Monday, 26 September 2016

Best of the Cape.

 Great views of Table Mountain.
 African Penguin at Boulders Beach.
 Southern Double collared Sunbird.
 Dad with the kids.
 White backed Duck
Southern Red Bishop.
 Southern Right Whale blow foreground, and Brydes in distance.
 Spotted Thick-Knee
 Cape Clawless Otter.
 Blue Crane.

 Robben Island.
 Cape Sugarbird

 Great White Shark
 Under water views of Great Whites was an amazing experience.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Butterfly Distraction!

 While watching Gordon Gannet this morning I was distracted by a dull brown butterfly fluttering along the footpath along the dam.
At first I thought it would be a Gatekeeper or late Meadow Brown. When it eventually settled it was nice to see a Wall Brown.  
The dam wall and increased vegetation along it creates an ideal habitat for this declining species.

Gannet Feeding at Thornton!

 Gordon is still at Thornton for his record breaking fourth day. Apparently no Leicestershire Gannet has stayed for more than two days. He/She was flying around and at one time I was hoping that it would make a break for the coast. Dave Wright reported seeing it plunge dive and Rhys Dandy has seen it eating a fish. I decided to try and get some sea fish out to it. I was surprised that it was so willing to come to hand.
 I rather suspect that this bird has taken fish scraps from a fishing boat in the past. It was happy to come to me and grab a Morrisons Herring. All other wet fish outlets are also to be recommended!

 I am hoping that with some food inside Gordon will decide that he has had enough of a holiday at Thornton and head off to his normal habitat out in the Atlantic.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Gannet wrecked at Thornton.

 Stopping off on the dam after a busy day at the Bird Fair had its rewards. A large gull like bird was flying towards me and at first I thought it was one of the Herring Gulls that have been hanging out at the outflow. As it came closer I realised it was an adult Gannet, for me a county tick, but most importantly a Thornton Patch tick! It landed in the central area of the reservoir.
As we watched the Gannet an Osprey flew over and headed off south down the valley. A nice patch year tick.
The Gannet is still present, resting at the top end of the reservoir. Hopefully it will regain enough strength to fly off to the ocean , where it should be. The low pressure system that has crossed the country in the last few days is no doubt the reason for its appearance.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

August Update.

Hirundines are now grouping up and preparing to head south, although some Sand Martins at the Bagworth wall are still on late broods. A male and female/juv Redstart were in the hedge line above Stony Bank on Monday. An adult Reed Warbler was feeding a juvenile at Church Farm and today I trapped and rung a juvenile Reewa at my Thornton ringing site, a site ringing tick. There was also a fly over Red Kite and at the Top End of the reservoir a juvenile Water Rail, perhaps evidence of local breeding. A Hobby was also seen carrying prey.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Essex Skipper.

It was pleasing to be able to add Essex Skipper to the list of butterflies at Bagworth Heath. This individual shows the characteristic antennae tips, that look like they have been dipped in black paint.
Other species at Bagworth Heath included Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Small and Large Skipper, and several Marbled Whites.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016


Three Common Sandpipers were on the dam this morning. Yesterday there were 38 Tufted Duck, the majority being males. There is also a brood of 3 Tuftys. Three Dabchick are sitting on nests and one has at least a single chick visible.