Happy New Year…happy old year!

Our special year ends as the New Year begins sadly the last few days saw us shrouded in fog so the conclusion was not what I had hoped for. I had planned to repeat January 1st with a visit to Titchwell and Holme but instead I stayed home!

I have really enjoyed the year and am very pleased that we decided to take a year out pursuing wings…and other things! Now the time has come to look back and see how it went, the good bits and the even better bits. Time to check through the lists and make sure nothing has been left off or doubled up and maybe pick out some best bits.

What a difference a year makes, last January 1st was bright and dry, today has been wet all day long! I was glad that no outings were planned instead we have had a lovely day with family around.

Lists have been checked and I can reveal that our total number of things seen both winged and otherwise, is 729 and the nearest guess to that was 750 given by Peter so he is the winner!!!

I am pleased to say that we saw 257 different birds, 26 of them were life ticks for me so 10% much higher than I would have imagined. Peter asked how many things in total were life tics for us and when we looked that shot the percentage way up.

We had 4 new mammals out of a total of 25, 53 new insects from 85, 77 new macro moths from 245, whilst micros was 58 new from 70! Now some of these figures may not be entirely accurate but if I can’t recall seeing things before and have no record of them I am counting them as life ticks. Carrying on, 7 dragonflies out of 10 were new, 4 damselflies from 7 and 12 butterflies from 25. No new amphibians or reptiles, to be honest we failed miserably in that category!

Now totalling it all up that makes 241 life ticks from a total of 729 things seen, almost exactly one third!!!

It is hard to pick favourites but I will try just a few. I know Ian’s favourite picture of the year is this one.

IMG_2446 pine martin

It was taken in Scotland on a wonderful day, we got three of our four mammal ticks that day! This Pine marten plus beavers and Daubenton’s bat and really was a day to remember!!!

Our week on Mull with Ruth, Stu and Sprocket was brilliant, the company and the things we saw, smashing!

A few weeks spent ‘down south’ gave us chances to spend time with Brian and Margaret and ended with a week spent down in Devon with Janice and Chris. Excellent to catch up whilst seeing new places and spotting birds, finding a new-born calf in the New Forrest was an unexpected bonus!

It is difficult to choose favourite birds but I will pick a few out, I dare say if I were to pick them another day I may make different choices! If you click on a photo they should tell you what they are

I selected these fairly swiftly just scrolling through the photos I have used on here before. Some were chosen for rarity others I simply love!

Another highlight have been the occasions that our grandchildren have been out with us and less often Peter too. One special day was spent at Minsmere the day we saw the purple swamphen another at Burnham.

We have spent time with Alan and Judy both in Norfolk and Gloucestershire, all very enjoyable and Alan’s new-found love of insects gave our list a boost!

An all too brief visit to Stephen and Pauline did at least mean we saw all of our siblings which was lovley but an all too rare occurance!

Just a few moths so they don’t feel left out!

 

I had better stop reminiscing my way through the year and get some lists posted! I may do another blog or two and tel you about some faourite places and things etc but not today.  Before the lists I just want to thank you for reading my blogs, it is appreciated as are any comments (on here please not FB as they get lost!)

A big thank you to friends and family that encouraged us to take this year out and have not minded me either not making arrangments in the first place of cancelling them to go and see a bird!

The biggest thank you goes to Ian, doing this year would not have been half the fun. His golf has gone by the way side which I didn’t think would ever happen and I hpe it picks up again now we have crossed into 2017! We have managed no to tfall out (although a couple of motoring incidents came close!!!) and have spent more time together than I can remember.

So I wish you all a happy 2017, may you find peace and happiness and enjoy the living creatures you encounter. Hope to see you before too long 🙂

Now the lists and you alread know they contain a totola of 729 living creatures!!!

First the birds 257 of which 26 were life ticks!

