Making the most of a lovely sunny 19 degree day we headed to Burton Mere
1st bird we saw was a Goldfinch near the feeders by reception
Then a ladybird with lots of spots !
and a male Black-tailed Skimmer (I think) !
is this the female Skimmer ?
Most of the Warblers were in hiding but this popped out of the shrubs for a few seconds …. Common Whitethroat
A juvenile Long Tailed Tit which seemed to have an extraordinary long tail !!
another Common Whitethroat
We saw a Common Tern on the Marsh Pool but it didn't stay long enough for a photograph; there was also a Black Tern this morning but we arrived too late to see that.
Chiffchaffs have a habit of hiding behind twigs and after several attempts at a photo I managed to grab this one when it came out of cover for a few seconds !
There were lots of B-t-Skimmers around
and a tatty Peacock Butterfly which had lost it's peacock colour
Two Bee Orchid plants were still in flower
A new garden trail has been opened at Burton Mere which adjoins the house; we saw Azure damselflies and one of the regular visitors told us there was a Red-eyed damselfly but we didn't see it.
Water Lilies looked beautiful
The Beluga Aircraft was heading off to Toulouse
and a L.Egret and G. Heron were heading across the reserve
Avocets were too distant so a record shot; there were also two Black tailed Godwits but even more distant
Smashing pics Hazy, that LTT did look queer with that extra long tail, maybe it will look better when it's body grows? Lovely Chiffchaff and I wish I could get record shots that look as good as your Avocets:-)
Glad you had a warm sunny day too. It was glorious down here with clear blue skies and temp up to about 25C. Nice change for you after the chilly north-east coast.
Great set of photos. Nice to get good shots of Whitethroats, something I've failed with this year. I think that's the longest tail I've ever seen on a LTT. You wonder how they manage when still in the nest.
I don't think that the 2nd dragonfly pic is a female B-t Skimmer. Although I can't see it clearly enough to be sure it looks more like a Four-spotted Chaser to me - perhaps an immature.
Always good to see beautiful Avocets however distant they are.
Very nice Hazel it looks like you had a lovely day.
That Goldfinch is a beauty, as you say that LTT seems to have an extra long tail.
Thanks so much Gaynor, Tony & Alan; it was good to get back to summer again after N.E. winter lol
I kept looking at the LTT's tail thinking if must be the camera angle but every pic I took of it, admittedly it was pretty much in same place, looked overly long and as you say Tony, I also kept thinking of how it managed in the nest moving around and amongst its siblings ! It will have to grow into its tail as Gaynor says.
@ Tony, really appreciate the ID help with the dragonfly, sounds good; I'll add an extra photo showing top of wings a little better.
btw, live mealworms are in very short supply nationwide with many suppliers either no supply or only selling tiny tubs of them; fingers crossed I get a supply today of 2 kilos when I managed to get an order in just before the stores were depleted or on ration. Even supplies in Europe have problems so my supplier informs me as more retailers order from there. You should have seen the birds when I soaked the dried and put them out LOL they picked them up, spat them out, selected another which one or two birds reluctantly took whilst other's went to the suet pellet dish instead ! Spoiled brats ha ha. The large UK supplier I use had a problem where their cabin reached 38 degrees over a weekend in mid May and a huge amount of stock was ruined. It takes over 3 weeks to bring other's back to full size and replenish lost stock.
Yes, that's definitely a Four-spotted Chaser. You can clearly see the four spots along the leading edge of the wings as well as the yellow and black patches at the base of the wings. I think probably a female but don't hold me to that.
I've found that dried mealworms are not popular as well and have given up using them. I've still got some live mealworms but most of the fledglings have gone now so there isn't the same demand. The Sparrows will come for them though.
Thanks so much Tony, it was difficult to get photos of the 4-spot as it didn't settle for long. As for mealworms, one BT has been fluttering up at the window in front of me which is their signal for wanting more live mealworms lol Hopefully the postman will arrive soon and bring them …… or else I'll be bugged all day, especially if I go outside lol
When I've been to RSPB Conwy, quite a few folk there say how good Burton Mere is. I'll need to make a visit there sometime...
Lovely photos as usual. I think there's usually something to find at Burton Mere. Compared to last year, I think the Avocets and Godwits seem to prefer being safe behind the fencing, so they've been more long distance whenever I've been. Can't blame them but if it continues then it would nice if the safe area could include the pool in front Inner Marsh Hide to bring them back closer.
They will have to start calling them Very Long-tailed Tits if that becomes a trend!
Just in case you don't know, for Red-eyed Damsels, you need to look down at the lily pads, which they guard territorially. They aren't like the others, appearing anywhere near water.
Re mealworms: I wonder if birds would go for maggots in the same way. If the fishing tackle shops have no shortage of those then they might be an emergency alternative. Just a random idea...
Lovely photos, Hazel. We'll have to visit Burton Mere again some time. As for mealworms, we have fewer customers than you have, Hazel, and luckily the pet shop we buy ours from has not yet run out; we bought more today. We only have a Robin pair begging for them regularly although the Blackbirds like them as well. We stopped feeding dried mealworms because they are very expensive, although a few birds did eat them--Starlings, etc. At the moment, the Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits are busy with the mini suet pellets and are eating them like there was no tomorrow. The Starlings, Jackdaws, Magpies and the odd Crow are chomping through the suet logs. Not sure what they will do when we are away from home again at the end of the month! Unfortunately, our friend who used to fill the feeders when we were away is busy with grandchildren and is completely unreliable regarding topping up bird food!
Thanks Nigel and Ann
@ Nigel, thanks for the good tip on finding Red-eyed Damsels, I'll have to look a bit harder next time we go. Regarding maggots, I'm never sure about them for birds - have a read HERE I received 2 kilos today so have stored some in a spare fridge and will be getting another kilo on Friday as our 6 week order (last delivery) has been honoured by the company before they stopped future orders. You would have laughed as I was trying to photograph a Song Thrush on the waterfall ………… when one of the Blue Tit was hopping round my legs trying to grab my attention for more mealies ! A GT meanwhile landed on the lens hood lol
@ Ann yes, our birds are taking lots of suet pellets at the moment and I also give pastry and more suet/fat block to the corvids who are demolishing whatever I put out ! An expensive time of year but I don't mind when they are feeding young. Hopefully it will stop some of the corvids and woodpeckers predating some of the young ! Having said that …..the Sparrowhawk flew over my head today, landing on the log in front of me for two seconds as the Tit members shrieked and fled into the Laurels and beyond. Regarding holidays, our birds seemed to have left the garden when we returned home but the next day they were all back again and fluttering up at the window lol
Hazel, Not sure if you will see this as you are on hols from the Forum, but regarding birds returning after we've been away--I suspect our Chaffinches came down with that nasty disease, Trich, or they were all taken by Sparrowhawks while were were away for about 9 days towards the end of May because I've not seen any since we came home, sadly. However, the garden is now overflowing with sweet little young Blue, Great, and Long Tailed Tits and we have visiting Goldfinches as well, so at least they seem to be unaffected by whatever it was chased off the Chaffies. There has been no let up in visits by the larger birds--Blackbirds, Corvids, Wood Pigeons and Collared Doves, and we know they can easily catch the Trich. We haven't seen any Sparrow Hawks since returning so perhaps it was the disease. We do clean feeders, but it was wet just before we went away. Not sure what to make of it all. They will all have to fend for themselves very soon anyway so fingers crossed!