorn 3, Double-striped Pug 4 and the attractive Pine Beauty
Also March Moth 2, Early Grey 4, Clouded Drab 3, Hebrew Character, Small Quaker 4, Common Quaker 5, Twin-spotted Quaker 1 and Satellite 2.
Pine Beauty

Double-striped Pug

Double-striped Pug

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Common Crossbill - Flash Lane

James photographed this pair of Common Crossbill on Flash Lane today. The female is quite interesting in that she shows two quite pronounced wing bars which is a variant which is only occasionally encountered and which has in the past led to confusion with the much rarer Two-barred Crossbill.

Common Crossbill - male and female

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Water Vole - Bakewell centre

Came across this Water Vole yesterday in the middle of the day happily eating the base of these reeds then periodically diving in to get another, quite oblivious to the walkers passing by a few feet away.

Water Vole

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - Darley Dale

One of Derbyshire's rarer breeding birds and certainly one of the most difficult to locate I finally managed a photograph of this local male, through the early morning mist.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - male

Friday, 23 March 2012

Short-eared Owl - up close and personal

Managed to get up to Beeley Moor this evening with all three Short-eared Owls on show. James took these photos, he's definitely improving! There are more of his photos here;
First Chiffchaff singing today and the Great Grey Shrike was still around Wragg's Quarry. Wheatear has been seen most days since Sunday when Ken Smith reported the first and a Red Kite has been seen in the Darley/Beeley area several times this week.

Short-eared Owl

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Bullfinch on the feeder

A pair of Bullfinch visited the feeder this morning, whilst they are not uncommon around the moors, I've seen as many as 18 together in the winter they are by no means regular in the garden.

Bullfinch - male and female

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Friday, 16 March 2012

Hawfinch - Cromford Meadows

One of up to 15 birds that have wintered in the Cromford Meadows area, James took this record shot this morning. 
A declining species around Darley Dale, last year was the first in more than 10 that I did not have any records. The favoured area is around Stancliffe Hall. 
Hopefully I'll do better this year.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Red sun at dusk

The setting sun through the mist created quite an impressive scene briefly at dusk.
Sun set over Beeley

Short-eared Owl - Beeley Moor

Three owls out hunting again this evening.

Short-eared Owl

Red Grouse - Beeley Moor

Red Grouse - male
James came across a small covey of grouse this afternoon and got a couple of photos of this male.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Good catch - Diurnea fagella NFY

Decent catch last night;
Diurnea fagella 2 new for the year
Emmelina mondactyla 2
Dotted Border 2
March Moth 3
Twin-spotted Quaker 16
Common Quaker 10
Hebrew Character 5
Clouded Drab 6
Early Grey 1
Chestnut 2
Diurnea fagella

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Owl in the grass

Great weather today, but rather disappointing for photography. Saw the Great Grey Shrike catch a lizard in Wraggs Quarry then flew with it to Whitesprings Plantation. Three Short-eared Owls this evening on Beeley Moor, James got this shot.
Short-eared Owl

Mompha subbistrigella

Caught this rather worn example of Mompha subbistrigella in the garden today. The species sometimes overwinters in buildings so probably came out of my shed when I got the lawn mower out for the first time this year.
Mompha subbistrigella

Small Quaker

A few more moths in the trap over the last few days which included Clouded Drab and Small Quaker new for the year.
Small Quaker

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Twin-spotted Quaker - new for the year

Rather quiet on the moth front with temperatures remaining low but Twin-spotted Quaker was new for the year last night.
Twin-spotted Quaker

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Great Grey Shrike - Bent Lane

The Great Grey Shrike showed well on Bent Lane late this afternoon.
Great Grey Shrike

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Grey - like the weather

The weather has been fairly dismal over the last couple of days but added two 'greys' to the mothing year list; Grey Shoulder-knot and Mottled Grey. Otherwise fairly quiet.
A part of 27 Curlew dropped on to fields adjoining the moor at dusk last night so we should at least have displaying Curlews to brighten the days.
Grey Shoulder-knot

Mottled Grey

Mottled Grey
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