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Bewick Swan
  3. Whooper Swan
  4. Bean Goose
  5. Pink-footed Goose
  6. White-fronted Goose
  7. Greylag Goose
  8. Canada Goose
  9. Barnacle Goose
  10. Brent Goose
  11. Egyptian Goose
  12. Common Shelduck
  13. Muscovy duck
  14. Mandarin Duck
  15. Eurasian Wigeon
  16. Gadwall
  17. Eurasian Teal
  18. Mallard
  19. Pintail
  20. Garganey
  21. Shoveler
  22. Red-crested Pochard
  23. Common Pochard
  24. Ferruginous Duck *
  25. Tufted duck
  26. Greater Scaup
  27. Common Eider
  28. Long-tailed Duck
  29. Common Scoter
  30. Velvet Scoter
  31. Goldeneye
  32. Smew
  33. Hooded merganser *
  34. Red-breasted Merganser
  35. Red Grouse
  36. Black Grouse
  37. Goosander
  38. Red-legged Partridge
  39. Grey Partridge
  40. Common Pheasant
  41. Golden Pheasant
  42. Little Grebe
  43. Great Crested Grebe
  44. Red-necked Grebe *
  45. Slavonian Grebe
  46. Black-necked Grebe
  47. Fulmar
  48. Manx Shearwater
  49. Gannet
  50. Cormorant
  51. Shag
  52. Bittern
  53. Cattle Egret
  54. Little Egret
  55. Great Egret
  56. Grey Heron
  57. White Stork
  58. Glossy Ibis
  59. Spoonbill
  60. Red Kite
  61. White-tailed Eagle
  62. Marsh Harrier
  63. Hen Harrier
  64. Pallid Harrier *
  65. Goshawk *
  66. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  67. Common Buzzard
  68. Rough-legged Buzzard
  69. Golden Eagle
  70. Osprey
  71. Kestrel
  72. Merlin
  73. Hobby
  74. Peregrine Falcon
  75. Water Rail
  76. Corn Crake
  77. Moorhen
  78. Western purple swamphen*
  79. Coot
  80. Common Crane
  81. Great bustard *
  82. Oystercatcher
  83. Black-winged Stilt
  84. Pied Avocet
  85. Stone-curlew
  86. Little ringed Plover
  87. Ringed Plover
  88. Dotterel
  89. European Golden Plover
  90. Grey Plover
  91. Lapwing
  92. Great Knot*
  93. Knot
  94. Sanderling
  95. Little Stint
  96. Temminck’s Stint
  97. Pectoral Sandpiper
  98. Curlew Sandpiper
  99. Purple Sandpiper
  100. Dunlin
  101. Broad-billed Sandpiper *
  102. Ruff
  103. Jack Snipe
  104. Common Snipe
  105. Long-billed Dowitcher *
  106. Woodcock
  107. Black-tailed Godwit
  108. Bar-tailed Godwit
  109. Whimbrel
  110. Curlew
  111. Spotted Redshank
  112. Common Redshank
  113. Common Greenshank
  114. Lesser Yellowlegs
  115. Green Sandpiper
  116. Wood Sandpiper
  117. Common Sandpiper
  118. Ruddy Turnstone
  119. Grey Phalarope
  120. Arctic Skua
  121. Mediterranean Gull
  122. Little Gull
  123. Black-headed Gull
  124. Common Gull
  125. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  126. Herring Gull
  127. Iceland Gull
  128. Glaucous Gull *
  129. Great Black-backed Gull
  130. Kittiwake
  131. Caspian Tern *
  132. Sandwich Tern
  133. Common Tern
  134. Arctic Tern
  135. Common Guillemot
  136. Razorbill
  137. Black Guillemot
  138. Puffin
  139. Rock Pigeon
  140. Stock Pigeon
  141. Wood Pigeon
  142. Collared Dove
  143. Turtle Dove
  144. Rose-ringed Parakeet *
  145. Cuckoo
  146. Barn Owl
  147. Little Owl
  148. Tawny Owl
  149. Short-eared Owl
  150. Common Swift
  151. Common Kingfisher
  152. European Bee-eater *
  153. Hoopoe
  154. Wryneck
  155. Green Woodpecker
  156. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  157. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
  158. Wood Lark
  159. Sky Lark
  160. Shore Lark (horned lark)
  161. Sand Martin
  162. Swallow
  163. Red-rumped Swallow *
  164. House Martin
  165. Tree Pipit
  166. Meadow Pipit
  167. Rock Pipit
  168. Water Pipit
  169. Yellow Wagtail (Grey-headed)
  170. Grey Wagtail
  171. Pied Wagtail
  172. Bohemian Waxwing
  173. Dipper
  174. Wren
  175. Dunnock
  176. Siberian Accentor*
  177. Robin
  178. Common Nightingale *
  179. Bluethroat*
  180. Red-flanked Bluetail
  181. Black Redstart
  182. Common Redstart
  183. Whinchat
  184. Stonechat
  185. Isabelline Wheatear*
  186. Desert Wheatear
  187. Wheatear
  188. Ring Ouzel
  189. Blackbird
  190. Fieldfare
  191. Song Thrush
  192. Redwing
  193. Mistle Thrush
  194. Cetti’s Warbler
  195. Grasshopper Warbler
  196. Sedge Warbler
  197. Eurasian Reed Warbler
  198. Great Reed Warbler*
  199. Dartford Warbler
  200. Barred Warbler
  201. Lesser Whitethroat
  202. Whitethroat
  203. Blackcap
  204. Yellow-browed Warbler
  205. Eastern Crowned Warbler *
  206. Radde’s Warbler*
  207. Dusky Warbler*
  208. Wood Warbler
  209. Common Chiffchaff
  210. Willow Warbler
  211. Goldcrest
  212. Firecrest
  213. Spotted Flycatcher
  214. Red-breasted Flycatcher
  215. Pied Flycatcher
  216. Bearded Tit
  217. Long-tailed Tit
  218. Marsh Tit
  219. Willow Tit
  220. Crested Tit *
  221. Coal Tit
  222. Blue Tit
  223. Great Tit
  224. Nuthatch
  225. Treecreeper
  226. Penduline tit *
  227. Red-backed Shrike
  228. Great Grey Shrike
  229. Jay
  230. Magpie
  231. Jackdaw
  232. Rook
  233. Crow
  234. Hooded Crow
  235. Common Raven
  236. Starling
  237. House Sparrow
  238. Tree Sparrow
  239. Chaffinch
  240. Brambling
  241. Serin *
  242. Greenfinch
  243. Goldfinch
  244. Siskin
  245. Linnet
  246. Twite
  247. Lesser Redpoll
  248. Mealy Redpoll
  249. Common Crossbill
  250. Bullfinch
  251. Hawfinch
  252. Lapland Longspur
  253. Snow Bunting
  254. Yellowhammer
  255. Cirl Bunting
  256. Reed Bunting
  257. Corn Bunting

Mamals next 4 of the 25 were new

  1. Rabbit.
  2. Stoat
  3. Hare
  4. Grey squirrel
  5. Common seal
  6. Roe deer
  7. Red deer
  8. Muntjak deer
  9. Sperm whale *
  10. Grey seal
  11. Otter
  12. Weasel
  13. Bank vole
  14. Fallow deer
  15. Red squirrel
  16. Pine marten *
  17. Beaver *
  18. Daubenton’s bat *
  19. Common pipistrelle
  20. Common shrew
  21. Water vole
  22. Hedgehog
  23. Pygmy shrew
  24. Field vole
  25. Chinese water deer

Insects and other bits and bobs  53 of the 85 were new to me    the ones marked with * are the ones NOT new

