October: Amazing Autumn

Made in October 2011 [VIDEOS], three great things to look out for this month:  acorn crazy Jays, Rutting Fallow Deer & fun looking Fungi!

๐Ÿฅœ ๐ŸฆŒ ๐Ÿ„

Apologies for the inaccuracies in the Fungi video; pronunciation of hallucinogenic and apparently you can eat  Amethyst Deceivers – but it is better to be safe than sorry!  (No matter how good a recipe sounds!)  ๐Ÿ˜†

Thanks for visiting!  x

Common Loon at Pitsford Reservoir

Wednesday last week (09/01/2019) I spent a day at Pitsford Water in Northamptonshire, with James Burman. We were there to track down one, if not both, of the Great Northern Divers (GND) a.k.a Common Loon, which are currently wintering there.

On our long walk around this vast body of water (starting at the Dam), we saw the usual suspects, along with approx four Goldeneye (drake & hen), two Great White Egrets (on the other side of the Causeway) and two lovely Stonechat (male & female at the Causeway entrance) on some flowering Gorse.

After getting a good look at the Stonechat pair and a quick scan of the water, we were going to walk speedily to where the sailing club part is, as there had been an update on the reports of them and one had been seen there, and James says: “Adam, I’ve seen something that definitely isn’t a Cormorant! It has just dived.” So we stopped with our binoculars at the ready and James pointed it out when it resurfaced, I didn’t need my bins to confirm it was what we were looking for! As it was by the waters edge and I recognised it instantly! I exclaimed: “That’s it! That’s the Great Northern Diver!” ๐Ÿ˜ โฌ‡๏ธ My video โฌ‡๏ธ

Recently I read that British GNDs mainly winter in the Mediterranean, and the ones that winter in the UK are usually from Iceland.

Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

Common Kingfisher on an Urban River

On Tuesday I got up somewhat early, to arrive in Leicestershire for sunrise, where I met up with my friend James Burman. We planned to have a full day to locate, observe and film (or photograph in James’s case) his local Kingfishers, which frequent a river in the middle of a fairly busy town.

This is what I managed to get โฌ‡๏ธ

Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

Waxwing Winter

Six years ago it was a similar mild and wet December, I happened to be looking on Twitter when I saw a tweet announcing that there was a large flock of Waxwings, at the Midlands best garden centre, Webbs of Wychbold in north Worcestershire.

It had been several years since the last irruption of Waxwings and it wasn’t a bird many people had seen, I had never seen any before and so like many people from all over the West Midlands region (and maybe further afield), I descended on Webbs of Wychbold.

Of course I took my trusty video camera along with me, it would have been madness not to get footage of these beautiful birds! Journalists at the local BBC Studios in Birmingham got wind of ‘something going on’ and so I decided to inform them of what it was and sent them a copy of the video I made (below).

BBC Birmingham loved my video, so I met up with Environment Correspondent, Dr David Gregory-Kumar and his lovely producer and cameraman, to be part of a news package on the Waxwing irruption (below).

Today I found out the collective noun for Waxwings is a museum or an earful. ๐Ÿ˜†

Many thanks,

Adam ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 18 – 30 Days Wild

What Caught My Eye 

#30DaysWild
#30DaysWild
For day 18, I decided I would take a picture of whatever caught my eye.  The first thing that did, was a lovely Green Shield Bug! ๐Ÿ™‚

A Green Shield Bug perched on my parents livingroom window.
A Green Shield Bug perched on my parents livingroom window.
Later I went to visit my friend Laura’s pet shop, CavyNoodle Pets UK – in a village called Rubery.  The shop more or less has a Wildlife Garden out back, where various wildflowers pop up.  The Sweet Pea below, stood out to me.

I forgot how large Sweet Pea flowers and leaves grow.
This Sweet Pea is growing wild, so its’ flowers and leaves are larger than the cultivated varieties.
On the way back, I remembered the Shinning Cranesbill I passed on the walk down to Rubery was very red!  So on my way back up, I snapped a couple pictures.

It'd be really cool, if this whole path was lined with the red plants!
It’d be really cool, if this whole path was lined with red Shinning Cranesbill!

A closer view for you.
A closer view for you.
These particular plants are red in colour due to the dry weather – therefore are nutrient starved, shutting down/stopping chlorophyll production and going to seed quite early.  The remaining sugars in the leaves give it its’ red pigment.  In away, the sugars have caramelised ๐Ÿ˜€

Thanks for visiting ๐Ÿ™‚

Gallery

Day 15 – 30 Days Wild

#30DaysWild
#30DaysWild

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Today I went a 30 minute walk along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal from Selly Oak, heading south towards Bournville ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’m not against cyclists, at all, but it would have been a lot more peaceful – and easier to take photos – if I didn’t have to get out of the way of people on bikes every 2 minutes! ๐Ÿ˜›

A person on there bike in the distance.
A person on their bike in the distance.

Along the way I heard plops in the water, a couple times I hoped it was a Water Vole, but it turned out to be fish. ย I didn’t see much Wildlife, the odd Moorhen and Mallard – so I decided to focus on the flora I came across and just before I came to end of my walk I came across something I deem as special. ย Below is what I saw:

Urban art, with a crumbling wall and wildflowers - I think it looks beautiful.
Urban art, with a crumbling wall and wildflowers – I think it looks beautiful.

I love seeing plants growing out of walls, likes this Fern and Buddleja.
I love seeing plants growing out of walls, likes this Fern and Buddleja.

Look! Red hot pokers! (Kniphofia)
Look! Red hot pokers! (Kniphofia)

I also love seeing strips of Wildflower like this - Poppies, Horsetails and Daisies.
I also love seeing strips of Wildflower like this – Poppies, Plantains and Daises

I'm used to seeing this at Wetland Reserves, like Upton Warren - Yellow Flag Iris.
I’m used to seeing this at Wetland Reserves, such as Upton Warren – Yellow Flag Iris.

I had to pass under a couple of bridges.
I had to pass under a couple of bridges.

Honeysuckle - one of my favourites, unusually growing out of the side of the bank.
Honeysuckle – one of my favourites, unusually growing out of the side of the bank.

And here it is again, this time growing somewhere more typical.
And here it is again, this time growing somewhere more typical.

A closer view for you.
A closer view for you.

Forget-me-not (and Cleavers).
Forget-me-not (and Cleavers to left)

Just as my allocated 30 minutes was coming to an end, I came across this beauty below! ๐Ÿ˜€

A Marsh Orchid (I think).
A Purple Orchid (unsure as to specific species/variety).

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People can sit and watch it grow.
People can sit and watch it grow.

Had to end on a closer image.
Had to end on a closer image.

Thanks for visiting ๐Ÿ™‚