Monday, 29 October 2012

The Importance of Feet!

On my most recent trip to Marbury I spent alot of time looking at the birds feet.

A bird has toes for various reasons for example woodpeckers have two toes pointing foreward and two pointing back for climbing and grasping, however passerines such as this Blue Tits have three toes pointing foreward and one pointing back.

Most birds that you would normally find on a nut feeder have curved, hooked toes for hanging and clinging to and from things, such as this Great Tit trying to get a nut.

Small birds like Great Tits like to have particular spaces on feeders so a Great Tit spreads it's feathers out so other birds can't take their space. I saw alot of the Great Tits doing this at Marbury.

Birds are ringed on their feet and as you can see this Robin has been ringed. Birds need particular sizes so that the bird isn't hurt when flying-  for example a Robin needs a size A- 2.3mm diameter.

After watching all these feet, we wandered back to the car an enjoyed some other wildlife. The Heron was wading out in the water so I could get a good shot.

A pair of Grey Squirrels were asleep together on a holly tree branch in the sun.

It's been great being off school today as I have been able to watch the BBC Autumn Watch 24hr cameras all day. If you haven't had a look yet it's on Freeview channel 301.

Mushroom Rings

I did a bit of research on mushroom rings (following on from my last blog). It is quite hard to explain all the science about why the fungi dies off, but here is my understanding. The fungi starts in one place and as it dies off it spreads further out. As time goes on the fungi spread further and further out and that's what makes the ring. It also explains why the outside edge of the circle looked healthier than the inside. So it was nothing to do with the light.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

RSPB Conwy, Llandudno & The Orme

Whilst I was at my Grandma's, I was out and about alot of the time, and on Wednesday I visited the Great Orme. There were plenty of goats and when I looked down from the wall I was amazed by the view. 

As I fed the gulls I noticed a Jackdaw perched on a wall looking a bit peckish, so I decided to feed a few crumbs to it. A bit like when Andrew fed the Raven (Rambles With A Camera)

This young gull was looking a bit jeaulous and trundled off when the food was gone.

After an enjoyable visit to the Great Orme, I visited RSPB Conwy where I met Julian who was really helpful and kind. When I arrived at the second hide there was a big flock of Lapwing (vanellus vanellus) hanging out.

Luckily when I arrived at the final hide there was a Little Egret wading out in the shallows right next to the hide. It was joined by a Curlew.

As I was strolling back I noticed some mushrooms in the formation of a circle which was rather interesting. Does anyone know why they grow like this?

The right side of the circle seemed to be the most healthy of the lot, possibly because they were a bit more in the sunlight.

If I am honest the Estaury had more birds on it it than the pools. I saw Oystercatchers, a single Redshank, Curlew, Mute Swan, Gulls and Little Egrets.

A Robin joined us on the walk back to the car.


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Birds At Grandma's

As I was on my way to Grandma's, travelling up the track, I spotted alot of Buzzards circling a field full of freshly cut grass. They must of been looking for chopped up mice when the grass cutter carved through the field.

This picture isn't too clear, but a Red Kite had been attracted by all the fuss the Buzzards were making. When I looked to the ground I spotted a him foraging for food.

The track and area around it provide a great habitat for birds.

Most of the time whilst I was there, I was taking pictures of the birds my Grandma gets in the garden. She mostly gets Tits, especially Great Tits.

More Great  Tits.

As you can see she lives near a wood, so she gets quite alot of different species in her garden, but the tits were putting on the best show.

She even gets the odd Nuthatch however she has never seen two at once.

"Yum tasty I can't wait to fly up into this big tree this nut looks so nice."

Don't you think Coaltits are beautiful birds, they are always on my Grandma's feeders.

Mostly on the seeds.

I have never seen these birds on the feeders before!