  1. Common Wasp*
  2. Ladybird 7 spot*
  3. Ladybird harlequin
  4. Lacewing green*
  5. Lacewing brown
  6. Bloody nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)
  7. Red tailed Bumble bee
  8. White tailed Bumble bee*
  9. Honey bee*
  10. Hornet*
  11. Garden snail*
  12. Slug*
  13. Wood ants*
  14. Scottish wood ants
  15. Mining bees
  16. Froghopper
  17. Hawthorn shieldbug
  18. Two banded longhorn beetle
  19. Poplar leaf beetle
  20. Woodlouse*
  21. Earwig*
  22. Earth worm*
  23. Wolf spider
  24. Green dock beetle
  25. Green leafhopper
  26. Bee fly*
  27. Green sawfly
  28. Dark bush-cricket
  29. Pantallon bee
  30. Bee-wolf
  31. Daddy-long-legs spider
  32. Ophion obscratus (wasp)
  33. Cock chaffer
  34. House spider*
  35. Money spider*
  36. Zebra spider
  37. Green fly *
  38. Black fly*
  39. Red spider mite*
  40. Red ant*
  41. Helophilus pendulus (Sun (hover) fly)
  42. Dasysyrphus albostriatus (hover fly)
  43. Sphaerophoria scripta ( long hoverfly)
  44. Eupeodes luniger (hoverfly)
  45. Common field grasshopper
  46. Meadow grasshopper
  47. Mottled grasshopper
  48. Centipede*
  49. Millipede *
  50. Harvestman *(Dicranopalpus ramopus)
  51. Common sexton beetle* (Nicrophorus vespilloides)
  52. Black sexton beetle (Nicrophorus humator)
  53. Common green shieldbug*
  54. Buff tailed bumble bee
  55. Southern oak bush cricket
  56. Pond skaters*
  57. Water boatmen*
  58. Caddisfly
  59. Bradycellus verbasci (moth trap invader!)
  60. Common green grasshopper*
  61. Sitona Lepidus (small beetle)
  62. Nowickia ferox (fly)
  63. Tachina grossa (bee-face fly!)
  64. Sargus flavipes-( Yellow-legged Centurion)
  65. Common Carder Bumblebee
  66. Garden spider*
  67. Red-legged shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes)
  68. Black Kneed Capsid (Blepharidopterus)
  69. Nigma walckenaeri (little green spider!)
  70. Ladybird 2 spot*
  71. Birch shield bug
  72. Eupterx urticae (tiny nettle bug)
  73. Speckled bush-cricket
  74. Chrysolina americana ( Rosemary leaf beetle )
  75. Crane fly*
  76. Box shield bug
  77. Grove snail
  78. Small black ant *(Lasius niger)
  79. Large black ant *(Formica fusca)
  80. Nemorilla floralis (black and white fly)
  81. Devil’s coachhorse (Ocypus olens)
  82. Nursery spider (Pisaura mirabilis)
  83. Scorpian fly (Panorpa communis)
  84. Long-winged Conehea
  85. Dock bugMacro Moths    245 which includes 77 new ones

    Angle shades

    Autumnal moth

    Autumnal rustic

    Barred sallow

    Barred straw

    Barred yellow

    Beaded chestnut

    Beautiful golden Y

    Beautiful hook-tip

    Black arches

    Black rustic

    Blackneck

    Blair’s shoulder-knot

    Blood-vein

    Bordered beauty

    Bordered pug

    Brindled beauty

    Broad-bordered yellow underwing

    Bright-line brown-eye

    Brimstone

    Brindled beauty

    Brindled pug

    Brown rustic

    Brown-line bright-eye

    Brown-spot pinion

    Brown-tail

    Buff arches

    Buff ermine

    Buff tip

    Burnished brass

    Cabbage moth

    Canary-shouldered thorn

    Centre-barred sallow

    Chestnut

    Chinese character

    Cinnabar

    Clay

    Clouded border

    Clouded drab

    Clouded silver

    Clouded-bordered brindle

    Coast dart

    Common carpet

    Common emerald

    Common footman

    Common marbled carpet

    Common pug

    Common Quaker

    Common rustic

    Common swift

    Common wave

    Common wainscot

    Common white wave

    Copper underwing

    Coronet

    Coxcomb prominent

    Currant pug

    Cypress pug

    Dark arches

    Dark-barred twin-spot carpet

    Dark Spectacle

    Dark spinach

    Dark/grey dagger

    December moth

    Dewick’s plusia

    Dingy footman

    Dot moth

    Dotted chestnut

    Double square spot

    Double-striped pug

    Drinker

    Dun-bar

    Dusky brocade

    Dusky sallow

    Dusky thorn

    Dwarf cream wave

    Ear moth

    Early grey

    Early moth

    Early thorn

    Early toothed-stripe

    Elephant hawkmoth

    Emperor moth

    Engrailed

    Eyed hawkmoth

    Fan-foot

    Feathered gothic

    Feathered thorn

    Flame shoulder

    Flounced rustic

    Four-dotted footman

    Foxglove pug

    Frosted green

    Frosted orange

    Garden carpet

    Garden tiger

    Ghost moth

    Great prominent

    Green-brindled crescent

    Green carpet

    Green pug

    Green silver-lines

    Grey pine carpet

    Heart and club

    Heart and dart

    Hebrew character

    Herald

    Hummingbird hawkmoth

    Iron prominent

    Juniper carpet

    July highflyer

    Knot-grass

    Latticed heath

    Large emerald

    Large nutmeg

    Large twin-spot carpet

    Large wainscot

    Large yellow underwing

    Least black arches

    Least carpet

    Least yellow underwing

    Leopard moth

    Lesser cream wave

    Lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing

    Lesser swallow prominent

    Lesser yellow underwing

    Light arches

    Light brocade

    Light emerald

    Lilac beauty

    Lime hawkmoth

    Lime speck pug

    Lobster moth

    Lunar underwing

    Lychnis

    Magpie moth

    Maiden’s blush

    Mallow

    Map-winged swift

    Marbled beauty

    Marbled brown

    Marbled minor

    March moth

    Marbled white spot

    Merveille du jour

    Miller (caterpillar)

