Autumn approaches

So another month has been and indeed gone! I have always had a fondness for October so maybe it will bring good things, who knows I may even be lucky enough to see the very rare Little owl! How I have managed to go nine months without seeing one is a mystery, but I have. Other years I have seen them regularly in our village, we even saw one in a tree in our garden once but not this year.

September has been a good month but nothing major to report on the sightings front. One event that I can’t let go unmentioned is that our grandson, Daniel, began school and what a good time he is having!

img_9200-daniel

We have only added two birds, Pectoral sandpiper and yellow-browed warbler but we have still enjoyed the hunt!

An early event in the month was my first sighting of a frog (I know, where have I been up to now?) closely followed by a toad, literally on our doorstep!

Insects have risen the most this month, largely because there hasn’t been much else to catch my eye! I have had a favourite though, this beautiful beetle. img_9552-rainbow-leaf-beetle

I had it miss-identified originally but it turns out to actually be a Rosemary-leaf beetle and is a bit of a thug, I’m glad I resisted the temptation to bring it home with me!!!

I have also learnt this month that a hoverfly isn’t simply a hoverfly there are very many different ones, here are a few I have seen in recent weeks.

We had a lovely visit with Alan and Judy and the weather was just about perfect, if anything it was a tad too hot! They arrived on an evening that had seen rain all day and left the day before the rain returned, but for there stay…not a drop.

Due to my back (I have moaned enough about that previously) my daily tally of steps on my Fitbit had sadly fallen, Alan and Judy’s visit got those steps up again. img_9513-us-at-castle-acre-priory

We also snuck a last minute visit in with Janice and Chris, an overnight stop with them at the very end of the month. That was mainly to check up on Chris as it had been his turn to miss-behave in the health department! We had a good time with them and were pleased to find Chris looking, though rather weary, not too far off his usual self.  Another reminder of our mortality but also another huge blessing that it had not been worse and we are all still here in more or less sound body and minds (I did say more or less!).

We spent several days in Bedfordshire on pet sitting duties which was very enjoyable. Sadly I forgot to take a picture of the bunnies but here is the rest of the gang.

We got out and about with several walks at RSPB The Lodge and also Danish Camp. We added Pygmy shrew to our mamal list which was a bonus and certainly saw plenty of sign that autumn is heading our way.

Ruth and Stu’s time away had gone well, it was centred around running a half-marthon in Euro Disney! I must be honest here, I feel we got the best end of the deal staying in their home looking after ‘their family’!!! roo

I mentioned a flower we saw growing and had wondered what it was.

img_0470-flowerThanks to both James and Christine for letting me know it is Himalayan Balsam which inspite of being an attractive plant is a pest! It spreads like wild fire mainly due to the fact that the seed heads explode and travel great distances.

We have continued to regularly see lots of dragonflies and a smaller number of damslelies too. I  think the one that pleased me most this month was the one that landed on Alan’s hat! We had seen lots of male banded demoisels but as far as I know this was the first female. I am sure I must have seen them but they are not so conspicuous as thier partners so I guess they simple eluded me.

img_9415-banded-demoiselle-fem

New moths have continued to appear but not in the numbers that we had last year which has been rather disappointing. I think it has been generally quieter year for them and not due to anything we have done differently. We have picked up some more micro moths this month and I suspect that is pretty much it for the year for them. I will pop a few pictures of some of the micros we have had this year, (not necessarily this month) mostly from our trap but some Peter has shared from his garden.

So another month gone and time to look at lists (or ignore them ) and see how the numbers have slowly grown. Most people that predicted my final tally have been knocked out as it now stands at 698 but there is still a fight on!

