philm63

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Nick Broomer
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Re: philm63

Postby Nick Broomer » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:00 pm

Hi Phil,
some lovely photos, especially the Peacock on Thistle, [28 Aug.] and the Peacock showing the undersides of the wing in the grass, [31 Aug.] plus the Kingfisher, what a beautiful bird.
All the best, Nick.

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:04 pm

Cheers Nick
Your comments are most appreciated.
Phil

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:52 pm

Sat 8 September

Dowley Gap – Beck Foot along River Aire

Speckled Wood 6
Large White 8
Green-veined White 5

Suprisingly no Peacocks, and have not seen a Small Tortoiseshell for a while

Speckled Wood
The majority of the later-brood Speckled Woods appear in my eyes to have a deeper and richer colour

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Speckled Wood undersides


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Speckled Wood


Green-veined White
At Dowley Gap watched a group of around 3 Green-veined Whites interacting not far from the river. One appeared to be chasing another, the first (a female?) landed and the second (a male?) fluttered nearby which resulted in the one on the ground pointing its abdomen skywards in rejection [first photo]; the male then landed on the female which wedged itself into material on the ground to stop mating occurring [second photo]. The male gave up and flew off, about 30 seconds later the female crawled out and then flew off

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Male flying and trying to land, female points abdomen skywards in rejection


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Male lands, female wedges itself out of reach (can be seen under and forward of the male)


Garden in early evening

The Holly Blue has been enticingly passing through or across the bottom of the garden all day but would not stop. Sat out for over an hour waiting to no avail, but did see in compensation a Goldcrest, two Buzzards and a Red Kite




Sun 9 September

Holly Blue at it again late morning and 3 Buzzards together passed over, plus a Peacock and an unidentified medium sized Dragonfly actually visited the garden.

Early afternoon out for a walk with the wife around the local circuit –

Peacock 7
Meadow Brown 1 (late!)
Speckled Wood 2
Large White 1

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Speckled Wood on Walsh Lane


Saw a Hedgehog on Heights Lane having a good scratch

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Hedgehog having a good scratch


Late afternoon, early evening in garden

Holly Blue seen 8 – 9 times and actually photographed as it landed on a bush at the far side of one of my neighbour’s garden, but a long distance off; still could identify it as a Holly Blue and a female at that

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At last the Holly Blue, a female, but in the next garden


Peacock 1
Speckled Wood 1
Large White 2

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Speckled Wood on my garden fence

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:41 pm

A Happy New Year to all

A big thank you to those who posted throughout the winter and brightened up some very dull days

A bit of a catch up before the start of the new season with some pictures from the late autumn and winter

Two different Peacocks both seen locally on the 15 September

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And a Speckled Wood from the 22 September

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The winter saw a number of Partridges in the local fields which was much better than previous years, on this photo the ones on the left are Red-legged and the ones on the right are Greys, unusual to see them together locally

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My local Little Owls showed well on a number of occasions (these shots were only 100m from where the Partridges were photographed)

27-Oct-WL-web.jpg


24-Feb-WL-web.jpg


In January I went to see the three Chiffchaffs that were wintering at Dowley Gap, managed to see one and shot his Pied Wagtail at the sewage works

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On the subject of overwintering warblers we were visited by a female Blackcap in February that was mixing with the large group of Siskins in the back gardens (this Siskin flock reached 30+ at one point)

8-Feb-BM-web.jpg


In January the garden also saw a Reed Bunting for a day or two

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February was also a good month for Nuthatches

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And finally an as yet unidentified family pet? I saw in the wooded part of Prince Of Wales' Park back in October, and it was definetely not the weather for a picnic

27-Oct-POW-web.jpg

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David M
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Re: philm63

Postby David M » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:54 pm

That's the first time I've seen photos of Little Owls on here. Well done for 'capturing' them.