    Mottled beauty

    Mottled pug

    Mottled rustic

    Mottled umber

    Mouse moth

    Muslin

    November moth

    Nutmeg

    Nut-tree tussock

    Oak beauty

    Orange footman

    Orange sallow

    Orange Swift

    Pale brindle beauty

    Pale eggar

    Pale mottled willow

    Pale prominent

    Pale tussock

    Pale-shouldered brocade

    Peach blossom

    Pebble hook-tip

    Peppered moth

    Pine hawkmoth

    Pink-barred sallow

    Plain golden Y

    Poplar grey

    Poplar hawkmoth

    Powdered Quaker

    Purple bar

    Red-green carpet

    Red-line Quaker

    Red twin-spot carpet

    Riband wave

    Rosy footman

    Rosy rustic

    Royal mantle

    Ruby tiger

    Rustic

    Rustic shoulder-knot

    Sallow

    Scalloped oak

    Scarce footman

    Scorched wing

    Setaceous Hebrew character

    Shears

    Short-cloaked moth

    Shoulder stripe

    Shoulder-striped wainscot

    Shuttle-shaped dart

    Silver Y

    Silver-ground carpet

    Single-dotted wave

    Six-striped rustic

    Slender brindle

    Small angle shades

    Small blood-vein

    Small brindled beauty

    Small dusty wave

    Small fan-foot

    Small fan-footed wave

    Small Quaker

    Small rivulet

    Small square-spot

    Small yellow wave

    Smoky wainscot

    Snout

    Spectacle

    Spinach

    Spruce carpet

    Square-spot rustic

    Straw dot

    Straw underwing

    Streamer

    Swallow prominent

    Swallow-tailed moth

    Tawny speckled pug

    The flame

    Treble bar

    Treble lines

    Triple-spotted pug

    Turnip moth

    Uncertain

    V moth

    V Pug

    Vapourer

    Varied coronet

    Vestal

    Vine’s rustic

    Waved umber

    Webb’s wainscot

    White ermine

    White satin moth

    White-point

    Willow beauty

    Winter moth

    Yellow-barred brindle

    Yellow-line Quaker

    Yellow shell

    Yellow-tail

     

    Micro moths    58 from these 70 I am counting as new!

    1. Apple leaf miner (Lyonetia clerkella)
    2. Ash-bark Knot-horn (Euzophera pinguis)
    3. Barred marble (Celypha striana)
    4. Beautiful china-mark ( Nymphula nitdulata )
    5. Bee moth ( Aphomia sociella)
    6. Bird-cherry ermine ( Yponomeuta evonymella )
    7. Bordered carl (Coptotriche marginea)
    8. Brown china-mark ( Elophila nymphaeata)
    9. Brown house moth (Hofmannophila pseudospretella)
    10. Chequered grass veneer ( Catopria falsella )
    11. Codling moth (Cydia pomonella)
    12. Common drill ( Dichrorampha petiverella )
    13. Common grey (Scoparia ambiguallis)
    14. Common marble ( Celypha lacunana )
    15. Common nettle-tap (Anthophila fabriciana)
    16. Common plume ( Emmelina monodactyla)
    17. Cyclamen tortrix ( Clepsis spectrana )
    18. Dawn flat-body (Semioscopis steinkellneriana)
    19. Diamond- back moth (Plutella xylostella)
    20. Dingy dowd (Blastobasis adustella)
    21. Dotted oak knot-horn ( Phycita roborella)
    22. Double striped tabby ( Hypsopygia glaucinalis )
    23. Elbow stripe grass-veneer (Agriphila geniculea)
    24. Elder pearl (Anania coronate)
    25. Fenland pearl (Anania perlucidalis)
    26. Florida pink scavenger (Anatrachyntis badia)
    27. Garden grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella)
    28. Garden pebble (Evergestis forficalis)
    29. Garden rose tortrix ( Acleris variegana )
    30. Golden argent (Argyresthia goedartella)
    31. Gold triangle ( Hypsopygia costalis )
    32. Grass-veneer (Crambus pascuella)
    33. Horsechestnut leaf miner (Cameraria ohridella)
    34. Large fruit-tree tortrix ( Archips podana)
    35. Large Ivy Tortrix (Lozotaenia forsterana)
    36. Large tabby ( Aglossa pinguinalis)
    37. Light brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana)
    38. Little grey (Eudonia lacustrara)
    39. London dowd ( Blastobasis lacticolella)
    40. Long-horned flat-body ( Carcina quercana )
    41. Many plumed moth (Aluctia hexadactyla)
    42. Maple slender (Caloptilia semifascia)
    43. Marbled orchard tortrix (Hedya nubiferana)
    44. March tubic (Diurnea fagella)
    45. Marbled piercer (Cydia splendana)
    46. Marsh dwarf (lachista alpinella)
    47. Meal moth (Pyralis farinalis)
    48. Mother of pearl ( Pleuroptya ruralis )
    49. Narrow winged grey ( Eudonia angustea)
    50. New oak slender ( Caloptilia robustella )
    51. Obscure agg. ( Oegoconia agg. )
    52. Ox-tongue conch ( Cochylis molliculana )
    53. Pale straw pearl ( Udea lutealis )
    54. Privet tortrix (Clepsis consimilana)
    55. Red-barred tortrix ( Ditula angustiorana )
    56. Ringed china-mark ( Parapoynx stratiotata )
    57. Rough-winged conch (Phtheochroa rugosana)
    58. Rose tabby ( Endotricha flammealis )
    59. Rusty dot pearl (Udea ferugalis)
    60. Small grey ( Eudonia mercurella )
    61. Small magpie (Anania hortulata)
    62. Spindle ermine (Yponomeuta cagnaglla)
    63. Sulphur Tubic ( Esperia sulphurella)
    64. Triple-blotched bell (Notocelia trimaculana)
    65. White-bodied conch (Cochylis hypridella)
    66. White-faced tortix (Pandemis cinnamomeana)
    67. White-shouldered house moth ( Endrosis sarcitrella)
    68. White-headed Ermel (Paraswammerdamia alibicapitella)
    69. Yellow-faced bell (Notocella cynosbatella)
    70. Yellow-spot tortrix (Pseudargyotoza conwagana)

     

     

    Dragonflies  10 with 7 new ones

    1 Golden banded dragonfly *

    2 Keeled skimmer*

    3 Migrant hawker

    4 Black-winged skimmer*

    5 Scarce chaser*

    6 Common darter

    7 Broad-bodied chaser *

    8 Southern hawker*

    9 Brown hawker*

    10 Ruddy darter

     

    Damselflies 7 with 4 new

    11 Azure damselfly*

    12 Common blue damselfly

    13 Large red damselfly*

    14 Small red damselfly

    15 Blue-tailed damselfly*

    16 Banded demoiselle

    17 Beautiful demoiselle*

    Butterflies  12 of these 25 I have counted as new to me

    Red admiral

    Brimstone

    Peacock

    Small tortoiseshell

    Speckled wood

    Green-vein white

    Orange tip

    Small white

    Holly blue

    Small copper

    Small heath

    Dark green fritillary

    Common blue

    Large heath

    Small pearl-bordered fritillary

    Green hairstreak

    Painted lady

    Ringlet

    Large skipper

    Large white

    Gatekeeper

    Small skipper

    Comma

    Grayling

    Clouded yellow

    Reptiles and Amphibians …I really failed to get going here so just the 5, nothing new!

