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Monday, 30 June 2008

Nothing to do with Me,make your own mind up


This week some bad news, I turned on the CCTV camera placed in the loft where I have had a pair of Swifts nest for some years, an adult was present preening, but as it moved to near the entrance and off the nest no sign of the chick, there was two but I noticed one last week on the roof below the nest, the bird left and that looks like it for this year, so disappointing it has been fascinating watching the growth of the chick and see it fledge,also usually a small flock would fly past screaming and some would go under the eaves to look for nest sites.
A couple of days later as I came in from the garden I felt something crawling on my ear, flicking it off it landed on my sleeve,it look like a Spider so I thought ,put it in a container and get some photos, so walking around with this thing on my sleeve I got a small tub ,but when I put my 10x glass on it , I could have been sick this had been on my ear for hell's sake, and there was me walking around the house as it crawled up my arm !!!, no idea what the latin name is but it is one of the flat flies I have seen crawling on the Swifts, it has little hooks on it's feet to grip the birds flesh and hang on, but also what looks like fixed wings, presume it just launches into the wind looking for a host,and I also presume it was from the nest looking for some other Swift now that the bird has left.
Fascinating, but totally creepy, I couldn't stop scratching even after a shower,kept feeling it on my ear.
The end of the story is at the weekend I noticed the body of a chick in the drive, not sure if it is a Swift or not but probably, just about to clear it away ,but noticed it crawling with flies, so in the interest of blog content, I took some photos,at least 5 different flies on the carcass all trying to get underneath, not quite Vultures on the Serengeti but an urban equivalent, there was also some really small ones about a third the size of the Bluebottles.
Time for another shower with hibiscrub!!!
looking down on it( after I had determined it could not climb the slippy sides, I know what a WUSS)
This looked worse through the 10x lens as every detail could be seen.
I could just smell the decay now and again, but it brought in the mob
Digiscoped through the scope
Digiscoped through the scope ,I did have some video but lost it on upload.
the cycle continues.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

24-06-08 QE11 to Hauxley

Took the bike up to QE11 lake in the car ,and from here cycled to Hauxley via the coast,Cresswell had 6 Little Gulls but not much else the level does not seem to be getting much lower,Druridge pools at the screen a Little Egret it flew a little further away then up popped another, they eventually passed so I could get them together,through the dunes to Chevington, a couple of 1st summer Arctic Terns from the middle "shed", I only found three Bee Orchids but did not look to hard,Hauxley was Hauxley with not much around juvenile, Oystercatcher,Lapwing & Redshank feeding along the shoreline,plenty of Common Blues today, Maiden Pink, Orange Hawkweed, in flower,rain on the return made the trip seem longer but it was not a bad day out. Little Gulls at Cresswell I have seen them feeding off Snab Point

Little Egret the pools
Two Little Egrets nearly a flock !!!!is there a term for a group ?

Sedge along the track
Bee Orchid
Maiden Pink

23-06-08 looking for Dragonflies again

Monday seemed OK to look for dragonflies , but it was windier than I thought so I just took a few photos and got back home early.

The fate of many Damselflies etc, food for something else.
Juvenile Goldcrest ,worked this tree from bottom to top, popping out now and again.

I took these photos at 1600 iso forgetting to reset the camera ,but actually they came out ok, although grainy

21-06-08 Camping

It was supposed to be a weekend away camping and it started well with a walk along the river at Wooler with the camera at the ready,this Yellowhammer seems to have maize, Dipper, Grey Wagtail, & Common Sandpiper on the shingle bank , young birds everywhere, once I came across a family of Spotted Flycatchers one day as the three young lined up on a branch waiting to be fed not more than a few yards away, sadly things like that do not happen now that I lug around a camera,these two flowers are new to me not sure if they are the same did not look like it at the time , anyway it started to rain about 2 in the afternoon and did not stop all night what a wash out, the only saving grace, a juvenile Tawny perched on a pole just above us calling and being answered by an adult , we decided to cut the weekend short and return home, as it happened it was OK weather wise , I must be getting old.
Trying to lure me away, this Common Sandpiper posed far a second.
These along the shingle of the river

19-06-08 Holywell

A cycle ride to Holywell,plenty of Swifts over the East end with House Martins near the hide so I tried !!!!! to capture some shots as they past , also a Rat on the feeder, a couple of large Dragonflies on one of the tracks Migrant Hawkers would be my guess ,but neither would land, found in a sunny sheltered area. a lone very young Shellduck fed in the open, I find Shellduck usually are very attentive parents but there was no sign of any.
This Moth caught my eye
Stunning Water Lillies on a local fishing pond

I am no fan of the Rat,it climbed this tree with ease.

18-06-08 Flowers & Insects

Some photos from here and there of flowers and insects,I was very interested to see the Bird's nest Orchid, wondering how it was so called,only to read that the roots resemble the nest of a bird,so I will just have to take that as read,stil not many Dragons out yet at this date

Not found a name for this yet antennae over three times the body length

Agriotes obscurus is the nearest I can get although the colour is not right?
Another as yet not named ,it hid in a leaf that was brought around like a tent with a leg touching the silk ,I tickled the web and out it popped
Lots of LBO out now

And again another un-named , did I not read somewhere there are over 650 named species in Britain alone


Birds nest Orchid
And a closer view,just showing signs of life ,a first for me thanks to Boulmer Birder for the info

Sunday, 22 June 2008

14-06-08 Hauxley

My first Blue of the year
Carder on Viper's Bugloss

Flowering Bog Bean
Small Skipper

Common Blue