Thursday 30 June 2011

Turtle Doves

After checking all spring I finally refound last years Turtle Doves at Hutton Cranswick. They bred last year and Im hoping they have done the same this year. Two birds were on wires just outside the village in a shower this evening on my commute home. Poor pictures below.

Not the greatest pictures but I will endeavour to manage better before the summer is out.

Monday 27 June 2011

Bat revisit

I have been told that the ear on my bat may be the key to speciating. Concensus has been a myotis, principally Natterers or Daubenton's - both common enough round here.

Bat Ear

Also some really sad news. My wife, Angela lost twins this weekend at 10 weeks pregnant. We are both cut up and pretty numb.

Saturday 25 June 2011

Went for a Rat, Got a Bat

Went down to Nafferton Beck to take shots of Water Voles and whilst I got brief views I was left disappointed. I was considerably happier when I noticed this mid-sized bat roosting on the outer aspect of the footbridge. Any ideas for ID?

Also had a Sparrowhawk shoot through. Continuing the theme of inverts here are three more for ID.

Hylobius abietis - Pine Weevil?
grasshopper sp.

Buff-tailed Bumblebee? Bombus terrestris?

Entomological Idiocy?

In an effort to keep myself distracted without bunging three million quid in my cars fuel tank I have been playing with the idea of pan-species listing...or in my case looking at the invertebrates in the garden. Now I managed to deduce a few bits and pieces but I am a complete novice never having had any interest in this field before. I need help with some ID's if anyone could or knows someone that could?

I think this is your bog standard House Fly Musca domestica

But I have a few other flies that I have no idea over. And some bits that I don't even know if they are flies.

I also managed a few beetles. First up was the standard shiny yellow flower loving job which I have no idea what it is called.

followed by this sneaky devil hiding amongst them on a flower head

As for Bees I think this is Garden Bumblebee Bombus hortorum

While I think this is the Common Carder Bumblebee Bombus pascuorum

I also saw Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lapidarius which I know is common but was good to see. I made a mess of various other photos but will endeavour so please help a poor referenceless innocent and ID my arthropods.

Monday 20 June 2011

Pissed Off

Went for the Flamborough Stone Curlew yesterday, safe in the knowledge that its a night migrant. I hauled Isabeel to North Marsh from North Landing with scope, camera and bins. And I was greeted with, that fat,twat in the hat has just entered the field to get a photo and flushed it to the horizon - did you see it fly? To which I swore. It was such a selfish thing to do by a very noted birder. I wont name him here as that isnt fair but the long-walk back took ages and felt 3 times as far. Gutted...

Friday 10 June 2011

I'm a Winner

Just a quick post to say that I was the very fortunate winner of the year's membership of the BTO from the Talking Naturally Podcast TN 33. I would like to thnak the BTO for my membership and Charlie Moores, webmaster and podcaster behind Talking Naturally for the prize which will be put to good use I can assure them. Cheers!

Thursday 9 June 2011

Quail of a Time

I went for a walk down by Wansford Beck this evening in an effort to hear Quail. Aside from stacks of Swifts and Swallows feeding on the Mayflies, a Roe Deer was stood watching me in the field before breaking left.

A couple of Yellow Wagtails chased across the field and a Corn Bunting piped up on the wires.

It really is a Corn Bunting!

A group of hares were pottering about on the far side of the fields as were a couple of Barn Owls including one which gave a flyby as the light dropped.

As I was growing dispondent a single Quail piped up with just a single phrase. I was delighted! Before I could get too excited a Hare ran up to me as I was stood behind a tree and sat down. Oblivious.


CES visit 4

I went ringing on sunday to Tophill again as part of our CES program. Despite a quiet morning it was all very pleasant and we managed to prove breeding of a pair of Lesser Whitethroats in South Scrub as all other birds have been passage birds either to other areas on site or away from the site. Also interesting was the Turtle Dove still holding territory and only singing briefly in the morning. Perhaps good news? The catch was a poor 12 birds by 1pm when we decided to pack up. We had caught a rather smart male Linnet though plus 6 Blue tit pulli which were cool.

When we got to the nets we were shocked to see a catch of 39 birds, more than three times what we had managed in the rest of the session. 2 Long-tailed Tit flocks had hit different nets and brought a few of their friends with them. I was really chuffed as I managed to extract 10 out of the 39 birds including 7 Long-tailed Tits. I am learning slowly...

Full catch:

Willow warbler 3(3)
Chiffchaff 1
Dunnock 2
Song Thrush 0(1)
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Blue Tit 1 
Linnet 1
Chaffinch 0(1)
Long Tailed Tit 33(2)

Plus 6 Blue Tit pulli

Recaptures in brackets

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Rockin' Robin

I was supposed to be in the Moray Firth today. Supposed. So I worked half of last night and thus when my survey got cancelled I sacked it all off and got my twitching companion (my daughter Isabelle). She slept en route which was a bonus and we quickly arrived. It was raining when we arrived so I was glad when we were shepherded into the flats overlooking the doctors garden. Izzy managed free entry as she was under 5 (apparently). The no show of the bird was compensated by a roof over our head although I was a tad concerned by the cannabis fumes escaping under one of the doors on the top floor.

When Izzy got tired and started creating we retired to the playground. Returning we tripped over the bird and I managed to fire off a couple of shots before my daughter decided to head off in the birds direction. EEek. Thankfully I coaxed her back before she flushed the bird. Over the next 15 minutes the bird showed on and off around the inner bowling green and the road adjacent and viewing was good when my child wasnt trying to charge the birdie she was celebrating seeing loudly. Doh! I hope we didnt upset too many and apologise to anyone we did inconvenience. The bird wasnt much bothered. We quickly headed off and returned to East Yorkshire armed with more sweets and fruitshoots than you can chuck a stick at.

Thursday 2 June 2011


I spent the beginning of this week in the Moray Firth.We pulled a monster shift with 4 Minke Whales the best of the mammals with only a single Porpoise as a kicker. Migrants were thin on the ground with only 2 Swallows passing by. Plenty of skuas were doing the rounds but hopes of a scarce one passing us by despite two of my colleagues stringing dark phase (??) Arctic Skuas as long-tails. We managed around 70 Bonxies and 50 Arctics as well as 50 plus Arctic Terns. Other highlights were two fly-by Black Guillemots and a late Storm Petrel which followed us for 10 minutes late on.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Yank Wigeon

I had just got back from Scotland when I heard about a pair of American Wigeon at Tophill Low. As I was going past anyway I dropped in and got excellent views.

I have just got back from Scotland. Here is a taster of a full report tomorrow.

Arctic Skua

How birds and brains become mutually exclusive

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