Sunday, 26 August 2012

Local Patch Colmondeley

A nice afternoon here in Cheshire prompted a walk around our local patch on the Cholmondeley Estate.  There was a cricket match on and the gardens were open so there were plenty of people around.  The bird life was very quiet on our usual walk, maybe due to human activity, so we headed across to Chapel Mere, one of the three meres on this estate.  

The only birds of note we saw were Great Spotted Woodpecker and Raven, until we cut across one of the fields back towards Dere Park Mere.  On a makeshift horse jump sat a Wheatear - an absolute gem for us, as in the 14 years we have been monitoring this estate we have never recorded one here before.   We managed a few shots before it flew away from us into the safety of a well matured oak tree.  

Well worth the run out there.  

Practicing with the camera we enjoyed shooting the two dragonflies below and have hopefully identified them correctly. 

 Ruddy Darter

 Four Spotted Chaser



Friday, 24 August 2012

Cholmondeley Woods

Not much to report bird wise from the woods on the Cholmondeley Estate but still plenty of Common Buzzard and a big female Sparrow Hawk in the area.  A few Chiffchaffs and fly over Swallows still present along with House Martin and Swift in varying numbers.  

The main interest from todays walk was butterflies.  Since our trip to the Pyrenees earlier this year, where we saw some stunning species, I have developed an interest in them and seem to notice them more and more when out and about.   Below are some pictures of what we have seen on the last couple of visits on the Estate along with Small Tortoise Shell, Comma and Meadow Brown. 

Last night we left the door open in our kitchen with the light on and came back to find the two moths pictured below. 

Still very much in the beginners ID league so if I have got something wrong please let me know. 

 Old Lady

 Poplar Hawk Moth

 Poplar Hawk Moth

 Common Buzzard

 Small White

 Large White

 Speckled Wood




Friday, 10 August 2012

Colmondeley Estate Local Patch

Well the SUN does actually shine in Cheshire now and again and today was a 'now and again' day so we headed out to what is our favourite Local Patch - Cholmondeley Estate near Malpas .  The estate gardens and meres are looking fantastic, although the walk around Deer Park mere had to be cut short as the woodland path is still flooded. We are used to seeing the path flooded but usually that's because it's Winter - not August !  OK enough about the poor british summer and back to the birding.  

In the wooded area there was plenty of activity; singing Garden Warbler and Blackcap were difficult to get good views of but we managed to see them well enough in the end.  Other warblers in the area included Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff and overhead Raven could be heard but only seen occasionally.  Bullfinch, Nuthatch and a large flock of Long-tailed Tit were added to our list.  Before we headed out of the woods alongside the Mere, two birds to catch my eye were a Common Tern feeding over the water and a single Male Crossbill on one of the mature Pines. 

Other birds seen on or around the Mere during our visit included, Reed and Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting,  Great-crested Grebe,  Mute Swan, Buzzard and Mistle Thrush (40+)  Various numbers of all these species are regularly recorded at this site. 

Sadly the Mute Swans have not done so well this season and have lost all of their chicks.

Something I missed when in the field was the Reed Warbler and the Reed Bunting were both ringed. 

Well a short but encouraging blog, let's hope the weather holds and we can get out and about a bit more.  

 Cholmondeley Gardens

 Reed Warbler
 Blackbird (Juv)

 Common Tern

 Reed Bunting (Ringed)

Reed Warbler (Ringed)