Bird List    244

  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. Little Egret
  53. Great Egret
  54. Grey Heron
  55. White Stork
  56. Glossy Ibis
  57. Spoonbill
  58. Red Kite
  59. White-tailed Eagle
  60. Marsh Harrier
  61. Hen Harrier
  62. Pallid Harrier *
  63. Goshawk *
  64. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  65. Common Buzzard
  66. Rough-legged Buzzard
  67. Golden Eagle
  68. Osprey
  69. Kestrel
  70. Merlin
  71. Hobby
  72. Peregrine Falcon
  73. Water Rail
  74. Corn Crake
  75. Moorhen
  76. Western purple swamphen*
  77. Coot
  78. Common Crane
  79. Great bustard *
  80. Oystercatcher
  81. Black-winged Stilt
  82. Pied Avocet
  83. Stone-curlew
  84. Little ringed Plover
  85. Ringed Plover
  86. Dotterel
  87. European Golden Plover
  88. Grey Plover
  89. Lapwing
  90. Great Knot*
  91. Knot
  92. Sanderling
  93. Little Stint
  94. Temminck’s Stint
  95. Pectoral Sandpiper
  96. Curlew Sandpiper
  97. Purple Sandpiper
  98. Dunlin
  99. Broad-billed Sandpiper *
  100. Ruff
  101. Jack Snipe
  102. Common Snipe
  103. Long-billed Dowitcher *
  104. Woodcock
  105. Black-tailed Godwit
  106. Bar-tailed Godwit
  107. Whimbrel
  108. Curlew
  109. Spotted Redshank
  110. Common Redshank
  111. Common Greenshank
  112. Lesser Yellowlegs
  113. Green Sandpiper
  114. Wood Sandpiper
  115. Common Sandpiper
  116. Ruddy Turnstone
  117. Grey Phalarope
  118. Arctic Skua
  119. Mediterranean Gull
  120. Little Gull
  121. Black-headed Gull
  122. Common Gull
  123. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  124. Herring Gull
  125. Iceland Gull
  126. Glaucous Gull *
  127. Great Black-backed Gull
  128. Kittiwake
  129. Caspian Tern *
  130. Sandwich Tern
  131. Common Tern
  132. Arctic Tern
  133. Common Guillemot
  134. Razorbill
  135. Black Guillemot
  136. Puffin
  137. Rock Pigeon
  138. Stock Pigeon
  139. Wood Pigeon
  140. Collared Dove
  141. Turtle Dove
  142. Rose-ringed Parakeet *
  143. Cuckoo
  144. Barn Owl
  145. Tawny Owl
  146. Short-eared Owl
  147. Common Swift
  148. Common Kingfisher
  149. European Bee-eater *
  150. Hoopoe
  151. Wryneck
  152. Green Woodpecker
  153. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  154. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
  155. Wood Lark
  156. Sky Lark
  157. Shore Lark (horned lark)
  158. Sand Martin
  159. Swallow
  160. Red-rumped Swallow *
  161. House Martin
  162. Tree Pipit
  163. Meadow Pipit
  164. Rock Pipit
  165. Water Pipit
  166. Yellow Wagtail (Grey-headed)
  167. Grey Wagtail
  168. Pied Wagtail
  169. Dipper
  170. Wren
  171. Dunnock
  172. Robin
  173. Common Nightingale *
  174. Bluethroat*
  175. Black Redstart
  176. Common Redstart
  177. Whinchat
  178. Stonechat
  179. Wheatear
  180. Ring Ouzel
  181. Blackbird
  182. Fieldfare
  183. Song Thrush
  184. Redwing
  185. Mistle Thrush
  186. Cetti’s Warbler
  187. Grasshopper Warbler
  188. Sedge Warbler
  189. Eurasian Reed Warbler
  190. Great Reed Warbler*
  191. Dartford Warbler
  192. Lesser Whitethroat
  193. Whitethroat
  194. Blackcap
  195. Yellow-browed Warbler
  196. Wood Warbler
  197. Common Chiffchaff
  198. Willow Warbler
  199. Goldcrest
  200. Firecrest
  201. Spotted Flycatcher
  202. Red-breasted Flycatcher
  203. Pied Flycatcher
  204. Bearded Tit
  205. Long-tailed Tit
  206. Marsh Tit
  207. Willow Tit
  208. Crested Tit *
  209. Coal Tit
  210. Blue Tit
  211. Great Tit
  212. Nuthatch
  213. Treecreeper
  214. Penduline tit *
  215. Red-backed Shrike
  216. Great Grey Shrike
  217. Jay
  218. Magpie
  219. Jackdaw
  220. Rook
  221. Crow
  222. Hooded Crow
  223. Common Raven
  224. Starling
  225. House Sparrow
  226. Tree Sparrow
  227. Chaffinch
  228. Brambling
  229. Serin *
  230. Greenfinch
  231. Goldfinch
  232. Siskin
  233. Linnet
  234. Twite
  235. Lesser Redpoll
  236. Mealy Redpoll
  237. Bullfinch
  238. Hawfinch
  239. Lapland Longspur
  240. Snow Bunting
  241. Yellowhammer
  242. Cirl Bunting
  243. Reed Bunting
  244. Corn Bunting

