Sunday, 29 January 2012

First Butterfly of 2012

Taunton and Bridgwater Canal
28th January 2012

A beautiful sunny day in Taunton, almost Spring like, a walk along the canal into town, brought a few surprises. The canal has plenty of Moorhens and Mute Swans to see. But it is a pleasure to catch a glimpse of electric blue as a Kingfisher flies fast and low up river so it was great to see another one today. The sun brought out the first Bumble Bee's with three being seen. Though it was the first Butterfly of the year that made my day. a single Red Admiral seen flying around in the sun. A sign that Spring is not too far away now, already Daffodils are in flower along with Crocuses. Further along the canal at the weir the Little Egret was back looking for an easy meal. The first Black-headed Gull with it's Summer plumage of  chocolate brown head was noted somewhat early for January.

Exminster Marsh

Saturday 14th January 2012

Sorry for the rather late posting, January has been a little busier than I had thought. Our Winter has been very mild here in the South West of England. Managed to get out and have a walk around Exminster Marsh, near Exeter, Devon.

It was a very overcast day, and it was pretty quiet bird wise. I had hoped to see the Glossy Ibis that had taken up residence on the Marsh, but my luck that day was not that good. It had done a runner for the day. But lots of wildfowl on display. One of my favourite sounds in the Winter is listening to the whistling of the Widgeon. I can happily listen to this all day long. There were a few hundred showing today, with Teal and Shoveler. Sadly the Red-breasted Goose had also done a runner today. But the sight of nearly 200 Curlew roosting on the Marsh along with a small number of Lapwings.

I caught sight of two Snipe flying directly overhead and drop down and just vanish, typical of the Snipe. They can just disapear from view. But stunning birds. A Sparrowhawk flew low and flushed the small Waders and they took flight for safety.. my chance to see and hear some Redshank.

In the trees a small number of Redwing's were good to see. It was good also to find a few Reed Buntings. A Cettis Warbler announced it's presence.

Monday, 2 January 2012

First Birds of 2012

A gentle introduction to 2012

What better way to start the New Year than with an early morning walk to see in the start of the New Year. My walk took me along the Canal close to home, despite some rain falling it still feels far too mild for January.

Some of the birds noted on this gentle stroll were 2 Kingfishers, one perched on the rails of a moored boat. (wish I had taken my camera with me), with the other Kingfisher seen flying up river with it's distintive 'peep peep' call. The ever present Mallards and Mute Swans along with at least 35 Moorhens along the Canal. I was pleased to see the Little Egret this morning. I have been seeing this bird along the Canal off and on for a number of weeks, how they have spread in recent years.

Of the other birds seen along the hedgerows were Blue and Great Tits, with a single stunning Male Bullfinch. three Balckbirds and Starlings in good numbers. Quite a few House Sparrows all ever gregarious chirping and chasing each other through the hedgerows. Asingle Mistle Thrush sat perched a top of a bush was a pleasing sight. I really love our Winter Thrushes that grace our Country, and seeing up to 15 Redwing and 9 Fieldfares was the best sightings this morning. On the way home a large mixed flock of the beautiful Thrushes flew overhead calling.

A lovely gentle start to 2012. Here's to a great year of amazing Wildlife watching.