 

  1. Grass snake
  2. Smooth newt
  3. Common frog
  4. Common toad
  5. Slow worm

So that’s it folks, 729 seen and identified, 241 for the first time by me!!!

 

Again a big thank you :o)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No, No, November!

I am rather late with my end of the month blog as we have been without Wi fi for several days! In our family November begins with a very special occasion, Daniel was five on the first of the month!

img_1380-daniel

November has been a lovely month; still full of beautiful colours.

It has however been a very quiet month as far as our numbers have been and it is sad to say we have only added two birds and one mammal!  Don’t think we haven’t had a good time though, we have. Our impromptu trip to Wensleydale was a real treat which included a trip to the Thorp Perrow Arboretum where the pictures above were taken.

The weather has been mixed but I think it has given us more sunshine than showers and of course now and then they come together to provide us with a lovely rainbow.

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Back home and there were lots of reports coming about Waxwings arriving, we eventually caught up with some in Holt. Beautiful birds and I would have been very disappointed not to get them this year.

We took a day out from wild creatures to visit some captive ones. A smashing day out with Peter, Lynn and the children, seeing the young Red panda was a highlight!

It was at the zoo that we got a new mammal, keen eyed Lynn spotted it first, a field vole and it was certainly not captive!

We added Bean goose at Titchwell having been out many times for them earlier in the year. Another day I went out with Peter and our cameras and were rewarded with some Bramblings and a last minute treecreeper.

So we have arrived at our last month and I confess we have begun December by being rather lacks as we have been in Norwich for a few days without the pager!!! Still let’s wait and see how we do over the next few weeks. I am going to save lists until the end of the year now and then we will see whose guess was closest.

 

Colours of Autumn

The main autumn colour of our second day in Askrigg was definitely grey! We awoke to grey skies and it didn’t change much all day but that didnt prevent us enjoying the day. Ian and I went for a walk firstly across the fields pausing to admire the odd sheep or chicken!

I must say I was not too impressed by the size of the tiny gaps in the wall we had to struggle through, I decided against one as I had an awful feeling I might get stuck and like Winnie the Pooh have to stay there until I had slimmed down!!!

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We had a good look along the river hoping for a Wagtail but not a bird in sight! We strolled around the village popping into St Oswald’s church for a look around. The pub it very near where we are staying and we are off their again soon for a meal, mmm getting hungry thinking about it now!

The forecast didn’t look a great deal better for today, cloud, showers and maybe the odd bright spell but they were wrong! At about 8 am we had a brief shower which produced this lovely rainbow over the little garden which is the view from our bedroom window.

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By the time we were heading out for the day the rain was forgotten and the sky was looking positively blue. We were off to visit Thorp Perrow Arboretum so were delighted that the weather was very kind to us. So yesterdays autumn colour was grey but not so todays. Gold and red, orange and browns, green and purples were all to be seen today.

Here are a few more from our walk today.

Every part we walked through had its own beauty, some dramatic, some more subtle. The odd flower was still blooming including this little dog rose.

Even the pond had beautiful colours reflected on it. This Little grebe and Mute swans swam in and out of gold, then red, then green water as it caught the reflections.

These past few days haven’t added to our year’s list but they have certainly added to our enjoyment. We are loving spending these few days in the company of Janice and Chris.

Alice had expressed a wish that we might see a Robin at the arboretum and I promised to try to get a photo for her, well we saw three, so these are for you Alice.

I was rather taken with these hydrangeas, I have always liked them as they hold happy childhood memories for me but the colours of these were striking.

At the arboretum there is a bird of prey centre which we had a quick walk around and yes…there was a Little owl there! Will I ever see one in the wild again? he, he, he I expect so! Not sure this sign was needed but it made me smile and just a last couple of trees before moving on (after lunch of course).

We began our journey back to Askrigg but made some detours on the way. We stopped at Aysgarth falls and I was jolly pleased we did.

We continued the drive taking some minor roads along the way, stopping off to admire the fields, divided into small plots by the dry stone walls. The sky was beginning to look rather moody but we had been blessed by brightness all day so we weren’t about to complain if it changed as darkness came.

Back at our apartments with time to relax before going out for a meal.

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So it’s back home tomorrow and hopefully my new pager will arrive. It hasn’t worked since Wednesday so goodness know what birds we have missed! It has been lovely to visit another part of Yorshire, we have seen more of this county this year than in the rest of our married life!

 

 

More cheese Gromit?

We are having an unscheduelled few days away and we are not even chasing birds! The alarm went off at 5.30 am and we wasted no time in getting ready and on the road once again to Yorkshire. Our destination was, as the title may have given you a clue, Wensleydale in North Yorkshire and a place we have never visted before. We have joined Janice and Chris, staying in an appartment under the one they are in so I hope they arent too noisy!!!

Our early start paid off as we arrived in time for coffee. Before long we were all out for a drive getting dome super views of the area of Wensledale and it it beautiful. We were once again blessed with lovely weather and although it got rather chilly it really didn’t feel like November.

I didn’t see it at the time but I now notice a bird sitting on the wall on the bottom right picture, looks like a Robin to me!

We went to the Creamery for lunch and to taste a variety of local cheeses, mostly rather tastey! A nice piece of Wensleydale with Mango and ginger is now sitting in the fridge and if I wasn’t going out for a meal soon I could happily munch some!

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From what I read Wallace and Gromit have revitalised the Wensleydale cheese business, I must say it is hard to think of the cheese without thinking of Wallace!

More beautiful views and not many birds but plenty of sheep (this one a Swaledale) and rabbits!

We stopped at some gift/craft shops before arriving at Reeth were I spottted this shadow of an exceeding long legged person!!!

img_1411A walk around the village where they were getting ready for a bonfire in the village centre.

img_1426-reeth-bonfireI imagine this to be a typical Yorkshire village and it is certainly in a beutiful setting. The sparrow seemed to agree!

We saw several Red grouse as they flew accross the road and out of sight, excellent!

On the drive home  we saw the sun disappear behind the hills, changing the sky quite dramatically. I only wish I could have captured the colours better but hopefully you will get some idea from these.

