Archive for December, 2014

Event photograph of the year 2014

Posted: December 31, 2014 in London, UK
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Like yesterdays choice my choice for the event of year was fairly straightforward. In November we went to the Tower of London to see the tribute to those who died in the First World War.

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I hear that the designers have both been honoured in the New Year Honours list which is well deserved as this tribute managed to catch the heart of the nation.

http://www.aol.co.uk/article/2014/12/30/poppy-creators-head-new-year-honours-list/21122768/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cuk%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D318748

Bird picture of the year 2014

Posted: December 30, 2014 in Birds, Natural History
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Looking back on all the birds I have photographed in 2014, there is no doubt which gave me the greatest satisfaction. It has to be the Dipper photographed in Kendal during our trip to Cumbria in the summer. It just kept on performing for the camera and it was so close. A once in a lifetime occurrence probably.

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This was a timely reminder on a cold frosty day in London that the weather could be worse!

W.U Hstry

Between 1309 and 1814, the river Thames froze twenty three times. This ice was thick enough during the sixteenth, seventeenth and nineteenth centuries on five occasions for a fair to be held on the ice. During this period the global climate phenomenon the Little Ice Age, where global temperatures dropped, caused the temperature to drop low enough for the Thames to freeze. Another contributor was the structure of London Bridge which had been built during the Middle Ages. The many arches of London Bridge meant that it created a dam like structure that meant the Thames froze more easily. A new London Bridge was built in the nineteenth century with fewer arches which as a result further limited the opportunity for the Thames to freeze.
Tom de Castella described the Frost fairs as ‘a cross between a Christmas market, circus and illegal rave’.

Food and drink were especially popular with…

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Squirrel Attack

Posted: December 27, 2014 in Mammals, Natural History
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Our Grey Squirrels are obviously stocking up for the winter, Over the Christmas period they have attacked the feeder station with great gusto every time its filled.

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Some pictures of visitors to our garden this Christmas

Robin

Robin

Jay

Jay

Woodpigeon

Woodpigeon

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

Dunnock

Dunnock

Male Blackbird

Male Blackbird

Female Blackbird

Female Blackbird

Christmas wishes

Posted: December 25, 2014 in Announcements

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful Christmas season wherever you may be and however you may celebrate it

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Pete

Robin, the Christmas bird

Posted: December 24, 2014 in Birds, Natural History
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The Robin is the traditional bird of Winter and Christmas, making many appearances on Christmas cards and in advertising campaigns.

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Robin

Robin

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A morning walk round the patch.

At last the algal bloom seems to be clearing from the Tarn but it may be a long time until the water quality returns to normal.

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Although there is still quite a covering of algae at the eastern end of the Tarn

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Despite clear water there is little waterbird activity with just a few Mallard, Coot and Moorhens present.

Mallard

Mallard

Coot

Coot

Moorhen

Moorhen

The male Muscovy duck is still around but there is no sign of his female.

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck

There is always something to delight though and a party of Long-tailed Tits is flitting through the trees on the water’s edge.

Long-Tailed Tit

Long-Tailed Tit

As I am leaving a Sparrowhawk is circling above and soon attracts the attention of the local crows which rise to chase it off

Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)

Egyptian Goose

Posted: December 22, 2014 in Birds, Natural History
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Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

The Egyptian goose was introduced into the UK as an ornamental species, but escaped and now breeds regularly in the wild. It is estimated that there are now over 1000 breeding pairs in England with a wintering population of around 3,500 birds. Its name originates from it being found in the Nile valley, although it can also be found in much of sub-Saharan Africa.

Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

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A damp overcast morning but went off in search of some winter thrushes at Sutcliffe Park LNR.

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A Grey wagtail was an early sighting on the marsh edge

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

Then I spotted a Snipe hiding in the vegetation.

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A large flock of Starlings were present and chattered noisily as they flew between their roost tree and the grass meadows where they were feeding

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There were plenty of Song Thushes about and a Mistle Thrush was seen flying away, but alas no Redwing or Fieldfare were seen. On the lake were a good selection of waterbirds including Greylag Geese which is the first time I have recorded them on this reserve.

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

Greylag Goose

Greylag Goose

Mute Swans

Mute Swans

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)