Dragon and damselflies  17

Dragon flies

Golden banded dragonfly

Keeled skimmer

Migrant hawker

Black-winged skimmer

Scarce chaser

Common darter

Broad-bodied chaser

Southern hawker

Brown hawker

Ruddy darter

 

Damselflies

Azure damselfly

Common blue damselfly

Large red damselfly

Small red damselfly

Blue-tailed damselfly

Banded demoiselle

Beautiful demoiselle

Insects and other bits and bobs! 84

  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 cerealis ( Rainbow 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 Conehead

Butterflies 24

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

Mammal list   23

  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

Reptiles & Amphibians 5 (not a lot but better than last month!)

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

Moths alphabetised  231

 

Angle shades

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

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

Copper underwing

Coronet

Coxcomb prominent

Currant pug

Cypress pug

Dark arches

Dark-barred twin-spot carpet

Dark Spectacle

Dark spinach

Dark/grey dagger

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

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

July highflyer

Knot-grass

Latticed heath

Large emerald

Large nutmeg

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

Maiden’s blush

Mallow

Map-winged swift

Marbled beauty

Marbled brown

Marbled minor

March moth

Marbled white spot

Miller (caterpillar)

Mottled beauty

Mottled pug

Mottled rustic

Mottled umber

Mouse moth

Muslin

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-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 shell

Yellow-tail

Micro moths 70

  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)

Why some of these lists insist of double spacing I really don’t know, it is most aggravating as it take up even more space than needed. I have tried retyping and all sorts but it makes no difference, sorry!

See you in October 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We met a Pygmy on a detour!

Where to go for a walk on Monday, that was the question. We thought about returning to the Lodge but we wanted to take Sprocket and we were rather restricted there. So I suggested we returned to Danish Camp and do one of the other walks from there, off we went. Just as we were approaching Ian remembered they were shut on Mondays…oops! Oh well plan B. We parked at The Dovecote which was just as convienient for the walk we had in mind.

Off we set along our chosen path when the rain began, not heavy but the sky looked threatening. So we turned back and with the rain stopping walked another pathway but keeping us near to the car should the skies open again.

We were heading back to the car when we stopped to look at a map of the site. I hadn’t realised there were ponds there and Ian said had we kept going along our first path we would have seen them. We could have walked between two lakes and then along by the river which leads to Danish Camp (no lunch there today!) so in a mad moment I suggested we did that walk anyway.img_0463-sign

Off we trekked and what a lovely time we three had, the rain kindly staying away. The lakes had been the appeal but in fact you hardly see them! It is obviously a place favoured by fishermen as at any gap in the shrubbery you could see umbrellas with fishing poles sticking out from them, it seemed safe to assume that fishermen were there too! We were amused by this blind that had been put presumably to help people look through at birds on the lake but sadly it was a tad overgrown!img_0465-blind

We saw, in the distance some Barnacle geese, when we were here earlier in the year there were loads on the then flooded fields. As we neared the water we saw geese in flight, not Barnacles but Greylags. When we could see through to the lake the geese had altered again, by then they were Canada Geese. Very changeable geese they have in Bedfordshire!!!