I am not sure why but I couldn’t get anyone to pose under this signpost!

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Well we are off shortly for a meal in one of the three local pubs and I am really looking forward to the next couple of days. Not expecting much in the bird department but I am expecting to have fun!

 

Another month disappears!

Of course I knew it was a new month today because it is my lovely grandson’s birthday, happy birthday Daniel!   img_1380-daniel

 

So that can only mean that October has come to an end and it is time for a monthly review. It has been a mixed month with some manic times then more relaxed days, this past week being the more relaxed variety!

What October has been brilliant for was bird life ticks, I have had five and I am pretty chuffed with that. Add to that some cracking birds that I have seen for only the second time and I reckon October has been excellent.

First new bird was an Eastern-crowned warbler which we journeyed up to Bempton for, a place always worth a visit and thankfully we both saw this very active little bird. No picture of the bird but a few from the site!

I saw my first Dusky warbler at Cromer, followed by another a couple of weeks later at Titchwell!  We narrowly missed seeing two on one day as there had been one at Cley where we popped for lunch. Happily whilst there word came of a Barred warbler that was down Beach road in and out of a bush (along with many other little birds) so we were off.

It wasn’t long after our return from Yorkshire that we were headed back again! This time for a bird that was a first for mainland Britain, mind you it started a trend as several others have been since!!! We found a lovely place to stay and drove up so we would be there in Easington for first light and hopefully the bird, a Siberian accentor would have stayed overnight too! Happily it was in no rush to leave so we joined what I call the ‘queue for a view’ for a good though very brief sight before being moved along to allow others a view too. We returned later that day and what a difference a few hours had made!

This time we got to see it much better and get some fairly decent pictures too!   Not the most exotic looking bird perhaps but one I was delighted to see!

Rather pleased to see this Redstart too just along from the star bird, it showed off quite well so as not to go unoticed!

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Between our two visits to the accentor we went to Sammy’s point and it is so hard to explain quite how smashing it was. There were birds everywhere! Flying in from the sea, sitting in bushes, feeding in the mud or in the fields it was just ‘Magical’! I was chuffed to find some Ring ouzels and to get some shots which was not so easy earlier in the year.  We saw hundreds of Goldcrests  and probably hundreds of Robins too. There were Chiffchaffs, Wheatears, Reed buntings and to our delight we saw, for the first time, Woodcock in flight.

We couldn’t be so close to Spurn and not go there so off we went. This obliging Shorelark was another bird that we had seen early in the year but not been able to photograph.

Back to Sammy’s point for another lovely walk amongst the many birds we saw this flycatcher. First though was of course that it is a Pied flycatcher but there has been some discussion as it has some hints of a Collared flycatcher. I think the answer is we will never know, but it was a sweet bird whichever it is!!!

We stayed on an extra night and on the way home went to Donna Nook another place I had often heard of but never visited. Here I saw another bird that I had only seen once before, a few years previously and what a little beauty, a Red-flanked bluetail.

Jumping to later in the month now and Alice and Matilda joined us for a brilliant birding day beginning at Burnham Overy Dunes. Ian and I had been on the Sunday to see the Isabelline Wheatear and we returned the next day with the girls to try to see it again and also a Desert wheatear. On the Sunday we ploughed through the mud but were rewards with views of my very first Isabelline wheatear.

The following day, with the girls we took a different, less muddy and much more pleasant route to the dunes! The bird had moved so the walk was longer but not once did either of the girls complain, they were brilliant! A very brief flight view was all some of us got of that bird but thankfully we all saw the Desert wheatear, not for long but clearly.

On our way back along the dunes, we timed it perfectly, a Radde’s warbler had just been spotted, first sighting for a few hours! We joined the group and again all saw it, another life tick for me and the girls! Next stop Titchwell for lunch and if we had any energy left a stroll. This was where we saw our second Dusky warbler before walking down to the sea.

Golden plovers on the fresh marsh, Sanderlings on the shore plenty of other waders on the way. It really was a lovely day out, it couldn’t fail really, life ticks and grandchildren along to enjoy it!

Well we had a lazy week following that although November has thrown us an unexpected treat, hopefully there will be things to report next time I blog!

Still butterflies visiting the garden and a several Red admirals have been feeding on the dahlias this week  (note to self, plant some more of them!)  img_1334-red-admiral

I have decided to only print out the bird list this month as it has definitely been the main highlight of the month. I will give the number of the other things first:

Moths (macro and micro) … 310

Insects                                       …85

Dragon/damselflies              … 17

Butterflies                                …24

Mamals                                      …25

Reptile/amphibians                …5 (could do better!!!)

Birds                                           …253   (*26* Life ticks)

So far my total of winged and otherwise creatures for the year is 719 I have bypassed all but three of the guesses made before the year began, who will be closest? Could still be thelast one that I have passed or one I havent yet reached.

