Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Moth Update

When I arrived at work this morning, I found a Dotted Border (see photo) and an Agonopterix heracliana on the wall.
2011 Work Moth List = 3 species
2011 Garden Moth List = 4 species

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Moth Update

Lastnight, one Hebrew Character was trapped.

2011 Garden Moth List = 4 species

Garden Birdwatch Update

Week starting 13th March 2011

2 Blue Tit
2 Coal Tit
2 Chaffinch
6 Goldfinch
4 Greenfinch
7 House Sparrow
2 Jackdaw
4 Dunnock
3 Collared Dove
2 Woodpigeon
1 Feral Pigeon
5 Starling
2 Robin
3 Blackbird
1 Magpie

Food: Seed, Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts and Fat Balls.

Mammals: 2 Cats (unfortunately)
Amphibians: 4 Common Frog
Butterflies: 1 Small Tortiseshell

Other insects of note: 22 7-spotted Ladybirds were counted in our front garden.

2011 Year List

Went out birdwatching this afternoon around Teesmouth. First stop was Dorman's Pool where I spotted a Little Egret, 6 Pintails, Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Little Grebe. After leaving Dorman's I went down the Zinc Works Road looking for any early spring migrants, but it was very quiet.

On the way home I stopped at Holme Fleet. As I sat watching the birds I spotted a Roe Deer over the road near the Long Drag. It is the first time I have seen a deer on the Long Drag.

2011 Year = 110 (Little Grebe & Lesser Black-backed Gull)

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Breeding Birds

This afternoon the female Blackbird starting building her nest in one of our conifer tress. For the last two weeks or so our resident Blackbirds have been avoiding one another in the garden. Today, there was a truce and both the male and female were happily feeding in the garden at the same time. Now the she is pulling at all dead vegetation to her build her nest.

Also today, the Blue Tit pair had their third viewing of our box. Since I bought a new nestbox with camera over a year ago, no bird has decided to use it. Fingers crossed, this year it becomes a new home with a family.

2011 Year List

Today, I managed a few hours birdwatching in Hartlepool. First stop was Ward Jackson Park for Rose-ringed Parakeet and it wasn't long before one was spotted feeding on the tree buds. Then as I put my telescope away in my car another Parakeet was sitting in a tree closeby.

Then I went to Hartlepool Headland to look for any birds passing our coast and also the resident Mediterranean Gull. Unfortunately no sign of the gull, but a passing adult Gannet was a highlight.

2011 Bird Year List = 108 (Gannet & Rose-ringed Parakeet)

Moth Update

Last night, the skinner trap was switched on and a Clouded Drab and 2 Hebrew Character.
Earlier in the day, two Emmelina Mondactyla were found resting on the garden plants.
2011 Garden Moth List = 4
2011 Work Moth List = 1

Moth Update

The 4th March marked the start of the Garden Moth Scheme, so my Skinner trap was switched on with crossed fingers hoping that the temperature wouldn't drop too low overnight. Strangely no macro moths were caught, but I did get a garden first when a Tortricodes Alternella was found inside.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Garden Birdwatch Update

Week starting 6/3/11

Blue Tit 2
Coal Tit 1
Chaffinch 2
Goldfinch 10
Greenfinch 4
House Sparrow 9
Dunnock 2
Robin 2
Blackbird 1
Collared Dove 3
Woodpigeon 2
Starling 4
Feral Pigeon 6
Jackdaw 3
Magpie 1

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Seed, Peanuts and Fat Balls.

Mammals: 1 Cat

12/3/11 - 10 Common Frogs were present in our garden pond. 1 White-tailed Bumblebee and a 7-spotted Ladybird were also seen.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

2011 Year List

After the Seal Watch had finished at the Teesmouth Field Centre I went to Greatham Creek following reports that Avocets had returned to the Saline Lagoon. After searching the area, a single Avocet was spotted on Greenabella Marsh.

2011 Year List = 106 species (Avocet)

Teesmouth - Common Seal

On Sunday 6th March 2011, I videoed this Common Seal in Greatham Creek. The Seal was intrigued by a red balloon that was on the shoreline, so unfortunately he doesn't look at the camera.

Earlier in the day, the Teesmouth Field Centre was open for visitors to enjoy the seals resting on the sand banks in Seal Sands. We had 43 Common Seals and 10 Grey Seals during our 2 hour hide session.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Garden Birdwatch Update

Week starting 27/2/11

Blue Tit 2
Coal Tit 1
Long-tailed Tit 1
Goldfinch 14
Greenfinch 3
Chaffinch 1
House Sparrow 9
Dunnock 4
Robin 2
Blackbird 2
Starling 6
Jackdaw 3
Woodpigeon 3
Collared Dove 4
Feral Pigeon 2

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Fat Balls & Seed.

Mammals: 2 Cats.

Butterflies: 1 Small Tortiseshell (first of the year in the garden).

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

2011 Year List

On Sunday 27th February 2011, I went with my friend Linda (aka Duckwomen) to Stillingfleet in North Yorkshire to add some more roving records to the BTO Atlas for square SE54. I had never been to the area before and so I was looking forward to a birding adventure. Having already complete 7 BTO Atlas squares in Cleveland I know that each walk can yield surprises and despite counting 'common' birds it is rewarding to know that a particular species is doing well or present in other areas/habitats.

We started at the village of Stillingfleet and a few minutes spent walking around the churchyard and village got us some nice birds. Our ears were filled with the calls of Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Blue Tit and Great Tit as the species list started to grow. A Kestral was hunting along the beck side and four Moorhen went about their business of searching for food. The final reward before leaving the village were a pair of Siskins which perched on the wires.

The next stop was the open fields where the winter crops and grass shoots were still relatively short following the harsh winter conditions. The beautiful sound of Skylark fill the air and despite a breeze a Corn Bunting sat proud on top of a tree merrily joining in the chorus. What a surprise, as Corn Bunting are a species that are in a steady decline. Grey Partridges could be seen in a distant field, before we turned a corner at the end of the field. A quick scan of the land, yielded a huge mixed flock of Fieldfare, Starling and a solitary Redwing. Then we spotted some Golden Plover, Lapwing, Red-legged Partridge and Grey Partridge on the field. Plus two Brown Hares sitting quiet enjoying a bit of hazy sunshine.

Then we went to the next habitat within the square, a small area of mixed woodland. Four Jays were spotted as we walked along the path, plus Bullfinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker. The small birds were an everpresent, so the trees and bushes were constantly moving as they flew from perch to perch. Approximately 8 Stock Dove were seen within a large mixed flock of Woodpigeon, Rook, Jackdaw and Carrion Crow. Then as we stood near a farm, Linda spotted a small falcon trying to catch a Skylark in the air. The birds twisted and turned up high in the sky, before the falcon plummeted to towards the ground at a fast rate of knots and out of sight. After a quick run back along the path we spotted the falcon again, who had managed to catch it's lunch. Now sitting up in the tree with its reward was a Merlin. What an amazing few minutes of birdwatching and the highlight of our walk.

Following our good fortune in Se54 we left the square behind and headed to North Duffield Carrs for a well earned sit down in the hides and the last bit of birdwatching before the light faded away.

2011 Bird Year List = 105 species (Red-legged Partridge, Merlin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Jay and Corn Bunting).