We saw quite a lot of these flowers on our walk and I had thought they were wild orchids. I have tried to look them up but my knowledge of wild flowers is less than that of insect so you will see I am hopeless! I couldn’t find them and the more I looked the more the leaves looked wrong for orchids, do you have any idea what they are?
The plant is Himalayan Balsam  (Thank you James and for fungus Ids)

At least I had no problem hitting my Fitbit step target! We arrived back at the car and it is definitely a walk I would enjoy doing again, I must remember next time we visit Roo and Stu.

Later that evening the wanders returned having sucessfully completed the inaugaral half marathon, in character dress,  at Euro Disney and had plenty of fun there too. Feeling very proud of the pair of them, they have come al long way this past two or three years. I think it is fair to say that pets and owners were all happy to be reunited although they did okay with the subs for a few days!roo

Tuesday morning and it was time for us to leave. Before coming away I had contacted Rosie, the person I was told moth trapped at The Lodge. My email had recieved the reply that she was out of the office till Monday so we thought that was the end of it. She did however reply on Monday saying they were trapping that night so we arranged to meet over there first thing.

It is a lovely setting although we did learn that the building has floodlights on it all night which migh have been part of the cause of hardly any moths being present, nothing new for us.

We headed off to walk one of the routes we had not yet done this visit, but first poopped into the hide where this woodpecker made a very brief appearance. img_0484-gsw

As we headed off we could hear the sound of chainsaws so assumed there was logging going on. We had a lovely walk and the weather brightened up as we went along.

When we were nearly back to the main path and therefore our car, a notice said we couldn’t go that way and to ‘find another path’. Now if you know the site well that may be easy but we didn’t! We could have turned round and retraced our steps but that would have involved a much longer walk than planned includeing trudging up a somewhat steep hill! Instead we decided to follow a sign to The Old heath and hope that led us back. It was a lovely walk and did lead us back but not back to the car! Instead we found oursleves at the end of the briddle path we had been on with Sprocket the other day, hey ho on we trekked.

Sharp eyed Ian ( good to have a nickname don’t you think?) spotted something move and thankfully directed my gaze to the right place. It was a Pygmy shrew, now you will just have to take my word for it, it is under this log! img_0510

I stood, camera pointed, hoping it would come out again. It did but of course not in the same place, it must have gone through a tunnel as it appeared again some way back from the log.

The only other time I remember seeing one was in our living room! One of our pesky cats had caught it, brought it in and it had escaped. It gave us the run around for a while but it was eventually caught and relaeased, apparently unharmed to run free again.

So although the detour added quite a bit to our walk we did get a tick for the year and a lovely sighting it was.

I am always drawn to taking pictures of fungi and I suppose I really should try to ID it one day but with one the RSPB have done it for me! The other one intrigued me as it looked like it had exploded from within this fallen Silver birch ( now identified as Birch polypore )

TIme for a quick coffee back at the shop/reception and a chance to suggest that when they close paths they might put a notice to that effect at the start of the trail!

A thankfully uneventful journey home and time to see how our garden fungus is doing. Coming on nicely don’t you think? I promised the girls I would leave it for them to see how big it might grow. img_0533-fungus-garden

All well at the house, the workmen have completted their task and left although as yet the scafolders haven’t returned to clear away. More leaves have fallen in our absence and strangly no one has mysteriously been round and weeded or cleared the garden, oh well a girl can dream can’t she?

 

Barking mad!

This morning we had hoped to be busy sorting moths from the trap but in fact we only had three Lunar underwings and one Garden carpet plus two micros both light brown Apple moths. So needless to say that didn’t exactly fill our morning!

I took a stroll into town to see what I could find, not a lot but then I didn’t need anything really!