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:00 pm

Dave thanks for that

I am lucky that I have a family of them living within half a mile of home that like to sit on a wall well within reasonable photograph range so I have quite a few shots on file. In addition another two families of them live within a mile but I see them a lot less frequently. I was out with the wife two weeks ago and we saw three at two different sites (one at the close site [where I have had three in view at once] and two at another site where I have only ever seen one previously). I think they are fantastic birds and brighten up most trips on my local patch

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Wurzel
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Re: philm63

Postby Wurzel » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:11 pm

Welcome back after the hibernation :wink: Cracking shots Phil - Little Owls always look pyschotic to me, little balls of incadescent rage! :shock:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:34 pm

Sat 23 March

We are in the middle of a white-out up here. Masses of snow on the back of strong easterlies is causing heavy drifts in many places, and it is so co......ld!!!.
I had to shift some 2 - 3 feet drifts to be able to move my car just so I could access my snow shovel.
I very much doubt we will see a butterfly locally before April at the earliest, however it has driven the birds back onto the feeders.

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Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Siskin

There was a good group of finches out back this morning, managed to get three on this shot but missed the Bullfinch that was also around. The Siskin flock has reduced to around a dozen from a high of around 30

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Goldcrest

A very welcome visitor over the past few days has been this Goldcrest, seen 4 - 5 times now, managed to get it on a shot today. I love Goldcrests they look so cute and are so small. A few years ago we had a close relative the Firecrest locally which I managed to see on the same day as the American Robin that was also local. One of those red-letter days, two brilliant birds within a mile and half of home.

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Long-tailed Tit

Two Long-tailed Tits are, I am sure, nest building near the garden and visit the feeders frequently where they seem to strip out the mealworm feeder as soon as it is refreshed. Hopefully some juveniles in the garden will be a highlight this spring

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Robin

Another of my garden favourites. Two years ago a juvenile from one local brood spent a few weeks in our garden and would hop around unconcerned within a few feet of us and brightened up that summer as a result

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Neil Freeman
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Re: philm63

Postby Neil Freeman » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:52 pm

Hi Phil, some nice shots there :D

We have had a few inches of snow in my part of the midlands but nothing like it looks like you have had. I see on the news earlier some parts of Cumbria had 14 feet Drifts :shock:

Neil F.

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:53 pm

Hi Neil. Yes, saw lots of worse affected places on the news, some of the smaller Pennine villages within 5 - 10 miles of here were cut off for a few days till they could be dug access routes through the drifts, the wind was blowing the snow almost horizontally and made a bad situation worse

Sat 29 March

The snow up here still lies deep in places, but most of the main road network is now clear, but it does remain cold. i am hoping to get out a bit over the Easter break and see what is about locally. The garden remains the key area at the moment with lots calling in. The Rooks that were nest building at the small rookery on Lady Lane seemed to have halted with the bad weather, but they are again showing around the site and making lots of noise. A Great Spotted Woodpecker is drumming in Prince of Wales Park sometimes as I pass in the morning. Tomorrow will see how the Lapwings are getting on along Walsh Lane, they were spread around the nesting field but hadn't starting displaying the last time I saw them. The weather had driven a Song Thrush into the garden during the week and the Goldcrest appears most days as do the Siskins which are still hanging about. I think there will be no butterflies locally for at least a few weeks looking at the conditions and the weather forecast.
Pictures below were taken today when we had some nice sunshine at times and a reduction in the wind. The Goldcrest seems to favour the Holly tree out front where I have a few fat feeders, here I also shot the Robin below as well. The Siskins featured are predominantly out the back where both I and my two neighbours run feeding stations, they seem to favour the Sunflower hearts to anything else on offer. I cleared a lot of my lawn today so could top up my station at last
Attachments
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Goldcrest
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Male and female Siskin
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Male and female Siskin
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Robin
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Robin

