Tuesday, 29 March 2016

March Migrants.

Warm weather on the 20th March had several Brimstones and Tortoiseshells on the wing. A flock of 50 Meadow Pipits were on passage on the 21st. On the 23rd Chiffchaff were singing and on the 24th four Sand Martins and a single Swallow were over the res. A male Siskin was seen displaying on the 27th and a Marsh Tit was coming to the garden feeder. Today, 28th, Raven and Peregrine were fly overs and a single male Wheatear is feeding in the fields near Retreat Farm.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Back to the Birds.

So after all those seabirds, whales and dolphins it is back to the wildlife and especially the birds around Thornton. On Thursday it was nice to see a pair of Grey Partridge in the field below the nursery. This is the first time that I have seen this Red listed species locally for several years. I hope that they successfully breed.
Nearby were a pair of Grey Wagtails, feeding in the outflow channel. This species breeds locally and is always great to see.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Cetacean sightings from my trip south.

 Three images of a Beaked Whale sp. We saw several Cuviers, but this one seemed smaller, brown and I wondered if it might be a Blainvilles. Not enough of the jaw line showing to make a conclusion.

Below two images- You can just make out the rounded head of this probable 'Blackfish' sp. Two animals shoulder to shoulder so a possible Pygmy Killer Whale?
 Dorsal, colour and size ok.

 Some Cuvier's images.

 Spinner Dolphins.

 Below Atlantic Spotted Dolphin.
Below Short finned Pilot Whale.
 Below another mystery.Two images of what  seems to be a beaked whale species.

 We saw plenty of Sei Whale with their characteristic erect dorsal being the last bit visible.

 Below some playful Peale's dolphins.

 Below possible Orca??

 Bottlenose Dolphins.
 Below Rough -toothed Dolphins

 Above and below -Spinners.

Below some Fraser's dolphins.

Fraser's above and below. Typical large pod with much splashing.

Below a Hump back, typical bushy blow, large splash guard and not  much sign of a dorsal.
Nice fluke print.

Above Atlantic spotted and below a Fin whale surfaces close to the ship.

Out of focus Striped dolphin below.

Above and below Short -beaked Common dolphins welcome us back in the Western Approaches.
In total about 16 species of Cetacean were seen, with many unidentified. I would welcome any corrections to my ids. The route took us from Bristol to the Falklands, Cape Horn and back.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Frog Fest!

 The sun attracted approx. 200 frogs to an amphibian orgy in the pond.
 Each frog seems to have its own unique pattern.
 Surrounded by the kids!

 It is rather sad to think that this is becoming a rare sight nowadays. To reverse the trend, dig a shallow pond, avoid adding fish, and enjoy the amphibians and dragonflies.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Some Cruise Seabird sightings.

My latest trip was to the Falklands and various parts of the east coast South America. It was great to get amongst the Kings of Volunteer Point on the Falklands.

 Magellenic and Gentoos are also present.

 While crossing the Tropics Masked , Red Footed and Brown Boobies followed the ship. Magnificent Frigate birds chased them to rob them of their Flying fish catch.

 Soft Plumaged Petrel.
 Pom. Skuas heading north.
 White chinned and below a Spectacled Petrel.

 Atlantic Petrel.

 Falklands Skua and Gentoos.

 Skuas harry the Gentoo colony.

 Back from the fishing trip.

 Wish I wasn't so ugly!

 Slender billed Prion. I think?  I tried to find some other prion species, but no luck. I did manage a single Blue Petrel, but alas no photo.

 Black browed Albatross.

 Common Diving Petrel. We also saw Magellenic.

 The 1st Feb. was a sea day. We were heading from the Falklands towards Punta Arenas and the southern tip of South America. It was great to see so many Black browed Albatross following the ship. At one time I estimated in excess of 2000.

 Sooty Shearwater.
 I had real difficulty id- ing the larger Alberts. Above is a Southern Royal.

 White morph Southern Giant Petrel. Known as White Nellies!
 Possibly a Northern Royal above?
 A tick for me, Atlantic Yellow -nosed Albatross.

 A moulting Cory's shearwater.

 Red-billed Tropicbird.

 It was a great trip. We also encountered 16 species of Cetacean. If anyone spots a mistake on my species id then please correct me.