This afternoon was a much better affair as we decided to take Sprocket for a walk at The Lodge. Yesterday we had been there pursuing birds and bugs but today we had to stick to the road through and the bridle path as clearly marked.

There is a definite hint of Autumn and a carpet of leaves added to a very pleasant walk. We only met a few people, some cyclist, some runners and one family walking their two miniature schnauzers!  Both sweet dogs, one only four and a half months old, but neither a patch on Sprocket.

Time for a quick game of ‘who’s the King of the castle’!

If we had walked with our eyes closed we would hardly have seen less birds or insects! One moth flew by but quickly out of sight apart from that we did see a small tit flock high in some trees.img_0300

It was whilst looking for birds that one of us went barking mad! Was it Sprocket? No I must confess I am the guilty one! My barking was quieter than if it had been Sprocket, I was just so taken with the variety that trees have to offer.

 

Down the bridle path we went through gates and over a rather old bridge when we found ourselves in a lovely open field, free from animals and other people and away from the reserve so Sprocket could have a free run.img_0278-sprocket

He was so good, returning each time he was called and never straying too far. Time to go back on his lead before starting our homeward journey.

This squirrel made an appearance when we were nearly back to the car. Sprocket didn’t take all that much notice until it ran off and then his interest was really sparked!

I couldn’t be sure what the squirrel had in his mouth but it may have been one of the many acorns growing near by.img_0350-acorn

When we got home it was time to start thinking about food, we made our choice from the hearty supply that had been left in the fridge and freezer! Whilst ours was cooking tea for bunnies, cats and dog was prepared and we are now all settled down for a lazy evening.

I am looking forward to hearing how the run goes tomorrow and to seeing photos!

And so to Bed…fordshire!

From Gloucestershire we moved on to Bedfordshire for a weekend with our daughter, son-in-law and gorgeous dog Sprocket (plus cats and rabbits too). We met up at Danish Camp for lunch, if you are ever in the area give it a try! After a bite to eat we went for a walk intending to do a circular walk by the river but due to some flooding we did much the same walk but in separate stages. We had to laugh at the notice ‘Beware deep’ but deep what we know not as it was under water!

We saw a field full of Barnacle geese and of course the ever present Robin. Sprocket entertained us by some athletic log jumping! Later that day Roo and I found a little time to do some shopping.

The next day we all went to the Millennium country park at Marston Moretaine where we separated so some could go for a walk around a lake looking at birds, the others went for a run, now I wonder if you can guess which group I was part of! When we arrived it was grey and very misty, by the time we left the sun was shining. Plenty of ducks and other wildfowl and a good place for Cormorants. We saw three Oystercatchers fly in and land on an island, we later saw them running round in circles round and round the island. they looked so funny, like children playing, in fact I wondered if they were called Alice, Matilda and Daniel!

In the afternoon we visited a very special friend, Richard, in hospital, we had had an email a couple of days previously to say he was in hospital and it was excellent to be able to see him. Whatever his illness throws at him he deals with in an excellent, positive manner, I know a strong Christian faith and incredibly supportive family contribute to that. We also met up with three old friends there, not the best place to meet but lovely to see them. Thank you Roo for making it possible.

Back to pursuing wings I hear you cry!

Monday morning and whilst Ian and I are people of leisure for the year others have to go to work so it was time to say goodbye to family and head home but not before visiting The Lodge RSPB reserve. Like yesterday it began very dull and grey but brightened up beautifully. We had hoped to see the illusive Lesser spotted woodpecker but didn’t, we did however see the Greater spotted one for only the second time this year and a much better sighting.

On our way round to the hide we saw large flocks of winter thrushes both Redwing and Fieldfare. The usual little birds were around the feeders outside the hide as well as some other visitors.

We had enjoyed our walk at The Lodge whether looking forward or up the view was grand!

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We had a good time in Bedfordshire now we have journeyed home to see what Norfolk will offer us next, my goodness this is a good year!