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:41 pm

30 March

Managed to get out for a few hours this afternoon, so went down to the canal and along to Bingley Bog North. A lot of the snow has now gone locally down in the valley but it stays cold, although the wind has eased. Some decent spells of sunshine today as well. There does not appear to be a lot of growth around, would expect we need a few days of warm weather to kick-start things.
Had taken a few more shots earlier of both the Goldcrest and the Robin frequenting the front of the house (no apologies as I love these birds), have also included a few of the more interesting shots from when I was out. Spotted a few Redwings today so they have yet to all return to their haunts, and the Black-headed Gulls are still hanging around not yet moving to their breeding grounds. Saw three separate Song Thrushes today which must be the most for a long time and clocked a Snipe at Bingley Bog North which was a first at this site for me. The local Rookery is back to being active with a pair building what will be the 11th nest there this year.
Attachments
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Goldcrest
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Robin
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Black-headed Gulls - breeeding plumage
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Mallard
DSCF4567.JPG
Song Thrush

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David M
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Re: philm63

Postby David M » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:17 pm

Hard to believe it's Easter, Phil. Surely, things must warm up soon, and when they do, we might be treated to all the spring blossom emerging at the same time!

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:46 pm

Dave it cannot come quick enough to be honest

31 March / 1 April
Yesterday I decided to do my usual circuit, the first time I had been higher up since the snow fell, and there is still a fair bit of snow about on the tops, especially where it had drifted in the wind. The photos show what I mean, these were actually only half a mile from home as the crow flies. Despie this it had a feel of impending Spring with the first lambs I have seen locally this year (but only two), Curlews are now bubbling around the moor edges, Meadow Pipits are gathering at the edges as well pre-breeding. Also saw my first passage Oystercatchers near Eldwick Reservoir and the Lapwings are still in situ on the local breeding site but not yet displaying. With some sunshine and a reduction in the wind, if you shut your eyes you could almost wish....
Today brought me back to earth, the wind was back with a vengeance, and it was very cold. Did nearly the same walk as yesterday but with the wife, and we were both frozen stiff after 10 minutes, and on Heights Lane it was so cold in the wind as to be painful. However, more lambs on show today, and a Cormorant passed over no doubt heading down into the Wharfe valley over the moors.
Looking back at my diaries I actually realise I saw very little of Butterflies till early May last year, although 2011 was better. Last year though, after a promising March, it did turn nasty in April

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Snow still deep in places on Heights Lane

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The track past Eldwick Reservoir came to an abrupt halt

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Lapwings gathering near the local breeding site

Spent part of the day taking shots from the house
Attachments
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Song Thrush - a very unusual bird in my garden
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After a few days trying at last a decent shot of the front of the Goldcrest
DSCF4596.JPG
I am sure this Robin is now posing for the camera

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Wurzel
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Re: philm63

Postby Wurzel » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:36 pm

Cracking shot of the Goldcrest Phil - well worth the perserverence :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:55 pm

Cheers Wurzel, nice to see you are getting a few species now

Sun 7 Apr
A week of lows then highs
Discovered on Wed that a Long-eared Owl had been seen on my patch just a mile from my house on the 28 March, that caused some gnashing of teeth. On Thurs saw a photo taken there of it on the 1 April (I must have actually passed it over the Easter break), but more to the point it was hanging around so on Thurs evening after tea walked up and found no sign of it. Win some, lose some I lied to myself.
Yesterday I went up that way again and had some cracking views down to about 8 feet as we both unexpectedly saw each other, but despite catching up with it on a few occasions as it moved around could only get 1 very poor shot. Went back again after tea but no sighting. Today I went back that way again and lo and behold a few cracking shots as it happily sat there staring at me, not a perfect angle due to the trees but I'm not complaining - a lovely bird on my patch and recorded on disc - life can be great
Yesterday was quite warm here with very little wind and despite the fact we still have snow around in a few places I had three Small Tortoiseshells - two were chasing each other over Lady Lane and disappeared between some trees no chance of a picture but my first for the year. After seeing the owl I checked a few sheltered south facing spots to no avail, however during the evening walk had a brief view of another single as it passed over a wall and hedge in front of me.
Today saw no butterflies at all, it was however more overcast and cooler as the wind was stronger, still pleasant at times
Very little signs of growth but the Lapwings have now started displaying if somewhat half-heartedly, had a singing Skylark today, more Curlews in song; and lots of noise from the more usual residents - Robin, Chaffinch, Blackbird etc. The Siskins are down to around 6 - 10 but still providing a nice bonus in the gardens and the Goldcrest is still showing regular and well
Attachments
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Long-eared Owl on Heights Lane
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Siskins on the garden feeders
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Meadow Pipit in one of two small flocks on Heights Lane
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Lapwing on edge of breeding site on Saturday