When I got home, I was so excited beacause I think I spotted the first Field Fares of the year.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Misty Marbury

Yesterday I visited Anderton Nature Park, however there wasn't that much there, so this morning I got up (and got mum up) really early and we went to Marbury Park. It was very misty. We could hear all the geese honking from across the water, but we couldn't see that far.

The feeders had been filled up which meant I could enjoy all the Tits, Nuthatches and Woodpeckers. (Even a Green Woodpecker was sitting in a tree top, however I coudn't get a picture because it was to dark and only there for a few seconds). 

This Robin seemed to be enjoying the mist coming from the lakes edge.

I spotted one of my mums favourite birds, a female Tufted Duck.  We could hear the Mallards laughing from somewhere within the misty murk.

Now, this Blue Tit kept coming to and fro from the nut feeder so I was trying to get a picture of it with a nut in it's mouth, but instead I got it spirralling down into the bramble bushes. 

There were so many Coal Tits down by the lake hide, however at the woodland birdhide I only spotted one or two. They must prefer the lake side spot. It's great seeing all the tits queuing up to wait for their turn on the feeders (unlike the greedy Starlings at home).

It was perfect wether for fungi, it was absolutely everywhere.

The woodland birdhide was not as busy as the lake hide, however I was patient and suddenly birds were coming in from all over the place, perfect for Wild Bird Wednesday.

I really enjoyed Marbury. However I am going to my grandma's in North Wales for a whole week now so I will look out for some intersting birds there.  Grandma's turn to get up early! I am hoping to get to RSPB Conwy again.

Hopefully I will have some great picutres and news for my blog for when I get back.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Cheshire Life

A while ago you might remember I went for a walk down to our river with Emma and Kirsty from Cheshire Life Magazine.

The November magazine came out this week and we finally got a copy. And guess what, two whole pages are all about me.

Can't wait to get back to Anderton Nature Park tomorrow. I haven't been there for a few weeks.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Regulars

I have just filled my nyger seed feeder up, and the moment I got in to watch, Goldfinches were sat on every peg of the feeder.

Lovely birds to watch, especially when they're squabbling as you can see a dazzling colour of gold stretched across the wing bar.

Collared Doves are every where at the moment, they are even coming right up to the window.

The grass in the field is almost certainly growing, however there is the odd seed that hasn't started growing yet which is why there are plenty of Starlings roosting every evening.

As you can see in this picture they are flocking together for feeding and roosting.  My local Buzzard family caused this group to take flight.

Now then, I think that Great Spotted Woodpecker has become a regular visitor to my garden now.

Wonderful birds to watch as they creep up trees and turn upside down foraging in the bark for insects.

Lovely garden visitors.  This one keeps an eye out for that Buzzard family too!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Beaumaris & RSPB Conwy

On the Sunday of the weekend, I visited a castle in Beaumaris which was right next to the Menai Straits, where I got a lovely view of Snowdonia.

The moat of the castle was filled with ducks and even a few Mute Swans came right up to a bridge that we were standing on.

After the castle visit I visited the RSPB Conwy Reserve where I saw loads of lovely waders like Oyster Catchers and Curlew. I also saw Grey Heron, a Kestrel and lots Herring  Gulls..

In my opinion I think that this next bird is a Whimbrel, but I just want to make sure, does any one agree.  I was thinking it might be a Curlew, but I have studied my books carefully.

There were plenty of Little Egrets about, I counted at least 8.

There was a lovely Redshank wading in a pool of water rather close to me. Finally I have got to see one.

Here is a picture of Conway Castle which you can see from the reserve.

The only waterfowl that were out and about were mostly Teal, Coots and Tufted Ducks.

There were plenty of Mute Swans out on the reserve, mostly preening themselves at the very edge of the estuary. But this group flew right over us.

I can't wait to go back to RSPB Conwy, it's a great place, especially being right next to the estuary.

On the way home I counted loads of Buzzaards the most I have ever seen on a trip home. On one bit of the A55 they were perched on most of the lamp posts.

Back home now, but lots of great memories are filling my head.