Saturday, 27 July 2013

North Wales Wildlife

My first week at Wales went rather smoothly, I saw plenty of butterflies, moths (especially) and birds. The reason I put moths down as especially is because I caught a lot, due to me taking my moth trap; here is a few listed species (not all of them) : Garden Tiger, Yellow Tail, Lesser Broad Bordered Under wing, Broad Bordered Under Wing, Large Emerald, Magpie, Poplar Hawk moth and Blood Vein; they're just a few.

Here are just a few pictures of what wildelifeI have seen and what I have been up to!!! 


A visit to Grandma's friend Irene's amazing garden.

Honey Bee

 Juvenile Great Tit


 Damsel Fly




And it was great to see a lesser spotted Keith again.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Super Saturday

Yesterday, according to Peter was Super Saturday, because he had cut some new net rides and when I saw them I thought the day should be called Spectacular Super Saturday; it was an early start of course 3.30am and lots of effort put in and at the end of the ringing session it really was a Super Saturday! We were joined by James and  Pete, which was great as I had not seen James for a while. 

Warbler wise we caught quite a few Sedge Warblers in the reed bed net, and we also caught about 20 Blackcap a few Wrens, Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Song Thrush, Blue Tit, Blackbirds, ChiffChaff and... 

...A Grasshopper Warbler! This was a juvenile so it didn't have the beautiful golden streaky underside of the adult.  I was extremely lucky to ring this bird and study it up close and learn about the difference between the the Tertial feathers between adults and juvenilles.

 Here is a back view of it to show it's Tertials, you can see how broad and new they look.

It wasn't just birds that we caught today, a newt was passing through where we had set up. I potted it for a few seconds to study it up close then I let it go into some long grass.

I won't be blogging this next week (apart from the week end) because I will be at my Grandma's (Red Starts have a second brood) I will be taking my moth trap so when I get back I will have a lot of news to share. See you then!!

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Wild Flowers And Willow Tits

The Saturday that has just gone you may of guessed I was ringing with Peter (you are right)! It was a really early start setting the equipment up at 3.30am, it  had been  quite a warm night and there were moths everywhere, but we didn't see a fox this time though. The site was Kings Moss and had changed quite a lot from when I last saw it.

The fields were no longer snow and ice, or rain or mud, but beautiful flowers that lit the place up. Colours of blue red and yellow littered each  field attracting loads of butterflies and moths that I observed throughout the session (not as much as the birds of course).

My dad had the small digital camera with him, nevertheless the pictures are still quite good. I ringed the majority of the birds which included a splendid male Bullfinch and two juvenile Willow Tits. I got to hold and ring these birds, however I have got to say when you have a bird in your hand that you don't often catch you suddenly feel quite nervous again.

Here is one of the juvenile Willow Tits we caught and ringed.

We caught one re-trap bird in the session which was this gorgeous male Yellow Hammer. It was the first time I had seen one of these birds for a while and it is always special to see the bird close up when checking and processing its details.

The Highland Cattle were being sensible and were trying to keep cool in the shade of the trees beside the field they were grazing in.

Kings Moss is owned by a farm so you may of guessed it has several breeds of animals, one of these included a Saddle Backed pig with it's piglets.  

This farm does so much for nature as it is part of the Farm Stewards Scheme.

I just had to show what the blue wave of colour actually looked like and even the people that aren't that keen on flowers have to say that is pretty remarkable.

I slept well that night; well walking about 5 miles in the baking sun was pretty draining.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

My First Go At Moth Trapping

On Tuesday my moth trap was ready to go at long last so we decided to set it up and pot some of the moths we caught in the morning. I got some very good results because it was quite a warm night. In the picture below, the first moth I identified was called Bird's Wing - how appropriate is that!

 Out of all the moths we caught (at least 50 species) this wonderful Garden Tiger had to be my favorite. It was the third moth we processed, and I have to say it was pretty well behaved as in it didn't fly away or flap about. Sadly this type of moth has declined by 92% since the 1960s so it is becoming scarce - however there has to be an answer to why this is happening so I would like to hear what you bloggers think.

We also caught some very big Buff Tip moths, they look just like a silver birch twig. 

