Sunday, 29 April 2012

Swallow - Ogston Reservoir

It has rained none stop all day, I went to Ogston Reservoir this afternoon and watched the Swallows feeding along the waters edge against a strong NE wind. The colours are lost under the heavily overcast sky but still better than sitting in all day. 


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Wheatear - first summer male

There was a small influx of Wheatear during the week and there are still a few around today including this young male, still showing the brown flight feathers and a few brown mantle feathers of juvenile plumage.
No moths caught at all last night so I don't think there will be any easy meals for the spring migrants at the moment.
Wheatear - first summer male

Friday, 27 April 2012

Yellowhammer - male

I've been away for a few days this week so have nothing new to report although I understand the weather has been very wet in any case. James photographed this fine male Yellowhammer on the edge of Beeley Moor.
Yellowhammer - male

Monday, 23 April 2012

Willow Warbler

Plenty of Willow Warblers singing now, James photographed this one on Beeley Moor this afternoon. Also several Tree Pipit and another Whimbrel flew over calling.
Willow Warbler

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Whimbrel - Beeley Moor

A photo of the Whimbrel taken by Ken Smith after he located the bird on Thursday evening, it was still present first thing this morning but wasn't located later in the day.

Pied Flycatcher - Clough Wood

Recorded my first Pied Flycatchers and Redstarts of the year in Clough Wood this morning, at least three male Pied Flycatchers were singing.
Pied Flycatcher - male

Fallow Deer - Clough Wood

Part of a herd of 32 Fallow Deer at Clough Wood, all of these are melanic and therefore look quite different from the herd at Chatsworth. This herd apparently originated from Stanton Hall from where they escaped or were released in the 1920's. 
Fallow Deer

Friday, 20 April 2012

Eriocrania subpurpurella

I did add one moth to the micro year list last night Eriocrania subpurpurella. This attractive golden moth is about 10mm in length and occurs in oak woodland where it can be seen in large numbers flying in the sunshine.
Eriocrania subpurpurella


We see this male Kestrel on almost every visit to the moor and James has obtained some great photos in the past few weeks but this one really captures its spirit. Many more Swallows around today but it's still cool and last night's moths were a disappointment. A Whimbrel has joined the pre-breeding Curlew flock a species that usually passes straight through overhead.
Kestrel - male

Thursday, 19 April 2012

More Short-eared Owl

The wind and rain has kept the Short-eared Owls out of sight for the last few nights so it was good to see two birds again this evening. James took these shots in poor light this evening but they have turned out well. The first Cuckoos were heard earlier in the week.
It's a fraction warmer this evening so I'm hoping for a few moths tonight.

Short-eared Owl

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Powdered Quaker

The moth catches have been hopeless for the last couple of weeks with rain and overnight temperatures dropping to close to zero. I did manage a rather worn Powdered Quaker last night which was new for the year. The name derives from the black speckling on the wings which does not show particularly well in this example. The inner edge of the reniform stigma, the kidney shaped mark in the centre of the wing, is also usually dark as can be seen here.
Powdered Quaker

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - in the sunshine at last!

Finally managed to see, and photograph, the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in the sunshine and with a nice blue sky for background. First Swallows over the moor this morning and plenty of Willow Warblers singing but it's still a cold wind which is holding back other summer migrants.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Nuthatch - Darley Dale

A pair of Nuthatch were actively feeding together in the Whitworth Park this morning, now they are pairing up they seem a little more approachable. James took this photograph.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

April Showers

Rained on and off most of the day, watched a Short-eared Owl sit for half an hour in the pouring rain looking to be enjoying it no more than we were. The rain clouds provided an impressive scene from the moor looking towards Youlgrave.

Osprey - Darley Dale

A call from Ken Smith this morning alerted me to an Osprey flying north over Hackney just before 9am. Sure enough a few minutes later it continued North almost directly over the house at a height of only about 100 feet so great views but sadly no photo.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - drumming in the rain!

Another wet day but the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker didn't seem to mind - thought I'd see how video ran on here.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Yellow-barred Brindle

Just a slight increase in temperature last night (min of 6.5C) produced a flurry of 5 new moths for the year; The Engrailed, Water Carpet 2, Garden Carpet, Common Pug and Yellow-barred Brindle. Intesestingly the only other moths were 2 Hebrew Character.
Yellow-barred Brindle

Water Carpet

Water Carpet

Friday, 6 April 2012

Blackcap - Clough Wood

A male Ring Ousel on Harland Edge was the highlight of this mornings trip out but a singing male Blackcap at Clough Wood was another sign of the approaching spring but no sign of any Pied Flycatchers yet.

Blackcap - male

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Owl on a rock

Another of James's photographs taken towards dusk this evening. Good to see the owls out after yesterday's heavy snow fall on the moors.
Short-eared Owl

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Angle Shades - NFY

Five moths of four species last night; Angle Shades was new for the year with Shoulder stripe, Small Quaker and 2 Hebrew Character - hard work at the moment.
Angle Shades

Shoulder Stripe

Shoulder Stripe

Monday, 2 April 2012

Owl on a post

Despite the poor light this evening James came across this Short-eared Owl on the edge of the moor and caught a decent image.
Short-eared Owl
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