Bird List end October

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Bewick Swan
  3. Whooper Swan
  4. Pink-footed Goose
  5. White-fronted Goose
  6. Greylag Goose
  7. Canada Goose
  8. Barnacle Goose
  9. Brent Goose
  10. Egyptian Goose
  11. Common Shelduck
  12. Muscovy duck
  13. Mandarin Duck
  14. Eurasian Wigeon
  15. Gadwall
  16. Eurasian Teal
  17. Mallard
  18. Pintail
  19. Garganey
  20. Shoveler
  21. Red-crested Pochard
  22. Common Pochard
  23. Ferruginous Duck *
  24. Tufted duck
  25. Greater Scaup
  26. Common Eider
  27. Long-tailed Duck
  28. Common Scoter
  29. Velvet Scoter
  30. Goldeneye
  31. Smew
  32. Hooded merganser *
  33. Red-breasted Merganser
  34. Red Grouse
  35. Black Grouse
  36. Goosander
  37. Red-legged Partridge
  38. Grey Partridge
  39. Common Pheasant
  40. Golden Pheasant
  41. Little Grebe
  42. Great Crested Grebe
  43. Red-necked Grebe *
  44. Slavonian Grebe
  45. Black-necked Grebe
  46. Fulmar
  47. Manx Shearwater
  48. Gannet
  49. Cormorant
  50. Shag
  51. Bittern
  52. Cattle Egret
  53. Little Egret
  54. Great Egret
  55. Grey Heron
  56. White Stork
  57. Glossy Ibis
  58. Spoonbill
  59. Red Kite
  60. White-tailed Eagle
  61. Marsh Harrier
  62. Hen Harrier
  63. Pallid Harrier *
  64. Goshawk *
  65. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  66. Common Buzzard
  67. Rough-legged Buzzard
  68. Golden Eagle
  69. Osprey
  70. Kestrel
  71. Merlin
  72. Hobby
  73. Peregrine Falcon
  74. Water Rail
  75. Corn Crake
  76. Moorhen
  77. Western purple swamphen*
  78. Coot
  79. Common Crane
  80. Great bustard *
  81. Oystercatcher
  82. Black-winged Stilt
  83. Pied Avocet
  84. Stone-curlew
  85. Little ringed Plover
  86. Ringed Plover
  87. Dotterel
  88. European Golden Plover
  89. Grey Plover
  90. Lapwing
  91. Great Knot*
  92. Knot
  93. Sanderling
  94. Little Stint
  95. Temminck’s Stint
  96. Pectoral Sandpiper
  97. Curlew Sandpiper
  98. Purple Sandpiper
  99. Dunlin
  100. Broad-billed Sandpiper *
  101. Ruff
  102. Jack Snipe
  103. Common Snipe
  104. Long-billed Dowitcher *
  105. Woodcock
  106. Black-tailed Godwit
  107. Bar-tailed Godwit
  108. Whimbrel
  109. Curlew
  110. Spotted Redshank
  111. Common Redshank
  112. Common Greenshank
  113. Lesser Yellowlegs
  114. Green Sandpiper
  115. Wood Sandpiper
  116. Common Sandpiper
  117. Ruddy Turnstone
  118. Grey Phalarope
  119. Arctic Skua
  120. Mediterranean Gull
  121. Little Gull
  122. Black-headed Gull
  123. Common Gull
  124. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  125. Herring Gull
  126. Iceland Gull
  127. Glaucous Gull *
  128. Great Black-backed Gull
  129. Kittiwake
  130. Caspian Tern *
  131. Sandwich Tern
  132. Common Tern
  133. Arctic Tern
  134. Common Guillemot
  135. Razorbill
  136. Black Guillemot
  137. Puffin
  138. Rock Pigeon
  139. Stock Pigeon
  140. Wood Pigeon
  141. Collared Dove
  142. Turtle Dove
  143. Rose-ringed Parakeet *
  144. Cuckoo
  145. Barn Owl
  146. Tawny Owl
  147. Short-eared Owl
  148. Common Swift
  149. Common Kingfisher
  150. European Bee-eater *
  151. Hoopoe
  152. Wryneck
  153. Green Woodpecker
  154. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  155. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
  156. Wood Lark
  157. Sky Lark
  158. Shorelark (horned lark)
  159. Sand Martin
  160. Swallow
  161. Red-rumped Swallow *
  162. House Martin
  163. Tree Pipit
  164. Meadow Pipit
  165. Rock Pipit
  166. Water Pipit
  167. Yellow Wagtail (Grey-headed)
  168. Grey Wagtail
  169. Pied Wagtail
  170. Dipper
  171. Wren
  172. Dunnock
  173. Siberian Accentor*
  174. Robin
  175. Common Nightingale *
  176. Bluethroat*
  177. Red-flanked Bluetail
  178. Black Redstart
  179. Common Redstart
  180. Whinchat
  181. Stonechat
  182. Isabelline Wheatear*
  183. Desert Wheatear
  184. Wheatear
  185. Ring Ouzel
  186. Blackbird
  187. Fieldfare
  188. Song Thrush
  189. Redwing
  190. Mistle Thrush
  191. Cetti’s Warbler
  192. Grasshopper Warbler
  193. Sedge Warbler
  194. Eurasian Reed Warbler
  195. Great Reed Warbler*
  196. Dartford Warbler
  197. Barred Warbler
  198. Lesser Whitethroat
  199. Whitethroat
  200. Blackcap
  201. Yellow-browed Warbler
  202. Eastern Crowned Warbler *
  203. Radde’s Warbler*
  204. Dusky Warbler*
  205. Wood Warbler
  206. Common Chiffchaff
  207. Willow Warbler
  208. Goldcrest
  209. Firecrest
  210. Spotted Flycatcher
  211. Red-breasted Flycatcher
  212. Pied Flycatcher
  213. Bearded Tit
  214. Long-tailed Tit
  215. Marsh Tit
  216. Willow Tit
  217. Crested Tit *
  218. Coal Tit
  219. Blue Tit
  220. Great Tit
  221. Nuthatch
  222. Treecreeper
  223. Penduline tit *
  224. Red-backed Shrike
  225. Great Grey Shrike
  226. Jay
  227. Magpie
  228. Jackdaw
  229. Rook
  230. Crow
  231. Hooded Crow
  232. Common Raven
  233. Starling
  234. House Sparrow
  235. Tree Sparrow
  236. Chaffinch
  237. Brambling
  238. Serin *
  239. Greenfinch
  240. Goldfinch
  241. Siskin
  242. Linnet
  243. Twite
  244. Lesser Redpoll
  245. Mealy Redpoll
  246. Bullfinch
  247. Hawfinch
  248. Lapland Longspur
  249. Snow Bunting
  250. Yellowhammer
  251. Cirl Bunting
  252. Reed Bunting
  253. Corn Bunting

Only two months left of our big year and still no Little owl!!! We have had them in the garden in the past and they are always in our village but this year they are hiding from me!!!

Thank you Donna

After the excitement of our magical day yesterday we spent another lovely night at Dunedin Country House and this time we had no alarm set so we got up to a leisurely breakfast! It was a dingy, grey somewhat wet morning but we knew the forecast was for it to improve and to be better further south. We left the Siberian accentor behind for, I imagine many more birders to enjoy this weekend.

We had never been to Donna Nook in Lincolnshire before but that was where we headed for. I really hoped to conect with a bird that had been reported there yesterday, this beauty, do you know what it is yet?  img_1036-red-flanked-bluetail

By the time we got there the rain had gone and it was much brighter, excellent. It didn’t take long to locate the bird a Red-flanked bluetail and get a few shots but sadly the light wasn’t good.

