Sunday, 15 May 2022

Heron and oystercatcher.

Feeding station.


Monday, 9 May 2022

Bird Ringing at Fordhall Farm


I've never seen bird ringing close up, so was thrilled to spot this event at Fordhall Farm, Market Drayton. The birds caught were a male blackcap, a dunnock and a chiffchaff. Each bird was examined to see the ring number, which was then recorded, and in the case of the chiffchaff, a ring applied to the leg. The wings were examined and measured and the bird was weighed. Because these birds are handled by experts, they suffer minimal stress and fly away merrily after they've been released. Bird ringing and recording is an important way for conservationists and ecologists to keep track of how each species is doing. It was also nice to see children there, and how excited they were at being so close to birds.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Special Insight into Prees Heath

Toadpoles in the pond at Prees Heath.

Treecreeper (seen at Bridges) and a Prees Heath yellowhammer.

I was lucky enough to meet a butterfly expert who's been involved in improving habitat on the heath. He told me he was going to check for the caterpillars of the rare Silver Studded Blue butterfly, and did I want to see? We were looking out for where ants swarmed in the heather as they milked the little caterpillars. So, by searching for clumps of ants, we soon found our target. It was really interesting because, although I've seen thousands of the adult butterflies, I've never ever seen their larval stage.

Friday, 6 May 2022

Baby Voles About - But No Pics Yet


Female wheatear above and male stonechat below.

Female stonechat above and the male again below.

Female skylark above, male reed bunting below.

Raft spider and meadow pipit.

Lattice Heath moth and Green-veined Whites.

Spot the green hairstreak butterfly!


Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Cautious Voles

This looks like a young water vole to me.

Common sandpiper above, and little ringed plover below.

Jay ready for take-off, and green hairstreak butterfly.

Mallard ducklings.

Orange tip butterfly and a chiff chaff that's been building a nest in our garden.

Above, a rare wood white butterfly. They are very small. Below, the more common green-veined white.

Green tiger beetle. They are very habitat-specific but there are lots on the Moss right now.

Sometimes slow worms are easy to spot. Sometimes, not so much.

Curlew and brimstone butterfly.