I was the one writing down the species and identifying them.

However I couldn't quite identify this one, so I would really like your suggestions on this moth really badly!!!

I really did enjoy identifying the moths; my mum and dad, well actually all the family had such a good night photographing and working them all out.

Here are some of the moths I caught:

Angle Shades

Burnished Brass

Buff Ermine... I think

The amazing Elephant Hawk moth.

The biggest moth we caught was the Poplar Hawk Moth.

And well, I couldn't quite identify this one, but it looks a bit like a Gremlin!

Wilde About Birds (and moths)!

Thank you to Mike Shurmer for his moth help.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Wilde About Birds Blog - 1 Year Old Today

I can't believe it, today my blog is actually a whole year old, its gone so fast and I started it at the beginning of my final year of primary school and now this week I am having my induction for high school !!

So I would like to reflect on some of the things I have achieved and tried to achieve. However out of everything I want to say a big thank you to all my fellow blog followers that have helped me and supported me throughout the year.

I would like to list everyone that has helped me, however that would take me far to long, nevertheless I know that all of you know that you've helped me anyway. Some of the main highlights for me has been my extraordinary ringing learning experience (with my funny, helpful, supporting, enthusiastic teacher Peter Fearon ) and of course the majority of my blog followers who made the effort to do a special birthday walk (and the ones I really missed that couldn't come). 

I'd really like to thank Andrew Fulton (Rambles with a Camera) who inspired me to start blogging. Here are a few other good things: being on Spring Watch  Unsprung, interview with Cheshire Life, filming with Lucy McRoberts, meeting the full of knowledge Bill Morton at Frodsham Marsh, nest recording with Alan Garner and writing a guest blog for Mark Avery.   But most of all I have been learning and that has been so enjoyable and I like sharing what I have learnt.

However, here are some of the down sides: No nature days in school, feeding Station being trashed, hearing about the Badger Culling and the loss of most of our beautiful Hen Harriers, some people not being too helpful which all sums up to one thing 

That Owen Patterson and Micheal Gove are absolutely useless!!!

Anyway got to dash off, nature needs me, and I'm doing a spot of moth trapping (by the way Owen and Micheal nature doesn't need you!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Wild Bird Wednesday

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Fledged Robins, Toads and Litter!

A very early start for me it was on Saturday morning (in fact I got up at 2:00 am). I was at a new site called Fullwood, and it impressed me quite a bit, in fact we caught nearly 70 birds, so I got to ring quite a few; and that included Wrens, White Throats, Robins, Blackcaps, Blackbirds, Great Tits, Sedge Warblers and a few others!

However even though we caught quite a few good birds, it wasn't all good news for me; unfortunately I was  eye suffering with hay fever and I could barely see. As you can see in this picture my eyes are just about open (I have got a Wren in my hand). I am going to get some special goggles for next time.

We caught quite a few juvenile birds that day, for instance this Robin had probably left the nest a week ago or so. 

One of our nets was by a canal that was absolutely filled with litter however the adult Coots seemed to have strong healthy chicks, the canal even produced a Kingfisher for us!

It wasn't just birds that we caught today, I also caught a few Frogs and Toads that were passing through the long wet grass (It is a Toad that is in my hand below).

I  hope you like the picture because we just had the small digital camera with us. (My blog is one year old tomorrow and I will be writing a blog about that).

Thursday, 4 July 2013

A Barn Owl Encounter

Over the last weekend I was lucky to have an opportunity to ring some Barn Owls with Scouse Ringer, Moxey, Dad and Danny. This year it has been very wet, which has reduced a lot of mammal activity, which means a lot of breeding pairs of Barn Owls can't of got enough food to feed their chicks. 

Barn Owls have one ear higher than the other so it can hear at two different points to pin point their prey (it's called triangulation).

This species of owl is absolutely beautiful... Well the adults at least..

This pair of Barn Owls has three chicks (the third isn't in the picture) they were born two days apart and are doing really well. I ringed the smallest of the the trio.

Whilst I was at the farm we also ringed a few Swallows, I have had some experience at nest recording Swallows, so I was used to the atmosphere of what is was like.

Two awesome species living in barns.