Most people were waiting patiently for the bird to return after it regularly popped out of view but unfortunatlly a couple of people pursued it rather too closely so it went out of sight for a while. We went of for a walk seeing some different parts of Donna Nook. A Rose-coloured starling had been seen earlier amongst the thousands of starling on the mud flats, but we couldnt find it, nor anyone else whilst we were there.

On our walk we saw, as yesterday, loads of Robins and Goldcrests, a Firecrest, Blackcap, Redwings plus this Fieldfare enjoying some berries!

Back to the car for lunch, I won’t tell you what we had for fear of making you envious! What to do next was the question? Ian was fancying a snooze before the rest of the journey so whilst he did that I returned for a second look at the Red-flanked bluetail and I was so pleased that I did!

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What did they call me?!!!

Someone has sugested to me that we had gone a long was to see a bird that looked like a funny sparrow   (it was said in a very light hearted fashion) what a way to talk about a Siberian accentor!  I even had a comment from another birder calling it an LBJ! I hope they might think this bird looks rather special and worth the journey.

 

What a beauty and this time so much more co-opperate!

Our first visit to Donna Nook and we felt well rewarded. If they get many birds like this one we will be back for sure!

We headed for home after a fabulous couple of days away. We have met some smashing people including a group from Burnley and a chap sporting a rather grand beard! Back up to the Norfolk coast I think over the next day or two as there are still some interesting things lurking!

Well we now stand at 249 for our bird list so I am wondering what might make it a round 250…watch this space.

Magical!

The last words of my previous blog entry were an announcement  to the birds that I was ready for them, a challenge that one bird in particular took up!!!

Yesterday was the first day this week that I woke feeling human as at last my migraine cleared up. I decided to catch up on a couple of things, so first  I caught up on the blog and later I began sorting photos that had arrived for our scrap book. Before I got far with the book I got news from Peter about a brilliant bird that had flown in and his suggestion was that we should, “go, go, go!” The only catch was that it was in Yorkshire, what to do that was the question. Quick look on Booking.com meant we found somewhere to spend the night so we grabbed a case with a few essential, got optics and were in the car and off. We knew we would arrive after dark but also that we would be close by to strike early!

So what bird is that I hear you ask? Aha, what is the bird in question? Well it is a Siberian Accentor and it is the first on mainland Britain, the first for the UK was on the Shetland Isles only last week!

Bless Ian for driving as we arrived a couple of hours after sunset and found our place for the night. We received a lovely welcome and arranged a breakfast bag to take with us as we would be out before breakfast. Alarm was set but not needed we were awake and keen to get out. When we arrived at Easington (just a few miles away) it was manic! Cars and birders everywhere! We found a spot and walked to the site where a long queue was waiting for their turns to view the bird. We joined the queue!img_0734-queueThe picture shows a little bit of the queue but can you see the lack of women? Why is birding such a male heavy hobby?

The atmosphere was lovely and everyone co-operated with the system, wait in the queue, get ushered over in turn and after a very short while get moved on! Very funny but we all got to see the bird so no one was complaining and everyone was free to join the queue again if they wished. We didn’t but we did return later in the morning when this is how things looked!

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So on our second visit we were free to enjoy the bird properly! This time I got photos that actually show the bird so we were really delighted to have a second shot. A lovely little bird and we were VERY pleased to have taken Peter’s advice to “go, go, go!” I suspect the weekend will get busy again.

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Apart from seeing the Siberian accentor we haven’t had any birds to add to our year list but we have seen some smashing birds none the less. Between our two trips to Easington we went to Sammy’s Point and it was just the sort of place I love and the still early light added to it.

I was pleased to find a Ring ouzel which was quickly joined by a second one and by the time we moved on there were six!

Whilst at Sammy’s point I have never seen so much bird movement and that really did feel magical! I have never seen so many Goldcrests, warblers, buntings, Robins, winter thrushes and more, it was simply alive. There were of course lots of birders there and everyone was chirpy as all had been and seen the Accentor so for us all any thing else was going to be a bonus. Another treat was to see Woodcock in flight, I am pretty sure I haven’t seen that before. Of course the appearance Wheatears always adds its own magic, today was no exception. We saw a lone Swallow, I don’t suppose we will see many more this year.

We were having such a good time that we decided to return to our B & B, Dunedin Country House, which we had already checked out of, and have a coffee and see if they had a room for us for another night. I am sitting in it now so indeed the answer was yes! We would certainly recomend staying here, they are friendly, welcoming and accomadating.

We couldn’t be so close to Spurn without a visit so we headed there too. I must confess to being uncertain which of the shots are Spurn and which are taken at Sammy’s point (it’s been a long day!)

There had been several reports of birds that would have been ticks for us but unfortunately we couldn’t connect with any of them. None the less we saw some good birds including similar birds to those seen at Sammy’s point, no Ouzels but we did see a  Jack snipe and this lovely Shore Lark. We saw a small group of Shore larks early in the year but got no recognisable photos so I was pleased to get a go today!

We had hoped to see a Pallas’s warbler but no such luck even though there was at least one in the area. Other birds evaded us but we really did have a cracking day. When we went for our second trip to see the Siberian accentor as we walked up the road to it we were delighted to see this Redstart, another bird we had earlier in the year but again no previous shots (as far as I remember!).

Our parting jaunt for the day was a second trip to Sammy’s point, after a short walk Eastward we decided to go Westward instead! This direction took us down a path between the sea and a dyke, plenty of warblers were taking advantage of the reeds! When we were nearly back to the car we saw a Pied flycatcher on the stones by the sea.

Amongst the birds that were reported but only seen briefly, not by us, was a Rose coloured starling in a church yard. I include this photo for one reason and one reason only, the opportunity to tell you about my Star Wars moment. See the picture and then imagine my very best Obi Wan Kenobi voice …”These are not the Starling you are looking for!”

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Now for the absolutely last pictures for today, these are to illustrate what I have in common with the bird of the day, the wind really does play havoc with hair/feathers.

So today has been a magical day and having just had a good meal (we missed lunch) we are relaxing ready to see what tomorrow may bring. We are planning to go to Donna Nook and hope some good birds have similar plans!!!