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Wurzel
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Re: philm63

Postby Wurzel » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:17 pm

I won't say that was a "poor" shot Phil - it's a belter :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: I'm triply envious as I've only ever seen one Long-eared Owl ever and that was in Poland. Hopefully only another week and spring will finally and definitely be here - probably with downpours and gales though :roll: :wink:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:59 pm

Sorry Wurzel, I must have mislead, I didn't post the 'poor' picture but one of the better ones.

Sun 14 April
Well it is at least warmer, but still not ideal up here. Yesterday it was generally overcast with a very fresh wind and later becoming wet; today was warmer but extremely windy and changing from sun to overcast to wet in the space of a few minutes. Since the three tortoiseshells last Sat still no more butterflies seen, however yesterday I saw my first Swallow and today another. Also had a female Sparrowhawk hunting in the garden as I watched the feeders today but it didn't catch on the pass so didn't perch. The Long-eared Owl may have moved on as I failed to locate it yesterday, but compensation in two Little Owls together. It still does not feel like Spring up here yet, and there is still snow lying in places
Attachments
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Most of the male Pheasants locally are of this gaudy type as opposed to being ring-necks
DSCF4735.JPG
Two Little Owls having a cuddle to keep warm in the wind

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Padfield
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Re: philm63

Postby Padfield » Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:49 pm

That horse, magpie and little owl picture is just wonderful, Phil!

Guy
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Wurzel
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Re: philm63

Postby Wurzel » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:32 pm

Sorry to hear that there are still no butterflies up your way - still they'll be all the sweeter when they do arrive :D The final shot is a cracker - it looks like the Horse and the Magpie are squaring up, although my money is on the Little Owl, evil incarnate they are :shock: :wink:

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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philm63
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Re: philm63

Postby philm63 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:32 pm

Guy, Wurzel - thanks for the kind comments.
Wurzel I can see what you mean about the expression on Little Owls, but I enjoy them all the same - the pair in the picture are only a 10 minute walk from my front door and the wall they are on is photographable for most of its length so I have come to love them and have lots of shots of them now

Whilst berating the lack of spring at the weekend I did fail to mention I had my first young bird on Saturday - and as expected it was a young Wood Pigeon - I think even its parents would have a problem loving it. But it certainly does seem the larger birds excel at producing ugly youngsters (except for the waders for some reason)
For example -
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The young Wood Pigeon from Saturday

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Young Little Owl

1902. 7 May 2012 Tawny Owl Eldwick.JPG
Young Tawny Owl


However the passerines seem to produce very cute youngsters
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Young Great Tit

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Young Blue Tit

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Young Robin


Although some of the finches can be an acquired taste
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Young Greenfinch


Back to the present day - if not for the wind it could have been summer today never mind spring - about 16 - 18 in parts of Yorkshire, first signs of Cherry Blossom this morning and more buds appearing by the day. I am in the latter part of using public transport at the moment till I replace my car - one benefit is on good days I can take a diversion on my way home, hence I am carrying my camera in my work bag at all times just in case. I did this tonight anf finished the trip home with a walk through Prince of Wales Park. I was rewarded with two more Small Tortoiseshells - one flew away but the the other decided to bask in a flattened sun-facing bracken bed, so managed to get a few shots, it was very skittish though so left it in peace. Hopefully this is the start of a good period
Attachments
DSCF4797.JPG
Small Tortoiseshell - my first butterfly picture for 2013


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